Les Elections Présidentielles en France: A mini-unit for Intermediate students

This week my French 4 and French 5 students will begin a short unit on the presidential elections in France. Because my own knowledge about the French electoral system was woefully meager, I have learned a lot while planning these lessons.  Fortunately there are a lot of great, comprehensible resources for this theme.  In fact, I had to really rein myself in or this unit may have gone on much longer than I suspect my students’ interest levels would sustain.  Here’s an agenda (Updated 6/9/18) with links to the resources I’ve curated and created for this short unit.

In Lesson 1 the students will watch a video about the American presidential electoral system to activate their background knowledge and another video about the French system. They will also read a short article about the French system and use the information from these three sources to complete a graphic organizer.  I will then have them discuss their graphic organizers with a partner with the intention that this discussion might provide additional details for each partner.

In Lesson 2, the students will watch a video about the left and right political parties and complete a comprehension guide.  The students will then be given either an article on one of two political candidates and will fill in half of a graphic organizer with information about this candidate.  Their partner will simultaneous read an article about the other candidate, filling in the opposite half of the graphic organizer. The dyads will then discuss the information in their graphic organizers so that each member of the pair ends up with a complete organizer.

In Lesson 3, one member of each pair will watch a video about le Front National and the other will read an article about this same political party.  Each student will fill out a comprehension guide.  They will then discuss what they learned and complete a graphic organizer comparing the information from the two sources.

In Lessons 4 and 5, the students will watch a Simpsons video about the presidential candidates, and then read about several candidates and complete a graphic organizer.  Next, they will complete an online questionnaire which will provide them with the name of the candidate whose platform most closely aligns with their own opinions and values. They will then complete additional research on this candidate in order to fill in a graphic organizer.

In Lesson 6, the students will use what they’ve learned about their candidate to write a speech intended to persuade young French people to vote for him/her.

In Lesson 7, the students will prepare a Google Presentation of photographs/captions that will support their performance of the speech they have prepared.

In Lesson 8, the students will present their speeches.  

Although I haven’t prepared units for past presidential elections in France for fear that the topic would not be engaging to my students, I think the current political climate has led to young people being much more politically interested than students were in years past.  I’m hoping that they learn as much from this mini-unit as I did by creating it!

22 thoughts on “Les Elections Présidentielles en France: A mini-unit for Intermediate students

  1. Cecile

    Bonsoir Lisa! When we covered the 2012 French presidential elections with my French 3 class, I had them prepare a campaign for a candidate of their choice and then we organized a mock election. Our vote took place right before each of the two voting rounds. My students were eager to see the results and compare who they had voted for with whom French people had voted for. You might consider doing this after they have read and viewed the resources you outlined in your post, which by the way sound really interesting. Speaking of which, could you share the online questionnaire you mentioned in your post? Can’t wait to hear what your students think about the election 🙂

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thanks for the great suggestion! The link should be on the agenda for that day. If it’s not there, I’ll add it in the morning!

  2. Erin

    I love to see that I’m not the only one studying this with their students! I’m doing a study with my PreAP 3 students. They are currently in the process of researching a candidate (in groups of 2) and then, as a class, they are creating a bulletin board outside of my classroom. We will be presenting our candidates in class before the Round 1 election in April. Then, before the round 2 vote in May, we will have the 2 remaining candidates ‘debate’ and try to persuade others, whose candidate is no longer in the running, to vote for them. We will have a mock election and compare our results to the actual results. The students are enjoying learning about the French system for electing a president. It is very cool to hear them making comparisons to our system and picking/choosing what they like best from each system. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  3. Muriel Damers

    Encore une très bonne leçon! Merci 1000 fois!
    Je pense qu’un autre candidat à étudier est Emmanuel Macron.
    Beaucoup de français pensent que Fillon est corrompu (salaire donné à sa femme et ses enfants sans contrepartie, acceptation de cadeaux de gens haut placés …) , et qu’il ne va pas passer le 1er tour des élections. Les sondages maintenant prédisent que Macron et LePen seront au 2ème tour…
    J’ai cherché le site unjour une actu pour trouver des choses sur Macron mais je n’ai rien trouvé helas…

    1. Cecile

      Macron n’avait pas de programme jusqu’à très récemment donc c’était difficile de trouver des ressources. J’ai écrit un article sur lui dans LE PETIT JOURNAL si ca vous intéresse.

  4. Pingback: Quel temps fait-il? – Crafting a French Blend

  5. Tory

    J’adore cette leçon! Je la commence après nos vacances de printemps. Une question – c’était marqué “répondez aux questions de Madame” pour la vidéo des Simpsons mais j’ai pas trouvé de question pour la vidéo. C’est à l’oral que vous faites cette activité?
    Merci bien!

  6. Monsieur Nason

    Merci beaucoup comme d’habitude !! I will be using many of your resources and documents in the upcoming weeks. My students and I thank you for your tireless work. Every post never ceases to amaze me. Speaking of the election, I was perusing RFI and found these infographs about women in French politics. http://www.rfi.fr/france/20170403-infographie-france-femmes-presidentielles-pourquoi-peu-candidates I have not created a document for this yet but if/when I do I will post it here. Maybe someone else can use this as a resource/lesson.

  7. Anna Chang

    This unit is excellent, and my students are really enjoying it. Thanks SO MUCH for your hard work and generosity! I gush about your blog all the time! It’s the best.

  8. Nathalie

    Bonjour Madame Shepard!
    I love your mini Unit and am getting inspired by it this week! However I can not see any links for the resources and the tasks you are referring to….thank you for your help!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      If you click on the agenda link, each resource is hyperlinked to the lesson on the agenda. Let me know if it doesn’t work or you have more questions! Lisa

  9. Elizabeth

    I was wondering if you intended that this lesson is gone? I am new to your Web site and I love your ideas that you have so generously shared…Thank you if you are able to get it reposted.

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Elizabeth. I’m sorry about the missing link/agenda. I’ve added an updated link with copies of each document from my current Google Drive. Lisa

      1. Elizabeth

        Parfait! Merci encore et toujours ! Teachers and professionals like you make education better! You truly have helped me improve as a teacher just within this past year. I can’t thank you enough!!


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