Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to Use a Mannequin in Your Classroom #7: Teaching Students to ask Information Questions!

Yesterday I taught students how to ask basic information questions with the help of my classroom mannequin, Jacques.  Before class began, I dressed Jacques up to look like an alien from outer space & covered him up.  When students arrived, I told them to get ready for a surprise.

  I used a fog machine to create extra excitement.  I told students to imagine that Jacques was an alien from outer space today.  Then I unveiled him. 

Jacques the Alien from Outer Space!
I projected a photograph of outer space on the screen as I told the story of how Jacques the alien came to Earth.  Then I interviewed him.  Obviously, I have to act out the part of the interviewer and also the voice of Jacques (students really enjoy this)!  He traveled by flying saucer, which I made out of a paper plate and tin foil, and suspended from the ceiling.  

Jacques' flying saucer
I think this was a good way to model asking information questions to my students, and a great way to get them interested in the lesson.  I did have to warn my colleagues not to be alarmed if they saw smoke coming out of the French room today :)!


  1. You can use this as an intro to Le Petit Prince. I usually project a selection of videos to intro LPP: trailers for K-Pax, Forest Gump, E.T. What do they all have in common? The character sees the world with an "innocent eye" (I quote a former student here). Same steps: mistrustat first (even hostility from the "majority")-friendship wins step by step...There's also a movie with Daniel Auteil, MON MEILLEUR AMI (the reference to LPP is explicit there)

  2. Thanks, Luciana. I've never thought of that. I'll have to check out Mon Meilleur Ami...I've never seen it :).



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