Friday, May 27, 2011

Making "Le Petit Prince" Come to Life

It's always exciting when students reach the point in their language study when they are able to read an original piece of literature in its original language.  For me, this happens in French III when students read Le Petit Prince.  To help them figure out the meaning of the book without resorting to English is also a challenge.  One thing I've tried is to create 3-D representations of things that happen in the book.  For example, I created the planet that the Little Prince lives on out of a Styrofoam ball, and I hung it from the ceiling.

In the book, the Little Prince travels around the universe visiting various unusual planets.  I created those as well and hung them from the ceiling.

Here's the planet of the drinker.

And here's the planet of the lamplighter.

And here's the planet Earth and the airplane of the pilot, one of the main characters in the book.

Having these planets hanging from the ceiling allows me to explain and review what's happening in each chapter without using English.  Obviously, students can also easily be reminded of what they're reading by looking around the room.  And every year, students in other levels of French get interested in what the planets mean and ask me about it, which gives me an opportunity to get them excited about being able to read the book in years to come.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

French Fashion Show

I've collected a box of old clothing to use when students learn to name articles of clothing.  A fun thing to do in class once they've learned the words is to have a fashion show and have students model various items.  I allowed students to choose a few things from the box, and then they figured out how to say what they were wearing in French.  I made a "runway" out of butcher paper which I laid on the floor, and I put on some French music in the background.  The more outgoing students even tried to walk like models.  Here are some photos of my first year students.

Once students walked down the runway, they told the class in French what they were wearing and also mentioned what color it was.  I gave them a grade on their spoken French for this activity.

I know this is a pretty common activity for world language teachers to use, but I wanted you to see how much my students enjoyed this anyways.  I did not force the students to put on the clothing as I've found there are usually some who feel too intimidated by this.  However, as you can see, there were still plenty of students who seem to enjoy playing dress-up.  In my opinion, it made practicing the French words more  engaging :).   

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Favorite Quotes from Le Petit Prince

My third year students have just finished reading the beloved book entitled Le Petit Prince (the Little Prince)!  For those of you who aren't familiar with this book, it's full of philosophical quotes.  I asked my students to write their favorite quote from the book on a paper star which I provided for them (stars are discussed frequently in the book).  I hung the stars from the ceiling, where they now brighten up the room and remind us of the genius of Antoine de Saint-Exupery :).


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