Thursday, 29 March 2012
At school this week we have been busy planning our French Cafe. The French Cafe is an event that showcases our students French language abilities in a fun and creative way. Each French class gets to perform a 3-5 minute act in the show, whether it be a song, dance or short play. We also have all the classes watching at different times. The scheduling can get a little tricky, but the students love to both perform their act and then have the opportunity to watch other classes perform as well. While the students are watching the acts on stage, we will have our older classes act as servers for the cafe. Students can order croissants ahead of time, as well as apple juice. Another way to incorporate French culture into the French Cafe is through art work on the walls of the performing space and students' work being displayed on the cafe tables where students are sitting at to watch the show. This year we have decided on posters with French cultural symbols for the walls and some French restaurant menus to add to the tables. Students will have fun practicing for their cafe act, and they will learn some new French language skills and vocabulary at the same time. Also, parents love to come in to see their child perform so the French Cafe is a great way to get parents involved in the French language program.
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Here is a link to a video of Larry Swartz talking about the importance of creating caring classroom environments. Two books that I recommend that promote a caring attitude are Le Vol du colibri by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and L'homme qui plantait des arbres by Jean Giono. In the words of Dr. Seuss "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not." (From the movie The Lorax).
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Whenever possible, I try to incorporate French culture into my lessons. A fun way to do this is to focus on famous French monuments and cultural activities in France as part of daily language lessons. I have recently taught a mini-unit on the Eiffel Tower. I taught a grammar lesson on the past tense using scenarios related to the Eiffel Tower and traveling to France. I included a reading comprehension activity by ABCTeach.com which was great because it had reading comprehension questions to answer that went along with the article on the Eiffel Tower. I also did an art lesson where students were shown a picture of the Eiffel Tower and then sketched their own version in 3D. We outlined them in black marker and added sparkles to represent how the Eiffel Tower is lit up at night. There are some great books out there that feature the Eiffel Tower as well, including Un Jour avec la Tour Eiffel by Victor Simiane, Rendez-vous à la Tour Eiffel by Elzbieta and Le Grand voyage by Jean-Olivier Heron. The Eiffel Tower theme fits well for this time of the year because of March Break, and many students are going on vacation and traveling. After March Break, the students will be able to tell about what they did on their vacations using the past tense. Bon voyage!