Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to Use a Mannequin in Your Classroom #5 (Learning to Describe Even More Past Events)!

Students in 3rd year French participated in the wedding of our classroom mannequins, Jacques & Suzette!  Everyone had a part to play.  Students acted out the ceremony at the town hall with the mayor and then the church ceremony, so they learned about French culture as well.  Here are some photos.

The mayor presides as Jacques & Suzette sign the marriage license.

The mayor gives Jacques & Suzette their livret de famille.

At the church, the flower girl scatters rose petals.

Jacques & Suzette exchange rings.

Suzette is wearing my grandmother's wedding dress from 1933.

And of course, there was a little goofing around as well!

Later, students read a description of the wedding and practiced choosing the correct verb tenses for describing a past event in French.  It was a day to remember!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Graffiti Board!

High school students love to write messages and graffiti wherever and whenever they can.  I decided to use this to my advantage by creating a message board for my students to write messages and graffiti in French!  I purchased a white board and some colorful markers for this purpose.  Students are allowed to write on the board in the few minutes before class begins, or at the end of class if we finish our lesson a few minutes early.  The rules are:  1. Write in French only,  2.  Don't erase anything that anyone else has written, 3.  Be nice.  Here's a photo of the message board.

My students fill this board  in a week.  If you look closely, you can see that I taught them some texting phrases that week (Je t'm), so they tried it out on the board.  One year a student asked a date to Homecoming in French on the message board.  And often, students stop in after school to see what their friends from other classes have written to them.  I think it's a great way to get students to use the language in an informal and authentic way.  It's also a great way to keep students engaged for every single minute that they are in class!

Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Use a Mannequin in Your Classroom #4: Learning to Describe Past Events

This week was an exciting one in 3rd year French!  Students heard the story of how Jacques recently proposed to Suzette.  Jacques and Suzette are classroom mannequins and students have been hearing stories about their lives since they began studying French.  This particular story is used to help students learn how to describe a past event using appropriate verb tenses (le passé composé vs. l'imparfait).  After hearing this story, students were given invitations to Jacques & Suzette's wedding!  Here's a photo of the invitations.

And here's a video of the story of their engagement!

Notice the students' responses as they realize what's going on.  It sure makes learning how to use various verb tenses more exciting...for my students and for me, too. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Use a Mannequin in Your Classroom #3: Learning to Describe One's Family

First year French will learn how to describe their families this week.  In order to teach students the family vocabulary, I will introduce them to the family of Jacques DUBOIS (my classroom mannequin).  Here's a photo of Jacques.

 I used photos of store mannequins to create a Power Point presentation of Jacques' family.  Here are some of the photos I used in the presentation.

This is Jacques' uncle.  As you can see, his family is multi-cultural.

This is one of Jacques' brothers.

And this is Jacques' dog, Beau!
You get the idea.  I had fun making this presentation and am looking forward to using it in class.  I think it's a good way to go beyond my textbook to help make the topic more interesting, and maybe even a little amusing, too. :)


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