Monthly Archives: January 2019

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.

Incorporating Music: A Sample Lesson for Intermediate Learners

In order to prepare for an upcoming workshop, I’ve been creating some materials for using songs in the language classroom.  While I incorporated several songs during my last two years in the classroom (I blogged some of my lessons here), I wanted to add a few more ideas for my workshop participants.  Fortunately, some awesome language teachers out there have blogged lots of great suggestions for using songs and I relied heavily on ideas shared by others (see bibliography below).  

One activity that I hadn’t had time to prepare when I was in the classroom was a Picture Talk with a music video.  (Click here for a great explanation of Picture Talk.) In order to demonstrate this strategy, I chose the song, Je te le donne by Vitaa as the video illustrates a sweet story that I thought would be engaging to students.  To implement this strategy, I would use the screenshots in this Google Slides Presentation to narrate the narrative depicted in the video.  I have included a few questions on the slides, to help guide the Picture Talk.  As directed on slide #23, I would not show the actual video until we had discussed the first 22 slides, as a way of building anticipation. While I created this Picture Talk with Intermediate learners in mind, the questions could easily be modified for Novices.  

In addition to the Picture Talk presentation, I prepared this document with additional activities that could be used when using this song with Intermediate learners.  On the first day, I would lead a short discussion of the pre-reading questions and then play the song (without showing the video). Although not included on the document, I would create a cloze activity for the students to complete as they listened. After going over the cloze activity, I would have the students complete the interpretive activities (B & C). If time permits, I would then have the students complete one of the presentational writing activities, although this could also be assigned for homework.

On the second day, I would have the students do the pre-viewing collaborative storyboard activity in preparation for the Picture Talk. Following the Picture Talk, I would have the students complete the interpersonal and then presentational activities.

For other great ideas on using songs in the classroom, here’s the bibliography I compiled for my presentation: