Jour de la Terre: A unit for Intermediate French Students

environment-303693_960_720Tomorrow my French 3 students will start their unit on the environment. Although I developed a unit on this topic last year (click here for post), I’ve made some significant changes in order to provide more opportunities for interpersonal communication. Here’s a short explanation of what I’ve planned for this year:  (Click here for the student packet.)

Lesson 1: Global Warming (2-3 days). In this lesson the students will watch a video about climate change and fill in details. After watching, I’ll allow them a few minutes to discuss their responses in small groups to provide increased interpersonal communication. This video replaces a Brainpop video that, unbeknownst to me required a subscription. I’m not sure why I was able to access these videos at the time, but since I’ve lost the ability to do so I’ve substituted other videos for each lesson. After the video and discussion, the students will read a short document (included at the end of the lesson) with things one can do to save the planet. I chose a shorter, simpler text than I had used last year, in order to shorten the amount of time spent reading as well as provide more language chunks that could be used for the interpersonal activities that follow. After the reading, the students will play a game in which they match behaviors and suggestions from the text that they read (Note: there’s an error in the directions, the yellow cards should be in the pile and the orange cards should be arranged face down). The purpose of this game is to introduce the phrases that they will be using to make suggestions throughout the unit. Each suggestion includes an impersonal expression requiring the subjunctive, which is a structure I’ve targeted for the unit. After this game, the students will interview a partner about the behaviors suggested in the text. I discovered last year that the students needed some more guided tasks before performing the open-ended role-plays that I had planned. After the interviews, the students will write a note to their partner with suggestions for how they can be more environmentally-friendly. I’ve included some sentence starters to further scaffold this task. Lastly, I’ve added the interpretive reading task from last year’s unit (Article: p. 1, p. 2)and two additional videos related to climate change. I’m not sure whether time will permit me to use this resources, but I’ve included them just in case.

Lesson 2: Pollution (2-3 days). As with the first lesson, I’ve begun with a short video that the students will use to provide details and then discuss. After the video, the students will be assigned either the A role or the B role, and will read the corresponding article. (Edit 5/8/20: Click here for a link to the B article.) After this interpretive task, each A will be paired with a B and will complete this interview activity. Again, I’ve developed a highly scaffolded task to enable the students to begin acquiring the targeted structure. This interpersonal activity will again be followed by a presentational writing in which the students make suggestions to their partner based on his/her responses. (They will speak with a different partner than they had spoken to in the previous lesson.) I’ve included last year’s interpretive reading (Article: p. 1, p. 2) and three interpretive listening tasks to be included in the lesson as time permits.

Lesson 3: Deforestation (2-3 days). I’ve begun this lesson with an interpersonal task in which the students discuss two images related to deforestation. Next they’ll watch a video about deforestation and discuss the details they were able to identify. After the video, we’ll do a “speed-friending” type of interpersonal activity in which the students write 5 questions and then interview a series of classmates. For this activity my students will be seated in pairs of rows that are facing each other. They will have 3 minutes to interview the person in front of them and when the three minutes are up, the students in one row will get up and move one seat to the right. This will continue until each student has interviewed 10 classmates. The students will then write a note to one of their classmates, giving suggestions for becoming more environmentally friendly. Once again, I’ve included the reading from last year’s unit (Article: p. 1, p. 2) as well as additional videos on the topic.
Since it’s still a work in progress, I’ll include the IPA for this unit in my next post.

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