From the Midwest to Martinique: A virtual trip for French 2 students

martiniqueAs I explained in a previous post, I decided to introduce the passé composé with my French 2 students in a different way this year.   Rather than explaining the rules for choosing the correct helping verb and past participle, I gave them a series of questions and answers that they used to interview each other and provided input by introducing readings and comprehension questions that were written in passé composé.  I had no idea how the students would react to this unit, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Nearly all of the students were able to successfully discuss what they had done at school the previous day using comprehensible sentences.  While some students made occasional errors in choosing the correct helping verb during their conversations, they were still able to express their meaning.  I was somewhat surprised to find that the students were less accurate in their written work. More students totally omitted their helping verbs when writing than when speaking.

Now that the students have demonstrated their ability to communicate using memorized phrases, I thought that it was time to introduce a few rules so that they could begin creating sentences of their own. I struggled a little bit, however,  in coming up with a cultural/content context for this next unit. I wanted a context that would provide them with lots of opportunities to narrate past events, without requiring them to include lots of description in the past.  (While they are seeing lots of imperfect in the authentic resources, it’s not my intention that they produce this verb form at this time.)  It seemed that discussing a vacation might meet these requirements and provide a way of introducing some important new vocabulary items.  In order to provide an authentic cultural context for this unit (and to escape, at least virtually, winter in the Midwest) , I have chosen to use Martinique as the vacation destination that these students will learn about.  Here’s how I introduced this unit:

Day 1: Students read an infographic about Martinique and complete an interpretive task.  In addition, they begin work on a guided note-taking activity designed to introduce them to a few simple rules about forming the passé composé.

Day 2: Students completed an interpersonal activity (Guess Who game) to familiarize them with the vocabulary for activities that people do while on vacation in Martinique. After they played the game for about 20 minutes, I gave them a formative assessment in which I made 10 true/false statements about Nicolas (the first “identity” on the game paper). The students also finished the guided note-taking activity.

This is what I have planned for the rest of the unit.

Day 3: We will watch a short video about Martinique and the students will answer comprehension questions. They will then complete an interpersonal activity in which they describe what they did on vacation to a partner who will select the appropriate vacation pictures.  Lastly they will complete a worksheet which requires them to write sentences about what various people did in Martinique.

Day 4: Students will watch another video and then complete a cooperative activity in which they work with a partner to put historical events in chronological order, based on information in each of their articles.

Day 5: Students will read an article about vacationing in Martinique and complete an interpretive task.  This will count as the interpretive reading portion of their IPA.

Day 6 and 7: Students will use Ipads to research various places and activities in Martinique for their virtual trip to Martinique.  They will then complete a journal of the activities they did each day of their trip.

Day 8 and 9: Students continue working on the rest of their IPA, which includes the following tasks: 1)Presentational Writing: Blog entry about trip to Martinique, 2)Interpersonal Speaking: Discuss trip to Martinique with partner, 3) Interpretive Listening: Video about Martinique.

Day 10 and 11: Students will present their trip to Martinique to the class using a Google Presentation of photographs from their trip.

Here are the resources I’ve prepared for the unit:

Student Resource packet: Martinique vocab & grammar , Student Activity Packet: martinique unit , Guess Who Game martinique_guesswho(rev.)  Pair Activity Martinique pair act. Worksheet martinique ws, Manipulatives for history activity: history_manipulative, virtual trip packet: martinique project, IPA: Martinique IPA

 

 

 

 

19 thoughts on “From the Midwest to Martinique: A virtual trip for French 2 students

  1. filliezj@plainlocal.org

    I just want to thank you for the many hours you put into designing these units. I thoroughly appreciate the time and effort involved and it has encouraged me to move forward with a proficiency based classroom, as I was feeling quite overwhelmed before. Merci Mille Fois!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      You’re very welcome and thank YOU for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment! Bon Courage!

      Reply
  2. Madame Lewandowski

    I’d just like to reiturate the previous comment! Merci mille fois! I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have stumbled upon all of your hard work! Switching to a proficiency based classroom is quite intimidating but definitely a worthy undertaking. You have made the goal much more reachable!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Awww… Thank YOU! It’s so kind of you to take the time to write such a sweet comment. It means so much to me!

      Reply
  3. Martin Wesleyan

    Merci mille fois, Mme Shepard! This unit is amazing! I just have one question-in the Guess Who directions, it says that “You will find the questions that correspond to each picture in the tables below.
    4. You will find the (affirmative) answers directly below each picture and the negative answers in the last row of each table.” I don’t see the questions or answers anywhere…am I looking in the wrong place? Merci encore!
    Marty

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Marty. I apologize for my error. I’m not exactly sure what happened, since I designed and incorporated that activity several months ago. It might be that I wrote the directions and then revised the tables. I think my conflict was that I wanted to provide some modeling for my students, but still maintain a communicative aspect to the activity. Anyway, thanks for bringing the mistake to my attention! I just revised the directions and uploaded the updated copy to the blog post. Hopefully, the activity will make sense now. If not, please feel free to follow up and I’ll try to clarify.

      Reply
  4. Monsieur Nason

    Chère Madame,
    I completed this unit back towards the end of November/early December with my Level 3 students (although you used this with your Level 2). At the end of every unit I do, I always have students take an anonymous survey to help provide feedback and talk about things they liked/didn’t like or found challenging during the unit. The unit went really well and I just wanted to share some of the feedback that students shared with me : “Activities I enjoyed throughout this unit were group presentations, because it pushed me to a limit I never thought I could reach. To be honest I am not as fluent as other students within the class, however I was able to memorize my lines and present before the class about “my family trip to Martinique” with my group. I nervous, though now I have confidence I can conquer new and exciting challenges within the french language.” And another, “I liked the presentational speaking because it allows me to improve on my french. It helps me become more confident to speak in french with other people. I was hesitant at first but I realize that we are all just learning a new language together. Besides, as I watch other people’s presentation, I learn how to pronounce words. Sometimes, I even want to help those who are hesitant like me. Maybe I will. I also learn a little of their personalities through this presentation due to what they like to do during vacations. I would like to actually experience some cultural aspect of Martinique or maybe other francophone cultures in the future.” I also asked them to rank in order of difficulty the different portions of the IPA and they responded that the listening comprehension for them was the most challenging. I was really pleased with how they did on both the interpersonal and presentational speaking portions of the IPA. Like the students, I was impressed with how well some of them were on their feet. As you suggested on their presentational speaking portion of the IPA that you would ask them questions as they presented. I have to say that whenever students have completed presentations before (in my short 4 years as a teacher) that I have usually just let them speak and possibly help them pronounce a word or two but not interject and ask a question about something they said/did. I have to thank you for sharing this, helping to push me as a teacher and in turn help push, motivate and instill confidence in my students with your willingness to share your resources and thoughts with us! Merci mille fois!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thank you so much for taking the time to provide me with this feedback. You cannot imagine how much it means to me to know that someone else finds my work worthwhile. Your student surveys are a great idea! Based on the comments you’ve so generously shared, it sounds like your students take these surveys very seriously. I’m so impressed by the depth of their self-assessment and definitely think I need to do more of this! Lisa

      Reply
  5. Muriel Damers

    My French III just finished the unit. We LOVED it and my students made great improvement in using the passe compose. I was very impressed with their presentation about their virtual trip to la Martinique. They did so well and it made me sooo happy! They had difficulties with the listening IPA though. I think they were not exposed to much authentic speaking/listening activity before. I can’t believe your French II can do it!!! Now on to the short Halloween unit. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing with us your incredible lesson plans!!! My french III were too weak to follow their textbook and I was getting desperate until I started to use your units! MERCI BEAUCOUP!!!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thank you so very much for your kind words. It means so much to me to know that other people are able to use some of my resources. As for the listening, I let each student listen individually and play the video as many times as they want. I then assign grades based on how they were able to do. I never expect them to get all of the answers and even after 28 years, I’m never sure how they’ll do until I look at their work.

      Reply
  6. Gretchen Mancuso

    This is my third year teaching. Last year I decided I couldn’t stand how our textbook introduces the P.C. and I told myself “never again!” I had already stumbled across your lessons on teaching the P.C. through more comprehensible input, and I re-read them this year. I adapted your “Ma journée scolaire” unit a bit, and I’m happy to say that I am almost done with it, and the engagement and progress of the students is SO much better! My mentor and I thought it would be a good idea to continue with the P.C. on another unit students have covered, but in a different context, and she suggested travel. And lo and behold, I found all these materials for Martinique! I will adapt some of these too. Merci Madame! I am so grateful!

    Reply
  7. Charlotte Frame

    Merci mille fois! I cannot thank you enough for votre partage. Your blog inspires me every week. Madame Shepard you are an amazing teacher and you are inspiring teachers like myself all over this country. Although we don’t know each other, I collaborate with you each week through your blog. I am amazed with the depth of content that you create and freely share with us. You have saved me and inspired me too many times to count. Thank you for all you do not only for your students but your colleagues all over the United States. You truly are an inspiration, merci pour tout!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      You have no idea how much your words mean to me. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share them.

      Reply
  8. Gretchen Mancuso

    Salut Madame!

    I have a quick question about your IPA … do your students use any notes from their research for the interpersonal and presentational writing pieces? Or, do they have to familiarize themselves well with their research and do these without notes? My kids are French I and I am trying adapt this idea for them… they will be allowed to research other places in addition to Martinique as well. Merci!

    Gretchen

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Salut! For the interpersonal task, I don’t allow written notes, although I did allow them to use their photographs. I would allow the students to use written notes for the presentational writing, though. Lisa

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *