Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day!

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! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Even More Adopt an Escargot! (& StoryKit app for iPad)

I've begun the fabulous adopt-an-escargot project in my third-year French class this week, and there is definitely excitement in the air!  I love how much this project awakens the interest of all of my students...even those in other levels of French.  Today, students in lower levels of French could be found gathered around Escargotville in the corner of my classroom :).  It warms my heart to see this.

Today I used the iPad2 in conjunction with this project.  Students were asked to write a haiku poem for their dear baby escargot.  After reviewing how to write haiku, students used the StoryKit app to create a page which contained a photo of their baby, the text to the haiku they wrote, and a recording of their own voice reading the haiku.  Students were able to send the link to me through email, and I was then able to project the pages onto the big screen so that everyone could enjoy seeing and hearing the poems.

Here's a screenshot of one of the pages.  You won't be able to hear the audio, but I was able to play the audio on my laptop after students emailed the link to their page to me.

   For those of you who may not read French, this baby's name is Bubbles, and the poem says, "Bubbles is very beautiful, she is very smart, Bubbles is the best" (there are some errors in the French).

How was this better than having students stand up to read their poems from a piece of paper, as I've done in past years?  The entire class was able to see the text of the poem and also a photo of the snail since it was projected on the screen.  This would not have been true if students stood up to present the poems to the class.  Also, I notice that students spend a little more time on their pronunciation when they record their own voices.  Finally, students are able to observe their own presentation and enjoy the reaction of the class to their original creations.  I thought that this activity worked very well, and I was pleased with the results! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...