General information and resources for students and adult learners.


    Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein


    The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you go. - Dr. Seuss

  • Research Is . . .

    Research means that you don't know, but are willing to find out.-Charles F. Kettering

What is legend?

Long ago, people told stories that were based on history but were not completely true.  They are are called legends.  

Legends tell of time, place or person as though the event took place.  Robin Hood is an example of a legend.  In real life, Robin of Loxley was probably in trouble with the law.  in legend, he became Robin Hood, a man who took money from the rich to help the poor.

Legends were first told aloud and passed down through many generations.  This meant that many versions of the same story were told. Eventually legends were written down. The legends we read in books today were first told long ago.  

Why are legends told?
People have always told stories about the past.  They told legends to each generation to teach them about their culture.  Today, legends teach us something about the culture of people in the past. 

Theme in legends
There are legends from different parts of the world. They all tell stories of people and their actions.  There are many legends about kings and heroes who shaped nations.   There are also legends about places that ate important to a group of people.  They explain how the world around them was created. 

Examples of legends:
  • The Legend of King Arthur
  • The Legend of Hiawatha
  • The Legend of Atlantis
  • The Legend of El Dorado
  • Alligators in New York
  • The Legend of Big Foot


Johnny Appleseed

There once was a man named John Chapman.  He was born in the eastern part of the United States. As a child he loved the flowers that grow on apple trees in the spring.  He would pick them and smell them. Sometimes he would eat them.  When the apples came, he loved those even more.  

When John Chapman grew up he went to school. He learned a great deal.  His family wanted him to make lots of money. But John has other ideas.  He had never lost his strong love for apples. He wanted to find a way for people all over the country to have apples.

By this time, the Chapmans had moved toward the west, to Pennsylvania.  A great many apple trees were growing there.  In the fall, the apples were pressed to make juice. John went around to the apple pressers.  He asked to keep what was left after the juice was made.  In the presses were apple seeds.  He took the seeds and laid them out to dry in the sun.  

The next spring  he packed the dried seeds into big grain sacks. Then he set out toward the west and south.  He has one idea in mind- to plant those apple seeds.  He made it his job in life to plant the trees that would bear apples for the people. 

John didn’t wear shoes.  He dressed in the empty grain sacks.  He slept under the stars.  He cooked his meals over an open fire.  When it was time to move on, he put his cooking pan on his head.  That was his hat.   In all kinds of weather, he walked along with the sack of apple seeds.  People began calling him Johnny Appleseed.

He would stop in this place or that to plant a grove of apple trees. He would wait to make sure the seeds came up.  Then he would walk on to another place.  Sometime later he would come back to check on the new trees.  He enjoyed tasting the apples, knowing they were there because of him.  Over the years, Johnny Appleseed covered a lot of ground.  Apple trees grew wherever he had been.  

Next time you eat an apple think of Johnny Appleseed. Some people say it is because of him that apples grew almost everywhere in the United States.


The Great Pyramid of Giza

During the Ancient Egypt period, the Egyptians built pyramids, as tombs to protect the mummified bodies of their Pharaohs and their family. The Egyptians believed life continued after death. Their mummies were meant to stay in the pyramids forever, while the pharaohs spirits traveled to the afterlife.

Historians believe that the triangular shape of the four sides of these huge structures may have been designed to indicate the journey of the pharaoh to the heavens and the afterlife.
The Egyptians built the pyramids on the west side of the Nile River in the path of the setting sun.

The most famous pyramids of all are those at Giza, just outside the city now known as Cairo in Egypt. These three massive tombs were built more than 4,500 years ago. The pyramids at Giza were built for Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops), Pharaoh Khaefre and Pharaoh Menkaure.

Khufu's pyramid is known as "The Great Pyramid", it is the largest, but appears smaller as it sits on lower ground.

The Great Pyramid of Giza built around 2550 BC was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It covers an area of about five hectares and was approximately 147 metres high. It is one of the largest stone monument on earth and is an example of Egyptian scientific skill - each of its sides aligns almost exactly with north, south, east and west. The Great Pyramid also represents an amazing building effort.

Its sides are built at an angle of 51.5 degrees and it consists of at least 2,300,000 blocks of granite weighing 2.5 tonnes each.

At its base are three smaller pyramids one for each of Khufu's queens . Historians think that it took approximately 100,000 men and 20 years to build the Great Pyramid.

How the pyramids were built?
How the pyramids were built remains a mystery. Historians think that the Egyptians organised peasants labourers to work on the project and that each stone was brought by a barge along the Nile from the quarries, lowered into the wooden rollers and dragged by group of workers up the earthen slopes.

As each level of blocks was positioned, sand ramps had to be built so that the next layer of stones could be moved into position,once all the blocks were in place, a smooth covering of limestone was placed on the outside of the pyramid. This meant the pyramid could be seen from a great distance, sparkling brilliantly in the strong sunlight.

Architects designed the inside of the pyramids to include chambers, tunnels and storerooms. Artists covered the wall with beautiful paintings of the pharaoh's life and sculptors carved many intricate scenes. These paintings still exist and give us a very good idea about what life was like for the important people of those times.

One of the biggest problems facing the builders of these enormous tombs was creating secret passages or false tombs, to trick the grave robbers.

The Pyramids

Khufu - Khufu's great Pyramid was surrounded by mastaba tombs build for the wealthy elite and three queens pyramids. Originally there was a mortuary temple attached to the pyramid but this was vanished. It is the largest but appears smaller as it sits on lower ground.

Khaefre - Khaefre was Khufu's son. Khaefre's pyramid is smaller than the Great Pyramid, but looks larger because it was built on higher ground.

Menkaure - The grandson of Khufu, Menkaure, built one large pyramid, plus three smaller pyramids for the most important royal women.

Guarding the Royal Pyramids
The pyramid of the Pharaoh Khaefre is guarded by the Sphinx -- a huge limestone statue of a lion with the head of a man, presumably that of the pharaoh himself. Egyptians believed that the Giza sphinx was a form of the sun god.

For most of its 4500 year life, the Sphinx was covered in sand. Pollution from nearby cars and factories in modern times resulted in large amounts of the Sphinx being worn away. However, the Egyptian government has recently restored parts of it.


Terracotta warriors

In 1974, a group of Chinese farmers have found some life-sized clay soldiers while digging a well about 35 kilometers from the city of  Xian in central China.   As they dug, their spades hit against some life –sized clay soldiers. Since then archaeologists have continued to explore the site. What they have found is one of the most exciting discoveries of modern times.

The clay soldiers were buried in 210 BC. In that year the emperor of China was Qin Shihuang, he died and was buried in a mighty tomb. The soldiers were buried nearby to guard the dead emperor, just as real soldiers had guarded him while he was alive.

The emperor was a cruel and ruthless man, hated by most of his people. They paid high taxes and had very little freedom. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to work on projects such as building the Great Wall and making the emperor’s tomb.

When Emperor Qin Shishuang died in 210 BC on a journey to the eastern part of China, his advisers were worried that the people would rebel against the Qin kingdom. So they covered his body with rotting fish to disguise the smell and took it back to be buried at Xian.

Qin Shihuang was only 14 years old when he began planning his future tomb. It was being built all the time he was emperor. The inner tomb area was 4 kilometers around surrounded by a wall; the outer part was much bigger still. Mechanical crossbows were set as traps in the passageway to kill anyone who entered the tomb to steal the riches inside. When Qin Shihuang was buried, the tomb was covered with grass to make a huge mound, it was once 166 meters high, now eroded by rain and wind to less than 40 meters.

For 22 centuries, all that was known of Qin Shihuang’s tomb was huge grassy mound. It is still there waiting to be excavated. The clay soldiers have been called "Terracotta Warriors" were 1500 metres east of the mound. Two further pits were found in 1976.

About 8000 life-sized clay soldiers have now been found- they maybe many more. Some have now been restored and many are still broken into pieces. Each soldiers has a different face and they are lined up according to rank. It was a complete army,rank upon rank of soldiers buried to guard the emperor’s tomb.

Terracotta Warriors- an army under the earth

The soldiers stand in deep passageways divided by wall about 6 meters below ground level. The archers soldiers come first with their crossbows, then the foot soldiers carrying bronze knives, spears and swords, which are still sharp and shiny after 2000 years underground. The foot soldiers wear short tunics; some have their hair rolled up others have a small hat. The officers have chest armor and big boots. The high –ranking officers have long bears and stand at the back of their armies. There are horse-drawn chariots, each commanded by a charioteer.

The statues were made in a workshop and fired in kilns near the tomb site. Originally they were painted and traces of the paint can still be seen on some of them. Over two thousand years after they were made, the clay soldiers still stand on the alert guarding the tomb of their emperor.


Study Skills: Important Keywords To Remember

Good answers to test questions often depend upon a clear understanding of the meaning of important key words. Knowledge of the subject matter or topic you are dealing with is essential, but the way you answer questions asking you to compare contrast or summarise will greatly affect your final marks.

The following words are often used in tests and examinations questions. Here are some easy-to-understand explanations of some of the terms you may encounter in your examinations.

  •  ANALYSE - Work out the main parts or important features of the material and present them clearly in your answer e.g. Analyse the elements present in the experiment.
  •  COMPARE/COMPARISON - Look for those qualities or characteristics that are similar in the subject you are discussing. You may mention some differences in your answer but concentrate on aspects that are much the same. e.g. Compare the suffering of the two main characters in the novel.
  • CONTRAST - Stress the qualities or characteristics that are different in the things you are discussing. e.g. Contrast the luck that both sides had in the game.
  • CRITICISE- State what you think is a fair judgement of the events under discussion. Give points for and against, not just against. e.g. Critise the use of nuclear testing.
  • DEFINE - Explain the meaning in clear, concise terms. Also show the limits of what you are defining and the class or category to which it belongs. e.g. Define the meaning of the term " Photosynthesis"
  • DESCRIBE - Try to give the reader a "word picture" of what you are describing by including the main parts, colors, shapes, sensations etc., as vividly as possible. Provide characteristics and features. e.g. Describe your bedroom.
  • DISCUSS - This term means that you should give a complete and detailed answer. Make sure that you examine, analyse and present all points of view regarding the topic you are discussing. Identify the issues and provide points for and /or against. e.g. Discuss the significance of the title of the story "To Kill a Mockingbird"
  • ENUMERATE - Make a list or outline the main points in your answer. e.g. Enumerate the causes of World War 1.
  • EVALUATE - Present a value judgement, stressing advantages and disadvantages of the situation. e.g. Evaluate the contributions of Mobile Phones in our lives.
  • EXPLAIN - Relate cause and effect, make the relationships between things evident and provide the answer to why or how. e.g. Explain why the subtitle of the book is appropriate.

REMEMBER: An answer is satisfactory only if it answers the question that was asked.


Study Skills: Important Keywords to Remember - Part 2

There are other additional key terms that could be applied to examinations or assignments. However, a knowledge of this list will be extremely valuable in helping you decide what to do with a topic or a question. A good idea is to underline or mark the key words before you start to write your answers. This will help you to understand what is required and will also help you to plan your work.

  • ILLUSTRATE - Use examples to help explain your answer and if possible present a diagram, picture or small drawing. However, usually requires more than making a drawing. e.g. Illustrate the use of motherboard of a computer.
  • INTERPRET - Aim to give meaning of the topic or point of view in the material. e.g. Interpret the results presented in the following table.
  • JUSTIFY - Prove or show evidence why certain decisions or actions have been taken. e.g. Justify the entry of the USA into World War II.
  • NARRATE/RELATE - Tell a story or give an account of events or experiences. e.g. Narrate the events leading to the discovery of the treasure.
  • OUTLINE - Indicate the main points and important details of the material in a systematic arrangement but not an extended account. e.g. Outline the rising action, climax and falling action in the play.
  • PROVE/SHOW - Give evidence or use logical reasoning to establish how true or genuine a statement is in the topic.
  •  PROPOSE - Put forward for consideration or action. For example a point of view, idea, argument or suggestion.
  •  REVIEW - Make a general survey or examination of the major points in the material. A review can also often be a critical report of a situation or problem.
  •  SUMMARISE - Give a brief and full presentation of the main points or statements. Express, concisely, the relevant details. Leave minor details, illustrations and explanations.e.g. Summarise the ways we can preserve food.
  •  STATE - Set out the main points in clear, concise expression without minor details or the use of examples. e.g. State what you think is the major theme of the story.

REMEMBER: An answer is satisfactory only if it answers the question that was asked.


Student's Guide to Public Speaking

Do you have to give a speech? Or you would rather die, than speak in public, don’t be worry it affects as much as 75 percent of the population. But speaking in front of a group doesn't have to be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you practice before you do it. 
Public speaking shares many of the principles of a good negotiation -Preparation- Practice- Presenting.

  • Know what you’re going to say. Write out your speech and practice saying it aloud. You don’t necessarily need to memorize it but you should know it well enough so that if you had to talk without your notes you could pull it off.
  • Know who you’re going to say it to. Knowing your audience is good advice no matter what you are performing. If you are a student and you will be giving a speech in your history class, that’s going to inform your material such differently than if you are giving a toast to your dad’s 50th birthday party. You want to adapt your speech to fit the people you are speaking to. That way nobody gets bored and what you say will be a good match for your audience.
  • Know where you’re going to say it. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the place where you’ll be speaking, if you can. It is a big room or a small one? Will you have to speak loud and project or will thee be a microphone that you will have to adjust? Is there a lectern or a chair or will you be able to move around while you talk.? When you have some information about where you’ll be, you ‘ll know what to expect before you get there and that will help cut down on your nerves once its’s showtime.
  • Visualize. Most of the fear we have around public speaking isn’t about talking in front of people, but about doing something potentially embarrassing in front of people. To combat this, practice imagining yourself giving your speech and doing a great job. Walk yourself through it in your head from beginning to end, giving yourself a chance to visualize yourself doing well instead of living out your worst fears.
  • Realize. Make it real by practicing your speech ahead of time- by yourself in front of your family in front of your friends or even your family pets, whoever you can get to be an audience for you. It is a good idea to either write out your speech on note cards or print it out in a very big font so that you can quickly look down see what you need to say and look back up to say it.
Practicing delivering your speech so that it becomes routine, Practicing with an audience is also a chance to realize that your audience wants you to succeed. 
  • Exercise. If you are waiting around while other speak before you, it is helpful to step outside the room just before you speak to calm yourself down with deep-breathing exercises, breathing in slowly through your nose and breathing out through your nose and breathing out through your mouth. If you’re too nervous to breathe, try shaking out your arms and legs, then take some deep breaths to feel calm and centered. This is something you can do in practice and in performance.
  • It's about your message. Remember as you begin your presentation, it’s about your speech, not about you. It’s helpful to concentrate on the message – not the medium. That way instead of thinking about all different ways things could go wrong as you deliver your talk, you focus yourself on the content of your talk and about getting those points across.
  • Its all about you. Whether or not you crumble out of nervousness or do fantastically well thanks to sheer nerve is completely up to you – in other words, it is in your control. When you’re incredibly nervous you have the opportunity to harness that energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm. Take a deep breath and dive in.
  • It’s all good. No matter how you do, it is always good in the sense that every time you speak in public, you gain experience. Use this to build your sense of self-confidence; if you’ve done well, you now have proof for the next time around that you can do well.
And if nerve have gotten the best of you, you now have proof that the worst has happened and you’ve survived. Either way you know that you’ve done it- you’ve spoken in public once and you can do it again. This confidence –building is crucial, because having confidence is the key to speaking well.


Study Skills: 12 Tips on Test Taking

To be able to get good results on your exam, you need to study, but no matter how hard you study if you don't know how to go about taking a test, whether multiple choice or essay, you won't score the highest possible mark. 
Here are some tips on how to ace that test.
1. Arrive early or at least on time. Get a friend to exchange wake up calls just in case.
2. Expect and accept that you are going to experience a bit of stress.
3. Take time to read the questions thoroughly and follow instructions. Be clear on what is being asked. Highlight key words in the instructions. Listen to any last minute instructions.
4. Be aware of time restrictions and budget your time. Start with the easiest questions first.
5. Spend more time on the questions that have the highest marks value. For example: If an essay question is worth half the test value, plan to spend at least half the allotted test time on that portion.
6. Don't spend too much time on questions you don't know the answers. Leave them and return to them later. If you still can't answer, have a guess ( remember, there are no penalties for guessing.)
7. Pace yourself. Work quickly, but not hastily.
8. Don't panic, if you have a memory lapse. It is normal.
9. Don't worry if others finish before you do.
10. Make sure you answer every question on the test and do not change your answer without a good reason.
11. Use all your allocated time. If you finish early, read over your work. Double check you have answered all questions. Check spelling and grammar. It's easy to make silly mistakes.
12. Make sure you label and correctly identify all your work before turning in your test. Don't forget to write you name.


How to study effectively - Set a target

Study Tips  for any student who would like to stick to a good study regime. You don't have to be the Top Brain to do that-anybody can do it by following these simple rules and tips. 

Set a Target
  • Carefully check your timetable, make sure you have allowed a reasonable time for what you want to achieve. e.g. "Complete Math exercises 3 and 4 or start writing a draft for English essay." You need to clearly identify exactly what you have to do.
  • Set yourself realistic targets. When you get them done, you will feel good about yourself. Each small achievement helps to build up your confidence.
Congratulate yourself each time you reach your target.

Identify exactly what it is you need to learn in some subjects. You might have to memorise a poem or a speech. In other subject you might have to write an extended response.

So in order not to waste time, IDENTIFY the kind of learning or task that you need to do and work accordingly.


How To Study Effectively- Read and make notes

Study Tips  for any student who would like to stick to a good study regime. You don't have to be the Top Brain to do that-anybody can do it by following these simple rules and tips. 

Read and Make Notes

  • By using the notes from your subject or topic files, read and make notes - write comments, make brief summaries.
  • Practice the writing of key ideas and facts from memory, you will learn better by doing this.
  • Highlight important information, it makes it easy to relocate. It also allows you to create an outline of the material as you are reading. (Use highlighter that are not too bright, they have a tendency to be distracting)
  • Write notes as neatly and as legibly as possible. If you compose neat notes, or at least legible ones, you can save valuable time by not having to rewrite them.
Note taking is probably one of the foremost components to being successful in acquiring productive study skills


  • Don't daydream! Keep your mind on what you are doing.
  • Remember to have a 10 minute hourly break, this will help you concentrate. The best way to do it is to stand up and face away from your books, don't sit at your desk starring at your book- the physical act of standing up will help your thinking back to the job.


How to study effectively- Be Organised

Study Tips  for any student who would like to stick to a good study regime. You don't have to be the Top Brain to do that-anybody can do it by following these simple rules and tips. 

Be Organised
  • Make a homework / study timetable. Work on the important or urgent task first. Give equal time to your least liked subject. Leave until last the things you enjoy most and things that are least urgent. Highlight all the important task to be done.
  • Vary your study. Spending too much time on one task will give you less time for something else which might be just as important.
  • Use your study diary. Keep it handy all the time. It's a valuable tool to keep you organise yourself.
Organize your study timetables so that the most important stuff is given TOP attention time!! (e.g. PRIORITY - Top - Medium - Low)

File Your Notes
Create an individual subject files at home. This could be a two ring binder. Preferably use one at each subject.
Place the subject name clearly on the outside. When you get home from school each day transfer all the notes and handouts you received that day into each of your subject folder.
Before filing, read through, make notes and organise what it is you need to study from them.

  • Your subject file can be further divided into topics. This will make it easier to locate a particular topic when you need to study it later on.


How to study effectively - Understand What You Are Learning

Study Tips  for any student who would like to stick to a good study regime. You don't have to be the Top Brain to do that-anybody can do it by following these simple rules and tips. 

Understand What You Are Learning
Understanding in the classroom involves listening to instructions, being attentive, involving yourself in discussions and asking questions.
Take an active role in your learning. This will improve your understanding of the subject and will help you recall too.
  • Summarise things in your own words. When you are summarising, it should be short and to the point, capture key elements. Use diagrams, drawings, and flowcharts.
  • When you don't understand something, don't be shy or afraid to ask your teacher for help.
Revise ! Revise ! Revise!

It is normal for your brain to forget things, but this doesn't mean your not smart.
You should revise work very soon after you have learned it, once or every two or three study sessions, simply review older materials that you still need to remember.
Doing this regularly will save you having to re-study a topic in detail. Make sure your homework/study timetable includes plenty of revision time. The summaries and class notes you have made can be a great help in revision.


What is a noun?

noun is a naming word, it is the name of a person, animal, place, thing or feeling. All names are nouns. In other words a noun is a word used to name a person, a place or thing.
Nouns can be singular, one or plural more than one. Nouns have different ways of changing to the plural form.

Types of Nouns
Nouns can be divided into four groups or types.
1. Common Nouns - are names common to all people or things of the same kind. They do not begin with a capital letters.
Examples: woman, boy, mother, tree, cat, girl, river, table
2. Proper Nouns - names a particular person, place or thing. They always begin with a capital letter.
Examples: Saturday, Jason, Australia, London, Maria, St. Peter
3. Collective Nouns - These are the names given to group of people or things. They do not begin with capital letters.
Examples: team, pack, group, crowd, audience, family
4. Abstract Nouns - name feelings and ideas. These are the names given to things we cannot actually see or touch - usually a quality, idea, state or condition. We can see the result but not the thing that is named.
Examples: pain, freedom, joy, sorrow, beauty, wealth, honesty, kindness

Gender of nouns:
1. Feminine - are nouns representing female.
Examples: girl, aunt, sister, mare, lady, madam, wife princess
2. Masculine - are nouns representing male.
Examples: boy, uncle, brother, stallion, sir, husband, prince
3. Common - are nouns that are either female or male.
Examples: children, cousin, child, baby, parent, teacher
4. Neuter - are nouns for inanimate objects.
Examples: bottle, tree, road, grass, umbrella, house

Lean more about nouns through this video clip.    


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