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Why are carrots orange?

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#1 Ian Macdonald

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 04:51 PM

Greetings from sunny Devon.

I have just returned from an Assessment for Learning conference in Kingsteignton.

One activity involved teachers setting questions relating to other subjects at the start of a unit.

An RE teacher gave me 'Why are carrots orange?' (purple used to be the most popular colour, but orange carrots were developed in the Netherlands to promote the...House of Orange!).

I can use this question as a starter for a short unit about The 'Glorious' Revolution.

A cross-curricular idea was to introduce trigonometry with the question: 'How did the Dambusters manage to blow up dams with a bouncing bomb?'

Does anyone have any other interesting trigger questions?


#2 alison denton

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 08:56 PM

A Rob phillips favourite:

What have jelly babies and barbed wire got in common?

Answer: jelly babies were originally known as 'peace babies' and were handed out to mark the end of WW1

#3 Guest_JaneFJones_*

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 11:31 AM

For Northern Ireland Coursework

'Why were two episodes of 'Star Trek - The Next Generation' (which featured the
British Isles as seen from space) never shown on British TV?'

Because the episodes mention the unification of Ireland in the 21st century, and were considered inflammatory to sections of a UK audience.

However - I am not sure where I gleaned this snippet of information - and it may be an urban myth. I would be interested to know if anyone else can confirm it.

#4 mattzb


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Posted 02 October 2003 - 07:24 PM

heading off History, I quite enjoy starting an RE lesson comparing God with aquafresh... (normally takes the pupils at least a minute to come to grips with the ideas of the trinity) Have also been known to look at the topic of suicide during mock exam week with Yr 11.... :woo:

#5 catherine6474


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Posted 02 October 2003 - 07:50 PM

An RE teacher gave me 'Why are carrots orange?' (purple used to be the most popular colour, but orange carrots were developed in the Netherlands to promote the...House of Orange!).

I just asked my partner, a science teacher but with far more factual historical knowledge than me, this question to see if he knew.

His response: 'its the keratin'...

Edited by catherine6474, 02 October 2003 - 07:52 PM.

#6 Jacko


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Posted 03 October 2003 - 06:30 PM

I remember attending a lecture at university more years ago than I care to remember in which the speaker started by asking "How was the Roman Empire like Marks & Spencer?" Her argument was that just as you can buy the same style of knickers whether in the Aberdeen branch or in Plymouth, so trade in the Roman Empire meant you could buy Samian pottery in Asia Minor and near Hadrian's Wall. Interesting theory!

#7 JohnDClare


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Posted 03 October 2003 - 08:00 PM

Heard these on Stepohen Fry's Qi programme (BBC4).

1. The Latin name for the Buzzard is buteo buteo. There is a species of small buzzard nicknamed the 'Hobby'. When the inventor of a children's football game tried to patent it, he wanted to call it 'The Hobby' but was refused the name. So he called it after the small buzzard with the same name: Subbuteo.

2. When Gerber baby foods tried to break into the African market in the 1930s, they markted a tin with a lovely picture of a baby on it. Not only was the baby white, but their market researchers had failed to discover that - since many Afrucan people could not read - tinned food in Africa always had the picture of the contents of the tin on the outside. Outraged African mothers thought that Gerber were trying to get them to feed mashed baby to their children!

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