The Vampire State Building: 8 Landmarks My Students Need to Learn

It’s been a week of exploring global landmarks with my students, and it’s definitely time that they understood a few things about the world. For the last time…

Dear Students,

This week we had a lot of fun discussing landmarks. Now I know that English is not your first language, but there are a few things that you should know by now, after we have discussed it many times. I need you to remember this so that some day you aren’t traveling across Europe and find yourself embarrassingly misidentifying a well known international landmark . I care about you, which is why you need to get this into your head now.


1. It’s the Empire State Building, not the Vampire State building. Maybe you picked this one up from children’s literature, maybe you just heard it wrong. There have been an awful lot of vampires on television these last few years, but True Blood takes place in Louisiana, not New York. Also, you’re way too young to watch that show.


2. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the modern world. Which is why you probably shouldn’t call it Apple Top. Or A-Top Tower. There are no fruits involved in the architecture, and the latter sounds a little like a bad rap name. You’re also too young for rap. Give it a few years, then play it loudly in front of your parents.


3. I know it would be fantastic, and yes, Italians do love this food, but there is no Leaning Tower of Pizza.  I can definitely see why you’re confused about this one. While we’re on the subject, don’t ever let an Italian know that your country puts corn on pizza. Ever.


4.  Hundreds of years ago, Shah Jahan spent a fortune building a beautiful mausoleum for his dead wife. He did not build a shopping centre called the Taj MallIf you try to go in there and ask for the food court, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. It’s called the Taj Mahal. No, not Tajuma Hall, Taj-mah-ha…nevermind.


5. Back to New York again. It’s likely that you’ll visit at some point in your life, so please don’t ask to see Ice Cream Lady. It’s the Statue of Liberty, and it’s one of America’s most loved symbols. She’s holding fire, not an ice cream cone, and no, she did not just win a beauty pageant.


6. Angkor Wat is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. I can’t believe you haven’t heard of it. Especially since it’s relatively close to use. “Anchor What?” is not a question I’m asking you. It’s not even close to the ocean. We’re finished the continents and oceans part of Social Studies.


7. The Grand Canon isn’t a celebrated American weapon. It’s a gorgeous crack in the Earth in Arizona. You seem to know this, but if you muddle up the pronunciation on this one, someone’s going to take you to a civil war museum. You see, the crack is called a canyon. No it’s not breaking apart, a river made it a long time ago.








8. Kremlin = Building in Russia. Gremlin = Lovable 80’s movie character. I’m sorry for making the comparison, that was my fault.

Now someone really needs to explain to me how you managed to get Machu Picchu right the first time.


Michael Teacher

All photos in this post are CC licensed

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