Growing portraits with grass

Growing portraits with grass

[Great big story]

“Grass is something that most of us take for granted. We walk all over it, we lay on it and sometimes mow it down. Few appreciate grass the way Dan Harvey and Heather Ackroyd do. And yet their art can stop you in your tracks. By manipulating the natural processes that fuel life itself, these British artists blur the line between science, nature and art, all while drawing attention to climate change.” Read more about the artists HERE

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

  • Grass is something we take  for granted
  • We walk all over it
  • We don’t give it much thought
  • The magic of seeing them in print
  • Come to life and grow
  • Blur the lines between science, nature and art
  • Mega flooding scenarios
  • Severe weather events are happening
  • Time and time again
  • Increasingly more frequently
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Climate change
  • It was within our sight
  • Photosynthesis
  • We work with the seed
  • Germinate their seeds for about two weeks
  • The image develops over the period of weeks
  • We grow the grass vertically
  • The studio space
  • We turn it into a darkroom
  • The only light that the grass receives
  • Projected negative image
  • It produces more of the chlorophyll, more of the green pigment
  • The equivalent to a black and white photograph
  • But in tones of green to yellow
  • We can work really really  large-scale
  • The resolution phenomenal
  • It’s part of a process of discovery
  • The mediums you work with
  • Part of our palette and materials that we play with
  • They can last indefinitely
  • When you can put  the lights out
  • Someone who cares passionately about what they’re doing
  • I’m still a bit taken aback by all this grass


#English Language Schools,  #Learn English, #Learn English Online

Until it’s just you…

Until it’s just you…

A beautiful poem by Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan about the wild within British Columbia, Canada

 [Destination British Columbia]

It’s just the ocean.

Until you are pulling your dinner out of it.

Until you see first-hand everything that lives in it.

Until you feel the push and pull of a thing so vast…

It is untameable.

It’s just a tree.

Until you see someone release the art trapped inside it.

Until you need shade from the sun or reprieve from the rain.

Until the night steals the warmth in you blood and a cedar sacrifices his its own flesh to give you fire.

It’s just a mountain.

Until you are standing at the bottom of it.

Face to face with it.

Until you take your first step to the top of it.

Until you reach the summit and stand eye level with the setting sun

It’s just a sky.

Until the stars poke holes in the darkness.

Until the wind pushes its howl through the open air with a wildness so blatant.

It sounds like a song you must dance to.

And it all looks…

So tame.

Until you there surrounded by no one.

Until water, earth, fire and air rewind you to a time you once knew.

Until the world feels massive again.

Until it’s just you…

Have you got a walking bike?

Have you got a walking bike?

[DW Euromaxx]
Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :
  • A relaxing stroll
  • A fitness studio
  • A walking bike
  • He showed me how it functions
  • Treading sets the bike in motion
  • The bike first hit the streets in 2014
  • Now it’s taking off internationally
  • Since then it has become a runaway success
  • Regular cycling can be difficult
  • The manufacturer is finding it hard to meet demand
  • A full day tour of the city
  • You don’t need a license
  • Practicing on a country road
  • The Dutch are known as a nation of cyclists
  • After a while I really get the hang of it, but I’m still drawing attention
  • A few brave souls ask if they can have a go
  • Locals and tourists alike are keen to jump on board


CaMLA Speaking Test – ECPE Proficiency oral exam – ECPE speaking prompts – ECPE choosing a location – 
Get out and walk

Get out and walk

Air New Zealand

Map of the area in New Zealand :

Map of NZ Walks

Further information @ Great walks NZ

Have you ever climbed a tree?

Have you ever climbed a tree?

[Londonist Ltd]

Follow Jack’s tree climbing adventures HERE

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching video :

  • I’m an obsessive tree climber
  • Probably 200 or so trees across the city
  • I’ve distilled that into my book
  • The tree climber’s guide
  • Central London
  • All the emails, the phone calls and the spreadsheets
  • So I stepped out into a park with a sandwich
  • A pine tree
  • 60 Feet above London
  • The view was just amazing
  • Start at the end of your road
  • Local green space, a park or garden
  • Start on a low branch
  • Until your confidence builds
  • Take a friend to help you out
  • With a friend you can get into 100 more trees than you would on your own
  • Work your way up
  • Risk-averse (opposed to taking risks) age
  • Councils are terrified about being sued
  • If you’re cautious and respectable
  • There is no reason you shouldn’t explore trees across the city
  • It grows up to 60 or 70 feet high
  • You can get all the way to the top
  • Maybe one day we’ll come back

Learn English with short videos – Short videos for the classroom –  English Language Schools – English collocations
Look up #11

Look up #11


Bird parents build nests of all different shapes and sizes to keep their young safe and warm. Bald Eagles, for example, build massive structures out of twigs that can be over 5 feet in diameter. Hummingbirds, such as this Cuban Emerald have a much more discreet approach. The cup-shaped nests they construct out of materials such as leaves and spiderwebs are only slightly bigger than a quarter and typically house two eggs weighing less than a gram a piece.

Would you travel in the rolling home ?

Would you travel in the rolling home ?

 [Calum Creasery]

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

  • A small budget
  • A dream home
  • 8000 Miles across Europe
  • We have made films
  • We have documented all our travels
  • A compilation of photos
  • Support our kickstarter

More @ The Rolling Home on Instagram

American English – British English – Oxford University Press 


Do you know what an Earthscape Artist does?

Do you know what an Earthscape Artist does?

[BBC News]

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching video :

  • He’s an Earthscape Artist
  • He spends his days on the beach racking the sand
  • He lets his imagination run wild
  • Geometric patterns
  • My biggest inspiration is nature
  • Translate the world I see
  • Scientific pursuit
  • By blending broad and narrow strokes he creates patterns
  • Which hovers above the design and takes pictures
  • Beach goers love his work
  • Travel miles to see it
  • He used to be Environmental Scientist
  • Follow his dream
  • Opened more doors
  • Make a living racking in the sand
  • When the tide comes in



 English vocabulay  – ECCE speaking exam – Cambridge Exams


Would you take them for a walk?

Would you take them for a walk?

[1000 Londoners]

 Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching video :

  • They are quite friendly
  • I rock up (arrive somewhere) to work one morning on my bike
  • My husband had a fit (be very shocked)
  • As a wedding anniversary present
  • A wedding dress fitting
  • They are in a state with their mother
  • It just lowers the temperature a bit
  • It’s a bit of an unorthodox thing to own in West London
  • A pig farm
  • They know that I’m the boss
  • Cracky don’t be such a pig
  • I have a walking license
  • Come on lads
  • Stop being stroppy
  • When you take on livestock, your home becomes a farm
  • A pig looks you straight in the eye

Learn English with short videos – Short videos for the classroom –  English Langauge Schools – English collocations – Unusual Pets
Where do you store your winter food supply ?

Where do you store your winter food supply ?


Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

  • One of the most interesting birds that I have every photographed is Acorn Woodpecker
  • I found a population of woodpeckers in a Suburban Park, in Southern California
  • Thousands and thousands of holes in it
  • They are among the busiest birds
  • This is where they store their winter food supply
  • It’s a tree that has been used over the generations, multi generations
  • We don’t drill them all at once
  • Each winter they drill a few more
  • And add some more acorns to them
  • That makes Acorn Woodpeckers pretty special in the bird world
  • They’ve got glossy blue-black back
  • They’ve got red and pale yellow and black markings around their heads and faces
  • Their eyes really stand out
  • You can tell the males from the females
  • They’re highly social birds
  • They live in social groups year round, up to a dozen individuals or more
  • Dramatic and very wonderful wing-spread display
  • I really like to go watch them and photograph them
Look Up #9

Look Up #9

Great Big Story


“With a wingspan up to 10 feet in length, the mighty Andean condor is one of the largest flying birds in the world. Found throughout the Andes Mountains, the condor is a national symbol for many South American countries. This massive bird has a hairless head, which will change color depending on its emotional state. Though the condor can live up to 70 years, its population is in decline, largely due to the destruction of its natural habitat” [Great big Story]

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

  • With wings that spread up to 10ft apart
  • One of the largest flying birds in the world
  • Found throughout the Andes Mountains
  • A national symbol
  • Emotional state
  • Used to attract females
  • With some Condors living for more that 70 years
  • It is a scavenger bird
  • South American coast
  • The population is in decline
  • Due to the destruction of its natural habitat
  • Lead poisoning from carcasses shot by hunters


Look Up #8

Look Up #8

Lab of Ornithology


Birds-of-Paradise sport some of the strangest feathers in the bird world. The male King-of-Saxony takes the cake with stiff ornamental feathers (up to twice the male’s body length) sprouting from the top of his head. He also has a piercing call that sounds anything but bird-like. Filmed by Tim Laman near Tari Gap in November of 2010.  Explore the Birds of Paradise Project HERE

Free lesson plans HERE

Free Teaching Resources HERE

A map of New Guinea

New Guinea



I will remember that moment for the rest of my life

I will remember that moment for the rest of my life

[Great big story]

“Emma Dahlström and Jesper Tjäder are both professional free-skiers who compete on the Swedish National Ski Team. In their careers, the pair has travelled around the world to ski some of the steepest, iciest and gnarliest slopes. But they had never experienced anything like the sheer vertical madness they took on during a recent trip to Peru. There, they shredded the sandy hillsides of Huacachina and Cerro Blanco—the highest sand dune in the world.” Visit Emma’s Instagram account HERE and Jesper’s HERE

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

  • The biggest sand dune in the world
  • 400 Feet of vertical drop until you get to the bottom
  • A professional free skier
  • We are both on the Swedish national team
  • Travel all over the world
  • All you could see is desert
  • It felt pretty similar to snow
  • It felt cool to ski in shorts and a t-shirt
  • We headed out to Cerro Blanco
  • We hiked with all our gear
  • It was such a crazy feeling


Look Up #5

Look Up #5

Great Big Story


The toco is the largest and perhaps most recognizable of the toucan family. Its striking, brightly colored bill comprises almost half of its body surface area. Toco toucans are found throughout South and Central America, but populations have declined over the last decade due mainly to the pet trade and the destruction of their rainforest habitats.  Can this beaky bird shake off these threats?

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

  • The largest and most recognizable
  • They are found throughout Southern and Central America
  • Their population has continued to decline
  • Their appearance is striking
  • Its iconic bill
  • It is rather light
  • To pluck out-of-reach fruit from trees
  • They are considered extremely gregarious and social birds living in flocks
  • The pet trade and the destruction of the rain forests are the main cause for decrease in population