Communication et Médias: A unit for Intermediate French Students

The next IB Theme that I will cover in my combined French 4/5 class is Communications et Médias. Although I haven’t specifically addressed this theme in the past, I had a lot of fun choosing subjects and creating activities on this theme for my students.  While the plan I’ve included in this post does not include all of the lessons (my fabulous colleague, Nicole, also contributed several great activities), it might help others get started on this theme, which encompasses aspects of both the Contemporary Life and Science and Technology AP themes.

Click here (Updated link: 6/29/18) for the agenda to which the resources of each lesson have been linked and see a brief description below.

In order to hook the students’ attention, we started by having the students read an article about popular French youtubers and fill in a table with details from the article.  As a follow up activity, I asked the students to watch one video from one of the youtubeurs they read about and post a review on our Learning Management System, Schoology.  I also asked them to watch one of the videos shared by a classmate and add their own opinion.  It is my hope that introducing my students to these youtubeurs might encourage them to watch other videos in the future.

The next lesson will serve as a quick introduction to French television. As an advance organizer the students will discuss a series TV-related questions in small groups and will then read an article and listen to interviews about TV in France.

The next several lessons are organized around the topic of advertising.  The students will watch a video about advertising, discuss some print ads in small groups and then read an article about print ads before preparing a presentation about a print ad.

After the lessons on print advertising, the students will watch a video about TV ads and discuss a TV ad before reading an article about the possible end of TV commercials during children’s shows in France. After reading this article, they will perform a role play and then write a speech based on this article.

The next series of lessons will address the topic of Fake News.  The students will read and discuss an infographic about Fake News and then interpret an article and video on the subject. Following these interpretive activities, they will select a Fake News article of their own and express their disbelief at facts in the article.  These sentences will allow the students to both demonstrate their comprehension of the “facts” in the article and use the subjunctive mood in a contextualized way. Finally, they will write a Fake News article of their own. 

As always, all feedback on these lessons is appreciated!


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16 thoughts on “Communication et Médias: A unit for Intermediate French Students

  1. Tiha Zaami

    I would like to thank you very much for all the ressources, lessons, assessments… You lessons are well constructed and I love them so much. I am teaching technology now and I was kind of lost but this lesson saved me lot of time. I really appreciate your generosity and kindness by sharing your hard work.
    Thanks again!


    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a nice comment. I am so grateful to be able to collaborate with my colleagues through this blog! Lisa

  2. Mme B

    I just did Fake News with my IB students, and they loved it! Bon courage 🙂

    By any chance, do you have la grille for the YouTubers activity? Merci bien!

    Mme B

  3. Mme Brueder

    Thank you for taking the time to share such a well thought-out lesson. I am also just beginning this unit with my IB/Ab Initio students and it’s absolutely wonderful. Merci mille fois!

  4. mme kelly

    Merci pour cette unité! my students are really enjoying it! Tell me, did you create an IPA / exam for this unit or no?

    Merci mille fois pour vos pensées!

  5. M Posigian

    I am student teaching in an IB school and we just did our unit on media with the kids writing satirical articles for a class newspaper, but I love the idea of incroporating the concept of fake news into this unit. This is something that the French media has been covering a lot and is a really great opportunity to take a look at something that is happening in our own culture through the perspective of another one. Having them research Youtubers is another great idea, I love that you have them engage with the various videos that are out there and then share their opinions on them. I have been looking for different activities to do with pop culture videos and this is definitely something I could see myself adapting in my own classroom.

    Thanks so much for all the amazing ideas you put up on this site! As a beginning teacher, I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a wealth of knowledge here!

    Bonne continuation !

  6. Cate M.

    Bonjour from a first-time reader! I am a student teacher working towards my master’s and secondary certification. My teaching minor is French, and I’ve enjoyed reading your ideas for unit and lesson plans! I’m writing with a question for you technology use in your classroom. I have been hesitant to integrate tech in my current Social Studies placement, as I often find it to be distracting and time-consuming for students. In a world language classroom, however, I see so much potential for connecting students with the broader francophone world. Introducing French YouTube personalities and listening to interviews all sound like wonderful ways to introduce students to authentic French content. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on tech in the classroom? Do you have tips for managing tech, making sure that students are on task and using it responsibly? Thank you!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Cate. Ironically I came home to my own cable and Internet so excuse my brief response/typos since I’m on my phone. My school is 1:1– each student has a school-issued Chromebook. I can’t imagine trying to teach a language without the internet at our fingers. I thoroughly depend on my students being able to access authentic written and recorded resources on a daily basis. Having begun my career in the Dark Ages (1980’s), I easily remember when the only access my students had to authentic resources was the stack of magazines I brought home when I traveled. As for class management, I don’t think technology is any more intrusive than chatting, passing notes, etc. in the olden days. In my school the students are so used to the technology that especially interest them sometimes. For example, they would often rather submit assignments on paper rather than electronically. I hope I’ve answered your questions! Good luck and keep in touch!

  7. Hope

    My school year ended yesterday and today I start writing curriculum for my French 4. I am very excited to do this as I want to begin the process of traditional teaching behind and adopt the IPA way! I have a quick question…Qui décide de ce qui est diffusé à la télé.. that link simply goes to Un jour…not a specific article that I can see.. When I do a search the article comes up, but when I click on it, it goes to the current day. Any suggestions?

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Gosh, that’s weird. I wish I could help–maybe it’s a problem with their website? I’m away on vacation (without a computer), but I can check and see if I have a copy of the article when I get home in a few days.

  8. Hope

    I have another question. Next to the questions, there is this symbol: (❡1) What does that mean?
    Merci mille fois!


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