Welcome to the Pierobon English Blog!
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Friday, 11 May 2018


WATER SCARCITY IN AFRICA - Plastic caps can save lives!

Nearly 400 million people in Africa don’t have access to clean water. 


Most Africans live with less than a litre of water a day. Every day, thousands of people walk many hours to get water, and it isn’t always clean. Dirty water makes children sick, causes diseases and death.

But you can find clean water underground in Africa. It is sufficient to have a pump to get it.


An example is the playpump. It is a merry-go-round – attached to a pump. Every spin sends clean water into a storage tank.
This system uses the power of children playing. The water comes out of a tap.
The pump takes only a few days to assemble. The water tastes good.


Clean water means less disease and less carrying time, especially for young girls. That leaves more time for school and for playing.
Easy to build, easy to maintain, playpumps are a low-cost solution to a great problem.


Incontro fra i Popoli helps people in Congo, Kenya, Camerun and in other central African Nations.
This organisation builds playpumps in schools. It also helps children in many other ways.

How can we help? It’s easy! We can bring our plastic caps to school and put them into the blue bins outside the school’s front door. Operators from Incontro fra i Popoli sell them to recycling companies. With the money they get, they build playpumps in Africa.

Don’t throw your plastic caps away: you can give your contribution to a solidarity project and save lives… for free!

Youtube videos:

Water doesn’t come out of a tap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teX2l_E40mw

Playpumps International – National Geographic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjgcHOWcWGE

Playpumps roundabout water solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5mPKOCpLow

Pozzo a giostra – in viaggio con Leopoldo Rebellato: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnwlckauyE4

Monday, 16 April 2018




At the beginning of the 20th Century, artists thought that the European culture was corrupt, artificial and superficial. Some of them visited Ethnographic Museums and discovered cultures and arts made of power and magic, even if they were considered primitive.
They found them essential, abstract and irrational, but capable of freedom, full of emotions. They loved the cultures of Africa, the Orient, the Americas and Oceania, they wanted to celebrate cultural diversity, universal art.

For them, Primitivism represented the simplification of form, it showed the truth of life. A lot of artists were influenced by Primitivism: Picasso, Braque, Gauguin, Derain, Giacometti, Brancusi and many more, but we will focus on three artists: Jackson Pollock, Max Ernst and Henry Moore.

Nude with Raised Arms the Avignon Dancer, Pablo Picasso, 1907

Head of a Woman, Georges Braque, 1909

The Couple, Alberto Giacometti, 1927


Max Ernst was born in Germany in 1891.
He began painting when he was 20. During the First World War, Ernst had to serve in the army. War was a trauma for him. He started to consider the world as irrational. He hated Nazism. 

During the Second World War, Ernst was sent twice to a concentration camp. The first time he was freed, the second time he had to escape.

Peggy Guggenheim helped him to reach the USA.  He and Peggy got married but their relationship didn’t last long. 

He moved to Arizona and was fascinated by the Zumi and Hopi Indian art and culture. He studied them also in the New York Museum of American Indians and had a collection of Hopi and Zumi Kachina Dolls. He liked the tenacity of the Native American tribes who struggled for their individuality.

In New York, Ernst helped to bring about Abstract Expressionism. This movement had an emotional intensity and was against figurative painting. It was art about the process of making art.

The Forest (La Forêt), 1927–28

The Entire City (La Ville entière), 1936–37

Painters experimented with new techniques like dripping, spraying, staining, pouring and working on the floor.
Ernst died in France in 1976.

Zoomorphic Couple (Couple zoomorphe), 1933 - Oil on canvas

Under the influence of Surrealism, Ernst developed his “frottage” or rubbing technique. In his first frottages, he dropped pieces of paper at random on floor boards and rubbed them with pencil or chalk, transferring the design of the wood to the paper. He next adapted this technique to oil painting, scraping paint from prepared canvases laid over materials such as wire mesh, leaves, buttons, or twine.
In this painting, he put a string of rope full of paint on a canvas and then sprayed paint on it. He combined layers of pastel colour under blown, spattered and dripped paint. You can see the image of a bird and a humanoid form in the painting. A zoomorphic figure is the image of a deity having the form of an animal. Both the figures here have much of animals. This painting was composed under the Nazi Socialism, before Ernst’s arrival into the US, but it shows his interest in the mysterious and powerful elements of nature.


Jackson Pollock was born in 1912 in Wyoming, USA. He began to study painting in Los Angeles, then he moved to New York and studied art there. He never had enough money, so Peggy Guggenheim paid him for four years and he could spend all his time painting.

The Moon Woman, 1942

When he was 25, he started painting in an abstract way. He laid his canvas on the floor and dripped and splattered paint across it. 

He didn’t want to paint a landscape or a portrait: Pollock wanted to paint action. When you look at one of his drip paintings, your eyes wander across the entire canvas in constant motion.
In this way, Pollock achieved his goal; the creation of the painting is active and so is the viewing of the painting.

Alchemy, 1947

To do his drip paintings, Pollock used big cans of paint to cover the canvas. He used sticks, trowels, or knives to drip and splatter paint, or poured paint directly from the can. He put into action the notions of the subconscious and automatic painting. Pollock’s drips were called “action paintings,” and contributed to the development of Abstract Expressionism.

Pollock valued Native American art. He grew up in Arizona and knew the culture od the Navajo tribe. When he was in New York, he saw Indian sand painting demonstrations at the Museum of Modern Art, and he was inspired by them for the development of his technique. He learnt that Indian medicine men sprinkled coloured sands on surface in a trance dance. That’s where he had the idea of the dripping method. He poured paint moving around the canvas with dance-like movements. The dance was never complete until the painting had revealed itself, then the artist stopped. Pollock was interested in the unconscious, and shamanism is deeply related to it.
Jackson Pollock died in a car accident when he was 42 years old.

  Enchanted Forest, 1947.

Enchanted Forest is an example of Jackson Pollock’s abstract compositions created by the pouring, dripping, and splattering of paint on large canvases. In this painting, Pollock leaves large areas of white in the network of moving, expanding lines. He also decides to use only gold, black, red, and white. He creates a delicate balance of form and colour through rhythms of lines that move into continuous, lyrical motion. One’s eye follows the lines of colour without being arrested by any dominant focus. Rather than describing a form, Pollock’s line becomes continuous form. In Pollock’s drip paintings, his lines show the freedom from contours and shapes.


 Henry Moore was born in England in 1898. He was a teacher and was in the army in the First World War. Then he went to Leeds School of Art to learn to become a sculptor. He was inspired by nature, by the hills of his area, he collected interesting stones, animal bones and tree roots on his walks in the countryside.

During the Second World War, he became famous for his drawings of people when they were in the London Underground used as bomb shelters. These drawings show all the feeling of fear and anxiety of these people.

Tube Shelter Perspective, 1941

Three Fates, 1941

Today, he is more is famous for his sculptures of people with bumpy forms and hollow spaces in their bodies. His first sculptures showed one person at a time, but then he focused on groups of people. He studied their movements, their interactions, he found out abstract, pure forms which transformed bodies into totems, more alien than human.

Family Group, 1949

Three standing figures, 1947

Moore had a deep admiration for Mexican sculpture. His interest in primitive art made him consider new forms in sculpture. From the end of the 19th Century, Anthropology and Ethnography began to study primitive ethnic groups. After a visit at the Ethnographic Room at the British Museum of London, Moore started to look to Aztec and Maya sculpture for inspiration. He saw much more energy in this art than in any other, even if he loved African primitive art as well.
Henry Moore died in 1986 in England.

Three Standing Figures, 1953 

This sculpture is related to the African influence on Henry Moore and to the “shelter” drawings. There is a variety of gestures, and Moore adds forms of bones and rocks to the human figures. The perforations suggest a process of erosion by water and wind. The bodies are abstract and some anatomical parts are exaggerated. They may give the idea of disorder, even if they are ordered in a row. They are fixed on a pedestal and they don’t touch or watch each other.




1.    What did artists think at the beginning of the 20th Century?
2.    How did they discover primitive art?
3.    How did they consider it?
4.    What cultures did they like?
5.    What was Primitivism for them?
6.    Who were interested in Primitivism?
7.    When and where was Max Ernst born?
8.    What did he do during World War I?
9.    What was his opinion about Nazism?
10.  What happened to him during World War II?
11.  What was Abstract Expressionism?
12.  Where did he go after the war?
13.  What did he discover when he was in Arizona?
14.  Where did he study Native Americans?
15.  What did he like about them?
16.  What is abstract Expressionism?
17.  What were the new techniques experimented?
18.  How did he do his “frottages”?
19.  How did he compose the painting Zoomorphic couple?
20.  What can you see in the painting?
21.  What is a zoomorphic figure?
22.  When was the painting composed?
23.  When and where was Jackson Pollock born?
24.  Where did he study art?

25.  How did Peggy Guggenheim help him?
26.  How did his style change when he was 25?
27.  How did he paint?
28.  What did he want to paint?
29.  What is “action painting”?
30.  Why did he know the Navajo culture?
31.  What did he see at the Museum of Modern Art?
32.  What did he learn about medicine men?
33.  How did he move when he painted?
34.  What can you see in the painting Enchanted Forest?
35.  What does the eye do while watching it?
36.  What are Pollocks’s painting free from?
37.  Where and when was Henry Moore born?
38.  What was he inspired by?
39.  Why was he famous in the Second World War?
40.  What is he famous today for?
41.  How are his sculptures?
42.  How did he study groups of people for his sculptures?
43.  What kind of primitive art did he like?
44.  Why did he like it?
45.  How did he discover it?
46.  How is the sculpture Three Standing Figures made?
47.  How are the bodies represented?
48.  Do you like them? Why?

Saturday, 7 April 2018



La prova INVALSI d’Inglese si compone di due parti:

Parte 1 ‐ comprensione della lettura (reading):

·         durata: 40 minuti

·         3‐4 compiti (task) di livello A1 e 3‐4 compiti (task) di livello A2,

·         ogni task è formato:

- [livello A1] da un testo della lunghezza massima di 110 parole al quale sono associate domande di comprensione (da un minimo di 3 a un massimo di 8),

- [livello A2] da un testo della lunghezza massima di 220 parole al quale sono associate domande di comprensione (da un minimo di 3 a un massimo di 8),

·         tipologia di lettura:

- lettura veloce selettiva (quick selective reading) per cogliere significato globale/ informazioni specifiche (livello A1 e A2),

- lettura attenta (careful reading) per comprendere le idee principali (livello A1 e A2);

·         tipologia di testi: testi autentici, continui e discontinui con contenuti familiari per allievi di III secondaria di primo grado;

·         tipologia di domande: a risposta multipla, a risposta aperta breve (massimo 4 parole), a risposta Vero/Falso/Non Dato (True/False/Not Given), a collegamento (matching);

Parte 2 ‐ comprensione dell’ascolto (listening):
·         durata: 40 minuti

·         3‐4 compiti (task) di livello A1 e 3‐4 compiti (task) di livello A2,
·         ogni task è formato da un brano in Inglese (livello A1 o livello A2) della durata massima di 2 minuti con domande di comprensione (da un minimo di 3 a un massimo di 8) alle quali l’allievo deve rispondere sul proprio computer;

·         tipologia di ascolto:

- ascolto veloce selettivo (quick selective listening) per cogliere significato globale/informazioni specifiche (livello A1 e A2),

- ascolto attento (careful listening) per comprendere le idee principali (livello A1 e A2);

·         tipologia di brani per l’ascolto: brani autentici con contenuti familiari per allievi di III secondaria di primo grado;

·         tipologia di domande: a risposta multipla, a risposta aperta breve (massimo 4 parole), a collegamento (matching).

 ·         Ogni task è preceduto da specifiche istruzioni, che presentano le seguenti caratteristiche:

- sono scritte in Inglese e formulate con una terminologia e una modalità corrispondente al livello A1;

- standardizzate: ogni tipologia di task, sia di reading sia di listening, è accompagnata da istruzioni che hanno sempre la stessa formulazione.

Lo svolgimento della prova INVALSI d’Inglese è interamente realizzato mediante il computer. Una volta che lo studente è entrato nel sistema con le proprie credenziali, comincia la prova d’Inglese che si articola nel seguente modo:

– Parte 1: reading (40 minuti)

– Pausa: 10 minuti

– Parte 2: listening (40 minuti)

Svolgimento della parte di listening:

Terminata la pausa tra la parte 1 e la parte 2, (Durante la pausa il responsabile del funzionamento dei computer, in collaborazione con il docente responsabile della somministrazione, si accerta che in ogni postazione sia presente l’audio‐cuffia e pochi minuti prima del termine della pausa distribuisce le credenziali per l’accesso alla parte di listening)  la parte di listening si svolge nel seguente modo:

– il docente responsabile della somministrazione comunica agli allievi di indossare le audio‐cuffie;

– gli allievi inseriscono le proprie credenziali per accedere alla parte di listening;

– gli allievi svolgono la parte di listening secondo le istruzioni che sentono in audio‐cuffia e secondo le indicazioni che leggono sullo schermo.

La parte di listening è così strutturata:

  • ·         avvio task 1,

·         istruzioni in Inglese per il task 1 (l’allievo ascolta e contestualmente legge le istruzioni),

·         pausa di 20 secondi per permettere all’allievo di visionare le domande del task 1,

·         primo ascolto del sound file del task 1,

·         breve pausa tecnica di 5 secondi,

·         secondo ascolto del sound file del task 1,

·         pausa di 20 secondi per il completamento e la verifica da parte dell’allievo delle risposte fornite o avvio task 2,

·         istruzioni in Inglese per il task 2 (l’allievo ascolta e contestualmente legge le istruzioni),

·         pausa di 20 secondi per permettere all’allievo di visionare le domande del task 2,

·         primo ascolto del sound file del task 2,

·         breve pausa tecnica di 5 secondi,

·         secondo ascolto del sound file del task 2,

·         pausa di 20 secondi per il completamento e la verifica da parte dell’allievo delle risposte fornite e così via per gli altri tasks.