“Le Selfie:” an authentic lesson for Intermediate students

woman taking a selfie
This week I continued my unit on social media with my French 4/5 students with a lesson on “selfies.” The students are so enthusiastic about this unit that I hate to see it end! I actually had to ask them to discuss more quietly—and they were all staying in the target language! As an added bonus, the lower level students are seeing terms like “Selfie” on the French 4/5 agenda and I have been overhearing comments like “I can’t wait until I’m in French 4 so that I can do fun stuff like that!” What a great unintended consequence of writing my agenda on the board every day!
Here are the activities that I included in this lesson, which took about five days.
1. Selfie infographic: The students a) discussed a series of pre-reading questions in their small groups and took notes so that they could share their ideas with the class as a whole and b) completed a short interpretive activity about the infographic.
2. (Note: 1/5/2017.  This video is no longer available.) The students watched a YouTube video in which a young woman gives advice about taking selfies. Although the young woman spoke rather quickly, the students were successful in answering most of the (English) comprehension questions that I had prepared—I think the silliness of the video motivated them to rewatch the video until they were able to understand most of it!
3. The students read a simple article, “15 Astuces pour reussir un selfie” and completed a comprehension guide based on the template in ACTFL’s IPA manual. (http://www.actfl.org/publications/guidelines-and-manuals/integrated-performance-assessment-ipa-manual-0). This article addressed many of the same topics that the video did, which made it very comprehensible to the students.
4. The students presented their own favorite selfie to the class. I created a Google Doc Presentation and shared it with the students in the class. Each student was responsible for adding his/her selfie to the document on the first day of the lesson. On the 4th day, each student spoke for a 1-2 minutes about his/her selfie. Students who do not take selfies or chose not to share a photo of their own were invited to find a selfie online and add it to the google doc. One student added a selfie taken by a macaque and a few others used celebrity selfies. The students were able to do these short presentations without much preparation and they all enjoyed seeing each others’ pictures.
5. After 3-4 days reading/listening to these relatively superficial texts, the students read a more profound article about selfies and teen girls. For this article I prepared multiple choice questions, but included main idea, author’s perspective, vocabulary in context, and inference questions in order to replicate the type of items they will see on the AP test.
6. The students wrote a persuasive text in which they incorporated ideas from the article they had read—another activity intended to practice the skills they will need on the AP test.
7. The students watched two videos, both of which were about the “Love without Locks” campaign in Paris.
Here’s a link to a document with the materials I used: Selfie-Unit
I’d love to hear about other AP teachers have addressed the technology AP theme. If you’re willing to share your materials (or if you have feedback regarding this lesson), please add a comment or send me an e-mail!

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