This morning I had to drive my husband to work, and I thought it was going to totally throw off my plans. Usually I arrive at school at least an hour before the first bell because I do my best thinking in the morning. Usually!
Today I was reminded that a little spontaneity and the willingness to change plans can make for a very very good class.
I’ve been giving my students little 3-5 question homeworks lately just to keep them engaged a bit at home. Last night I assigned them this picture (which I found from the Google Drive folder posted on the Facebook page called French Teachers in the US– you should request to join it because those people are AMAZING- that’s a whole other post).
Anyway, I assigned them this picture and asked them easy questions (in French).
- What do you think this picture is? What clues lead you to that conclusion?
- List 3 french words you know.
- Define 1 word you don’t know.
And that was it- that was all I was going to do with it. I wanted them to interpret some realia. But then I got to school later than usual and had to come up with something on the fly. How can I extend this into today?!?!
So I went to YouTube and found this video of 3 friends playing the game as they explain the rules.
As the students watched, I asked them to write down any words they understood. (So far, each level has done a better job at this! phew!) Then we discussed the words they understood and talked about how although they didn’t know exactly which words were always said, they all understood that it was a video of friends playing and explaining a game. I also had them guess what they thought the rules were and what TIC TAC and BOUM mean. Then we looked at a written explanation of the rules and compared them to what they understood from watching the video. They were all very very close!!
Two oral questions I asked them to answer as a group as they looked at the rules were:
- Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire “la manche”?
- Quelle est la règle avec le son et l’orthographe?
It took them a few minutes to figure out, but they used the context of the rules to come up with the right answer.
Next, the students got online and found French board games and shared links (we use Google Classroom) to the rules and to videos of advertisements or of people playing them.
The kids really wanted to try playing, but of course I don’t actually HAVE this game, and I only just learned the rules this morning! So I decided to have the groups “play” after they got done posting their comments. They were to come up with 2-3 words that contain different sounds which I wrote on the board. For example: si, pos, cro, poss, yé, mai, mat, tou. It was great seeing them working together and coming up with words!
AND THEN THE BELL RANG! And I was glad it was such a good day of learning!!
(PS- I used this same lesson with French 3, IB French, and AP French- just made adjustments for the levels!)