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Last Updated: Tuesday February 19 2008 16:02 GMT


The Eurovision hopefuls

Citizenship: European Union and its role


The six UK acts who will compete for a place in the 2008 Eurovision song contest in the Serbian capital Belgrade have been named.

They include X Factor's Andy Abraham, and Rob McVeigh and Simona Armstrong, who were in Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

What can we learn about Europe's future from the Eurovision Song Contest?

Students look at how much Europeans have in common and how great their differences are.

Learning aims

  • Europe's complex cultural identity


    Andy Abraham
    Students can test their knowledge of Eurovision with this quiz. It can be played online or printed off as a worksheet.

    Quiz answers:

    1b, 2a, 3c, 4a, 5b.

    Warm up

    Talk through this picture gallery with the class.

    Eurovision final 2007

    Ask the group:

    • Could there ever be a song to represent all the pop music tastes of Europe?
    • What do you think it should sound like?
    • Who should be consulted over the final choice of song?
    Main activity

    In small groups plan an evening of entertainment. The audience will be drawn from across the continent of Europe.

    Offer a full programme, include the following:

    • Warm up act. What could everyone enjoy? Maybe dance or a display of skateboarding. Some things work OK in any culture.

    • Pop performances. Using five acts, try to include something for everyone. This shouldn't be too hard, there are loads of acts who are successful across Europe.

    • Food. What could you feed them? Everyone must have the same meal but there are four courses so you can offer variety. This can highlight how many familiar dishes have origins on mainland Europe.

    • Fashion show. Could this work? What sort of styles would be on the catwalk. It should work: People all over Europe follow similar fashions in youth wear and couture.

    • Film or TV. What could they watch? There are going to be a lot of issues with language here. They might have to watch a cartoon or Mr Bean, something very visual.

    • Gifts to take away. Would it be easy to find small gifts for people to take away with them? Should be easy to think of items most Europeans have in their homes.
    Extension activity

    Working in groups design a poster to promote the event. How will they overcome the language barrier?

    The finished poster must be agreed upon by all members. They may not divide it into sections.

    If time allows, the groups can present their designs to the class.


    Ask the group:

    • Which parts of the event were easy to plan?
    • What does that tell you about what we have in common?
    • Which parts of the event were hard to plan?
    • What does that tell you about what our big differences are?
    Teachers' Background

    EU Guide
    EU flag

    Find out all about the EU with our guide.

    The Eurovision Song Contest was first staged in Switzerland in 1956. It grew out of the Italian San Remo Song Festival. The event aimed to unite the nations of post-war Europe.

    Eurovision is the name given to the Europe-wide TV distribution network run by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It was set up in the mid-1950s, and continues to supply news and sports material across the continent.

    The competition is restricted to members of the EBU - hence the presence of Israel and other countries not generally found on a map of Europe.

    The European Union is active in the field of culture. Its activities are aimed at cultural enrichment and making the most of Europe's common cultural heritage. It promotes exchange, cultural cooperation and mutual awareness.

    Areas the EU is at work in include; Architecture, visual arts, dance, cinema, books and theatre.

    Every year two European Cultural Capitals are chosen.

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