Tag Archives: food

Bon Appétit : A proficiency-based unit for Novice learners (Part 3)

bon-appetitAs promised, I’ve prepared additional lessons for my French 1 Mealtime unit around the themes of school cafeterias and restaurants.  If you’re new to my blog, you can find the materials for the first part of this unit here ( https://madameshepard.com/?p=282) and the second part here (https://madameshepard.com/?p=321).

Here’s a packet with the new activities Mealtime Part 2 and below I’ve written a short description of how I will implement each lesson.

La Cantine Scolaire (2 -3 days) I’ll begin this lesson my playing the authentic video using the projector and pausing it often so that the students can jot down answers.  Because understanding details from an authentic source such as this one is considerably above their proficiency level, I’ll invite the more proficient students to share their answers and I’ll add additional support by replaying and, if necessary, repeating the pertinent sections of the video so that all students can complete the task. I don’t generally take a grade on these activities, but I think they’re a good way to engage students at the beginning of a class, provide important (if only partially comprehensible) input, and are a rich source for cultural content. The students will then complete an interpersonal activity in which they interview a partner about his/her experiences and opinions of our school cafeteria.  I like to follow up these activities by using the same questions and asking the students to either give their own answer or report back on their partner’s answer.  My students continue to struggle in identifying the subject in a question that they hear, so these questions/answers provide additional practice in making this distinction. Although I have not included it in the packet, I would consider having the students write a short paragraph about their own answers to these same questions as a homework/writing assignment.  On the second day of this lesson the students will read a comic from Astrapi magazine (Pic et Pik p1 Pic et Pik p2) and complete an interpretive activity.  They will then write a list of cafeteria rules based on the language and structures they encountered in the comic.  I have designed this presentational activity to introduce the expression Il faut, as well as to use the vocabulary from the comic. Next, the students will interview a partner about his/her behavior in the cafeteria and then write a note explaining how their own behavior is better than their partner’s, so that they will be chosen as Student of the Month.  Lastly, I have included two other videos about French school cafeterias.  Depending on timing, I might show these videos in a different order than they are presented in the packet.

Le Restaurant (2 days) This lesson posed a real challenge for me.  I need my students to be able to use and understand phrases that are specific to ordering restaurant meals, as this was the goal for my unit and will be assessed in the IPA.   However, I was not able (during the time I had available) to find an authentic video that I could use to provide input or interpretive communication for these phrases. If you have any ideas, please share!!! Given my time constraints, I resorted to having my students watch a series of educational (not authentic) videos to familiarize them with the phrases they will need to know to order meals.  I assigned the first video as homework, so that the students would come to class with a list of the phrases that they would need.  I will start the class period with a silly restaurant song, and then have the students practice a guided restaurant dialogue.  I have several authentic menus that I will pass out to add authenticity to this activity.  The students will then read an infographic (included in packet) about dining out in Paris. On the second day of this lesson, the students will first interview a partner about his/her dining out habits. I will then project the photo (in packet) showing the terms for doneness of meat, before playing the (non-authentic) podcast of a restaurant dialogue.  Lastly, they will read an article about making healthy choices when dining out.

After this lesson, the students will be ready for their IPA, which will consist of the following tasks.

Interpersonal: The students will discuss various items on an authentic menu and then place their order with the waitress (Madame, bien sur!)

Interpretive Listening: The students will watch authentic cartoons depicting mealtimes.

Interpretive Reading: The students will complete an interpretive task on an authentic menu.

Presentational Writing: The students will write a message to their future exchange student about their own eating habits.

As always, I’d appreciate any and all feedback on these materials.

Bon Appétit : A proficiency-based unit for Novice learners

bon appetitMy goal for today was to complete my French 1 unit on food and mealtimes (See https://madameshepard.com/?p=282   for the breakfast lessons.). Although I didn’t get everything done that I had hoped to, I wanted to share what I have so far.  Here’s the packet of activities and resources: French 1 Meals Unit

While the packet is fairly self-explanatory, here are a few notes about how this part of the unit is organized.

Les Fruits. (1-2 days) For this lesson I will play a short video with fruit vocabulary using the projector and the students will complete a matching activity in their packets. They will then complete a pair activity in which they describe pictures to a partner who finds the matching picture on his/her own paper. (fruit pair act) I will follow this up with a formative assessment in which I describe a few of the pictures and the students identify which picture I am describing.  The students will then read an article about bananas and complete an abbreviated interpretive task. As a closing activity they will listen to a song about fruits.  I have also included a website for vocabulary practice and worksheet (prendre ws) for this lesson.  Although I’ve managed to avoid grammar/vocabulary worksheets so far with these students, I felt that it was important to focus briefly on form, in order to increase their accuracy and move them along to a Novice High proficiency level.

Les Légumes (2 days) The students will also begin this lesson with a video and matching activity from the Le Monde des Petits series. They will then complete an interpersonal activity (veggiepair) in which they describe pictures to a partner in order to determine whether they have the same or a different picture for each number.  As a formative assessment, I will ask a series of true/false statements about some of the pictures.  I will, of course, only ask questions about the pictures that were the same on both papers.  After this interpersonal activity, the students will watch a video in which a nutritionist talks about eating five fruits/vegetables a day.  Because this video is not from Youtube (which is blocked on my students’ accounts) I intend to have the students complete this activity individually using the department IPads. After the video, the students will interview a partner about their vegetable preferences and then listen to a song about vegetables.  The order of this lesson might change slightly depending on how far we get each day.  I would use the song as either a closing activity or as an introduction at the beginning of a class.  I have again included an accuracy worksheet here (veggie ws), as well as assigned a website for homework that they can use to review vocabulary.

Ce que les Francais mangent (1-2 days) After building the students’ vocabulary with these lessons, I will continue the unit with lessons to develop their knowledge of French eating habits and increase their overall proficiency.  In this lesson, we will first look at a website that shows how much of several different foods/dishes are eaten by the French per second.  After responding in writing to a few questions about the information at this site, the students will interview each other about the frequency with which they eat the same items.  They will then read an article about what the average French person consumes in a year (ce_que-consomme-1-francais) and complete an interpretive task.  Following this activity, they will respond to a series of statements by writing French sentences based on the same article.  Lastly, they will play a Guess Who game (Guess Who) designed to review some of the vocabulary for lunch and dinner dishes.  Because my students are familiar with this game, I did not devote space for the directions.  However, if you’re new to this game, each partner selects the identity of one of the names on the paper.  They then take turns asking questions about what their partner is having to eat in order to determine their partner’s identity.  (Tu prends de la pizza?) This game is easier for students when the papers are placed in plastic page protectors.  This allows them to use dry erase markers to eliminate identities as they ask questions.  I am also able to use this activity on another day, if I need a short filler.

Le Fast Food (2 days) I will begin this lesson by projecting a couple of MacDonald’s commercials.  Although I have included a few comprehension questions in the packet, I would not expect these students to be able to answer them independently.  Instead, I will play the video in its entirety, and then pause it frequently, inviting the students to informally (I just have them shout it out) share anything they were able to understand.  After the video, the students will read an infographic on hamburgers and another on French fries (fries infog) and complete an abbreviated interpretive activity.  For the following activity, they will interview a partner about his/her fast food preferences.  I have provided possible answers, to provide the necessary vocabulary to the students.  As a culminating activity for this lesson, the students will write a paragraph describing their fast food habits.

So, that’s what I have so far.  The final lessons for the unit will be organized around the context of the school cafeteria, and eating out/restaurants.  I’ll post them when I’m finished—make sure to follow the blog for updates!

As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you have about these lessons and am grateful for any feedback that you have.


The Ugly Eggplant: A Novice-High Unit on Food Waste



I’ll start this post by admitting that I knew nothing about European Parliament’s resolution to reduce food waste until the adorable ads, videos, and infographics on this topic started appearing on my Pinterest feed.  I was excited to develop this theme because I thought the visuals would pique the students’ interest in the topic. Although I originally thought I would add this theme to my AP curriculum (because of its fit with Global Challenges), I realized as I began to create learning activities that students at a lower proficiency level would be able to interpret the materials I had chosen. I loved the idea of being able to introduce an AP Theme at this level of instruction!

Unit Goals/Can-Do Statements

I chose the following Novice High ACTFL Can-Do Statements as the learning goals for this unit.

Presentational Writing: I can write basic information about things I have learned.

Presentational Writing: I can write information about my daily life in a letter, blog, discussion board, or email message.

Presentational Speaking: I can present basic information about things I have learned using phrases and simple sentences.

Presentational Speaking: I can present information about others using phrases and simple sentences

Interpersonal Communication: I can exchange information using texts, graphs, or pictures.

Interpersonal Communication: I can exchange some personal information.

Interpretive Listening: I can understand simple information when presented with pictures and graphs.

Learning Activities

This unit continues three lessons on the theme of food waste, each of which is organized around 1 or more authentic infographics/visuals.  I’m anticipating that each lesson will probably take 1.5-2 class periods.

Hook: I’ve included a short video as a hook for each lesson.

Interpretive Tasks (Reading):

Lesson #1 and #3 begin with an A/B interpretive task.  Students will be divided into pairs and assigned either the Partner A or the Partner B infographic + corresponding comprehension guide.

Lessons #2 begins with an authentic visual listing ways to prevent food waste.

Interpersonal Tasks:

In Lesson #1 and #3, the students will discuss the information from their respective infographics in order to complete a graphic organizer.

In Lesson #2, the students will interview each other about their own habits as they refer to food waste.

Presentational Tasks:

Speaking: Each lesson includes a directive to be prepared to present the information from the interpersonal task orally.  I will call on just a few students to do so each time, as a formative assessment.

Writing: Each lesson has a written task which involves synthesizing the information from the interpretive/interpersonal tasks.  In Lesson #1, they will write a message in which they summarize what they learned about food waste.  In Lesson #2, they will write a note to their partner, based on his/her responses to the interview questions.  In Lesson #3, they will write a short report comparing food waste in France and Canada.

Interpretive Tasks: Listening

At the end of each unit I included an authentic video and corresponding comprehension guide.  I’ve placed this task at the end of the unit because I think that the students will be more prepared for it after completing the other tasks.  I am expecting these tasks to be extremely challenging for the students and I would only consider their work as a formative assessment. In addition, I will provide extensive support in terms of playing the video several times, stopping the video at key points, or arranging to have the students complete the activities individually, using the classroom computers, so they can pause and replay as needed.

Here’s a link to the unit Le Gaspillage Alimentaire

(I’ll include the IPA in my next post).

Feel free to use any of these activities if you find they fit with your style and curriculum—just proofread for errors, especially since I haven’t used them yet.

I’d love to hear any feedback you have on this unit!