Category Archives: French 3 Units

Lou! Episode 1: An in-class, online, hybrid or independent study mini-unit for intermediate students

My work with language teachers this summer has been one of the most humbling experiences of my career. I see your sacrifice, dedication and courage in impossible situations and I’ve spent some time thinking about how I might help a little bit. 

Since I’ve heard a few teachers (especially our valued newbies) mention how much they were struggling to find time to create a curriculum for their upper levels, I decided to start there.  I think that many of us face planning challenges with that group.  Due to the smaller numbers, we often find our level 3s and 4s or 4s and 5s (or all of the above!) mixed together. We might even find ourselves with one single student whom we so want to provide an independent study for but just don’t have enough hours in the day.  The pandemic, of course, adds the nearly insurmountable problems of having to provide a curriculum for distance learning, hybrid learning and face to face learning (while keeping these faces from getting too close).  

While I cannot do nearly as much to help as I would like, I have spent some time during the last week or so working on a mini-unit that I thought might provide a jumping off point for some of you.

For this mini-unit, rather than a typical content-based theme, I chose to design my activities around the first episode of the French cartoon Lou! .  I was introduced to this program through my position with FluentKey where I’ve been working on transcribing and creating quizzes for the episodes.  (It will take a while, I’m only on episode 14!)  I would have loved to use this series with my own students–the characters are diverse, the main character’s family is non-traditional (in many ways) and the series addresses issues that affect adolescents in an engaging way.  Although the episodes have recurring characters, each one could stand alone if necessary.  As a result, I thought a mini-unit on the first episode could be used regardless of the regular curriculum, or with independent study students, or with the students who can’t be in school if you’re face to face, or with that small group of level 4’s that got put in with your level 3s or any of the myriad unimaginable challenges that you’re facing.

So feel free to skip to the link at the bottom, because I’m about to get pretty wordy as I describe the process I used to create the unit for any of you that might like to create units of your own for other episodes. 

An Essential Question: I started here because backward design just makes sense to me and helps me frame my work.

Can-Do Statements: I created one Can-Do for each mode of communication based on the NCSSFL-ACTFL Intermediate benchmarks. 

Avant de visionner:  I included a few discussion questions to use as an advance organizer before introducing the video. These questions could be discussed in-class, via videoconference, in writing using an LMS, etc.

Vocabulaire: I selected ten vocabulary terms from the video and used pictures to introduce them.  

Choisissez le bon mot: I created a matching activity in which students will select the word that corresponds to the French definition. This activity can be completed on paper, inserted into a Google Doc, or made into an online quiz using an LMS or other platform.

Regardez la vidéo: I’ve included a link to the FluentKey video for teachers that want to assign the video to students and use a quiz or play FluentKey live with the video. This could be played in-class or via video conference (link to directions is included in teacher notes).   I’ve also included a YouTube link. Depending on the proficiency level of the students, I might play the video once, narrating and questioning to increase comprehension. This could be done in class or via videoconferencing.  For other students, I would just assign the FluentKey video as an independent activity or assessment. 

Remplissez ce schéma: I’ve included a story map graphic organizer for students to fill out about the video.  I’ve included a link to a version of the map that can be completed online in the teacher resources at the end of the document. 

Remplissez le résumé avec la forme correcte du verbe:  I created a one-page summary of the video and left blanks for the students to fill in the correct form (imparfait, passe compose or plus-que-parfait [1] ).  I included a key in the teacher resources. This activity could be completed on paper or put in a Google Doc for submitting online. Teachers could also quickly make a multiple choice version as an assessment or way of providing immediate feedback using an appropriate program/LMS.

Mots Croisés à deux: My students loved these partner crosswords! In the teacher notes you’ll find an A puzzle (with the vertical answers filled in) and a B puzzle with the horizontal answers filled in.  There are no clues included, as the students use circumlocution to help their partner fill in their missing words. This activity serves as a fun review of the story, as the words in the puzzle are related to key events from the video. In the teacher notes I included an editable version of the puzzle that teachers could send out so that students could complete this activity via Google Meets or Zoom, recording and submitting if possible. Otherwise, the puzzle could be printed for in class use. I’ve also included a rubric for assessing the students if this is possible in your situation.

Citations à discuter: In this section you’ll find a list of quotes from the video as well as a list of discussion questions.  I’ve found that this type of activity is an engaging way to review the video.  If I were spending a few days on the episode, I might have the students discuss 6-7 questions a day. These discussions could take place face to face, via videoconference or in writing using a discussion board.

Comparaison Culturelle: I’ve created a graphic organizer which the students will complete to compare their lives to Lou’s.  I’ve included an editable version in the teacher’s notes for online submission.

Lecture: Students will complete this simple graphic organizer to demonstrate comprehension of an article about journal writing. (Link and rubric included in teacher materials.)

Jeux de Rôles: I’ve included 3 different role plays based on the video. In my classroom, I would usually have the students practice each role play at least twice (changing roles) and often changing partners.  I would then call up an unannounced pair and randomly assign a role play for assessment purposes.  This ensured a more spontaneous conversation. In a virtual environment, I would have students practice via break out room or have them call each other on the phone. Then I would assign them a 3-minute Zoom conference for the assessment, if that were possible in my particular situation.    In the teacher notes I also included a series of phone messages that could be used as speaking assessments if necessary.  While these would not be interpersonal tasks, they would allow you to at least have a speaking prompt to assess. They could even be submitted via Flipgrid and classmates could respond as the character who listened to the message.

Journal Intime: You’ll find 3 different prompts based on the video.  I generally allowed students to pick the one that most interested them. Having 3 prompts allows the teacher options if they find a student needs to redo the activity for any reason. (I’ve included wording in my rubrics to clarify why students might need to redo an assessment.)

Bonus Activity: This activity, found in the teacher notes, includes the time stamp and a description of a scene from the video so that a teacher could take screenshots from important scenes for discussion activities. I’ve included discussion questions if you choose to include this activity. A teacher could also use the screenshots and questions to assess a student individually, asking follow up questions and personalized questions to create a more developed conversation.  Lastly, students could also respond orally or in writing via an LMS for an online environment. 

Whew! Congratulations for making it to the end!  Here’s a link to the document: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Toshc6cHGmbzqNYy_SK4HX2-K7mlPPKA26n5wKi8e8U/copy

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback and answer any questions you have about this mini-unit.

I’ve completed similar mini-units for Episodes 2 and 3 and listed them on Teachers Pay Teachers for those teachers that may not have time to create their own: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lou-Cartoon-Mini-Unit-for-Distance-or-In-Class-French-Students-Episode-2-5879254

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lou-Cartoon-Mini-Unit-for-Distance-or-In-Class-French-Students-Episode-3-5879570

If I find that these resources are useful, I will continue to create and post additional episodes. 

Image Credit: https://www.needpix.com/photo/1557297/problem-solution-help-support-information-problem-solution-assistance-question-mark-note

Learning in new ways with an old friend

It seems so strange to be blogging after such a long absence! While I have been busy with professional obligations as an independent consultant, moderator of #langchat and #langbook and as the French Content Editor of FluentKey, I have not been lesson planning, leaving me with so little to share here. And while I am in absolute awe of the amazing way that all of you are addressing the challenges inherent in distance learning, I felt at a loss when it came to providing support for something with which I have little experience. However,  when a member of the French Teachers in the US Facebook page posted a question about Petit Nicolas books, I thought that maybe sharing some of the resources I’ve created might be helpful to some of you that were using these stories for the first (or twenty-first) time.

Please note that I have used these stories in a lot of different ways over the past thirty years.  My understandings about how languages are learned evolved immensely during that time, and I would not necessarily use some of these resources in the same way now as I did then.  You will be invited to make a copy of any document you wish and I encourage you to make any changes that you’d like to meet your needs and those of your students. 

I also wanted to provide a bit of information about the links to the videos I have shared.  These videos are adorable and I love using them with students. Unfortunately, the videos seem to disappear quite regularly from Youtube (often to reappear later from a different source) so the links will most likely not remain active for very long.  If you have problems with any of them, try a search with the title in Youtube and you might find a different copy.  I would also recommend checking Edpuzzle for listening activities.  I had created Edpuzzles for several of the videos, but my account is no longer active as it was associated with my school email.

I’ve also included a link to the text of each story for those of you that don’t have access to the books.  There are several sources for online texts, but unfortunately these often do not include the adorable pictures from the book. It would be so much nicer to be able to post a copy of the book pages for the students!

Here are the links to the resources I had in my files.  While some have been shared in previous posts, I thought it might be helpful to have them all in one place.  Please let me know if you have any questions!

Les Campeurs

  1. Document that includes IPA-style interpretive reading tasks, an interpersonal task and presentational writing task and an interpretive listening 
  2. Object pronoun practice worksheet
  3. Link to pdf of story (pp 7-9)

Clotaire a des lunettes

  1. IPA-style reading comprehension (separated into 2 parts)
  2. Link to pdf of story (pp 1-3)
  3. Link to video (Active as of 4/29/20)

Le Football

  1. Traditional multiple choice assessment with grammar section on verb tenses
  2. Link to written and audio version of story
  3. Link to video (Active as of 4/29/20)

Je quitte la maison

  1. Link to text
  2. Link to video (Active as of 4/29/20)
  3. Document with 1) true/false prediction questions, 2) comprehension questions, 3) inference questions 4)future tense practice 
  4. IPA
  5. Pair Crossword (Students take turns giving clues to enable their partner to fill in missing words.)

Je suis malade

  1. Document with reading comprehension and grammar practice (object pronouns and verbs)
  2. Link to written and audio versions of text
  3. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)

King

  1. French evidence-based true/false questions
  2. Multiple choice questions about video 
  3. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)
  4. Link to copy of text 

Louisette

  1. Comprehension questions (true/false + justification) and grammar practice (verb tenses and object pronouns)
  2. Speaking and writing assessment
  3. Multiple choice comprehension quiz
  4. Text of story
  5. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)
  6. Pair crossword activity (Each partner has different words missing and they take turns giving each other clues.)
  7. Directions for making pair crossword

Le Musée de Peintures

  1. Document with 1) true/false with justification questions and 2) verb practice 
  2. Pair crossword puzzles (Students take turns giving clues to enable their partner to fill in the missing words from his/her puzzle)
  3. Interpersonal and presentational writing tasks
  4. Link to text 
  5. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)

Le Petit Nicolas (Feature film)

Document with 1) comprehension questions and 2) quotes from the film that the students discussed in small groups.

Bonne Rentrée: 2019

Today I just wanted to share a quick beginning of the year post.  The chronological nature of a blog can make it difficult for new readers to find helpful posts. So, as I did last year, I’ve created this list of links to past posts that included complete unit plans.  Keep in mind that these units were not all created or taught in one year. I switch things up based on the curriculum of my current school and the interests of my students. In addition, each post reflects where I was on my journey toward proficiency at the time I wrote it.  I have continued to evolve, and you will no doubt improve upon the plans that you find here!

Bonne rentrée à tous!

French 1 Units

Bienvenue à la classe de Français: http://madameshepard.com/?p=752

Bienvenue: Partie II: http://madameshepard.com/?p=789

Ce que j’aime: http://madameshepard.com/?p=855  

La Famille: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1110

Bon Appétit pt. 1: http://madameshepard.com/?p=282 (petit déjeuner)

Bon Appétit pt. 2: http://madameshepard.com/?p=321

Bon Appétit pt. 3: http://madameshepard.com/?p=345

Noël: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1282

French 2 Units

Les Loisirs: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1335

Ma Journée Typique: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1340

Halloween: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1387

Mon Look: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1278

C’est quoi, une maison idéale?: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1406

Les Tâches Ménagères: http://madameshepard.com/?p=502

Joyeux Noel: http://madameshepard.com/?p=267

Allons en Martinique: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1424

Les Châteaux (pt. 1)http://madameshepard.com/?p=415

Les Châteaux (pt. 2) http://madameshepard.com/?p=445

Une journée à l’école: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1081

French 3 Units

Bon Appétit: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1193

Education: http://madameshepard.com/?p=111

Les Vacances: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1345

Les Campeurs (Petit Nicolas) http://madameshepard.com/?p=200

Les Animaux de Compagnie: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1261

Les Impressionnistes: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1389

Le Jour de la Terre: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1136

Le Gaspillage Alimentaire: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1287

Joyeux Noël: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1418

Ma Bonne Resolution (La Santé) : http://madameshepard.com/?p=1428

La Préhistoire: http://madameshepard.com/?p=516

Je t’aime:  http://madameshepard.com/?p=1589

Je quitte la maison (Petit Nicolas): http://madameshepard.com/?p=1013

French 4/5 Units

Cultural Stereotypes: http://madameshepard.com/?p=80

La Famille dans le Monde Francophone: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1376

Communication et Media: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1397

Le Droit a l’Education: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1450

Les Droits des Femmes: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1469

La Laïcité: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1128

Le Petit Prince: http://madameshepard.com/?p=219

L’Immigration:http://madameshepard.com/?p=880 Click here for the agenda of a more recent version of this unit.

Mixed Levels

First week of school: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1246

Halloween: http://madameshepard.com/?p=897

Love is in the Air: A Unit for Intermediate French Students.

Between a bout with the flu and the arrival of the polar vortex, I am finding time to get caught up on some blogging.  In this post, I’m sharing the final unit that I did with my French 3 students last spring. While I had previously shared some of these activities (see this post), much of it is new.  While I don’t consider this my best work (this was a crazy time for me as I was preparing for my “next chapter”), there are a lot of activities that you can pick and choose from based on your students’ needs.  I would also suggest that you review the texts carefully to make sure they are appropriate for your teaching context.

Here’s a quick summary of the unit, which is outlined in this agenda. You’ll find all resources linked to the corresponding lesson on that document.

Day 1: After presenting an infographic as a hook to the unit, I had the students annotate a second infographic and then discuss it in small groups.  Finally, they filled in a graphic organizer comparing perspectives about love in the US and France.

Day 2: We watched a video as a class and then the students discussed a couple of questions based on the video. They then read an article and completed a comprehension guide.  Finally we listened to a song and completed a series of activities. This was a block day, so this lesson would take two traditional class periods.

Day 3: After discussing an infographic about girls/boys ideas of first dates as a hook, I had them annotate and discuss a 2nd infographic about men’s vs. women’s expectations of a first date.  I used the remaining class time to finish song activities from the previous day. I did a lot of framing for this lesson in order to establish an inclusive environment for all students in my classroom.

Day 4: I once again presented an infographic as a lesson hook before assigning an Edpuzzle and related article.

Day 5: We discussed an infographic and then the students practiced a role play (while I circulated, providing feedback) and then completed a written formative assessment.

Day 6: After answering questions on a video I presented, the students read an article before completing a series of song activities.

Day 7-9: The students read an article about how hormones affect emotions related to love during these days.  I supplemented their reading with some Edpuzzles (unfortunately, I was only able to located 1 of these during my search today) and a game of Quizlet Live.  While I would not normally recommend spending doing so much reading, these lessons fell during a time that I was missing many students due to high-stakes testing.  

Day 10:  The students annotated an infographic and then I had pairs perform role plays in front of the class according to the directions given. Finally they watched a video and completed a comprehension guide.

Day 11: The students completed a series of song activities and then read an article and completed a comprehension guide.

Day 12-14: Students read the Petit Nicolas story, Louisette, during this time.  As they read, they worked together answering inference-based true/false questions which they supported with details from the text. I also provided a couple of grammar-based activities. After finishing the story, the students reviewed by completing a pair crossword activity before taking a series of assessments on the story.  I saved the interpretive listening assessment for the end, as the video is quite different from the written story and I did not want to create any confusion during the other assessments.

Day 15-18: The students watched the film, Molière, during this time, as described on the agenda.

Day 19: The students finished up the film activities and then reviewed the film by completing a pair crossword activity.

Day 20: The students completed an assessment in which they read a review of the film, wrote a review of their own and then completed an Edpuzzle about the movie’s trailer.

As you can see from the agenda, I did not give an overarching IPA on this unit, in favor of a series of performance assessments spread throughout the unit.

Bonne Rentrée

As I mentioned in my last post, this August marks the first one in 29 years that I have not welcomed 100+ students into my classroom.  As you can imagine, I am “feeling all the feels” as I read the excited/overwhelmed/anxious/enthusiastic/etc. posts of the members of my PLN who are beginning a new school year this month. Fortunately, I am getting my fix of shiny, beginning of the year school buildings as I travel around the country providing professional development to world language teachers.  

Since I don’t have any new units to share, I did want to provide a post that I thought could be helpful.  When I originally began this blog, I did so as a way of documenting my own journey to becoming a “teacher for proficiency.”  Due to the chronological nature of a blog (and my yearly attempts at improving my units), new readers have a lot of posts to read through in order to find the unit plans that might help them wrap their heads around preparing for a new school year.  In order to save valuable time spent scrolling through a myriad of posts, I’ve prepared a list of units that I’ve used over the years, organized according to level. Because I haven’t taught French 1 for 3 years, some of the resources might be quite outdated, but I’ve included them as a starting point for anyone that can use them.  In the case of themes that I have continually revised, I’ve tried to include the most recent version. I have never taught of the given units in a single year (due to changes in curriculum), but have tried to include most of my units here to help as many people as possible. 

Bonne Rentrée à Tous

 

French 1 Units

Bienvenue à la classe de Français: http://madameshepard.com/?p=752

Bienvenue: Partie II: http://madameshepard.com/?p=789

Ce que j’aime: http://madameshepard.com/?p=855  

La Famille: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1110

Bon Appétit pt. 1: http://madameshepard.com/?p=282 (petit déjeuner)

Bon Appétit pt. 2: http://madameshepard.com/?p=321

Bon Appétit pt. 3: http://madameshepard.com/?p=345

Noel: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1282

 

French 2 Units

Les Loisirs: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1335

Ma Journée Typique: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1340

Halloween: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1387

Mon Look: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1278

C’est quoi, une maison idéale?: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1406

Les Tâches Ménagères: http://madameshepard.com/?p=502

Joyeux Noel: http://madameshepard.com/?p=267

Allons en Martinique: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1424

Les Châteaux (pt. 1)http://madameshepard.com/?p=415

Les Châteaux (pt. 2) http://madameshepard.com/?p=445

Une journée à l’ecole: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1081

 

French 3 Units

Bon Appétit: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1193

Education: http://madameshepard.com/?p=111

Les Vacances: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1345

Les Campeurs (Petit Nicolas) http://madameshepard.com/?p=200

Les Animaux de Compagnie: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1261

Les Impressionnistes: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1389

Le Jour de la Terre: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1136

Le Gaspillage Alimentaire: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1287

Joyeux Noël: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1418

Ma Bonne Resolution (La Santé) : http://madameshepard.com/?p=1428

La Préhistoire: http://madameshepard.com/?p=516

Je t’aime: http://madameshepard.com/?p=289 (update coming soon)

Je quitte la maison (Petit Nicolas): http://madameshepard.com/?p=1013

 

French 4/5 Units

Cultural Stereotypes: http://madameshepard.com/?p=80

La Famille dans le Monde Francophone: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1376

Communication et Media: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1397

Le Droit a l’Education: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1450

Les Droits des Femmes: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1469

La Laïcité: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1128

Le Petit Prince: http://madameshepard.com/?p=219

 

Mixed Levels

First week of school: http://madameshepard.com/?p=1246

Halloween: http://madameshepard.com/?p=897

Ma Bonne Résolution: A Unit on Health for Intermediate French Students

Although this year’s winter break seemed especially short, I managed to fit in some wonderful family time and a short but fabulous visit to California. Coming home to Missouri’s sub-zero temperatures last night was rough after three days of sunny San Diego! Fortunately, I had a good excuse not to leave the house–a major overhaul of my French 3 health unit.

Since I’ll be starting this unit on January 3rd, I decided to include some aspects of project-based learning by having the students choose a health-related resolution, create an action plan for reaching their goal, and then discuss and document their progress. I’m hoping that this opportunity for choice and voice will engage these students during our first few days back to school. As they continue working on their personal goals outside of class, they’ll work in small groups to research and present cultural comparisons on health-related topics during class time. For the remainder of the unit, I’ll repeat some of last year’s lessons about the flu and the Petit Nicolas story, “Je suis malade.” Click here (New link added 5/25/18) for an agenda of the new lessons to which all resources have been linked.

Day 1: The students will select the health-related resolution they find most relevant and then take an online quiz to give them some baseline data on the aspect of well-being they have chosen. Lastly, they’ll discuss their resolutions with a classmate who has chosen the same goal. (I’ll seat them with students who have chosen the same resolution for the remainder of this unit)

Day 2: The students will read an infographic or short article regarding the aspect of wellness they’ve chosen to focus on and fill in a graphic organizer to show what they learned. They will then discuss their information with a partner who read a different text on the same topic, adding additional information to the graphic organizer. Lastly, they will write a discussion post on Schoology (our learning management system) in which they share their resolution and reasons for choosing it. They’ll also respond to the posts of two classmates

Day 3: In order to gather additional information about their health-related goals, the students will watch a video on their topic and fill in the main ideas and supporting details that they understood. They will then discuss their information with a partner who watched a similar video and fill in a second graphic organizer. Finally they’ll write a SUPER goal. (My attempt at modifying a SMART goal to make it work in French!)

Day 4: Students will write the action steps they believe will help them meet their goal, based on the articles they have read, the videos they have watched and the discussions they have had with a partner. They will then discuss their action steps with a partner and note the information their partner gives them. For “homework” the students will begin implementing some of the action steps they have chosen.

Day 5: The students will begin this class period by interviewing their partner about how the first day’s action steps went and noting his/her responses. Next, they will individually annotate an infographic about French health concerns in order to prepare them for the cultural comparison project to follow. They will continue working on their action steps outside of class.

Day 6: The students will first write a post on a Schoology discussion board in which they discuss their previous day’s success/failure in completing their action steps toward their well-being goal. I will stop everyone after 15 minutes and give them 10 minutes to respond to two classmates’ posts. Next they will participate in a guided discussion of the previous day’s infographic with a partner. For homework they will continue to work on action steps for their goal.

Day 7: The students will begin by discussing their progress using the same format as Day 5. I will then assign an aspect of health from the infographic to each group. The students will then research this topic as it related to both Americans and French and fill in a table with relevant information. For homework they will continue working on their action steps.

Day 8: The students will first write a new post on a Schoology discussion board to describe their previous day’s progress toward their health goal. They will then discuss the information they gleaned from their research and fill in a graphic organizer with cultural comparisons related to the aspect of health that was assigned to their group. They will spend any remaining time in the class period responding to discussion posts and will continue working toward their health goals as homework.

Day 9: After discussing their progress on their health goals, the students will work in small groups to create a Google Slides presentation to support the following day’s oral presentations on the health cultural comparison they researched. They’ll continue working on their health goals that evening.

Day 10: The students will rehearse and then present their cultural comparisons in small groups as the audience takes notes. After the presentations, I will give a short (open-note) true/false quiz over the information that has been presented.

Day 11: For the summative writing task for this portion of the unit, the students will write a blog post documenting their success or failure meeting their well-being goal. While they are writing, I will call up pairs of students (from different groups) and have them discuss their achievement (or lack thereof) of their goals as an interpersonal summative task.

Day 12: Having completed the personalized health goal project, as well as the cultural comparison presentations, I will prepare the students for reading “Je suis malade” with a pair of lessons related to the flu. On this first day, we will take a quiz about the flu as a class and then the students will discuss a cartoon in small groups. Next, the students will complete a pair of activities in which they discuss information in infographics about colds and flu. Finally, they will complete an Edpuzzle about the flu. Teaching kids about how to protect themselves during flu season with things such as a face mask, disposable gloves, and non-touch techniques can make them understand their actions and implications during these times.

Day 13: In this lesson the students will individually complete an interpretive activity that will serve as the summative reading task for this unit. They will also watch a second video about the flu and complete a comprehension guide.

Days 14 – 21: At this point in the unit I will resume last year’s unit (beginning with Day 10). Thus the students will read the Petit Nicolas story, “Je suis malade,” and complete a series of learning activities and performance assessments related this text.

While I approached the design of this unit differently than I usually do, I’m looking forward to seeing how my students do with the project-based lessons I’ve prepared to introduce this topic.

Bonne Année!

Note: 1/12/18: I found a song that was a great fit with this unit. Click here for the document that I created.

 

Joyeux Noël: Holiday-Themed Learning Stations for Intermediate Low French Students

 Just in case I’m not the only one scrambling for some engaging communicative activities for the end of the year, here are the holiday-themed stations that my French 3 students are doing this week.

Interpersonal Communication: Pair Crossword Puzzles Students take either Partner A or Partner B and give French clues to help their partner fill in the words that are missing from his/her paper.  The words are taken from this packet.

Interpretive Reading: Students read this Choose your own adventure” story and summarize what they read in English on this document.

Interpretive Listening: Students worked on the following Edpuzzles.

Chansons de Noel: Students completed the cloze activities on this handout and the completed this activity on lyricstraining.com (Click on “Play Game” and then “Maybe later.” )

Courage à tous!

Image Credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=233519&picture=joyeux-noel

An End of the Year Story Project for Intermediate Lows

 In my district level 3 language students are required to complete a semester project of some sort.  I have found that an engaging way for my students to meet this requirement is to write a story and present it to their classmates.  Although I have assigned story writing projects during the holidays in the past, I made some tweaks this year that helped my students produce higher-quality stories.  

Day 1: I began by preparing my students to read a Christmas-themed story by presenting the story using these Google Slides.  This was an effective way to introduce new vocabulary to the students in a contextualized way.  As I projected the slides, I asked both content-based and personalized questions using the new words. For example, in slide #1:

  • Père Noël enfile son costume rouge. Qu’est-ce qu’il enfile? Tu enfiles un costume rouge avant de partir pour l’école?  Non? Qu’est-ce que tu enfiles? Regardez, Qu’est-ce qu’il a déjà enfilé? Oui, il a déjà enfilé son pantalon rouge. Tu as enfilé un pantalon rouge aujourd’hui?

After going through the slides, the students read the actual story and completed a true/false with justification comprehension guide.

Day 2: After discussing the correct responses, the students completed this graphic organizer with the elements of the story. We discussed these story elements and then I explained that while many stories are told in the narrative present, I wanted them to use past tenses to tell their stories.  I gave them this guide with some reminders about the two tenses.  I then gave them a new copy of the story they had read, but on this copy I have whited out the present tense verbs.  I also gave them this handout with both the imperfect and passé composé form of each of the missing verbs.  The students worked in small groups to choose the correct form for each blank and then we went over the activity in class.

Day 3: I passed out another blank copy of the story element graphic organizer and the students completed it with the elements of their own original story. After they had completed the graphic organizer, they used the remaining time to begin writing their story according to the requirements given on the back of the resource guide.

Day 4: The students finished writing their original stories.

Day 5: The students created Google Slides that would help them present their stories to their classmates. They used remaining class time to rehearse their presentations.

Day 6: The students presented their stories to classmates using a speed-friending format.  Students were arranged in two rows and row A presented to the person seated across from them.  Row B then presented. Each row B student then moved one seat over and we repeated the process.  I assessed 1-2 student(s) during each 3-minute presentation, enabling me to assess all 18 or so students in each class. 

I was very pleased with the language my students were able to produce during this assignment.  I have several high flyers that were able to use the correct past tense to narrate their stories.  In  most cases, I heard a mixture of present and attempts at past tenses with errors.  In other words, exactly where these students should be!

 

Les Impressionnistes – A unit for Intermediate Low French students

As regular readers of this blog know, I teach a unit on French Impressionism each year in my French 3 class.  I have once again modified this unit to better meet the needs of my students.  Click on the link (updated 6/29/18) for the agenda for this year’s version, to which all resources are linked.

Day 1: The students will complete the same guided note-taking activity that I have used in past years in order to provide them with basic information about some aspects of impressionist paintings. The students will then sign up for a slide featuring two different paintings, and will prepare a short presentation explaining which of the paintings is Impressionist and justifying their choice.

Day 2: Students will present their paintings, gallery-style, to several classmates who will provide written feedback.  The students will then take an assessment in which they choose whether each painting on the Google Presentation is Impressionist.

Days 3 – 13: Students will complete guided notes and then a series of learning stations for each of seven different impressionist and post-impressionist painters.  (The guided notes are included in the same packet as the introductory notes and the corresponding slides are in the same presentation.This presentation also includes some unidentified paintings that can be used to practice identifying artists later in the unit). I have allowed 2 days for each artist and will give a short assessment on the 2nd day. Because I use Schoology (our LMS) for these assessments, I am not able to share them at this time.  These stations will include 1) a series of interpersonal activities designed to familiarize the students with the painter’s works, 2) a series of Edpuzzles and 3) a reading/writing activity.  Because the interpersonal activities are based on manipulatives that I’ve created over the years, I am not able to share them (except in the case of Manet which are digital.) However, a reader graciously shared the activities she created for Renoir and these can be found in the comments in last year’s post.  (10/17/18: See the comments for this post below for additional interpersonal activities created by Erin Burns–Merci, Erin!) Since I found that last year’s reading/writing activities were a)too long and b)too difficult, I have created new ones for this year’s unit. I will give the students about 20 minutes at each station and allow them to complete unfinished Edpuzzles as homework.  Each pair will probably have time to complete only two of the speaking activities, but I have included several in order to have enough manipulatives for each group. Therefore, they will complete guided notes and 2 stations on the first day devoted to each artist, and the 3rd station and assessment on the second day.  Once a week my students have a 90-minute block so they will complete all 3 stations as well as the guided notes and assessment on these days.

(Edited 1/12/18: Some of the videos are no longer working through Edpuzzle, but a generous reader has shared worksheets she developed for these videos.  See the comments below.)

Day 14: The students will review the painters by working together in groups to identify the painter of paintings on postcards in my collection. We will also review using the unidentified slides at the end of the Google Presentation.

Day 15: The students will take their IPA for the unit.

Day 16-18: The students will read a Petit Nicolas story, Le Musée de Peintures. Although I will distribute photocopied pages of the story from the book, I have included a link to a digital copy for those who don’t have access to the book, with its adorable pictures. Each day they will listen to a portion of the story being read (as they follow along on the text) and then complete a series of true/false with justification sentences. I have included just one slide for these lessons, as I’m not exactly sure how far we will get each day.

Day 19: The students will review the story by completing a pair crossword puzzle.  I have included a link to the puzzle, which I will print twice.  I will then fill in the horizontal answers on one copy and the vertical answers on the other, before photocopying the puzzles for students, without the clues.  The students will then circumlocute to help their partner fill in the answers which are missing from their papers.  My students love these pair crosswords! Remaining class time will be spent practicing the role plays for the next day’s interpersonal assessment.

Day 20: The students will write the journal entry of one of the story’s characters (but not Nicolas). While they are writing, I will call up pairs (who have not previously worked together) and assign them one of the role plays for an interpersonal speaking assessment.

Day 21: The students will complete an Edpuzzle for a cartoon of the Musee de Peintures story.  Unfortunately, the video I used when creating last year’s Edpuzzle is no longer available so I will have to make a new one.  I will add the link to the agenda when I have done so.

I am hoping that this year’s French 3 students will enjoy this unit as much as previous year’s groups have!

Image Credit: Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 

In a Nutshell: 5 Steps to Designing a Thematic Unit

As a result of several recent questions by members of my PLN who are beginning their journey to a more proficiency-based methodology, I have created this outline of the steps I take when creating a thematic unit. While I am planning a series of posts with more detailed information about each step, I’ve included basic information about the process I use, as well as an agenda (updated 8/4/18) with resources for an Intermediate Low unit on vacations, in this post.

Step 1: Determine what I want the students to be able to do at the end of the unit and write a Can-Do statement for each mode of communication. Because ACTFL has not yet released their new version of the Can-Do Statements, I based these Can-Do’s on the current benchmarks. These statements are based on the Intermediate Low descriptors, which is my targeted performance level for these students.

  • Interpersonal Communication: I can participate in conversations about vacations using simple sentences.
  • Presentational Speaking: I can present information on a vacation using a series of simple sentences.
  • Presentational Writing: I can write briefly about a vacation using a series of simple sentences.
  • Interpretive Listening: I can understand the main idea in short, simple messages and presentations about vacations.
  • Interpretive Reading: I can understand the main idea of short and simple texts about vacations.

Step 2: Create the Integrated Performance Assessment. For an in-depth explanation of how I design IPA’s, please refer to this previous post. In short, I 1) Select an authentic written and/or recorded resource, 2) Create a comprehension guide based on the ACTFL IPA template, 3) Create an interpersonal task based on the authentic text and 4) Create a presentational writing and/or speaking task based on the authentic resource and interpersonal task. 

Step 3:  Identify the structures, vocabulary and skills the students need in order to demonstrate the targeted proficiency level on the IPA.  In this unit, I determined that the students would need to learn/acquire the following language, structures and content.

  • Vocabulary related to the topic of vacations.  This would include terms for vacation activities, lodging, transportation, etc. While these students will be familiar with some leisure activities that are part of a typical vacation, a greater variety of vocabulary will allow for more detailed performances.
  • The ability to use past tenses to describe vacations they have taken. While these students used some past tenses in French 2, they will need lots of exposure and practice to be able to use these structures, albeit with expected errors, on these performances. Because the descriptor, “I can usually talk about events and experiences in various time frames” is part of the Intermediate High benchmark,   it will be some time before I will expect these students to easily use these structures. However, by providing opportunities for students to use past tenses in a variety of contexts in this unit I am preparing them to eventually reach this level of proficiency.
  • Cultural background on French products, practices and perspectives.  Because I assess my students’ cultural competence as part of each mode of communication, it is important that they have adequate preparation in determining these aspects of culture throughout the unit.

Step 4. Create a series of lessons that will allow the students to demonstrate the targeted proficiency level on the IPA. Having determined the students’ needs in terms of vocabulary, structures and content, I create individual lessons designed to fill these gaps. These lessons will provide the students with multiple exposures to the targeted vocabulary and structures as well as learning activities that will allow the students to practice/receive feedback on their use of these structures. Here is a simple explanation of the steps that I usually take in designing each individual lesson for a thematic unit. 

A. Determine an organizational structure for the lessons. Based on the theme of a given unit, there are many ways to break the topic into smaller subtopics to provide an integrated structure for individual lessons.  In general, I find it works best to begin with lessons that will provide general information on the topic before focusing on more specific details. So in this case, I began with lessons focusing on general vacation practices and then added tasks related to specifics such as beach destinations, vacation activities, traveling with friends, camping vacations and packing for vacation. Because I curate authentic resources on Pinterest boards for each unit that I teach, I often begin the process of creating subtopics by looking at the resources I already have, and grouping them according to subtopic. This saves a considerable amount of time compared to choosing subtopics and then finding appropriate resources. (Of course, I end up searching for additional resources after I have a skeleton of the unit design.)

B. Create a hook for the lesson.  I choose an authentic written or recorded text to present at the beginning of each lesson.  Presenting simple texts such as infographics or short videos allows me to provide comprehensible input as I talk about the information in the text and ask personalized questions incorporating the vocabulary, structure and content of the text. Click here for a transcript of a sample discussion during the hook portion of the first lesson in this unit based on this infographic.

C. Design an interpretive activity for the lesson. I choose an authentic resource that the students will read or listen to and create a corresponding learning activity/formative assessment that will allow the students to interact with this text.  While I will go into greater detail about this aspect of lesson design in a future post, you will find several different examples in this and other units in this blog. In my opinion, this is the most important part of each lesson, as it provides the basis of the interpersonal and presentational activities that follow.  In addition, because I don’t use a textbook in my classroom, the authentic resources used in the hook and interpretive activities provide the vocabulary and some structures that the students will use in their performance assessments. Note: You will notice that most of the authentic resources used for the interpretive activities in this unit are written texts. In order to ensure that my students have adequate opportunities to interpret recorded texts, I’ve included several video-based formative assessments (using Edpuzzle) that the students will complete in class or at home throughout the unit.

D. Construct an interpersonal activity based on the content, vocabulary and/or structures in the authentic resource. The interpersonal activity provides students with an opportunity to use the vocabulary and structures that were introduced in the authentic resource to create their own meaning.  In addition, as they negotiate meaning on these tasks they are practicing the skills they will use on the IPA with additional scaffolding. Based on the authentic resource and the targeted proficiency level, I incorporate a variety of different types of interpersonal activities.  At the novice level, I often focus on vocabulary-building activities such as those described in this post or even this one. As students reach the Intermediate level and are able to create more with the language, I often integrate interpersonal and interpretive activities by having the students co-create graphic organizers (such as in the 1st and 2nd lesson in this unit) or discuss responses on target language interpretive assessments.

E. Devise a presentational writing and/or speaking formative assessment. These activities provide the students with scaffolded opportunities to synthesize the vocabulary and structures introduced in the lesson to create a written or oral product. The scaffolding provided in these formative assessments, as well as the individualized feedback I will give on many of these tasks, will provide the support the students need to demonstrate growth in proficiency on the IPA. Note: While I have included an idea for a written or spoken presentational task for each lesson, it is unlikely that time will permit me to actually assign all of these tasks.  Instead, I will choose from among those tasks as time allows.

Step 5: Administer and assess the IPA. Because the format of the IPA mimics the organizational structure of the lessons in the unit, the students should feel confident in their ability to be successful on this assessment.

Stay tuned for additional posts on each step of the lesson design and let me know if you have any questions!

Image Credit: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Peanut-Shell-Nutshell-Peanut-Shell-Nuts-Nut-390081