Allons en Martinique: A Unit for Intermediate Low French Students

This week’s single-digit temperatures have been a perfect excuse to spend some time creating a new unit on Martinique.  I think my students will enjoy spending time communicating about Caribbean vacations and the exposure to past tense sentences will help many of them demonstrate their ability to perform in the Intermediate Low range.  Click here for an agenda, to which all resources are linked.

Day 1: I will present a short Google Slides showing “my” trip to Martinique. (Unfortunately, I haven’t yet actually been there.)  This presentation will familiarize the students with some of the sights in Martinique as well as the vocabulary for common tourist activities. I will call on individual students throughout the presentation to ask whether they have done each of the pictured activities in order to provide additional input for this vocabulary and these structures. The students will then complete a manipulative activity in small groups in which they match sentences to the corresponding photo.  I will allow them to use their resource guides for this activity, as it was their first exposure to the vocabulary and structures.  I will then project some of the pictures and orally recite sentences which the students will match to the corresponding photographs as a formative assessment. Students will continue working with this vocabulary by completing an information gap activity and then an Edpuzzle for a video about activities to do in Martinique. 

Day 2: I will begin by projecting and discussing an infographic which compares Martinique and Guadeloupe.  Students will then watch an authentic cartoon in which Scooby-Doo and friends go to Martinique.  Yep, finding this video was one of my very favorite Christmas presents–I can’t imagine anything more perfect for this unit! The students will complete an Edpuzzle and then work in small groups on a manipulative activity in which they match screenshots from the video to sentences.  Finally, they will practice and then record a summary using only pictures as prompts.

Day 3: I will first present an infographic about Martinique in order to provide additional input and cultural information about the island.  I will then project a video which features a trip to Martinique. (The video is in two parts as I omitted a short section which showed people drinking alcohol.)  Although there is no commentary in the video, it provides an authentic context for the following activities in which the students check which statements refer to things that happened in the video, and then discuss whether they would like to take this trip. (Examples: Oui, je voudrais le faire parce qu’il a nagé avec une tortue. Non, je ne voudrais pas le faire parce qu’il a vu une grosse araignée.) Finally, the students will write a postcard in which this traveler describes what he did in Martinique.

Day 4: I’ll start this lesson by reviewing “my” trip to Martinique in order to review the vocabulary and structures from the presentation.  Next, the students will complete an interpersonal activity in which they compare “their” trips to Martinique based on pictures they have.  The students will then complete a running dictation activity designed to provide feedback on their ability to use the structures that have been introduced in this unit.  As a formative assessment they will then write sentences based on photographs of Martinique. Finally, they will complete an Edpuzzle for a video about the Michelin guide to Martinique.

Day 5: The students will begin by completing a cloze activity for a song about Martinique, Sur mon ile. The interpretive guide that I created is intended to encourage the students to identify cultural products and practices, as well as to infer perspectives regarding the culture of Martinique and how it compares to that of mainland France.  (Although I did not edit the music video, I did insert a… for the verses about rum, for more conservative school cultures.)

Day 6: After a short presentation designed to introduce the students to a few new vocabulary items, the students will complete a manipulative activity in which they read an article and put historical events in chronological order. The students will then complete an Edpuzzle for a video about the culture and history of Martinique. (Edit 1/17/18: There is a mistake in this activity.  The events on cards C, D, J, K are not found in the article linked here.)

Day 7: The students will read a blog about a trip to Martinique and complete a comprehension guide.  After providing feedback, I will have them interview a partner about a trip s/he has taken and compare this trip to the one in the blog.

Day 8 & 9: The students will complete a project in which they research various sites in Martinique and create a series of journal entries for imaginary visits to these sites.  In order to ensure that the authentic resources are comprehensible to these students, I will allow them to use the readlang app on their Chromebooks when completing this activity.  This app provides an English translation when the user hovers over individual words in an online text.  

Day 10: Students will prepare  Google Slides presentation with photos of “their” trip to Martinique.  They will then use these slides to practice orally presenting their trip.

Day 11: Students will be seated in two rows, facing each other.  They will present their trip to the classmate in front of them as I assess 1-2 presentations at a time.  After 3 minutes, one row will move one seat to the right.  This will continue until I have assessed all presentations.

Day 12 & 13: Students will take the IPA for this unit in which they read a blog, listen to a video, discuss “their” trips with a partner, and then write a blog entry of their own.

I sure hope my students enjoy completing these activities as much as I did creating them!


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14 thoughts on “Allons en Martinique: A Unit for Intermediate Low French Students

  1. Muriel Damers

    I hope we will see you at the Martinique AATF convention this summer and that you will present a class (no pressure…) . I did your unit about la Martinique last year with my French 3 and it was a success! Can’t wait to try this one! Thank you for your generosity !

  2. Zoe W

    Wow this looks great! It could go well with or be a great preceding unit to reading the novel Problèmes au Paradis which is set in Martinique!

  3. Christiane Higashi

    I agree with Zoe W! What a gift you have shared here. I really enjoy your unit plans and would love to get into your head to understand and grasp your process for all of these wonderful ideas you have. I’m not sure why my creativity is so stagnant, but when I read your posts, I am in awe of you.

    Thank you!

  4. Heather Frost

    I think I’ve asked you this before, but how long are your class periods? Meilleurs voeux pour le nouvel an!!

      1. Kathy Zetts

        Are you on a 4-day week? How does that work?

        I liked last year’sMartinique unit a lot, as did the French 3 class I did it with. Looking forward to trying this one!

        Merci beaucoup!

        1. madameshepard Post author

          I have 3 traditional 48-minute classes per week (Mon., Tues., Fri.)and then Wednesday and Thursday I have 90-minute blocks. I see even-numbered classes on Wednesday and odd-numbered classes on Thursday. It’s a little crazy (my only break is 22-minute lunch on Wednesdays) but I’m getting used to it.

  5. Lana

    Du courage pour la rentrée et merci pour cette unité pleine de soleil! J’adore surtout vos EDPuzzles. Il y en a 6, lequel est pour IPA, s’il vous plaît? Ou peut-être celui-là est-il numéro 7 que vous n’avez pas inclus? Merci et bonne année!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Désolée pour mon erreur! J’ai ajouté le lien pour l’Edpuzzle que j’ai créé pour l’IPA. Il est lié maintenant au mot Edpuzzle sur l’IPA. Merci pour votre patience! Lisa


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