Spring Cleaning?: A Novice Mid unit on household chores

cleaningAlthough I had intended to include vocabulary and structures related to chores in my French 1 unit on the house, I ended up having to abbreviate the unit in order to administer the IPA before Spring Break.  I didn’t want to totally omit this part of the unit, however, so I’m incorporating this vocabulary and structures into a mini-unit that we will do when we come back to school.  I thought this unit was especially important because the house unit was very heavy on vocabulary and very light on sentence structures.  Although I was happy with my students’ performance on the IPA, they were able to complete those tasks by relying primarily on structures such as “Il y a” and “est.”  As we begin the fourth quarter, I want to make sure that my students are able to use a variety of verbs with different subjects.  While I won’t expect total accuracy at this point, I want to make sure that they’re beginning to develop an understanding of the idea of verb conjugation.

Click here (Chores unit) for the packet of activities that I will give to my students in this unit.

Lesson 1 (2 days) On the first day of this lesson students will begin by reading an infographic about how much time French people spend on household tasks and will complete an IPA-style interpretive task.  Next, they will play a Guess Who game (Guess Who ) to reinforce the vocabulary related to household chores.  Following this pair activity, they will write a paragraph about their personal responsibilities around the house. I will begin the second day of this lesson by playing the video and having the students complete the comprehension questions.  Following this interpretive activity, they will interview a partner about his/her chores and complete a Venn diagram comparing their responsibilities. Note: This activity is not included in the packet, I just have them do it on loose-leaf.  I like using Venn diagrams because they provide a context for practicing both first and third person verb forms in written form, while orally practicing the second person.

Lesson 2 (2 days) The students will also begin this lesson with an IPA-style interpretive task in which they read two different infographics about gender differences as they relate to household tasks.  Next, they will interview a partner about who does various tasks in his/her family, after which they will write sentences telling what chores various members of their family do.  Lastly we will listen to a video in which discusses chores and gender.

Lesson 3 (2 days) The students will begin this lesson by reading a comic about two brothers and how each one clears the table (PicPik) .  They will then watch a children’s video about a creative way that one girl clears the table.  This video will be very difficult for them, so I’ll provide lots of scaffolding as we listen as a class.  Next they’ll do an information gap activity (Chores Matching) to practice the vocabulary, followed by a writing activity in which they write a note to a sibling in which they explain how to do the dishes.

Click here for the IPA on this mini-unit. (chores_ipa-2015 )  Here’s a quick description of the tasks:

Interpretive Listening: Trotro range sa chambre cartoon video.

Interpretive Reading: Article about the types of chores that children can do at various ages.  All of the tasks can be completed by reading only the sections associated with the age groups.

Interpersonal Speaking: Students discuss their which members of their families do various chores.

Presentational Writing: Students write an e-mail complaining about the chores they have to do while staying with a host family.

I’ll be doing some traveling over break, so if it takes me a little longer than usual to reply to your comments, please know that I’ll look forward to hearing from you when I’m back home!


36 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning?: A Novice Mid unit on household chores

  1. Tina

    Merci beaucoup! I am in the “thick” of this as well and so greatly appreciate all of the work that you share! How do you find your resources, especially the videos? This seems to be my biggest struggle.

  2. Lisa

    I love your site! Thanks for sharing all of this. I can’t get the links to work for the impressionism materials. Do they still work? I’d love to see what you’ve done.



    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Lisa I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with the links. They work when I try them, but I’m not tech savvy enough to trouble shoot why they won’t work for you. I know that I’ve gotten feedback from others that have had trouble, although some people don’t have any trouble. The files are really large, maybe that’s why they’re causing problems. Would you like me to share the slide show with directly to see if that would work? Lisa

      1. Tierra Glover

        Lisa, I saw others were having trouble with the links and you mentioned being able to share the slide show. Would you still be willing to do that? Thanks!

        1. madameshepard Post author

          Hi, Tierra. Could you tell me which slide show you need? Is it from the Spring Cleaning unit? I don’t see a slide show from this post and it is from 2013, before I started organizing my unit plans with Google Slides. Please let me know what you need and I’ll do what I can to help!

  3. Kathy Zetts

    Hi , very nice activities! The video for D. Interpretation
    Orale is no longer available, or so my computer tells me (it’s the one where the questions include something about the chores “modern men” do.) I’ve tried looking for videos using “modern men” and “corvees” to see if I could find it that way but am not having much luck. Has anyone found it under a different link? Merci beaucoup!

  4. Kristen

    Your site has completely changed my classroom! I have been working towards shifting to an IPA and proficiency-based curriculum for a little over a year and your site has given me the ability to do so! Your materials are amazing and I just want to say merci mille fois for taking the time to share with all of us.

  5. Jennifer Geroux

    Salut Lisa!

    I changed this unit to work with my French 3 classes this year (the textbook has a unit called, Soyons utiles! with the subjunctive as the grammar focus). This unit worked perfectly for my needs! I did have trouble with the Lucie videos. The one that you used in your student packet does not work however, I was able to find some of the videos on Youtube. I created a new version of your activity using one of the videos available on Youtube rather than the one you had originally posted. Here is my new version:

    B. Interprétation orale: Descendre la poubelle, façon Lucie.
    Regardez la vidéo et puis, répondez aux questions en ANGLAIS
    1. Où est Lucie au début de la vidéo ?
    2. Qu’est-ce qu’ils mangent ?
    3. Quel est le problème avec la poubelle ?
    4. Qu’est-ce que maman fait ?
    5. Qu’est-ce que maman dit ?
    6. Quel est le problème avec la poubelle selon (according to) Lucie ?
    7. Pourquoi est-il embêtant ?
    8. Qu’est-ce que maman fait avec les vêtements ?
    9. Qu’est-ce qu’il faut que Paul fasse ?
    10. Quelle est l’idée de Lucie ?
    11. Est-ce que cette idée marche ? Pourquoi pas ?
    12. Pourquoi est-ce que Lucie n’appuie pas sur le bouton de l’ascenseur ?
    13. Pourquoi est-ce que Lucie n’a plus besoin (no longer needs to) de descendre la poubelle ?
    14. Quand le camion sort de l’ascenseur, qu’est-ce qui se passe ?
    15. Qu’est-ce que Lucie cherche ?
    16. Qui arrive devant l’immeuble (apartment building) ?
    17. Qu’est-ce que Lucie crie ?
    18. Qui est déjà parti quand Lucie arrive à la porte avec la poubelle ?
    19. Quel est l’autre problème avec la poubelle ?
    20. Comment est-ce que Paul aide ?

    Based on the video, write 7 statements to describe what Lucie needs to do using the subjunctive.
    Exemple: Il faut que Lucie sorte la poubelle.

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thank you so much for so generously sharing your ideas. I know that many readers will appreciate your kindness! Lisa

    2. Kerri

      Hi Jennifer~
      I believe that we are using the same textbook. Are you open to sharing how you changed the packet to incorporate the subjunctive with me? This is exactly what I begin with after the new year. I have some items that I’ve used in the past for the subjunctive that I’m happy to scan and share with you. Thank you.

  6. Jessica

    Bonjour Mme Shepard!

    Just found this unit and it is just phenomenal, as always. Question…there are no instructions for the “Guess who” game. I can imagine how it was used, but was wondering if there were more accompanying materials? Questions students needed to ask each other?

    Thank you so much for so generously sharing your proficiency units. It is so helpful to those of us who are also trying to switch to a proficiency-based classroom.


    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, sorry about that. I’ve used the game several times with my students that I don’t write the directions anymore. The game is very simple. The students choose an identity without telling their partner who they are. The partner then asks yes/no questions in order to figure out who their partner is. In this version, the questions would be, “Tu sors la poubelle? Tu fais la lessive? etc.” The partners then switch roles. What I like about the game is that the students can play several times without getting bored. Let me know if you have any other questions! Lisa

  7. Jessica

    Oh! Very cool! I made up a way to play it, but I’m going to have the kids play again doing what you said. Mine wasn’t as fun…just had them say “Il sort la poubelle, il passe l’aspirateur, Il fait la vaisselle” and then the other person would just guess who it was.

    Merci mille fois!

    1. Kathy Zetts

      I try to remember to tell them to take turns asking the questions so that both students get a chance to ask and reply, regardless of how long we play. We sometimes ask, “Est-ce que ta personne (does xyz)?” instead of “Est-ce que tu (do xyz)?” to underline that they are talking about the identity on the page and not about their own personal experiences,

  8. Hope

    Thanks so much for sharing your work!
    I have a question about faire le ménage et le travail domestique, Is faire le ménage house cleaning and le travail domestique is house work? Which one is the 199 hours per year?

    Merci mille fois!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      In the infographic, 199 hours is given for “le ménage,” which specifically refers to cleaning. In this infographic, Le Travail Domestique is used in the heading to refer to all types of work done in the home, such as cooking, laundry, taking care of children, etc. Lisa

  9. Nathalie

    Hi Lisa: I am using parts of your unit right now and it is great!! Could you explain to me quickly how you play the Chores Matching game?
    Merci beaucoup,

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Sure! Partner A describes his/her first picture to Partner B who tells him/her the letter of the identical picture on his/ her paper. They each write down the letter/ number of the match on their partner’s paper until they’ve found all the matches. Let me know if you need more clarification!

  10. Nathalie

    Thank you so much!! Did you have can do statements for this unit?? I am about to start it and was wondering if you had already written some….merci!!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Nathalie. It doesn’t look like I had specific Can-Dos typed up for this one–sorry!

  11. MaryBeth

    If anybody’s looking for the YouTube video for “inequalities), here’s a link that works 🙂

  12. Mme Connors

    Hi!!! I’m looking through your units, and they are very inspiring for a very overwhelmed teacher…how long are the periods you planned this for? I have 55 minute lessons so I’m tying to figure out how to adapt. Merci beaucoup!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi! I had 52-minute periods when I did this unit. I tend to move pretty quickly–I’m not a big “talker.” I think that many readers find they need more time than I have allotted. I hope that all of my readers feel comfortable modifying lessons they find here to work for their students and teaching situations! Lisa

  13. Elizabeth

    Hi! I am trying to find the article that goes with the activity in your packet of activities that you give the students. The article is called “Comment débarrasser la table.” Do you happen to have this? I would love to see what the article is, if possible. Thanks so much!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi! The article is linked to the post. It’s a hyperlink on the words Pic and Pik. Sorry about the confusion!

  14. Eric Ahern

    Merci Madame!!
    I was looking for a presentational task for a unit I designed on Marie Kondo. The last part of your IPA is perfect! Just to leave a couple resources for the readers of the blog, I used the article:
    I also showed an episode of her Netflix show in French with French subtitles and had kids listen for key phrases. I also found a recent French rap video that is the complete opposite of cleanliness, which made it entertaining for middle schoolers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qaTeHEo-28 PARENTAL ADVISORY WARNING! Preview the video and make your own decision about whether it’s school appropriate. There are some obscenities, but if you’re not focusing on the lyrics it could just be a fun extension.


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