Tuesday, November 10, 2015

French 8 Fun

On October 13, 2015, Ms. Marshall's eighth grade French classes visited the library for a somewhat different activity.  The students were wrapping up one unit and just beginning another unit, so it was the perfect time to take a break and reflect on why it is fun to learn the French language!

Students broke up into groups of three or four students to complete various station activities set up throughout the library.  The rules of this activity were simple: students could use any information at their disposal (it is a library, after all!) and they must work together.  Student groups were allowed to attack the stations in any order that they chose.  The stakes were high for successfully working through the activities because the "winning" group would be rewarded with a gourmet French treat the next day.

At Station One, students looked at a Wordle depicting why students choose to learn the French language.  Using the information contained in the Wordle, students then chose what--in their opinions--were the most compelling reasons to learn French.  Using this information, the groups then created a jingle to be used on the morning announcements.  This jingle would alert the younger students in the building of the many great reasons why they should choose to take French.
An excellent example of a completed Station One activity.
During Station Two, students learned more about perhaps the most iconic landmark in French-speaking countries: the Eiffel Tower.  Using either computers or tablets, students located answers to many questions about the Eiffel Tower.

At Station Three, students learned that France is well known for its perfume industry.  Students were given the names of many famous French perfumes and the students needed to find a way to translate the perfume names into English.  It was interesting to see the strategies that the students used.  Some of the French words were cognates, so students were able to use their background knowledge to decipher the words.  Other students chose to use Google Translate, French to English dictionaries, or old class vocabulary lists for help.

Station Four incorporated both French skills and media literacy skills.  Here, students were able to choose a vintage French advertisement.  After deciphering the French words, students then answered questions about the advertisement.  What is the product being advertised and what groups of people are the intended audience for the advertisement?  Students had to weigh in as to whether or not they thought the ads did a decent job of marketing the product.  I don't know about you, but I don't find the advertisement with the pig to be all that appetizing!
Vintage French ads used during Station Four.
Last but certainly not least was Station Five.  Station Five was definitely the most interactive of all the stations!  Here, students needed to generate lists of body parts and clothing items in both English and Spanish.  Students used French books available in the library, as well as their old vocabulary lists, for help with this task.  Next, students needed to pick a "model" for their group - and actually label the model using the French terms the group listed.  The groups had a great time with this activity.  Not only were they learning French vocabulary, but there were lots of laughs as well!

Congratulations to all of the groups for a job well done.  A special shout out to the winning teams from each class.  We look forward to the next time French 8 visits the library.

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