Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Simple Ways to Celebrate National French Week

I've wanted to participate in celebrating National French Week for several years, but have had difficulty finding the time to plan & prepare.  So this year I decided that I'd try just a few simple ideas just to get myself started.  I began by putting up posters up in the hallways.  My French I students participated by making mini-posters of the flags of the French-speaking world.  Here are some photos.

Then I planned and promoted 3 give-aways that the whole high school could participate in.  On Monday, I gave away free croissants and Nutella at lunch.  I was worried that students wouldn't really be interested, but by the time I got to the lunchroom, a crowd was waiting for me, and the croissants were gone in under one minute.  This created quite a buzz in the lunchroom...everyone noticed!  I was very pleased.

On Wednesday, I had a raffle to give away some French & Swiss chocolate (2 GIANT Toblerone bars and a box of Merci chocolates).  French students were in charge of collecting ballots for the drawing before school.  I entered the names in a random name picker website and then used a video projector in the lunchroom to show who the winners were by selecting the names on the website.  A large crowd of students gathered spontaneously, and there was definitely a lot of excitement in the air!

Friday was the grand finale.  The final raffle of the week was for a French café lunch for 2 people, to be served to the students at a café table in the lunchroom by me!  I used the random name picker website again to choose the winners.  Here are some photos.  The lunch consisted of croque-monsieur sandwiches (which I cooked on a hot plate right there in the lunch room beside the café table), limonade and French cookies.

As it turned out, the winners were French students, and they couldn't have been more thrilled!  And no one could complain about who won since I used the random name picker in front of everyone to choose the names.

On Friday I also held a simple contest just for French students.  It was called "Colors of the French flag Day", and French students were asked to wear red, white & blue to school.  Each class voted on the student with the best costume, and that student won a bottle of Limonade.  Here are the winners from each level of French.

French I winner
French II winners...a group effort!
French III winner
French IV

French I winner

It was definitely extra work to carry this out.  But I truly was surprised by the level of excitement that these simple activities created in everyone. At the end of the week, I felt like I had promoted the study of French, and that I had taken French outside of my classroom.  It was definitely worth the effort!  I encourage you to try it and see for yourself :). 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to Use a Mannequin in Your Classroom #6: Learning to Describe the Weather!

I used my friend Jacques (the mannequin) to teach students to describe the weather today!  I had a conversation with him about what the weather was like.  He started out looking like this:
Jacques said, "It's nice today"!

Then I changed his attire a little and asked him what the weather was like again:

Jacques said, "It's cool today".

I used a spray bottle filled with water and unexpectedly misted my students with the water as I asked Jacques again what the weather was like.

Jacques said, "It's raining".

It must be really cold outside, because Jacques' lips are BLUE :).

My students look forward to hearing these conversations with Jacques as part of their lesson!

I took this picture today when I saw these young ladies walk right over to Jacques to give him a hug as they entered the classroom!


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