Ma Bonne Résolution: A Unit on Health for Intermediate French Students

 Although this year’s winter break seemed especially short, I managed to fit in some wonderful family time and a short but fabulous visit to California.  Coming home to Missouri’s sub-zero temperatures last night was rough after three days of sunny San Diego! Fortunately, I had a good excuse not to leave the house–a major overhaul of my French 3 health unit.

Since I’ll be starting this unit on January 3rd, I decided to include some aspects of project-based learning by having the students choose a health-related resolution, create an action plan for reaching their goal, and then discuss and document their progress.  I’m hoping that this opportunity for choice and voice will engage these students during our first few days back to school. As they continue working on their personal goals outside of class, they’ll work in small groups to research and present cultural comparisons on health-related topics during class time.  For the remainder of the unit, I’ll repeat some of last year’s lessons about the flu and the Petit Nicolas story, “Je suis malade.”  Click here (New link added 5/25/18) for an agenda of the new lessons to which all resources have been linked.

Day 1: The students will select the health-related resolution they find most relevant and then take an online quiz to give them some baseline data on the aspect of well-being they have chosen. Lastly, they’ll discuss their resolutions with a classmate who has chosen the same goal. (I’ll seat them with students who have chosen the same resolution for the remainder of this unit)

Day 2: The students will read an infographic or short article regarding the aspect of wellness they’ve chosen to focus on and fill in a graphic organizer to show what they learned. They will then discuss their information with a partner who read a different text on the same topic, adding additional information to the graphic organizer. Lastly, they will write a discussion post on Schoology (our learning management system) in which they share their resolution and reasons for choosing it.  They’ll also respond to the posts of two classmates

Day 3: In order to gather additional information about their health-related goals, the students will watch a video on their topic and fill in the main ideas and supporting details that they understood.  They will then discuss their information with a partner who watched a similar video and fill in a second graphic organizer. Finally they’ll write a SUPER goal. (My attempt at modifying a SMART goal to make it work in French!)

Day 4: Students will write the action steps they believe will help them meet their goal, based on the articles they have read, the videos they have watched and the discussions they have had with a partner. They will then discuss their action steps with a partner and note the information their partner gives them. For “homework” the students will begin implementing some of the action steps they have chosen.

Day 5: The students will begin this class period by interviewing their partner about how the first day’s action steps went and noting his/her responses.  Next, they will individually annotate an infographic about French health concerns in order to prepare them for the cultural comparison project to follow. They will continue working on their action steps outside of class.

Day 6: The students will first write a post on a Schoology discussion board in which they discuss their previous day’s success/failure in completing their action steps toward their well-being goal. I will stop everyone after 15 minutes and give them 10 minutes to respond to two classmates’ posts. Next they will participate in a guided discussion of the previous day’s infographic with a partner. For homework they will continue to work on action steps for their goal.

Day 7: The students will begin by discussing their progress using the same format as Day 5.  I will then assign an aspect of health from the infographic to each group. The students will then research this topic as it related to both Americans and French and fill in a table with relevant information. For homework they will continue working on their action steps.

Day 8: The students will first write a new post on a Schoology discussion board to describe their previous day’s progress toward their health goal. They will then discuss the information they gleaned from their research and fill in a graphic organizer with cultural comparisons related to the aspect of health that was assigned to their group.  They will spend any remaining time in the class period responding to discussion posts and will continue working toward their health goals as homework.

Day 9: After discussing their progress on their health goals, the students will work in small groups to create a Google Slides presentation to support the following day’s oral presentations on the health cultural comparison they researched.  They’ll continue working on their health goals that evening.

Day 10: The students will rehearse and then present their cultural comparisons in small groups as the audience takes notes. After the presentations, I will give a short (open-note) true/false quiz over the information that has been presented.

Day 11: For the summative writing task for this portion of the unit, the students will write a blog post documenting their success or failure meeting their well-being goal.  While they are writing, I will call up pairs of students (from different groups) and have them discuss their achievement (or lack thereof) of their goals as an interpersonal summative task.

Day 12: Having completed the personalized health goal project, as well as the cultural comparison presentations, I will prepare the students for reading “Je suis malade” with a pair of lessons related to the flu.  On this first day, we will take a quiz about the flu as a class and then the students will discuss a cartoon in small groups. Next the students will complete a pair activity in which they discuss information in infographics about colds and flu.  Finally, they will complete an Edpuzzle about the flu.

Day 13: In this lesson the students will individually complete an interpretive activity that will serve as the summative reading task for this unit.  They will also watch a second video about the flu and complete a comprehension guide.

Days 14 – 21: At this point in the unit I will resume last year’s unit (beginning with Day 10).  Thus the students will read the Petit Nicolas story, “Je suis malade,” and complete a series of learning activities and performance assessments related this text.  

While I approached the design of this unit differently than I usually do, I’m looking forward to seeing how my students do with the project-based lessons I’ve prepared to introduce this topic.

Bonne Année!

Note: 1/12/18: I found a song that was a great fit with this unit.  Click here for the document that I created.

 

Allons en Martinique: A Unit for Intermediate Low French Students

This week’s single-digit temperatures have been a perfect excuse to spend some time creating a new unit on Martinique.  I think my students will enjoy spending time communicating about Caribbean vacations and the exposure to past tense sentences will help many of them demonstrate their ability to perform in the Intermediate Low range.  Click here (Link updated 5/25/18) for an agenda, to which all resources are linked.

Day 1: I will present a short Google Slides showing “my” trip to Martinique. (Unfortunately, I haven’t yet actually been there.)  This presentation will familiarize the students with some of the sights in Martinique as well as the vocabulary for common tourist activities. I will call on individual students throughout the presentation to ask whether they have done each of the pictured activities in order to provide additional input for this vocabulary and these structures. The students will then complete a manipulative activity in small groups in which they match sentences to the corresponding photo.  I will allow them to use their resource guides for this activity, as it was their first exposure to the vocabulary and structures.  I will then project some of the pictures and orally recite sentences which the students will match to the corresponding photographs as a formative assessment. Students will continue working with this vocabulary by completing an information gap activity and then an Edpuzzle for a video about activities to do in Martinique. 

Day 2: I will begin by projecting and discussing an infographic which compares Martinique and Guadeloupe.  Students will then watch an authentic cartoon in which Scooby-Doo and friends go to Martinique.  Yep, finding this video was one of my very favorite Christmas presents–I can’t imagine anything more perfect for this unit! The students will complete an Edpuzzle and then work in small groups on a manipulative activity in which they match screenshots from the video to sentences.  Finally, they will practice and then record a summary using only pictures as prompts.

Day 3: I will first present an infographic about Martinique in order to provide additional input and cultural information about the island.  I will then project a video which features a trip to Martinique. (The video is in two parts as I omitted a short section which showed people drinking alcohol.)  Although there is no commentary in the video, it provides an authentic context for the following activities in which the students check which statements refer to things that happened in the video, and then discuss whether they would like to take this trip. (Examples: Oui, je voudrais le faire parce qu’il a nagé avec une tortue. Non, je ne voudrais pas le faire parce qu’il a vu une grosse araignée.) Finally, the students will write a postcard in which this traveler describes what he did in Martinique.

Day 4: I’ll start this lesson by reviewing “my” trip to Martinique in order to review the vocabulary and structures from the presentation.  Next, the students will complete an interpersonal activity in which they compare “their” trips to Martinique based on pictures they have.  The students will then complete a running dictation activity designed to provide feedback on their ability to use the structures that have been introduced in this unit.  As a formative assessment they will then write sentences based on photographs of Martinique. Finally, they will complete an Edpuzzle for a video about the Michelin guide to Martinique.

Day 5: The students will begin by completing a cloze activity for a song about Martinique, Sur mon ile. The interpretive guide that I created is intended to encourage the students to identify cultural products and practices, as well as to infer perspectives regarding the culture of Martinique and how it compares to that of mainland France.  (Although I did not edit the music video, I did insert a… for the verses about rum, for more conservative school cultures.)

Day 6: After a short presentation designed to introduce the students to a few new vocabulary items, the students will complete a manipulative activity in which they read an article and put historical events in chronological order. The students will then complete an Edpuzzle for a video about the culture and history of Martinique. (Edit 1/17/18: There is a mistake in this activity.  The events on cards C, D, J, K are not found in the article linked here.)

Day 7: The students will read a blog about a trip to Martinique and complete a comprehension guide.  After providing feedback, I will have them interview a partner about a trip s/he has taken and compare this trip to the one in the blog.

Day 8 & 9: The students will complete a project in which they research various sites in Martinique and create a series of journal entries for imaginary visits to these sites.  In order to ensure that the authentic resources are comprehensible to these students, I will allow them to use the readlang app on their Chromebooks when completing this activity.  This app provides an English translation when the user hovers over individual words in an online text.  

Day 10: Students will prepare  Google Slides presentation with photos of “their” trip to Martinique.  They will then use these slides to practice orally presenting their trip.

Day 11: Students will be seated in two rows, facing each other.  They will present their trip to the classmate in front of them as I assess 1-2 presentations at a time.  After 3 minutes, one row will move one seat to the right.  This will continue until I have assessed all presentations.

Day 12 & 13: Students will take the IPA for this unit in which they read a blog, listen to a video, discuss “their” trips with a partner, and then write a blog entry of their own.

I sure hope my students enjoy completing these activities as much as I did creating them!

 

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/martinique-caribbean-island-beach-2487148/

Joyeux Noël: Holiday-Themed Learning Stations for Intermediate Low French Students

 Just in case I’m not the only one scrambling for some engaging communicative activities for the end of the year, here are the holiday-themed stations that my French 3 students are doing this week.

Interpersonal Communication: Pair Crossword Puzzles Students take either Partner A or Partner B and give French clues to help their partner fill in the words that are missing from his/her paper.  The words are taken from this packet.

Interpretive Reading: Students read this Choose your own adventure” story and summarize what they read in English on this document.

Interpretive Listening: Students worked on the following Edpuzzles.

Chansons de Noel: Students completed the cloze activities on this handout and the completed this activity on lyricstraining.com (Click on “Play Game” and then “Maybe later.” )

Courage à tous!

Image Credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=233519&picture=joyeux-noel

An End of the Year Story Project for Intermediate Lows

 In my district level 3 language students are required to complete a semester project of some sort.  I have found that an engaging way for my students to meet this requirement is to write a story and present it to their classmates.  Although I have assigned story writing projects during the holidays in the past, I made some tweaks this year that helped my students produce higher-quality stories.  

Day 1: I began by preparing my students to read a Christmas-themed story by presenting the story using these Google Slides.  This was an effective way to introduce new vocabulary to the students in a contextualized way.  As I projected the slides, I asked both content-based and personalized questions using the new words. For example, in slide #1:

  • Père Noël enfile son costume rouge. Qu’est-ce qu’il enfile? Tu enfiles un costume rouge avant de partir pour l’école?  Non? Qu’est-ce que tu enfiles? Regardez, Qu’est-ce qu’il a déjà enfilé? Oui, il a déjà enfilé son pantalon rouge. Tu as enfilé un pantalon rouge aujourd’hui?

After going through the slides, the students read the actual story and completed a true/false with justification comprehension guide.

Day 2: After discussing the correct responses, the students completed this graphic organizer with the elements of the story. We discussed these story elements and then I explained that while many stories are told in the narrative present, I wanted them to use past tenses to tell their stories.  I gave them this guide with some reminders about the two tenses.  I then gave them a new copy of the story they had read, but on this copy I have whited out the present tense verbs.  I also gave them this handout with both the imperfect and passé composé form of each of the missing verbs.  The students worked in small groups to choose the correct form for each blank and then we went over the activity in class.

Day 3: I passed out another blank copy of the story element graphic organizer and the students completed it with the elements of their own original story. After they had completed the graphic organizer, they used the remaining time to begin writing their story according to the requirements given on the back of the resource guide.

Day 4: The students finished writing their original stories.

Day 5: The students created Google Slides that would help them present their stories to their classmates. They used remaining class time to rehearse their presentations.

Day 6: The students presented their stories to classmates using a speed-friending format.  Students were arranged in two rows and row A presented to the person seated across from them.  Row B then presented. Each row B student then moved one seat over and we repeated the process.  I assessed 1-2 student(s) during each 3-minute presentation, enabling me to assess all 18 or so students in each class. 

I was very pleased with the language my students were able to produce during this assignment.  I have several high flyers that were able to use the correct past tense to narrate their stories.  In  most cases, I heard a mixture of present and attempts at past tenses with errors.  In other words, exactly where these students should be!

 

C’est quoi, une maison idéale? A Unit for Novice High French Students

This summer, as I worked on updating my curriculum for the upcoming school year, I knew that my “House Unit” needed a serious overhaul. While I had created several fun speaking activities for house vocabulary over the years, the unit lacked a meaningful context and provided very little cultural content. Clearly, I had never considered an essential question that would provide meaning and context to these lessons.  Therefore, before creating any of the lessons for the revised unit, I determined that I would focus on the question, “What is an ideal home?” as I planned to the unit. I then created a series of lessons that I hope will create opportunities for my students to consider this question as we learn about homes in various parts of the Francophone world. I have described each of the lessons I created below and you can click here (Updated link: 5/25/18) for the unit agenda with the links to all the resources I have made.

Day 1: On the first day of the unit (which will fall on a 90-minute block day) I will show slides of various houses in France and describe them orally in order to present new vocabulary for describing the exterior of houses via comprehensible input. Following this presentation, the students will read an infographic about houses around the world and complete a comprehension guide. After a short online vocabulary activity (designed to keep my early finishers busy until their classmates finish the reading), the students will complete a pair matching activity (described in this previous post.) Lastly, we will listen to the song, Quatre murs et un toit by Benabar and complete both a cloze and comprehension activity.

Day 2:I will begin by presenting an infographic about ideal temperatures to introduce the vocabulary associated with rooms of a house. The students will then complete another matching activity, designed to allow them to describes houses in terms of the rooms that they have. I will formatively assess the students by orally describing a few of these pictures to the students who will write the letter or number of the house I’m describing. Finally, the students will complete an Edpuzzle for a house-related cartoon.

Day 3: I will use an infographic about home accidents to review the vocabulary for rooms before reading an article about the best placement of the rooms in a home. After filling in a graphic organizer with information from this article, the students will choose which of three floor plans would best suit their own family and explain why, in writing.  Finally, the students will complete an Edpuzzle for another house-related cartoon.

Day 4: The students will begin by watching Trotro joue à cache-cache and completing an Edpuzzle. I will then use a Google Presentation to review the cartoon before having the students complete a manipulative activity in which they will work in pairs to match screenshots from the cartoon to corresponding sentences. The students will then complete a cloze activity as a formative assessment on their comprehension of the (past tense) verbs used in the summary sentences. Lastly, the students will complete an Edpuzzle of a different Trotro video.

Day 5:  I will first project an infographic about the ideal French kitchen and discuss it to make it comprehensible to the students.  The students will then make cultural inferences about French cooking habits based on the infographic and complete a true/false with justification comprehension guide.  Next, they will discuss their own families’ kitchens and eating habits. Lastly they will complete a graphic organizer comparing what they learned about American and French kitchens/eating habits. If there is time remaining in this 90-minute block, the students will complete a pair activity in which they describe a series of kitchen pictures and determine whether they have the same or a different picture for each number.  

Day 6: The students will complete an Edpuzzle for an Ikea kitchen commercial and then write a message in which they describe a French person’s opinion of their own kitchen.

Day 7:  We will watch and discuss a video about kitchen remodeling.  The students will then read a slide presentation and complete a comprehension guide. Next the students will give their opinions of several kitchens and then play Quizlet Live.

Day 8: I will introduce vocabulary for living room furniture by discussing a series of photos. The students will then give their opinion of additional living rooms in the same slide show.  Finally they will read an article about

decorating living rooms and complete a comprehension guide.

Day 9: After discussing a few living room pictures as a class, the students will complete a matching activity with living room pictures. The students will then complete an Edpuzzle for a decorating video before writing a description of their preferred living room photo.

Day 10: I will introduce new vocabulary by describing photos of French bathrooms. The students will then describe additional photos for a few minutes before completing an interpretive activity for two infographics about bathrooms. Next the students will complete a same/different activity to compare images of bathrooms.

Day 11: The students will share opinions of several bathrooms, complete an Edpuzzle for a bathroom video and then orally describe the bathroom in the video.

Day 12:  I will introduce bedroom vocabulary by describing a series of slides showing French teen bedrooms. The students will then discute additional slides in small groups before reading a slide presentation and guessing the meanings of new words based on context clues. Finally, they will complete an Edpuzzle for a cartoon video.

Day 13: The students will complete the following three learning stations: 1)A pair matching activity with bedroom pictures, 2)A note describing items in a bedroom picture, 3)An Edpuzzle for a video in which a teen describes her room.

Day 14: I will use a slide presentation to present some different types of houses from Francophone regions. The students will then complete a comprehension guide for a reading about these types of houses and then an Edpuzzle for a video about “une maison troglodyte.”

Days 15 and 16:  the students will prepare for their IPA by 1)completing a practice reading, 2)describing photos of a home and whether it would be well-suited to their family 3)2 Edpuzzles for videos in which people present their homes/rooms, 4) writing a description of their own homes for a home exchange site and 5)receiving oral feedback on their written descriptions. (No one will be at this station during the first rotation.)

Days 17 and 18: The students will complete the IPA for this unit.

I hope that organizing this unit around an essential question will increase my students’ focus on cultural comparisons as they relate to homes and lifestyles around the world.

Image Credit: By Gachepi (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Communication et Médias: A unit for Intermediate French Students

The next IB Theme that I will cover in my combined French 4/5 class is Communications et Médias. Although I haven’t specifically addressed this theme in the past, I had a lot of fun choosing subjects and creating activities on this theme for my students.  While the plan I’ve included in this post does not include all of the lessons (my fabulous colleague, Nicole, also contributed several great activities), it might help others get started on this theme, which encompasses aspects of both the Contemporary Life and Science and Technology AP themes.

Click here (Updated link: 6/29/18) for the agenda to which the resources of each lesson have been linked and see a brief description below.

In order to hook the students’ attention, we started by having the students read an article about popular French youtubers and fill in a table with details from the article.  As a follow up activity, I asked the students to watch one video from one of the youtubeurs they read about and post a review on our Learning Management System, Schoology.  I also asked them to watch one of the videos shared by a classmate and add their own opinion.  It is my hope that introducing my students to these youtubeurs might encourage them to watch other videos in the future.

The next lesson will serve as a quick introduction to French television. As an advance organizer the students will discuss a series TV-related questions in small groups and will then read an article and listen to interviews about TV in France.

The next several lessons are organized around the topic of advertising.  The students will watch a video about advertising, discuss some print ads in small groups and then read an article about print ads before preparing a presentation about a print ad.

After the lessons on print advertising, the students will watch a video about TV ads and discuss a TV ad before reading an article about the possible end of TV commercials during children’s shows in France. After reading this article, they will perform a role play and then write a speech based on this article.

The next series of lessons will address the topic of Fake News.  The students will read and discuss an infographic about Fake News and then interpret an article and video on the subject. Following these interpretive activities, they will select a Fake News article of their own and express their disbelief at facts in the article.  These sentences will allow the students to both demonstrate their comprehension of the “facts” in the article and use the subjunctive mood in a contextualized way. Finally, they will write a Fake News article of their own. 

As always, all feedback on these lessons is appreciated!

 

Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/iphone-technology-iphone-6-plus-apple-17663/

Les Impressionnistes – A unit for Intermediate Low French students

As regular readers of this blog know, I teach a unit on French Impressionism each year in my French 3 class.  I have once again modified this unit to better meet the needs of my students.  Click on the link (updated 6/29/18) for the agenda for this year’s version, to which all resources are linked.

Day 1: The students will complete the same guided note-taking activity that I have used in past years in order to provide them with basic information about some aspects of impressionist paintings. The students will then sign up for a slide featuring two different paintings, and will prepare a short presentation explaining which of the paintings is Impressionist and justifying their choice.

Day 2: Students will present their paintings, gallery-style, to several classmates who will provide written feedback.  The students will then take an assessment in which they choose whether each painting on the Google Presentation is Impressionist.

Days 3 – 13: Students will complete guided notes and then a series of learning stations for each of seven different impressionist and post-impressionist painters.  (The guided notes are included in the same packet as the introductory notes and the corresponding slides are in the same presentation.This presentation also includes some unidentified paintings that can be used to practice identifying artists later in the unit). I have allowed 2 days for each artist and will give a short assessment on the 2nd day. Because I use Schoology (our LMS) for these assessments, I am not able to share them at this time.  These stations will include 1) a series of interpersonal activities designed to familiarize the students with the painter’s works, 2) a series of Edpuzzles and 3) a reading/writing activity.  Because the interpersonal activities are based on manipulatives that I’ve created over the years, I am not able to share them (except in the case of Manet which are digital.) However, a reader graciously shared the activities she created for Renoir and these can be found in the comments in last year’s post.  (10/17/18: See the comments for this post below for additional interpersonal activities created by Erin Burns–Merci, Erin!) Since I found that last year’s reading/writing activities were a)too long and b)too difficult, I have created new ones for this year’s unit. I will give the students about 20 minutes at each station and allow them to complete unfinished Edpuzzles as homework.  Each pair will probably have time to complete only two of the speaking activities, but I have included several in order to have enough manipulatives for each group. Therefore, they will complete guided notes and 2 stations on the first day devoted to each artist, and the 3rd station and assessment on the second day.  Once a week my students have a 90-minute block so they will complete all 3 stations as well as the guided notes and assessment on these days.

(Edited 1/12/18: Some of the videos are no longer working through Edpuzzle, but a generous reader has shared worksheets she developed for these videos.  See the comments below.)

Day 14: The students will review the painters by working together in groups to identify the painter of paintings on postcards in my collection. We will also review using the unidentified slides at the end of the Google Presentation.

Day 15: The students will take their IPA for the unit.

Day 16-18: The students will read a Petit Nicolas story, Le Musée de Peintures. Although I will distribute photocopied pages of the story from the book, I have included a link to a digital copy for those who don’t have access to the book, with its adorable pictures. Each day they will listen to a portion of the story being read (as they follow along on the text) and then complete a series of true/false with justification sentences. I have included just one slide for these lessons, as I’m not exactly sure how far we will get each day.

Day 19: The students will review the story by completing a pair crossword puzzle.  I have included a link to the puzzle, which I will print twice.  I will then fill in the horizontal answers on one copy and the vertical answers on the other, before photocopying the puzzles for students, without the clues.  The students will then circumlocute to help their partner fill in the answers which are missing from their papers.  My students love these pair crosswords! Remaining class time will be spent practicing the role plays for the next day’s interpersonal assessment.

Day 20: The students will write the journal entry of one of the story’s characters (but not Nicolas). While they are writing, I will call up pairs (who have not previously worked together) and assign them one of the role plays for an interpersonal speaking assessment.

Day 21: The students will complete an Edpuzzle for a cartoon of the Musee de Peintures story.  Unfortunately, the video I used when creating last year’s Edpuzzle is no longer available so I will have to make a new one.  I will add the link to the agenda when I have done so.

I am hoping that this year’s French 3 students will enjoy this unit as much as previous year’s groups have!

Image Credit: Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 

A Halloween mini-unit for Novice High French students

Wow, I can’t believe it’s October already!  I have spent the first several weeks of my school year implementing the lessons I created over the summer (many of which I have shared in earlier posts) and in general I have been pleased with how these lessons have gone.  I am really enjoying my second year at my current school–my relationships with my returning students have grown closer and I’m so proud of their progress toward proficiency. In addition, my new French 2 students (I don’t teach level 1) are fabulous. Their enthusiasm for French class makes teaching them so much fun!

Because of their dedication to French, I’m especially excited about our upcoming mini-unit on Halloween.  Following the lead of a fellow French teacher blogger in this post, I will repeat many activities that I’ve used in previous years.  However, as this agenda (updated 6/29/18) shows, I have also added a few new resources.  Perhaps most importantly, I’ve created several Edpuzzles for my favorite Halloween videos and an IPA.  I think most of these activities will be self-explanatory, but if you have any questions, please let me know!

La Famille dans le Monde Francophone: A Unit for Intermediate Learners

(Edited 7/9/19)Like many of you, I teach a mixed level class that includes students in both French 4 and French 5, some of which are taking the course for college credit and/or in preparation for the IB exam.  While the brand-new French 4 students are understandably intimidated by being in class with the French 5 students, I have found that I provide the best learning environment for these students by keeping them all together for our class activities.  In fact, there is such a wide range of proficiency at this level that it is not always apparent to outside observers which students are in each class. So, while I assess the two groups differently, the activities for the following unit have been developed for a range of Intermediate learners. (7/9/19: new linkto the agenda to which all the documents are linked.  Each lesson is briefly described below. 

Lesson 1: I will begin this lesson by eliciting student responses on their definition of family, after which we will watch a video in which French people respond to this same question.  The students will then complete an interpersonal activity in which they ask each other for information which is given on the other’s infographic.  The students will then discuss their own families, giving the same types of information that was included in the infographics. Students will spend any remaining class time discussing differences that they noted between their own families and what they read about French families. For homework they will add photos of four different “family” members to Google Slides for a short presentation they will later give.

Lesson 2: The students will begin this lesson by discussing a series of quotes about families in their small groups, explaining their understanding of the quote, whether they agree with it, and providing an example from their own lives or a text to support their opinion. Next, we will review object and disjunctive pronouns by completing a couple of interactive activities together and then individually. After this review, they will watch a video by the vlogger, Norman, and answer questions using these pronouns.  Because this lesson will fall on a 90-minute block day in my class, we will also study a family-related song before I give them 10-15 minutes for free voluntary reading.

Lesson 3: In this lesson the students will again exchange information from a section of an infographic, this time on families in Quebec. (Each member of the dyad will have a different section of the same infographic and will have to find out information from the other’s section.)  The students will then write the introduction to an essay comparing French and Quebecois families. (They will not write the entire essay, due to time constraints.) 

Lesson 4: Students will begin by reading an article about polygamy in Senegal.  Rather than preparing a comprehension guide for this text, I have assigned Cornell notes.  Although this is a new strategy for me, I think this activity will help prepare the students to discuss this text the following day.After discussing the polygamy text by asking and answering the questions they wrote during the Cornell note-taking, the students will take a short quiz to assess their comprehension of the article.  They will then listen to an interview about a legal case regarding a polygamist in France and complete a comprehension guide.

Lesson 5:  After these lessons on family structures in three different Francophone countries, the students will present four members of their own “family” by sharing pictures and information about each person they have chosen.  While I seldom assign class presentations in order to avoid undue anxiety among my students, I will ask students to speak to the class as a whole this time so that we can all get to know each other better.  I believe the topic will be quite low stress as the students will not need to memorize new information or use complicated vocabulary.  The students will then provide this same information in writing via an email to a prospective exchange student. Because some of these students will be taking the IB test in the spring, this assignment has been designed to practice the e-mail text type.

Lesson 6: In this lesson I will present the animated short film, Au fil de l’age by playing it and stopping frequently to ask questions about what was happening/what happened. The students will then write a summary using screenshots from the video. Finally, the students will complete an assessment in which they matching sentence starters to the appropriate completion, a common task on IB interpretive assessments.

Lesson 7: In this lesson, the students will discuss quotes about grandparents before creating Cornell notes for an article about grandparents’ rights in France. They will then discuss the article by asking the questions they created while note-taking.

Lesson 8: In this lesson students will exchange information from infographics in order to compare same-sex marriage in France and Canada.  Finally, they’ll watch a 1jour1info video about same-sex marriage and complete a comprehension guide.

Lesson 9: The students will read an article about same-sex marriage and complete an IB-style comprehension guide. Next, they’ll watch a Cyprien video on the same theme.  While Cyprien’s videos are not always appropriate for classroom use, I did not personally find anything objectionable about this one.  In fact, I found that his self-deprecating humor on this topic might spark some interesting discussion.Finally, the students will synthesize what they learned in the article and video by writing a “To Do” list for the mayor who married the couple in the article.

Lesson 10: In this lesson, we’ll address the next subtopic–adoption. The students will read an article and then take notes using a technique that I learned from a professional development opportunity on critical thinking. I will assign each student a colored “hat” (just a card with a picture) to wear as they read an article about adoption.  Based on the hat they are assigned, they will take notes on 1)the facts presented in the article, 2) their personal reactions, 3) the negative aspects of the ideas in the article, 4) the positive aspects of the ideas in the article, or 5) creative solutions to the problems discussed in the article. (I won’t be assigning the blue hat this time.) The students will then discuss the article according to the perspective of their hat, filling in the corresponding sections of their graphic organizers.This will be my first time implementing this strategy and I’m really excited to see how it goes! Finally, the students will watch a video about adoption and complete a comprehension guide.

Lesson 11: I’ll introduce our final subtopic, blended families, by leading a discussion of three comics on this subject.  Next the students will read the blog entry of a comic character who describes a conflict between a friend and her stepparent. The students will complete a graphic organizer with the causes and effects of this conflict and then discuss their ideas with a partner.  Finally, they will write a response to the blogger’s friend with advice to improve her relationship with her stepmother.

Lesson 12: In this lesson the students will prepare for their IPA on this unit by practicing the role play which will be performed for the interpersonal task and a draft for the presentational writing task. (In order to ensure spontaneous speech, the students will not know their role or their partner in advance of the assessment, but I do provide the prompt so that they can start formulating some ideas.)

Lesson 13-14: The students will complete the interpretive reading task of the IPA while I call up random pairs for the role plays. They will then complete the presentational writing task.

Note: Because of the length of this unit and the fact that I was following it with a film that would have its own IPA, I did not end up administering an IPA at the end of the unit.  (I did, however, formally assess several of the tasks that the students completed throughout the unit.  You may click here for the link to the IPA that my colleague and I had developed for this unit.

I am hoping that this unit will provide ample opportunities for the students to get to know each other, develop confidence in their communicative abilities, and practice some of the skills they will need to be successful on the IB test.

Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/fr/famille-l-homme-femme-gar%C3%A7on-312018/