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Brahms: Three Intermezzi Op. 117
Music: Johannes Brahms
A Scottish widow’s lullaby for her fatherless child inspired his music, but Brahms’s message struck closer to home.

JOHANNES Brahms’s Three Intermezzi, composed in 1892, were inspired by the Border Ballad Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament, in which a bitter young mother tells her uncomprehending son how his father left them, on the very day his child was born, to die in a pointless war.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: My. Mine.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Hurt. Support. War.

Use together in one sentence: Born. My. Uncomprehending.

More games: Précis. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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Flodden Edge
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
The Scots paid a heavy price for honouring their ‘Auld Alliance’ with France.

EARLY in the 16th century, Pope Julius II of Rome and King Louis XII of France were at war, and King Henry VIII of England had sided with the Pope. So Louis begged the Scottish King James IV to invade England, reminding him of the ‘Auld Alliance’, the Scots’ long-standing friendship with France.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Since. Ago.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Close. Display. Cause.

Use together in one sentence: Once again. Last. Even though.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Battle of Glen Shiel
Music: Richard Jones
King Philip V of Spain sent a second Spanish Armada against Britain, but it suffered much the same fate as the first.

WHEN Philip V of Spain, in preparation for his larger assault on France, annexed the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, a British fleet led by Sir George Byng upset his plans by defeating him at the Battle of Cape Passaro on 11th August, 1718.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Who’s. Whose.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Storm. Force. Coast.

Use together in one sentence: Ambition. Armada. Father.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Tragedy of Macbeth
Music: Sir Arthur Sullivan
Macbeth becomes wound in spells, and finds that one murder leads to another.

JUST before Edward the Confessor came to the English throne, two Scottish generals, Macbeth and Banquo, saved the throne of their king Duncan by repulsing a Danish invasion.

On their way home, three witches accosted them. They told Macbeth that he would one day be a king, and Banquo that he would be a father of kings.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Invade. Evade.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Visit. Escape. Table.

Use together in one sentence: Accost. Accuse. Fear for.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

The Law of the Innocents
Music: Richard Jones
St Adamnán worked tirelessly to secure protection, rights and dignity for the women of Ireland.

IN 7th century Ireland, the lot of women was unenviable. Serving women were a form of coinage: fines were calculated in cumals, or maidservants, each equivalent to three milk-cows.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Pit. Pith.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Stand. Service. Campaign.

Use together in one sentence: Maid. Killing. Make.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Ladder with Twenty-Four Rungs
Music: Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie
The Duke of Argyll was pleasantly surprised to find one of his gardeners reading a learned book of mathematics - in Latin.

THE Duke of Argyll was puzzled one day to find a copy of Newton’s recently-published ‘Principia’ lying on the grass. He summoned a passing gardener, an eighteen-year-old named Edward Stone, and instructed him to return the wandering book to his library.

Edward, however, replied that it was his own personal copy.

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More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw.