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Flotilla A Highlight Of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

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Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Queen Elizabeth II has a lot to smile about. She is celebrating 60 years on the throne of England. Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls

When someone’s done the same job for 60 years, she deserves a party. And that’s what happened in London, England this week.

The party for Queen Elizabeth II lasted four days.

On the first day, she attended the Royal Derby, a big horserace held every year.

The second day, more than a million guests lined the River Thames and watched the Queen and members of her family float along in the royal barge, majestically surrounded by a flotilla of 1,000 boats. A flotilla is a group of small boats together on the water.

It was the start of Queen Elizabeth’s “Diamond Jubilee,” a celebration of 60 years on the throne. According to some viewers, the celebrations were even more amazing than those for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding last year.

Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth’s great-great grandmother, was the only other king or queen of England to celebrate a diamond jubilee.

Other special events for the jubilee included a rock concert with Elton John, Paul McCartney and others, a special church service, a lunch at Westminster Hall, and a carriage procession.

The closing event took place over the central balcony at the Queen’s London home, Buckingham Palace. The Royal Air Force saluted her in a fly-past — an organized air parade of military airplanes. The roar of their engines was matched by ringing church bells and the crack of rifles.

There were two glitches during the party: the cold weather and rain, which continued to soak the masses who came out to see the Queen, and the sudden illness of Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Phillip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, had to be hospitalized on the first day of the party. Doctors reported that he had an infection, but because he is 90 (he turns 91 on Sunday) he was kept in hospital to make sure he was fine.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating 60 years on the throne. If you could spend sixty years doing anything, what would it be? Why would you never get tired of it?

Reading Prompt: Metacognition
Metacognition is a fancy way of saying thinking about your own thinking. Thinking about your thinking is a really important part of being a great reader. For example, it helps you understand the strategies you used to solve problems. That allows you to use the strategy more often and to perfect it.

What strategies did you use to establish fluency and decode today’s article?

Primary
Identify, initially with some support and direction, what strategies they found
most helpful before, during, and after reading and how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Junior
Identify the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Intermediate
Identify a range of strategies they found helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Grammar Feature: Why’s it called a “Flotilla?”
Many words in English are borrowed. In fact, all languages borrow words and expressions from each other! For example, the word “flotilla” is a Spanish word. It means a small fleet. The origin of the word “flotilla” is German.

Below are two lists of English words. They are of German or Spanish origin. Use google translate to find out what each of these “English” words mean.

*Hint: Say the German words out loud and see if you can guess their meaning.

http://translate.google.ca/?hl=en#es|fr|

Spanish: (i) bodega, (ii) plaza, (iii) siesta, (iv) salsa, (v) zorro

German: (i) trink, (ii) wasser, (iii) freund, (iv) haus, (v) Raketenwissenschaftler