Le Gaspillage Alimentaire: A Mini-Unit for Intermediate Low French Students


One of the first units that I shared on this blog was a series of lessons on food waste.  When I found myself with a couple of available weeks with my French 3 students right before Thanksgiving this year, this topic seemed like a great fit.  Not only would we all be enjoying copious dinners, but the subject of food waste seems has begun to be addressed on American media.  Click here (update 6/30/18) for the unit agenda, to which all materials have been linked.  Here’s a short explanation of each lesson.

#1: As an introduction to the topic, we watched and discussed a video about food waste as a class. The students were then given one of two infographics about food waste and a graphic organizer. The students read their infographic and filled in as much information as possible in the graphic organizer.  They then discussed their information with their partner (who had read the opposite graphic organizer) and wrote the additional information they gleaned from the conversation in the graphic organizer.

#2: As a hook to the second lesson we discussed a document with suggestions for avoiding food waste.  The students then interviewed a partner about his/her own habits.  Following this interview, the students wrote a message to their partners with suggestions for reducing the amount of food that they waste. Finally they completed an Edpuzzle for a video about food waste.

#3: I began this lesson by showing an anti-food waste announcement that we discussed as a class.  The students then completed an Edpuzzle for a video in which a character gives recipes using leftovers.  After completing the Edpuzzle, the students rewatched the video and wrote out the directions for each recipe.

#4: During this 90-minute class period, the students completed 3 different stations related to recipe preparation.  At the listening station, they completed four different Edpuzzles for videos about food waste. At the reading station, they completed an activity in which they matched pictures from a recipe to the written description of the step shown in the picture. (Due to the nature of this activity, I am not able to share the materials here.) At the third station, the students chose one of the three videos from the previous day’s lesson, and practiced presenting it orally, using only the pictures they were given.  After about 20 minutes of practice, they recorded themselves giving the recipe.

#5: This lesson began with a pre-reading discussion of doggy bags, which was following by an interpretive activity based on an infographic about this topic. 

#6: In order to prepare for the interpersonal task on the IPA, the students participated in a Speed-friending activity by interviewing several classmates about their food waste habits and giving suggestions based on their partner’s responses.

#7: On our next block day the students completed the IPA for this mini-unit.

I was pleasantly surprised at the engagement level of many of my formerly reluctant learners during this mini-unit on a topic with important environmental implications.

13 thoughts on “Le Gaspillage Alimentaire: A Mini-Unit for Intermediate Low French Students

  1. Lana

    Another great unit, Lisa, thank you for posting! What do your students use to record themselves in the step #4? Just audio or with video? And do you actually listen to those recordings, grade them? Or do they share them with a speaking partner, group or the entire class at some point? Thank you for your hard work and sharing and a very happy new year to you and your family!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Lana. Happy New Year to you, too! I had the students upload a video of themselves to Schoology, our Learning Management System. I graded them–it wasn’t a major grade but I wanted to cover an ACTFL Can- Do statement about giving directions. Thanks for your questions and let me know if you have others!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Sheila! I do allow reassessment on speaking and writing tasks(interpersonal/presentational) Unfortunately, I have very few students take me up on my offer to retake assessments, though. I do not offer reassessment on speaking/listening (interpretive) assessments, because I just don’t have time to create additional assessments of these types. Also, due to the nature of my teaching style, which focuses heavily on input and interpretive tasks, few students struggle in this area.

  2. Ashton

    Hello again!

    Thank you for directing me to this unit. I am so excited to use these amazing resources for my upcoming practicum. I was wondering you have a link to the IPA article? When I click on the one that is on the google drive it simply directs me to the website but the article is only a photo and a quick blurb.

    Thank you!!


    1. madameshepard Post author

      Sorry about the confusion. I don’t see a mention of station packets in the document you linked. Could you give me more info? Thanks, Lisa

      1. Kristina Jones

        I think that maybe she was referring to the Comprehension Ecrit with the baggies? I was curious about that too. Your website and your work is sooooooo wonderful!!!! I just can’t say it enough. Thank you for sharing your great work!!!

        1. madameshepard Post author

          Thank you, Kristina! That makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, the baggy activity is a manipulative that I made years ago and is not something I can easily share. I tried to explain that in the post, but I obviously wasn’t very clear. Thanks so much for your help! Lisa

  3. Benjamin M Lyall

    Madame Shepard,

    My district seems to block all videos unless I can find the original youtube video and approve it. Would you be able to put the links to the original youtube videos for (from Lesson 4: stations)

    “le gaspillage alimentaire”

    Thank you!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      I’m afraid that at this point I don’t have the links. All of my edpuzzles have been removed so I don’t have any way of knowing what videos they were. I’m posting your comment in case anyone else is able to help.


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