Les Vacances: An Integrated Performance Assessment for Intermediate Low French Students

 

vacation-149960_640As promised in an earlier post, I’ve prepared an IPA for the vacation unit I developed for my French 3 students.  Before administering the IPA, though, I want to make sure that my students are prepared for the types of tasks they’ll be asked to perform.  Therefore, I’ve created a series of learning stations (Vacation Stations) that the students will complete during the four days preceding the IPA.

Listening Station: At this station the students will watch a series of videos related to the theme of vacation.  The videos I’ve selected include both cartoons, similar to those that the students watched during the unit, and news stories like those they will hear on the IPA.  I got a little over-enthusiastic while I was working on these stations, so I ended up with more comprehension activities than my students could possibly finish in a 48 minute period.  I’ll probably assign a few of the videos as homework instead, as I think the more listening they do, the better!  Note: If you use these listening comprehension tasks as written, you need to add additional spacing for the responses.  After creating these questions, I decided to make multiple choice quizzes on Canvas for these activities, so I have not included the spaces here.

Reading Station: At this station the students will read an article from 1jour1actu (connais-tu-lhistoire-des-grandes-vacances-en-france). Because the interpretive reading activities during the unit were infographics, I wanted the students to prepare the students for the more challenging reading (also from 1jour1actu) that they will read on the IPA.

Speaking Station: Here the students will interview the other members of their station group about their summer vacations.  This activity will give the students lots of practice asking and answering the questions they will need on the interpersonal task on the IPA.

Writing Station: At this station the students will write an essay about their real or imaginary vacation. It is my intention that the feedback they receive from me on this assignment will increase their success on the presentational writing task of the IPA.

After completing these stations, and receiving personalized feedback, these students should be ready for this IPA (IPA )in which they:

  • Read an article (Moins de vacances) about the history of summer vacation in France
  • Watch two news videos about summer vacation
  • Interview a partner about a real or imaginary summer vacation
  • Write a blog post about an imaginary summer vacation

My students have done a great job on the first two lessons of this unit and I’m looking forward to seeing them demonstrate their progress on this IPA!

17 thoughts on “Les Vacances: An Integrated Performance Assessment for Intermediate Low French Students

  1. Julie

    Is there anyway to see your Canvas site? My school just started with Canvas and I am curious as to how you have it set up.
    Thank you kindly,
    Julie

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Julie. I just got trained on Canvas a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve just started using it, too. I’m afraid there isn’t much on there. I’m not even sure how to go about sharing it. Do you know?

      Reply
  2. Dianne Torres

    I enjoyed seeing how you have organized this project. I do have a few questions:

    1. How much class time does the entire project take? How often do your classes meet per week?

    2. When you say this is a French 3 class, is this a High School or College class?

    3. I am curious to know why you use so much English in the project.

    Thanks, and Congratulations.

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Dianne
      The whole unit (the lessons from the previous post, learning stations and IPA) will take about 4 weeks. My class meets for 48 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It’s a high school class. I follow the template provided by ACTFL when designing my IPA’s. Here’s a link to their manual (http://www.actfl.org/publications/books-and-brochures/implementing-integrated-performance-assessment) English is used in order to ensure that we are assessing the students’ interpretation of the authentic resource, rather than the teacher-created questions. I usually switch to French questions in the second semester of French 3, but some tasks on the template must be modified (key words/guessing meaning from context) when only French is used. I hope I’ve answered your questions, let me know if you have any more! Lisa

      Reply
        1. madameshepard Post author

          Sure, Cathy. I’ve included links to all the videos in the documents. Canvas is our learning management system. I can embed the videos and create quizzes on it. However, I’ve included short answer questions in the document, so it isn’t necessary to have special technology to use the materials.

          Reply
  3. Tracy

    Great lessons and assessments! Saw your lessons for this unit, love the videos…how do you find them and how do you get the break down pictures of the video for the kids to summarize?

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thanks, Tracy. I just play the video on my computer and use the snip tool to copy and paste images from the screen into a word document.

      Reply
  4. Taline Kavazanjian

    Hi Lisa,
    I can’t thank you enough for the planned units you have shared. This is my first year atttempting to use IPA thanks to your blog posts and lessons. I have been using your bienvenue unit with my French I’s and it is going so well so far. With my 3’s, I also started the vacances unit, and the students loved the Trotro and Pegga Pig activities and performed well. On Friday, I had students begin the connais-tu l’histoire article and they found it quite challenging. I had to spend a lot of time teaching them how to find out meaning through context and use cognates to help understand words in the sentence however they were frustrated. Especially because I didn’t allow them to use a dictionary. How long does it take your class to complete the interpretive reading assignment such as that “Connais-tu l’histoire..”? Do students work independently, or do you complete this together as a class?

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Taline. My students found that reading very challenging, too! I have them one 48-minute period to work on it (individually), and like you I don’t allow dictionaries. (There wouldn’t be much point to the Guessing Meaning from context if we did😏). I haven’t graded them yet, but plan on being very “generous” when I do. I told the students that this first French 3 reading was supposed to be difficult and compared it to working out. The first time you add weight to a bar or distance to a run, it’s really hard, but eventually it gets easier, and when it gets too easy, you have to add more weight/distance of you want to keep getting stronger. This analogy seemed to make sense to them.

      Reply
  5. Thuy

    Bonjour Lisa
    Thank you so much for sharing with us all of the amazing units you created. That’s incredible! I just want you to ask you if you subscribed the 1 jour 1 actu for teachers? I did buy the magazine but I cannot download the sections for teachers and they told me it’s only for teachers in France.
    Any ideas?
    Grand merci
    Thuy

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Bonjour, Thuy. I’m in the same boat as you are regarding 1jour1actu. I subscribed to the magazine, thinking I would have access to the pdf’s and didn’t realize this wasn’t the case until too late. I was able to include the pdf’s in this unit, because I downloaded and saved them two years ago when they were free and accessible to all. I wish I could be of more help!

      Reply
  6. Lana

    As always, a well thought-out unit, Lisa. I have a few questions though:
    1. During the learning stations, it seems to me that the speaking station would take less time than the other 3. If this is so, what do you ask the students in that station to do the rest of the period? Or does the entire class work on the same station on a given day?
    2. How long do you administer the IPA? My guess is they don’t complete it in different stations based on a task, but rather in the order presented in the packet, since they are asked to do the writing task based on the previous 3? Or do you organize the first 3 into stations and the last is done separately? Do you ask pairs to perform their speaking task at your desk, while the others are working on the other tasks? How do you pair them up, completely randomly or is there a system for that (based on their perceived ability/preparation?) Do they get to rehearse or not?
    3. If the IPA is split into several days, do the students take their packet home between the sessions? Or do you split it into the 4 sections and distribute the sections according to the task worked on that given day?

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thanks for your great questions! #1-Yes the speaking station does seem shorter than the others. I honestly can’t remember what I had them do (I didn’t teach this unit this year.) Since the listening station is so long, I might have had them start that one. Otherwise, I usually keep a folder of enrichment activities for early finishers. (I have the students rotate through stations in small groups, 1 station per day in this case.) #2-I usually need a couple of days to administer an IPA. On the first day I have the students do the reading/listening tasks and on the second I call up pairs to my desk while the class is doing the writing. I don’t allow rehearsal and the students do not know in advance who their partner will be. I group them somewhat randomly, although I do take into consideration their proficiency level when choosing pairs. #3 – I don’t allow the packets do go home. In fact, I stand by the door when the bell rings and tell them their packet is their “ticket out the door,” so that no one “accidentally” takes theirs home. I’ve tried splitting the sections, but just ended up with too many papers. Let me know if you have any other questions! Lisa

      Reply
  7. Jenna Sinclair

    Hi Lisa,
    Do you review past tenses in preparation for the presentational writing and interpersonal speaking tasks?

    Thanks!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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