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 (Link updated 5/25/18) 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!

 

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/martinique-caribbean-island-beach-2487148/

50 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 !

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  4. Heather Frost

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

    Reply
      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!

        Reply
        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.

          Reply
  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!

    Reply
    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

      Reply
  6. Lana

    Lisa, before this Martinique unit, do you still teach your “Journee a l’ecole”? Is this your recommended sequence? Thank you for all you do!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      The topic of school is not part of the curriculum in my current school, so we started the semester with the Martinique unit. Although this was the first time I’d asked them to produce the passé composé, they did awesome on their presentations today. Not everybody was consistent with including helping verbs, but they’ve got a good start!

      Reply
      1. Kathy Zetts

        So is this their first time working with passe compose? How much direct instruction do you give them on it? or do they just seem to pick it up from the examples?

        My students loved the song “Sur mon ile en Martinique”. Now they want to travel there!

        Merci!

        Kathy Zetts

        Reply
        1. madameshepard Post author

          Yep, this was their first time working with it, except for our weekly discussions of the weekend on Mondays. I didn’t do any direct instruction on it. They are picking up on it from the examples. After Martinique we continued a travel unit with other regions and I continue to provide lots of contextualized practice. It will be a couple of years before I expect them to use it correctly consistently, but my stronger students are really getting the hang of it.

          Reply
  7. Corine Charrier

    To close this comprehensive unit on Martinique, I am thinking of showing the film Rue Case-Nègres in class.

    Reply
  8. Amy

    Madame, I came across your Martinique unit completely by chance and at just the right time, since I had just started a textbook chapter about Martinique with my French 2 class. We watched your Scooby Doo Edpuzzle today, and since I show a music video on Fridays, I am looking forward to using the Sino video and your accompanying activities this Friday. I greatly appreciate the time and effort that you put into creating your fantastic resources. Merci mille fois!

    Reply
  9. Kim Dodds

    Merci beaucoup pour cette ressource! Je n’ai pas trouvé “student resource guide”. Est-ce que vous pourriez partager ce document? Je viens de finir “Les bonnes résultions” avec ma classe de Français 3. Je suis très reconassainte de votre générosité!! C’est ma première année avec 4 niveaux et je suis débordée! Belle journée!

    Reply
  10. Laurence

    Kind regards from Martinique where I teach English as a foreign language (high school, 15-18 y-o). I enjoyed reading your article.
    You might want to check what the news are on our small island. You can also listen to the radio live, and grab some radio bits for your students on the website of “Martiniqe 1ere”
    Below are some audio files I recorded for the audio-lingua website.
    https://www.audio-lingua.eu/spip.php?article1789 (Le climat et les saisons en Martinique)
    https://www.audio-lingua.eu/spip.php?article1966 (Mes plages préférées)
    https://www.audio-lingua.eu/spip.php?article1796 (le risque sismique aux Antilles)
    https://www.audio-lingua.eu/spip.php?article1788 (Mon jardin tropical)
    Enjoy!

    Reply
  11. Kathy Zetts

    I think you must have some sort of “osmosis-enhancing device” in your classroom…..and I’d really like to get one! 😉

    Seriously….I usually get a few French 1s who, by the the end of the year, are beginning to “crack the code” (from seeing passe compose stuff on the board for the French 2 class) but who, when given an explanation, seem to regress, and don’t get it. Maybe I’ll do the Martinique unit with them later in the year (I have been doing it with my 3s).

    Thanks, as always! I hope to see you at the OFLA conference!

    Reply
  12. Kathy Zetts

    ooops I think I put my last comment in the wrong spot, sorry…you can move it to go with my previous question if you want.

    Reply
  13. Jennifer Hollandbeck

    Merci mille fois! I heard you speak at the IFLTA conference in Indianapolis in November and it has caused me to completely re-examine my teaching. In second trimester this year with my 2B students we did 2of your IPA units plus the one on Noël. It took some adjustments but they fee so much more comfortable with the speaking aspect. I love it.

    And, what brings me here today, specifically, is that one of my 2B students (who is not in class with me now) came to see me today to excitedly report that he and his family booked a trip to Martinique next year! Mind you, this is in a rural Indiana school, and the most exotic place most students have traveled is Florida, and many have never left the state. I am so excited for him and I am indebted to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing your success with me! I have just come home from the 2nd of two 13-hour days due to conferences and you really made my day!

      Reply
  14. Lise

    Bonjour! We are using many of your resources from your Martinique unit in my French 2 class. Many thanks for all that you share. Just a question regarding the second infographic that comes up in the unit, as we had a discussion about this today in my class. There is a section about words to know in Creole, one of which is a pejorative word for homosexual. Has this come up with your classes and how did you address the reason as to why they chose to include this word as one of the “need to know words?”

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      It’s very unfortunate that that word appeared in the infographic. When I shared the infographic with my students, I edited in such a way that that word was not included.

      Reply
  15. Leslie

    Thank you so much for sharing as much as you do. You have been very helpful in my transition to a proficiency based curriculum.
    Do you use a particular rubric for the presentation on Martinique? Is the speed-friending style of presentation distracting to the other students?

    Reply
  16. JoAnn

    You are truly amazing!! I used your Martinique IPA from last year with my French 4s (we’re not quite as advanced as your kids seem to be; I couldn’t imagine doing all this with my 2s!). Anyway, I wasn’t sure I was going to have time to use it again, but we were fortunate enough to travel to Martinique this year and a few students in this class went on the trip. So I really wanted to work it in. I LOVE this new unit and how you’ve incorporated Martiniquais activities into the passe compose. It will be a great review for this class! I think I’m going to use this unit for a conditional review as well. For the presentation at the end rather than having them focus on an imaginary trip that they TOOK, they will focus on what they WOULD DO if they went to Martinique (or went back!). Thank you so much for all the amazing resources you share. If you’re interested in seeing/using photos from our trip to Martinique I’d be happy to share the google folder with you; I warn you, though, there are hundreds of photos!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I’m so jealous that you were able to travel to Martinique! It is definitely a bucket list destination for me! I think your idea for incorporating the conditional sounds great. I’ll keep you in mind for a resource if I need more pictures–thank you for your generous offer!

      Reply
  17. Kerri Simeone

    Bonnes idées et merci mille fois! Not only was le passé composé fun to teach and learn, but all my students want to go to Martinique! LOL! Some parents have mentioned that their kids already came to them about a potential trip. Thank you for opening your ideas to us and spreading the wealth. You have been and continue to be an inspiration as I transition to this IPA world.

    Reply
  18. Kerri Simeone

    Add to my comment: I got a new student this year from Haiti. His eyes grew bigger when he heard creole in one of the videos. Great experience!

    Reply
  19. Lisa G

    J’adore cette unité; merci mille fois pour la partager! I am having so much fun learning about Martinique along side my student. I just had to share the funny story that I found a post card template for the day 3 activity, and quickly realized I had to do a mini-lesson on filling out a postcard- they all tried writing their sentences on the address lines! 😛

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Bonjour, Lisa! Yes, I saw your comment on the FB page. I haven’t had the kids write on a postcard template, but I did have the issue that someone else mentioned. When I asked a student to provide me with a self-addressed stamped envelope, she put the addresses in the wrong places. I had no idea that written correspondence had become a lost art!

      Reply
  20. Manda Clancy

    I was in Martinique last summer, and now I want to go back!!! If you ever go, I can recommend a great Airbnb that was very reasonable 🙂

    I looked through everything, but I didn’t see the 2018 IPA article. I’m just starting to delve into the world of IPAs. Do you have any simple suggestions on how to start for the novice?

    Reply
    1. Nathalie

      Manda Clancy: could you recommend that great Airbnb you mentioned? Merci 🙂
      I just returned from the AATF convention in Martinique and it was wonderful….can;t wait to go back….soon I hope!!!!!
      Lisa: will you be at ACTFL in New Orleans? Thank you so much for inspiring us with all these excellent units!!

      Reply
      1. madameshepard Post author

        Hi, Nathalie Unfortunately, I don’t think I can make it to NOLA this fall. I’m moving back to OH at the end of September and think that taking the time (as well as the expense) to go to the conference doesn’t seem to be realistic at this time. I AM going to be presenting at Central States, though. I’m not sure where you’re from, but it’s a great regional conference! Lisa

        Reply
        1. Kathy Zetts

          So you’re going to be a Buckeye again? Yay! Where will you be living (hopefully up in my part of the state)?

          I’ll do my best to catch up with you at Central States 2019–it’s in conjunction with OFLA and my administration is usually OK with me attending that (possibly they are influenced by the fact that I choose to pay the conference fee myself, so they are only on the hook for a sub ;-})

          Reply

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