19th March 2004 at 00:00
Plot the early movement of Gypsy populations on a world map. Suggest reasons and look for patterns. Show the current spread of Roma population on a contemporary map of Europe. Find out how this has changed in recent years. What are the attractions of a travelling lifestyle? What problems could there be? - organise a debate or write an article. Sketch how the Gypsy wagon developed. Include features such as the bow top or straight side. Investigate why people seek asylum and examine current views. Listen to styles of music that have been influenced by Roma culture, eg flamenco and jazz. Investigate this influence in the work of composers, eg Liszt, Rachmaninov and Bartok. Use Gypsy poems as texts for the literacy hour.

There are some wonderful collections, easily available. Find video clips of Gypsy weddings on the internet. Research the lives of famous people who have claimed Romani ancestry, eg Charlie Chaplin, Michael Caine. Listen to compositions and performances by Gypsy artists such as Nicolae Gulsa and the Gipsy Kings ( ... their music is great for PE warm-ups or dance).

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