“Le Selfie:” an authentic lesson for Intermediate students

woman taking a selfie
This week I continued my unit on social media with my French 4/5 students with a lesson on “selfies.” The students are so enthusiastic about this unit that I hate to see it end! I actually had to ask them to discuss more quietly—and they were all staying in the target language! As an added bonus, the lower level students are seeing terms like “Selfie” on the French 4/5 agenda and I have been overhearing comments like “I can’t wait until I’m in French 4 so that I can do fun stuff like that!” What a great unintended consequence of writing my agenda on the board every day!
Here are the activities that I included in this lesson, which took about five days.
1. Selfie infographic: The students a) discussed a series of pre-reading questions in their small groups and took notes so that they could share their ideas with the class as a whole and b) completed a short interpretive activity about the infographic.
2. (Note: 1/5/2017.  This video is no longer available.) The students watched a YouTube video in which a young woman gives advice about taking selfies. Although the young woman spoke rather quickly, the students were successful in answering most of the (English) comprehension questions that I had prepared—I think the silliness of the video motivated them to rewatch the video until they were able to understand most of it!
3. The students read a simple article, “15 Astuces pour reussir un selfie” and completed a comprehension guide based on the template in ACTFL’s IPA manual. (http://www.actfl.org/publications/guidelines-and-manuals/integrated-performance-assessment-ipa-manual-0). This article addressed many of the same topics that the video did, which made it very comprehensible to the students.
4. The students presented their own favorite selfie to the class. I created a Google Doc Presentation and shared it with the students in the class. Each student was responsible for adding his/her selfie to the document on the first day of the lesson. On the 4th day, each student spoke for a 1-2 minutes about his/her selfie. Students who do not take selfies or chose not to share a photo of their own were invited to find a selfie online and add it to the google doc. One student added a selfie taken by a macaque and a few others used celebrity selfies. The students were able to do these short presentations without much preparation and they all enjoyed seeing each others’ pictures.
5. After 3-4 days reading/listening to these relatively superficial texts, the students read a more profound article about selfies and teen girls. For this article I prepared multiple choice questions, but included main idea, author’s perspective, vocabulary in context, and inference questions in order to replicate the type of items they will see on the AP test.
6. The students wrote a persuasive text in which they incorporated ideas from the article they had read—another activity intended to practice the skills they will need on the AP test.
7. The students watched two videos, both of which were about the “Love without Locks” campaign in Paris.
Here’s a link to a document with the materials I used: Selfie-Unit
I’d love to hear about other AP teachers have addressed the technology AP theme. If you’re willing to share your materials (or if you have feedback regarding this lesson), please add a comment or send me an e-mail!

21 thoughts on ““Le Selfie:” an authentic lesson for Intermediate students

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thanks, Skylar! A lot of the kids were already familiar with the tradition and were quite disappointed to find out that they wouldn’t be able to hang their own lock when they’re in Paris some day.

      Reply
  1. Jessica

    I think my students will enjoy watching the video that you found. I teach IB French and really like talking about social media with students and the potential problems/dangers. I have a guide for parents and how to deal with their teen having a cell phone along with a worksheet. I would like to share it with you, but I don’t have your email.

    Reply
  2. Kim

    Bonjour! I came across your Selfie/Social Media unit a while ago and am so grateful for all of the resources and thoughts you’ve shared as I work to develop my own version of this! One small question: I wondering if you might have the youtube video you found of the girl explaining how to take a selfie saved somewhere else. I am unable to access it via the link within your doc and have searched youtube for something else that might work but haven’t found anything decent. If you have it and could post the new link to it (if there is one!) that would be amazing. I know my students would love a silly ‘how to’ video as well. 🙂 Merci mille fois!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Kim. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have it any place else. She must have taken it off of youtube–one of the challenges of using authentic materials! I’ll definitely have to figure out a way to save the videos that I use, since this has happened for other units I’ve posted, too. Sorry–I wish I could help! Lisa

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      1. Lindsey

        Have you ever tried embedding a you tube video into powerpoint? That’s what I usually do in order to save videos that I like. I’m not sure if I’d still have them if the video was taken off of you tube, but it’s worth a try. Love the selfie unit! I think it will be a great thing to do at the beginning of the school year!

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      2. kristy

        I use Save Media to download all the YouTube videos I use in my French Immersion class. Thank you for posting a link to your document. Your lessons are great!

        Reply
    2. Mme B

      This video, Le selfie pour les NULS, would work well, just change up the questions. Shera’s hair alone will keep viewers interested, and her tips for taking selfies are easy enough to follow.

      Reply
  3. Nicola

    Bonjour from Australia. I love this unit on selfies. I am going to teach a unit on La Culture Pop after our Easter holidays and this will complement it perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing your work. In one of the previous comments you mention finding a way to save youtube videos. I don’t know if this will help but I use Realplayer which allows you to download and modify the video to different formats. You could also use Keepvid as well.

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Bonjour! I’m so grateful that you left a comment! I knew that I had some readers from different countries, but I’ve heard from any yet, so it means a lot to me that you took the time to leave a comment. Thank you, too, for the great suggestions for saving videos. I tried keepvid several years(and 3 computers) ago and didn’t have much luck, so I haven’t tried it since. I certainly hope I’m a little more tech savvy by now, so I should be able to make it work. I could try realplayer, too. I’ve only been blogging since August, so it didn’t occur to me that I should find a way to save resources so that I could pass them on to readers. Thanks again for your reply, Lisa

      Reply
  4. Amanda

    This is such a fabulous lesson! I teach Spanish, and so I’ll have to change parts of it, but I love the concept, and I know my students will enjoy it, as well. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Maggie

    Hi there, just a minor comment that came to mind while looking at your lovely unit: a selfie in french is referred to as an « autoportrait », thereby making the word selfie an anglicism.

    Just for future reference!

    Reply
  6. Veronique

    Bonjour et merci beaucoup Madame pour votre lesson sur les selfies. I found your blog thanks to AATF and will be using it with my AP class as an intro to “la quête de soi”. I decided to start with that theme this year and was looking for a fun introduction to AP. At the same time, we will discuss the interconnection of themes in AP.
    Thank you for sharing, it is very kind of you.

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind comment and I’m so glad you found something useful here. Another mini-unit that I have shared for this AP theme is found here: http://madameshepard.com/?p=987. Although I linked it to the sexuality sub-theme, the lessons are centered around gender roles, not sexual behavior (I think the title scared some people away!) The students really enjoyed the discussions we had during this unit. Good luck and keep in touch!

      Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Cathy. I’m sorry about this. I haven’t used this unit recently, so it needs some updating. In the meantime, I’ve noted in the post that the video is unavailable for future readers. I don’t really know where else the video might be available, although I would imagine that there may be several similar ones YouTube. I wish I could be more helpful!

      Reply
  7. Alissa Bratz

    Bonjour Madame!
    I can’t say “merci” enough to you for the fantastic resources you provide. Le monde des profs de français is beyond enriched. And your blog has saved my bacon on more than one occasion when in a crunch for resources and ideas! One thing that would help is to know how long your class periods last — I seem to recall you changed schools recently and that may have changed things. When trying to plan using your materials I have a hard time knowing if “5 days” for you will be roughly “5 days” for me. Are you on a block schedule? etc. Merci d’avance!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      In my current school I have 3 48- minute periods and 1 90- minute block per week. I usually add a song and Free Voluntary reading to my plan on block days rather than doing 2 lessons. Since I usually post my units before I use them, I don’t know for sure how long each lesson will take. I modify as I go along and sometimes end up omitting some of my planned activities. I ALWAYS over plan! ( By design). Thanks for your kind words!

      Reply

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