Wednesday, May 15, 2013
If you’re thinking of taking your class out on a school trip to supplement their classroom learning with some practical, first-hand experience, Manchester is a brilliant choice. The transport links are excellent, there are lots of things to do and the children will love exploring the big city with its friendly people and interesting buildings.
If you’re coming from outside the city, the easiest mode of transport is to hire a coach into Manchester. This means your class can be dropped off directly outside all the big attractions, so there are no long walks between venues, and everyone stays together so you don’t need to worry about losing anyone. Otherwise, trains into Manchester from London and most major Northern cities are frequent, and buses and trams will take you wherever you need to go across the city.
If you need inspiration for places to go, you’re in luck: Manchester has something suitable for almost every subject. If you’re taking a sports club off on a trip, head to the Manchester United or Manchester City stadiums. Here, you will be able to take a tour of the grounds and browse the museums showing the fascinating history of the clubs. Learn the story of the teams, the managers and the grounds, and take a look at some of the vintage kits from seasons gone by.
For a Religious Education trip, there is no better place to take your class than the grand Manchester Cathedral. Guided tours are available to teach the class about the history of the church and the different components of the building. There is a new modern visitor centre where children can find out more about the Cathedral from the knowledgeable staff so that they leave with all their questions answered.
Any classes learning about local history will really benefit from a trip to Manchester with its dozens of museums. Visit an old family home such as Wythenshawe Hall, a 16th century home formerly belonging to Manchester’s Tatton family. Alternatively, Bolton Museum contains a comprehensive range of world history, from Ancient Egypt to amazing archaeological discoveries. There is an aquarium in the same building which is perfect for science lessons.
For younger children, the Stockport Story Museum is the perfect choice. It’s free, it’s child-friendly and there are lots of interactive games and activities to keep them amused as they learn about the history of Stockport through the form of entertaining exhibits and displays.
If you want to take your class on a trip with a bit of a difference, head to Manchester. The children will find the day fun and educational, and you can come away knowing that they’ve picked up some knowledge to help them achieve their potential back at school.
Cleo Turnbull has been taking school children on trips to Manchester for over 15 years and still enjoys the city as much today as when she first visited as a child
Saturday, May 11, 2013
One by one he crushed all his enemies, most of whom were Amorites like himself, until he had set up an empire which embraced all of southern Mesopotamia – north into Assyria, westward towards the Mediterranean and southwards to the Persian Gulf. His genius for unification was reflected in his legal code, a concisely written body of common law. No treasures from Hammurabi’s time remain in Babylon itself, partly because its valuables were scattered during the maelstrom that followed. For 1,000 years after Babylon’s founding, the warring peoples who populate the pages of the Old Testament disputed Mesopotamia. The Kassites – from the Zagros Mountains in western Iran – took and held Babylon for four and a half centuries. After that, invading Elamites carried off many of the city’s riches to their own capital, Susa. These included the stele that shows Hammurabi receiving the contents of his laws from Shamash, god of justice. In the 13th century BC Babylonia fell victim, for the first time, to the Assyrians, and from the 9th century onwards it was a vassal state of Assyria. Babylon found its subjugation intolerable. There were several revolutions, and during the course of the 7th century BC the Assyrians destroyed the city twice.
Friday, May 10, 2013
At the end of the 8th century BC, an ambitious king of Susa called Shutur Nahhunte revived some of the splendour of the metropolis, and for a few decades it citizens enjoyed an uneasy peace through alliances first with Assyria, then with Persia. But it was not to last. In 646 BC, the Elamite capital was devastated once more, this time by the merciless ruler of Assyria, Assurbanipal (669-627 BC). Susa was looted, its royal tombs desecrated, and the images of its gods and kings were taken away. But Susa refused to die. The Persians rebuilt the city in the 6th century BC, and it became the administrative capital of their empire. Later, in 331 BC, it fell to Alexander the Great. It continued its role as a trade centre until gradual decline set in during the late Middle Ages, reducing it into a cluster of deserted hillocks overlooking the barren plain of Khuzestan. But in one way the site preserved its history across thousands of years – it has retained its ancient name, in the form of Shush, from the time of the first written records until today.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Some people don't have a problem squashing insects, but to me and a good amount of the world population, insects are terrifying. I just don't like the idea that a creature a fraction of my size can infiltrate my body and ruin me. I'm going to make this situation much worse for us scaredy-cats by exposing some insects from around the world.
1. Japanese Giant Hornet
At this point, many of you are probably familiar with these dudes, but for those of you who aren't, be happy that these are not indigenous to America. These flying creatures are roughly the size of an average human thumb and have stingers a quarter of an inch long. Their venom is strong enough to destroy our skin tissues and directly targets our nervous system. Studies show that a swarm of 30 of these hornets can take down a nest of nearly 30,000 bees. Oh, did I mention that they call in reinforcements with a pheromone that doubles as an acid to attack their prey? Yeah, that too.
2. Bat-eating spiders
This species of spiders is known as Nephila pilipes, but to me, more commonly known as "What the hell?" Even though the bats they eat are a smaller, insect eating kind, these spiders are still eating bats. According to my logic, if Spider-Man and Batman were to engage in battle, Batman would lose in a terrifying manner. These spiders have been found on all continents except Antartica. So pack your bags, guys, we're leaving this place.
3. Army Ant
You can find these guys in the Amazon Basin. They're ants that grow up to half an inch in length. Being ants, they have a strong swarm mentality, but army ants take that to another level. Their entire colony can consist of up to over one million ants and they're completely mobile. They destroy anything that comes into their path. To make matters worse, they're blind. You're probably thinking "How is that worse? They can't see me!" Being blind just means that they are completely indiscriminate in their destruction; whatever they roll over can and will be eaten. They move around by constantly crawling over each other, building bridges with their own bodies if needed. No amount of Raid can stop the rampage these ants are on.
4. Bot fly
No one is okay with these guys. We don't know why they exist. Bot flies come in a lot of varieties. Their name usually indicates what they like to burrow in. That's right: burrow in. And thank goodness for us two-legged creatures, there's a species called the Human Bot Fly. One of their favorite activities is to lay their eggs on a carrier that interacts with humans, like a mosquito. The egg will then find it's way to a human and make it's home there. When the egg hatches, the larvae makes it's home wherever it lands. For example, there have been accounts of bot fly larvae finding their way into human brains.
Now that you know about these insects, space exploration has never been more exciting. Let's hurry up and get off this rock!
About the author: Michael is a blogger for Smith Monitoring, an Austin home security company. In the presence of any bug, he can be found in the nearest corner, armed with a can of raid and a newspaper.