I've been meaning to write a new story for The Adventures of Jacques & Suzette, my classroom mannequins (see previous posts on How to Use a Mannequin in Your Classroom for further explanation). In particular, I've intended to write a story about Valentine's Day, but have had difficulty finding the time to do so. I was inspired anew on a recent trip to Rome, where I saw padlocks covered with the initials of lovers locked to chains and posts on the bridges crossing the Tiber River. I learned that the tradition is for lovers to lock these padlocks to the bridge and throw the key into the river as a symbol of their love. This tradition also spread to France, where lovers lock padlocks to the Pont des Arts (this is the name of a bridge, for those of you who may not speak French) in Paris. How romantic!
So, I wrote a new adventure about Jacques planning the perfect Valentine's Day date for his girlfriend, Suzette. They went to Rome, where Jacques bought Suzette flowers from the Rome Farmer's Market and also some Italian pastry. Next they visited an Italian chateau with a beautiful fountain. Then, they took a super high-speed train to Paris, where Jacques put a padlock with their names on it on the Pont des Arts. Check it out!
I made this video on my iPad2 using iMovie. I used the FaceJack app for iPad to make my mannequins talk! I also used the Doodlebuddy app to make the title pages and the end page. Students were asked to answer some questions after viewing the video. They learned some new words, used listening and writing skills, and also learned some cultural information as a result of viewing this new episode about Jacques & Suzette. But even more importantly, I think they were having fun and finding the lesson interesting :).
Bonne Fête de Saint-Valentin!