Performance assessments to accompany Le Petit Prince

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Based on recent comments to this blog, it seems that it’s the time of year that many of us are teaching Le Petit Prince. While I shared my communicative materials for teaching in this post, I did not include the performance-based assessments that I use at that time.  As some of you have mentioned, I also felt a need to assess my students while reading the novel, in order to be able to regularly record performance-based scores in my gradebook. Therefore, my colleague and I created a series of three performance-based assessments to accompany the novel. Here’s a quick description of each:

Assessment #1: In order to introduce my students to the author of the novel, I had them both read a biography about Saint Exupéry and watch a video about this life.  The students answered English comprehension questions about the video and multiple choice French questions (to replicate the AP exam) for the article.  After the first nine chapters, I added an interpersonal task (in the form of a role-play) and presentational writing task in which the students wrote an essay about one of the quotes.

Assessment #2: After chapter 16 I gave another performance-based assessment. For the listening task, the students answered AP-style multiple choice questions on three videos about the Little Prince Amusement park. For the reading task, they read an article about the publication of the novel and answered AP-style questions.  The reading and writing tasks again included role-plays and essays about quotes.

Assessment #3: At the end of the novel, I gave a final performance-based assessment.  For the reading task, the students read an article (p. 1, p. 2)  from Psychologies magazine and completed a series AP-style questions.  For the listening task, the watched the movie trailer and a news broadcast about the 70th anniversary of the novel.  For the written task they wrote about a pair of quotations, and the interpersonal task was again a role-play.

Although I know I’ll tweak these assessments before using them next year (my mixed class requires an A/B curriculum), I thought that they might provide a starting point for those of you who are designing assessments to accompany the novel.

Image Credit: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1266/2828/320/3a.gif

25 thoughts on “Performance assessments to accompany Le Petit Prince

  1. Jenna Harvey

    Oh my goodness! Was literally about to sit down TODAY and plan my communicative tasks and assessments around Le Petit Prince! Thank you for this helpful and timely post!

    Reply
  2. Julia Price

    Hi and thank you for your generosity! A friend of mine introduced me to your units and I really love them– so do my students! I am about the start Le Petit Prince with my advanced class and would love to access your powerpoint — but a lot of the links don’t work for me. Is there any way to find them by searching or could you share with me directly by chance? Merci mille foes

    Reply
  3. Laura

    Hi Lisa,

    About how much time do you devote to this unit. I was planning out the rest of the year and I’m not sure how you project the timing?

    Thanks !

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I spend about 8 weeks on it. I think you could do it in less, if the kids did some of the reading at home.

      Reply
  4. Lauren

    Bonjour! This is a really great assignment for French, I am definitely going to use this for my French 4 students. Do you happen to have an answer key?

    Reply
  5. Madame Kristina McGuire

    MERCI BEAUCOUP for your hard work and commitment to teaching this wonderful little book!! I am curious to know if you have an answer key to your workbook; if so, are you willing to share it? This is my first attempt at teaching this book to my students, and I have been gathering many ideas. Of course, I can go through and create my own answer keys, but it would certainly save me time if you are willing to share!

    Thanks so much,
    Kristina

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Sorry, but I only used this once so far and I didn’t create an answer key. Maybe someone else did?

      Reply
  6. Jessica

    Bonjour Lisa,

    My colleagues and I have differing opinions on a question you have in the ipa. #10 “Selon Claudie, qu’est-ce que la science et le renard ont en commun?” I was thinking it was b, because the fox isn’t dangerous or difficult to understand. What answer were you looking for with this question? Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer.

    Merci!!!

    Jessica

    Reply
    1. VoxClara

      It’s been almost a year since this question was posed but I’ve just found Mme Shepard’s amazing work…and I think that the answer is A, foxes are wild animals and thus intrinsically dangerous –if not tamed. So is science, if limits are not properly placed thus tamed, potentially dangerous. At least, Mary Shelley also thought as much in the cautionary tale of Frankenstein. Que pensez-vous, Mme Shepard?

      Reply
      1. Amanda Breland

        Where are you all finding the link to the article these questions are referencing? I am not seeing it!
        Merci!!!

        Reply
        1. Elaine G

          The link is (p. 1) (p.2) in her explanation. I did find it online by googling narrow search terms terms, name of article and magazine plus PDF. Then I got my own copy. If I can find the link again I’ll post.

          Reply
  7. Shannon

    I am SO thrilled to have happened upon your blog this morning! I was just assigned to teach all levels of French after a 10 year break from the language (I’ve been doing ESL for the past decade), and I’m in a total panic on where/how to start, especially with the 4/5 split. At least the other levels have textbooks to follow. I thought teaching Le Petit Prince would be something the 4’s and 5’s could do together, since splitting their curriculum is going to be too much for me this year. Your resources look amazing! I already feel less stressed just knowing they are available. Question – do you spend time teaching the passé simple and other grammar concepts beforehand in order to prepare the students? Or do you teach them as mini-lessons throughout the novel? I’ve never taught a novel before so I’m trying to get my head around the structure. Thanks again for sharing all your hard work. I may just survive this year after all!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I’m thrilled you found me, too! I do a short lesson to help the students recognize the passe simple before the novel,but don’t spend much time on it. Other than etre/faire the conjugations don’t impede comprehension. I previously taught a different grammatical concept in each chapter, but as my methodologies have evolved I moved the focus to using the novel as a springboard to communication. Let me know if you have any other questions and Bonne Chance! Lisa

      Reply
  8. Denise Wagstaff

    Bonjour Lisa,

    Once again, un grand merci for sharing all of your hard work! I have been wanting to change my approach to Petit Prince, and I will definitely be using a lot of your materials. Question about the performance assessments (and, I have only looked at the first one so far): Can you explain the process of how you do the Jeux de role with your students to assess them? I am wondering how on the spot versus rehearsed the activity is. Also, since there are 8 different choices, I am wondering how you go about selecting which one students do for you.

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Denise. Thanks for your great question. Time permitting, I have the students practice some or all of the role plays. When they perform for a grade, they do not know which one they will perform, which role they will play, or who their partner will be. In this way they have a chance to get feedback (from their partner’s responses, as well as the verbal or written feedback I give as I circulate during the practice time) before the summative assessment. I arbitrarily choose which one the students will do for a grade. Sometimes I write numbers on a card and have the students pick a random card (They can’t see the number), or roll a die (if there are 6 choices). Let me know if you have any other questions! Lisa

      Reply
  9. VoxClara

    Chère Mme Shepard,
    Mille mercis pour tout le travail ici. This is only my second time teaching Le Petit Prince to senior students. Your resources have been a great help and I think I will use them and your ideas a lot more next year. I struggle getting the oral in but as a former drama major, I love the idea of the role plays. Do you have any tips on how to ensure the students are really demonstrating an understanding of the novel during the role play. I can envision my students doing the whole role play without “supporting” the ideas from the novel…if you know what I mean. Again, very grateful for your generosity!

    Reply
  10. Linda Grinalds

    I seriously think that you should publish your materials (self or otherwise). These are excellent and you are a life saver. As a homeschool teacher of AP French, I can tell you that there is a huge demand for assessment materials and lesson plans in this growing subculture. And I would definitely pay for these.
    With that said, you are a very kind, generous person who is also very gifted. And I am grateful.

    Reply
  11. Amanda Breland

    Bonjour Madame Shpard! I am currently using your PP workbook and love it! MERCI INFINIMENT! We have finished the book and done some activities and I am about to give them your final IPA and there is no link to the article you use for the Interprétation Ecrite! I have looked online using the title “Le Petit Prince et Moi” but cannot find anything! Could you possibly post the link to the article you used? Merci encore!
    Amanda

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Bonjour, Amanda. I’m glad that you found the workbook useful. As Elaine G said, a link to the original article is found in the body of the post. She also generously shared a link to the article. Let me know if you have any trouble finding it! Lisa

      Reply

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