Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Motivation for Language Learning

I came across this great blog for learning languages: https://blog.thelinguist.com

The creator of the blog, Steve Kaufmann, speaks at least 16 different languages and he is the founder of a language learning tool called LingQ. There are lots of great resources for language learning on his blog and I was drawn to this one because it is so motivational. I would love to share this blog post with my students in September to get them motivated to learn French.




Monday, 31 July 2017

Back to School: Icebreaker Games



One of the best parts about Back to School is getting to know your new students. I enjoy playing these icebreaker games to get to know my students.

Name Games

Have students come up with an action word or an animal that starts with the same letter as their name. For example, Sarah started with "S" and some action words in French that start with "S" are saute, serpent and ski. Once everyone has their action word chosen have students choose a physical action to do that shows what their word is. If Sarah chose saute, she could jump up and down. If she chose serpent she could slither like a snake. It might be useful to have an alphabetical list of example words to use handy so students don't spend a long time finding their word.

Once everyone has their word and action have students form a circle. The first person says their name and does their action. The next person in the circle has to first remember the first person's name and action and then say their own. For each turn, you first have to go through everyone else's name and action before you say your own. The repetition is great for remembering names!

The last person has the toughest job of remembering all the names and actions! This game can be just for fun so students can help each other remember the names and actions.

Human Bingo

Human Bingo is a little different than traditional bingo in that students are given a grid filled with spaces that need to be signed by other students in the class. For back to school you could use my human bingo card filled with icebreaker cues such as how many siblings someone has, their favourite sports and activities and best subjects in school. To win the game you have to be the first to get all the spaces filled on your card. You need to have a different student sign each space. It is a good idea to go over what the sentences mean in French first. Encourage students to only speak in French when playing this game. It is a fun way to get students up and talking.




Saturday, 29 July 2017

Back to School: Setting Up Classroom Rules and Routines

TPT is throwing their site wide Back to School Sale next week, so I thought I would round up some of my ideas for the first few days of school.

As a Core French teacher, one of my goals for the first few days of school is to begin the daunting task of learning over 120 students' names. I travel from class to class to teach a 45-60 minute lesson to five classes each day. Name tags can be a big help in the first few days of school. I would have students fold a piece of paper twice to form a triangle as a name tag. They can decorate their name tag on the front and on the back they can write 3-5 goals that they have for French class this term. Some goals might be to learn five new words each week, to write a journal entry every day, to attain a certain average grade in the class or to improve their reading level.

The first few days of school are crucial for setting up classroom routines and rules which are followed throughout the rest of the school year. I find it useful to write a poster of classroom rules with the class. They will offer suggestions for rules and I will help them write them in French on a bristol board.


This is a classroom behaviour agreement that was created with a grade 6 Core French class the first day of school. We discussed classroom rules and the students helped to pick out the five most important rules. They are: listening to and respecting others, being prepared for class, participating in class, raising your hand before speaking, and following the instructions. The class signed the behaviour agreement after. 


Monday, 1 May 2017

Le chandail

It is hockey playoff season and many of my students really enjoy both watching and playing hockey. That's why I decided to do a mini unit based on Roch Carrier's short story Le chandail. I had my students watch this animated short film as part of the unit. To show understanding I had them complete comprehension activities. You can find my Le chandail questions for free at my TPT store. The questions include key vocabulary words, true and false questions, translations, short answer responses and a drawing activity. Enjoy!


Saturday, 21 May 2016

Ratatouille

Have you watched the movie Ratatouille with your FSL or FI class? It is a great way to introduce the cultural component for the new French curriculum in Ontario. I have created Ratatouille : As-tu déjà? for you to introduce the vocabulary in the movie before watching it.You could print out one copy of it and show it up on the board and answer the questions as a whole class. This will help to preview the vocabulary in the film. You could also print a copy for everyone in the class and have them discuss their responses in partners or small groups. There is also a Ratatouille Graphic Organizer for getting to know the main characters. I think you will be able to fully engage intermediate and senior level students with these Ratatouille questions and ideas for assignments.   I also have a Ratatouille Paris themed colouring sheet to go with it if you are working with a younger crowd.  Ratatouille is such a fun movie to watch with your French class! Enjoy!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Grade Five Canadian Government Unit

I have created a unit for teaching the Grade Five Social Studies Canadian Government unit. It is an integrated unit which includes social studies, language arts and visual arts. I have taught this unit in an English-language Grade Five class, as well as in an Extended French Grade Five class. It has gone over really well in both years in which I taught it. If you have any questions about the unit feel free to comment. Here is some artwork produced by my Grade Five students:



Friday, 13 May 2016

End of the Year Projects

May and June are sometimes the busiest months of the entire school year. To help you with your end of the year planning, I have several projects available at my Teachers Pay Teachers online store. The first project I would like to share with you is a French Menu project. For this project students create their own menu for a restaurant and then they will apply their learning by presenting their menu as part of a script. The next project I would like to share with you is a pilot episode for a tv show. In this project students are creating a script and then presenting it. I have done this project with a group of grade 10 students and some of the students chose to record their pilot episode and they show their video to the class. Other students decided to present their script as a play in front of the class. Both projects include rubrics for assessment and evaluation.

In terms of what is coming up next for Madame Giraffe, I have plans in the works to create new food units for Core or Immersion French classes. I have been teaching in several schools lately where students have participated in a French cafe where students order food in French. Another idea I have is for students to learn to cook different recipes such as crepes, pizza or cookies and apply their language learning skills.