Idol speculation Schools' television programmes and their sensibLe, sister websites have shut for summer so it's vowels with Pop Idol Will, marriage with Bryan from Westlife and proof-reading skills with Shrek These are some of the ready-made teaching resources now avaiLable on the BBC Newsround website. There are around 150 lesson plans that enable you to make current affairs more than just a talking point in your classroom. Lesson plans are geared towards literacy (key stage 2), personal. social and health education (key stage 3) and citizenship (key stage 3) and all have a current affairs link. They cover subjects as diverse as bullying and globalisation. human rights and the Damilola Taylor trial, local government and etymology and paragraphs. and include quizzes, questionnaires. assembly ideas and discussion points. Be warned, though: the resources are based on stories on the Newsround webs ite and some lesson plans are informed by celebrity rather than hard news. Hence, a lesson plan on vowels is based around the news of the release of Will Young's single, Evergreen. and a suggestion that teachers should start by reading the lyrics leaves you wondering whether the BBCi has it in for teachers. Lesson plans are updated regularly so log and sort the neat from the naff at http:news.bbc.co.ukcbbcnewshiteachers
The widening appreciation of Indian culture UK-style has switched from the curry house to Bollywood. And as the Indian cricket team roll into town for the test series on July 25, Channel 4 launches its Indian Tales season, with a selection of programmes that cover beauty contests. Gandhi, call centres and Bollywood women. Coverage of the Indian Tales season and the test series is at www.channel4.comindiansummer
In the Commonwealth interest For those with wider sporting horizons, the Commonwealth Games in Manchester provide a diversion between the end of Wimbledon, test matches and the start of the next football season. Unfortunately. the "Friendly Games" don't attract as much devotion or sponsorship so there aren't many sites dedicated to it. The official site, www.commonwealthgames.com. is fine if you want to buy tickets but not inspiring as a teaching resource, Its education section is basically a series of answers to common questions about the games and there's some information on the background of the games and details of venues. But you are better off checking the BBC site at www.bbc.co.ukmanchester2002 The games run from July25 to August 4 and will be televised on BBC 1 and 2.
Challenge of science Although the following two programmes have finished their run, they both leave web materials worth bookmarking. Rough Science, the Open University series that sets scientists a group of practical challenges, has details of all challenges in the latest series. The site features links and background subject information as well as detailed explanations of how each challenge was achieved. Check out the scientists and their conundrums at www.open2.netroughscience.
Historically speaking Background features and web chats on the final episodes of Simon Schama 's History of Britain are at www.bbc.co.ukhistory. The site also boasts a selection of interactive games that allow you to take part in the Battle of Waterloo or even to try and make your fortune as a cotton merchant. The final four programmes. which were shown on BBC2 in late May and June last year, covered the discovery of nature in the 18th Century. Queen Victoria and the Industrial Revolution, the British Empire and the 20th Century through the eyes of Prime minister Winston Churchill and author George Orwell.
The BBC's bid for the Digital Curriculum enters a new phase with an application submitted for the approval of Tessa Jowell, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport. During the current period of consultation, for those interested, a full copy of the proposals can be viewed at www.culture.gov.uk creativeindex.html