Ce que j’aime – A unit and IPA for Novice Mid French Students

j'aime

Having spent the first few weeks of the school year addressing the NCSSFL-ACTFL Novice Low Can-Do Statements, I know that my students are ready to take their first big step on the proficiency path toward Novice Mid.  I’ve chosen to focus on the theme of expressing personal preferences in this unit, as this topic is mentioned for each mode in the examples given for the Can-Do Statements. Based on my prior experience, I’m sure that these students will be excited to start sharing their own opinions of various activities, sports, music and school subjects.  Here’s packet of activities that my students will complete during this unit (French-1-Unit-2-Packet (1)).

In the first lesson, they will read an infographic about French leisure time activities.  Click here for a Word document with the frames of the infographic.) This authentic text will introduce them to the important vocabulary that they will be using throughout this unit. After completing the comprehension guide, the students will interview several classmates by asking a series of yes/no questions incorporating vocabulary from the infographic. As a presentational writing task, they’ll write a letter to a prospective exchange student expressing their own preferences, as well as asking him/her some questions.

In the second lesson, the students will read a very simple online story about a girl playing basketball and complete a short comprehension guide.  They’ll also watch their first Trotro cartoon.  Although I’ve included the short answer questions I created in the packet, my students will instead take an online multiple choice quiz on Canvas, our learning management system.  At the time I originally wrote this comprehension guide, I hadn’t yet begun using Canvas, but I’ve since discovered that I really like using it for listening comprehension activities.  The multiple choice format provides valuable scaffolding and the program also provides immediate feedback to the students regarding the accuracy of their responses. For the interpersonal activity, the students will interview a partner about their preferences, and then complete a Venn diagram. They will then write 10 sentences comparing their preferences to their partner’s.

In the third lesson, the students will read another infographic and complete the corresponding comprehension guide as well as watch another Trotro cartoon. For the interpersonal task, they’ll play their first “Guess Who” game and then write sentences about one of the characters for their presentational writing task.

In the fourth lesson, the students will read an infographic about the Fete de la Musique. In addition to providing information about an important cultural event, this infographic will introduce the cognates used to describe different music genres. After another Trotro cartoon, they’ll ask a partner whether s/he likes a series of activities (represented by pictures). For this task, students will provide a more detailed response which includes a reason they like/dislike an activity.

In the fifth lesson, the students will read the first three pages of a document (originally found at: http://www4b.ac-lille.fr/~ecfg/download/questionnaire.pdf)  that gives the results of a survey about French students’ preferences regarding school subjects. Although I haven’t prepared a comprehension guide, we’ll listen to and discuss this video as a class: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi3xReaZlIQ .

In addition to the activities in this packet, I’ll project a few of the Tweets in this document at the beginning of each lesson to provide a hook.  Based on the discussion from last week’s #langchat, I am also toying with the idea of having the students respond to these Tweets (or others that I will curate at the time) in order to provide a more authentic context for their new language skills.

IPA

The context for the IPA in this unit is finding a keypal.  For the interpretive reading, the students will read posts to a keypal website. Although not closely integrated with the keypal theme, the students will watch an excerpt from the French film, Entre les Murs, for their interpretive listening task. The students will then write a post for the same website for their presentational writing task. (Students will be encouraged to actually post their response on the website.) The students will then interview a prospective keypal (classmate) about his/her preferences. Note: Due to logistics, I will be assessing the interpersonal task while the students are writing the presentational one.

Feel free to respond with any questions or comments you have about this unit!

Image Credit: https://sites.google.com/site/mesetnoslecons/home/classe-premiere/j-aime

45 thoughts on “Ce que j’aime – A unit and IPA for Novice Mid French Students

  1. Heidi

    Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic resource! Your posts are definitely helping me understand IPA’s and what kinds of resources are appropriate for the various levels. Unfortunately the first infographic from franceinfo about loisirs and temps libre is not legible on that site… I tried downloading it and manipulating it to see if I could read it, but no luck (any suggestions?). Otherwise, thank you again for sharing these great ideas and resources!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Heidi. I have a Word doc of the infographic at school. I’ll add it to the post tomorrow. (I use the snip tool to snip sections of an infographic and then paste them in a Word doc so that I can photocopy them for my students.Maybe others have a better way to do it?)

      Reply
  2. Heidi

    Merci! Being a 1:1 iPad school now (2nd year), I am truly appreciative of the links and colorful infographics that you’ve shared, particularly as set up in the stations format. You have given me so many wonderful ideas and more importantly, a solid place to start, as all this technology (and the expectations surrounding its use) has been fairly overwhelming. I am truly thankful… merci mille fois!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I’m so jealous that you’re 1:1. I just have to print out the infographics and photocopy them–not nearly as engaging for the students. Thanks for your kind comments!

      Reply
  3. Tina Dalton

    Merci mille fois! Your resources have changed my teaching. I’ve learned so much from your site and have shared your ideas with my Spanish teacher colleague. We’ve found a new love for teaching and the students are enjoying the new formats we’re using. You are truly an inspiration!

    Reply
  4. Emily

    I love this unit, and plan to use it later this week! I had trouble accessing the infographic, too. I tried on Safari and Chrome, and it won’t come up clearly. That would be great if you could post it here or put it in the shared drive for the Facebook group.

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I added a Word doc with the infographic to the original post yesterday. Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

      Reply
  5. Coleen Colton

    Merci! This has been a wonderful resource for my French I’s – I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate it. I have learned a great deal from you about how to put all the proficiency-based theory into practice. Seeing your materials and how you are able to incorporate authentic texts and video into the lesson is really inspiring, and I am slowly trying to make my own activities for all my other levels (I teach 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5!) that are more communicative and proficiency-based. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch!

    I have a question about this unit: in Lesson 2, for “Communication Interpersonnelle,” you have them using their vocabulary lists to talk to their partners and complete a Venn diagram. Are these vocabulary lists available for us to see? I think I have guessed most of the expressions from the later lesson where they play Guess Who, but I am not quite sure. Merci encore, Madame!

    Reply
  6. Isabelle

    Hi Lisa,

    I was looking over the lesson and noticed that there is no link for lesson 5. Do you just have a paper document or did you omit it by accident?

    Also, I tried opening the PDF but no luck there. It just sends me back to your website.

    As always , merci infiniment pour ces precieuses ressources!!!! I couldn’t do what I currently do if it hadn’t been for you.

    Isabelle

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Oops. Here’s the link for the Lesson 5 reading. I only used Questions 1-3. I’ll fix the packet. Sorry about that!

      Reply
    2. madameshepard Post author

      I neglected to answer your question about the PDF. Could you tell me which PDF won’t open for you? Thanks!

      Reply
        1. madameshepard Post author

          Hmmm. Are you saying the link doesn’t work? I just clicked on it and it worked for me. I’m not sure what to do…

          Reply
          1. Dianne Tiner

            The link for the PDF for lesson #5 still won’t open for me. I tried clicking it in the packet and in Isabelle’s comment above and it still doesn’t work. Can you please help? Is there another link I need to click on? Thanks so much!

          2. madameshepard Post author

            I added a link for a Word document to which I copied the authentic resource. You can click on it from the post.

        2. sally

          Hello all!
          And merci mille fois, Lisa for these extraordinary resources! 🙂 I too have no access to the above-mentioned link (the questionnaire?) lesson 5? could you possibly post it again?

          Also – would you say that typically each “lesson” takes about 2 days?

          thank you so very much!
          Sally

          Reply
          1. madameshepard Post author

            Sorry about the problem with the link. My computer is currently being serviced, but I’ll try to upload the document when I get it back.

  7. Bridgette

    Thank you so much for your resources, they have been so helpful in learning how to create IPAs! Do you by chance have the link to the Key Pal reading you used on the IPA reading section?

    Thanks again for all of your shared resources!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Sure, it’s http://www.penpal-tradition.net/members/0-2-1-correspondant-francais-france-metropolitaine.html When I prepared this last year I just cut and pasted the posts that I thought would be most comprehensible and interesting to my students. There might be some” better” ones now. At the time I encouraged my students to create an account and write to the kids that shared their interests. Unfortunateley, none of the students who did so heard back.

      Reply
      1. sally

        Quick question! 🙂 did you actually have your students create an account with this site? Did you / do you / does your administration have any concerns about security?!

        let me know please! I’d love to utilize this as well, but I wonder if it’s safe!

        Sally

        Reply
        1. madameshepard Post author

          I’ve had a few students create accounts from home, but we didn’t do it as a class. I, too, was concerned about safety issues.

          Reply
  8. Heather

    Thank you again for sharing all your hard work! I love the way you have structured the learning activities for students, and I enjoy using these units to supplement my own teaching in the classroom. In this unit, you’ve used some Google quizzes as formative assessments between lessons. Would you consider sharing a sample of one of them? I’m curious about how you shared the Google quizzes with your students. I teach in a GAFE school, and I use Classroom, Drive, and Forms on a regular basis- just wondering if you’ve used any of these tools for your quizzes, and if you have any feedback on their use (or on the use of your preferred tool).

    PS- My students LOVED the short, simple formatives in your introductory unit. In their reflective writing about our class, they mentioned those more often than any other piece of feedback I gave them on their learning. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Heather. Thanks so much for your feedback! Actually, Canvas is the learning management system that we’ve implemented this year, so that’s where my quizzes are. I like it because I can upload the actual video and attach the questions. This avoids the problem of kids not being able to access Youtube from school or the videos disappearing in the middle of my unit. Canvas provides immediate feedback to the students, so these quizzes are great formative assessments. We have Google Apps, too, and I occasionally use it for some things, but I haven’t created quizzes with it yet. Sorry I can’t be of more help with Google!

      Reply
      1. Heather

        Oops! I remember now that I changed my own copy to read “Google Quiz.” Never mind about that! So what do your formatives look like in Canvas?

        Reply
        1. madameshepard Post author

          In this unit they’re just simple multiple choice questions about the videos. I just wanted them to practice listening to authentic resources and using context clues to figure out the gist of what’s going on,

          Reply
          1. sally

            Another great resource for “quizzes” or just creating comprehension questions with authentic videos is zaption. Have any of you tried that? It’s a great site and free to create an account.

          2. madameshepard Post author

            Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve played around on zaption a little, but haven’t used it with students yet. I liked using Canvas, because the kids all had accounts so there was nothing to set up. On the other hand, I couldn’t insert the questions at an appropriate point in the video. I’m starting at a new school in August, so I won’t be using Canvas anymore. I’m curious to see what resources my new colleagues use.

  9. sally

    another quick question! 🙂
    in Interpersonal Communication, lesson 1, why are there 5 columns for the partnered interview? Are students encouraged to interview 5 different partners?

    thanks!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Sally Yes, I had the students interview several partners. I think they interviewed a couple on the first day and a couple more on the next day.

      Reply
  10. sally

    Also! Just to be clear, this Ce que j’aime unit does not include regular conjugation of verbs, correct? Rather, it focuses on verb + infinitive construction (i.e. J’aime faire du roller)

    thanks again and again!

    Reply
  11. Aubrey

    Hello Madame,
    I am absolutely indebted to you as to the number of times I have borrowed lesson bits from you as I begin my own proficiency based classroom. I do have a question for you though, you said that this lesson focuses on the “j’aime + infinitive” construction rather than introducing regular verbs. I am wanting to use parts of this unit with my novice lows as they learn the regular “-er” verb constructions. Without relying on the traditional verb charts and direct explanations, how do you introduce regular verbs to students?

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I’m so glad that you’ve found some useful bits here! When it comes to using sentences with conjugated verbs, I just give the kids lots of texts with examples to read and start asking questions. I also have a poster with a verb chart that I refer to when necessary. I do end up doing some quick explanations, as necessary, I just don’t spend time on exercises that focus on the form rather than meaning.

      Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Amy! I found my agenda for this unit it my files and it looks like I spent about 13 48-minute class periods on the unit, including the IPA. It seems that each lesson took 2-3 days. Lisa

      Reply
  12. Mlle Barker

    I can’t express how grateful myself and my colleagues are for your lessons! We just started teaching towards proficiency standards and IPA’s this year and your ideas have helped us SO much! Merci mille fois 🙂

    Reply
  13. Ariane

    Bonjour! Thank you so much for all your wonderful work; it’s so helpful.
    For some reason, I am unable to access the “Entre les murs” video from the IPA (says it’s restricted). I tried a YouTube search but not having much luck. Would you mind sharing the link again with the title for the video? Thank you!

    Reply

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