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Looking for a star in B Belgium elgium

Common Story

Volume I 2012/2013


Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

Portuguese team

After five great adventures the European Union flag is starting to shine again but only five stars were recovered. Thanks to the French, the Greek, the Portuguese, the Romanian and the Spanish teams’ five stars were back to the dark blue background. These teams have in their minds that seven stars are still missing and the missions to find them must go on. Meanwhile the President of the European Commission was so glad that five stars have been found by these pupils so that he invited two pupils and a teacher from each country to go to Belgium and to visit the main European institutions, the European Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels. He wants to give them the opportunity as they are responsible for the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony among the people of Europe that the twelve golden stars represent in a circle on a blue background.

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Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

The teachers were pleased to receive such an important invitation and they all answered in an affirmative way. The study visit was arranged by the European Commission assistants and the five teams have departure from their countries to meet each other for the first time in Belgium, more precisely in Brussels. The pupils were glad to meet their adventure peers and the teachers were also enthusiastic to meet their colleagues too. They both can share and exchange ideas, learn with each other and cooperate with each other to find the seven stars that are missing. They will enjoy their time together, they would learn about the EU institutions and, for sure, they will go on looking for the missing stars.

They arrived in Brussels and all the teams were staying in the same hotel. The pupils are waiting for the great moment… meeting their peers. Here they are… they are in the hotel lounge!!! We can hear the Portuguese “olá”, the Spanish “hola”, the Greek “Γεια σου”, the French “salut” and the Romanian “bună” but they all understand each other when they all say: -

Hello! Nice to meet you!

-

Nice to meet you, too! 3


Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

Greek team

The kids gave each other a big warm hug and went on talking to each other as if they were dear old friends. Teachers greeted each other heartily. “How was your flight?” everyone asked. “Oh, it was great! Through our window we could see so much of Europe! What a variety of landscapes!” “We’re so lucky to be gathered here, in the heart of the European Union!” We all agreed it was a great honour for us to be invited by the President of the European Commission and to visit the Institutions where the present and future of Europe is planned. We also thought that this trip could offer us the opportunity to attend a summit of the European leaders at the Parliament and even express our own opinions at the debate, negotiating on behalf of our countries for the benefit of all people in Europe.

“Wow! Do you think that’s possible?” asked the Spanish children. “Why not?” So many weird and wonderful things have been happening to us lately…” replied the children from Greece. “In the meantime, let’s try to find the lost star of Belgium!” the French children suggested. “Now that we are all together, it will be a piece of cake for us to find it, won’t it?” “No, doubt!” said the Portuguese kids with confidence. “But from where shall we start?” 4


Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

“Let’s start from the Atomium, the extraordinary sculpture like tower which rises above the Belgian skyline”, said the Romanian children. “From its spheres we can experience a panoramic view of Brussels. If the Belgian star is somewhere nearby, we’ll spot it at first glance!”

So we took the escalators and then the lift to the topmost sphere. The view was breathtaking! From inside the futuristic sculpture, which was designed to represent the ideals of peace, progress, unity and universality, we could see The Mini Europe Park with its amazing miniatures of the most beautiful sites in Europe. Further ahead, we saw the building of the European Parliament, St Michael's Cathedral and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. The Grand Place with its colourful carpet of

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Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

flowers spreading among the medieval buildings of the old town attracted our attention. But the star we were looking for was nowhere within sight… “Let’s use the telescopes to look for the star!” some kids suggested. So we did! Now we could see everything clearer. We zoomed in and we zoomed out. It was great fun! “Hey! I see something shining over there! It has to be the lost star of Belgium!!!” one of us shouted out with joy. Spanish team

They immediately went to tell the teachers that they have seen something shining as a star. -‘OK! Let’s go to see it!’ – said a teacher. We went there. It was Saint Hubert Royal Galleries. Its glass roofed arcade shone really bright with the sunshine. Between the shops, theatres, cafés… we saw something very shining. -‘I can see something shining!’ – said one Portuguese kid. -‘We’ve got it!’ – said the Greek kids. Everyone went there asking themselves: ‘Is it the lost star? Is it?’ Unfortunately it just was a ring with a clue. We read it anxiously. It said we should unite all our strength to find the star. -‘Let’s go!’ – we all said. Then we saw a traveling van which was selling waffles, mussels, frites, chocolates-pralines and ice creams.

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Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

-‘Ummmmm, yummy! We are hungry!’ – we said at the same time. -‘So, let’s eat!’ – the teachers said. A French kid was unwrapping a praline when she found another clue. -‘Hey! Come all here please! We have another clue!’ – she shouted really happy. The second clue said: ‘You must go all together to the Royal Palace,

the

official

residence of the Belgian monarchy. You need to check if the Belgian flag is flying on the top of the bulding. If it is there, it will indicate the presence of the king in the country. Then, you have to speak with him. He will give you another clue!’ As

we

approaching

were

to

the

palace, the Spanish kids said: -‘Look,

the

flag

is

flying there!’ -‘We are lucky!’ – the Romanian kids said.

The King kindly received us in a spectacular and huge hall. He listened our explanations really carefully and he seemed very interested in the story of the lost stars of the European Union flag.

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Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

Romanian team

„I can help you suggesting that you should think more about the symbols of European Union”, said the King. „This is a great idea, we must consider that we are the children of the united Europe.” „The European Union flag is a symbol”, said children from Spain, „but it is the purporse of our adventure so we can not take it into consideration.” „Another symbol is the motto Unity in diversity”, said the children from Greece. „But, intervenes the French team, we are the very embody of this motto” „Yes, we are children from different countries, wich have different cultures and yet, we are united for searching the missing stars.” „There is only one remaining, say the children from Portugal. „Ode to Joy” from The 9th Symphony by Beethoven. As a matter of fact, the famous German composer’s father was born in Belgium.”

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Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

„So it is, say the children from Romania. And we know exactly where we can find clues: at The Musical Intruments Museum. At the entrace into this museum you are given a pair of headphones in wich you can hear an adequate musical piece four each instrument. We, as studens of an Arts College, since we study music and musical instruments, we can be useful four that.” „I believe that this is the answer four your searches. You can find its building in central Brussels. It is a part of the Royal Museums of Art and History and and internationally renowned for its collection of over 8000 instruments”, said the King with joy in his voice. Being all excitent we all headed for the museum. Once we got there, we admired the beauty and the harmony of the building in which the architecture and music blend together in a happy way. Full of hope and curiosity, we got into the museum, waiting impatiently to hear the notes of the famous symphony.

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Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

French team

At the entrance to the museum, all the children were given audio-guides for the visit. After going through several exhibition rooms, they arrived in a large room dedicated to the great composers, all of them in the form of life-size figures. Suddenly something scrambled the audio-guides and the kids could hear the European anthem in their headphones. “It must be a clue!” said a Romanian pupil. “Look! This is a statue of Beethoven! Let’s get close to it!” All the kids gathered around this great figure and formed a large circle, thus enabling the Greek pupil to search the statue’s clothes without being noticed by the attendants. “I’ve found something in his coat pocket, it’s a message: ‘Go and see the most famous of all Belgian kids!’” “It’s bound to be the Manneken Pis,” said the Spanish schoolteacher. And this is how the five classes found themselves on the main square in Brussels, in front of this tiny statue. A whole lot of curious people were taking pictures of this monument. The pupils got closer and one of them noticed that tourists kept throwing coins into the basin just below the fountain, which is supposed to bring good luck. “We badly need good luck, don’t we? Let’s throw a coin into the basin!” No sooner had he done it that time seemed to come to a standstill. The Manneken Pis stopped weeing, looked at them smiling, and said: “I saw the thief who hid the star in my country, he was with an accomplice and they stopped just in front of me. They talked about the best hiding place, and they finally decided to put it where no one would find it: the European Union Council.” “Thank you so much from all of us!” And so the group headed for the Council, with the teachers improvising a guided tour. And there, in the large meeting room, where all the European ministers sit around the table, a Portuguese pupil found the star, stuck below the seat of the Belgian minister. They could add a sixth star to their European flag! A golden semicircle was now shining on a blue background, looking like a sunset. After all those extraordinary adventures, the pupils and their teachers needed to regain strength. So they decided to make the most of the summer holidays to get some

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Write a book together: The 12 stars have disappeared – Common Story

rest. Back to school, they would try to find the remaining six stars and give back to Europe its symbol of Peace and Unity.

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Common story looking for a star in belgium  
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