Subject Material

Visit a Cathedral - St. Giles' in Edinburgh

Published: 29.03.2012, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Thistles

Jean Robertson works as a volunteer guide in St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh. In the interview below, she gives an account of the cathedral's history and artefacts. The interview is recorded in the Thistle Chapel in the cathedral. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland, and the Thistle Order is the highest Scottish order of chivalry.The sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, is the one that grants membership of the order.
It turns out that the cathedral has also a surprising link to Norway.

The Thistle ChapelThe Thistle Chapel
Fotograf: Kindabigdeal's Photostream
In the interview (c. 10min.) there is special focus on the history of the Thistle Chapel in St. Giles' Cathedral. After  listening to the recording, you should be able to answer the questions below. The tasks are based on the ideas of students of International English at Skien videregående skole.

 

The Thistle Order - Interview
Opphavsmann: Morten Serkland
  

Comprehension

You will find an interactive task in the link collection.

Vocabulary

Here are some central words in the interview. Try to unscramble them.

yorla
nnotecicno
gehatrite
tdcaahelr
ylahicrv
anlotani
mbeelm
eltihst
gorna
tkignh
lacphe
rdore

Key

royal
connection
heritage
cathedral
chivalry
national
emblem
thistle
organ
knight
chapel
order

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Photo Story Presentation 

Scotland and Norway have had a close relationship for centuries.
One of the Norwegians who emigrated to Scotland was Christian Salvesen. On the link provided you will find an outline of the main events of his life. Based on this information, make a photo story of his life (e.g. Photo Story 3, MovieMaker). Choose pictures that match the period (fashion, architecture and people). You may also include audio clippings and/or musical effects that you think match your pictures.

Salvesen Shipping 

Make a Guiding Manuscript

You are a volunteer guide in St. Giles' Cathedral and have been asked to write a brief manuscript for a group of volunteers which they can use in their guiding. As a basis you can use one of the many videoes from St. Giles' on the web. Build your manuscript on the video/-s, the interview and additional reading. St. Giles' Cathedral homepage 

Oral

Use your manuscript to present St. Giles' to your classmates.

Writing

Thistle and BeeThistle and Bee
Fotograf: Donald Macleod
Use the picture as a source of inspiration.

  1. The bee in the picture has a story to tell. The story is about the importance of the thistle for Scottish identity. Tell its story.
  2. What kind of connotations come to mind when you look at the thistle and the bee? Use your associations to make a poem with the title "The Thistle and the Bee".

Research

St. Giles' is a Presbyterian cathedral which has been a symbol of Scottish identity for centuries. Make a Power Point presentation where you explain the reasons for this.