Tall Ships Race 2015: Signal Flags

logo TSRSee Tall Ships Race for an introduction and links.

SIGNAL FLAGS is the second activitiy within the theme Tall Ships Race. This blog is in English as the subject is international and therefore contains so many English words.

Language can be spoken and written, but there are many other forms of language and communication. Many of them make use of universal codes:

  • Morse
  • Maritime Signal Flags
  • Braille
  • Buoys at sea

We will focus on the maritime signal flags. Every letter in the alphabet and evey number 0-9 has a flag. This way you can create and spell words using these flags. However, out at sea it would be too cumbersome and time consuming to send messages to other ships while spelling whole words or even sentences with flags. Therefore, every flag also respresents a signal or in other words a message. For example if the crew on a ship hoists the T-flag they send out the signal  «Keep Clear».
The combination of two flags gives another set of messages. See BoatSafe.com or SailorsChoice.com.
Additionally. the flags are being used in regattas to signal the start and to signal a fault.

Task 1: Make the words ‘Tall Ships Race’ with the (maritime signal) flags below.

vlaggen TSR

  • Before you look up  which letter the flags represent, you can group the flags into two groups. What are the two groups?
  • Use the internet to find out which letter the flags represent.

Task 2: Make your own name using the nautical flags.

Task 3: Design your own signalling flag using the rules given on the website BoatSafe.com

  • Explain the choices you have made in the design.
  • Add a signal/message to your flag.

Task 4: (Work in pairs) Make a short conversation using the flals. For example a question and reaction.

Alpha Bravo

When spelling words and thus using the letters of the alphabet in communication on board, at sea, in the air and in the army, people use the phonetic alphabet. The phonetic alphabet can be found on the pages on flags: BoatSafe.com and SailorsChoice.com.

Task 5: Spell your name using the phonetic alphabet.

Task 6: Explain why this alphabet has been developed and why it is being used?

Task 7: (Group task)

Spell the name of someone in your group without looking at that person. If the person hears his/her name he/she takes over and starts spelling the name of someone else. If nobody reacts, you spell another name from someone in your group.

Aternatively: Spell a difficult word and let others react by saying or writing the word you spelled.

Download: Tasks on Signaling Flags

Critical Thinking App

Think-O-Meter is the name of Pearson’s Critical Thinking App. Pearson uses the RED-model for critical thinking. The App provides texts with multiple-choice questions. Answering the questions requires close reading, thinking and reasoning. The App provides useful feedback.

The texts and questions can certainly be discussed in pairs or small groups, which will make it more valuable as students have to argument with each other.

The level of the texts and the questions are at a high level. I would say pre-university or university level.

The App is difficult to find in the App Store. Go to Pearson’s website to get to the App in the App Store.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  iPad, iPhone
 Requirements  iOS 3.1 or higher


Nettstedet Digital History handler om emner fra Amerikanske historie. Hjemmesiden viser bilder og timeline samtidig.
Nettstedet tilbyr en enorm mengde av informasjon på tekst, bilder, filmer, historiske dokumenter o.s.v. I tillegg får du nyttig informasjon for lærere. Innholdet på nettstedet er produsert under ansvar av College of Education of Houston University (USA).

Innholdet er muligens for forseggjort til å bli brukt mye utenfor USA, men noen emner vil sikkert være av interesse, og er verdt å studere for studenter utenfor USA.

Tilnærmingen kan også tjene som et eksempel til å jobbe på et historisk prosjekt eller emne nærmere til studentene.

Digital History (USA)

Digital History (USA)

Digital History (USA)

Digital History (USA)

Nettstedet er på engelsk.

 Kjøp  Gratis
 Egnet for  PC, tablet
 Krever  browser

App English Grammar

App to learn English grammar

Real game, real English grammar. Games that offer something different from the ordinary grammar excercises in the textbooks.

Denne lysbildefremvisningen krever JavaScript.


 Price  Limited version Free, Full version $ 2.99
 Hardware  iPad
 Compatibility  iOS 4.2

Comment: The limited version has a very limited number of different sentences  in every game.

Dictionary App

Merriam Webster logo

We, and definitely our students, live in the 21st Century. They constantly use digital resources and equipment. We will loose them if we only offer them the good, old,  paper-based Dictionary. Teach them how to use Google Translate properly. Besides, there are very good (FREE of charge) dictionaries available for smartphones and tablets. In my opinion, Merriam Webster English Dictionary is one of the best.

Functions of the Merriam Webster App:

  • example sentences
  • thesaurus : synonyms and antonyms
  • audio pronunciation
  • voice search
  • when you type in the ´search field´ the App offers alternative suggestions

Denne lysbildefremvisningen krever JavaScript.


 Price  Free
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android
 Compatability  iOS 6.0 or higher