Attention fellow teachers! If you're a teacher of French & you've not yet investigated adopt an escargot, I urge you to do so tout de suite! Adopt an escargot is a brilliant idea invented by a retired teacher. It involves students adopting a baby escargot (a shell!) & inventing the life of their child. To have your students participate, you need to email Nancy (the creator of this wonderful program). On the site, click on the image Pour le prof de français and then you will see a link to contact Le Grand Escargot. You can purchase everything necessary from her for about $25 per kit (which is enough for a whole class). Each kit includes beautiful escargot shells (unique colors & shapes) and each shell comes with a unique profile. The kit also includes other activities such as a game, a template for a baby book, official adoption certificates and the right for your students to email Le Grand Escargot (the big snail). The whole idea is incredibly creative & a fantastic way to involve students in reading, writing, speaking and understanding French.
This year for adoption day, I packaged the "babies" in some cute red & blue party favor bags. Here's what they looked like:
Students were allowed to pick a bag from the basket, but soon found out that a blue bag did not necessarily mean a baby boy. When they opened their bags, they found a shell and their baby's profile, which told them if their baby was a boy or a girl, and a little about their baby's likes, dislikes and fears.
It is amazing to me each year to see how even the seniors in the class get so excited about this project. Believe me, they are not too old to find this fun!
This year I have the good fortune to finally have another French teacher in the building besides myself. I asked her to act as the adoption agent on adoption day. We named her Margaux Fargaux, and I even made an official badge for her to wear.
Agent Margaux arrived with the babies on the scheduled date & explained to students what a serious responsibility adopting a baby escargot was (in French, of course!). She asked students to repeat the oath of escargot (found on the adopt an escargot site) after her with their right hands raised:
Margaux Fargaux did such a wonderful job!
She also put her official signature on each of the students' adoption certificates.
This year I also discovered that if you buy Avery labels, you can easily create custom labels by using the code that is given on the package. I made these adorable stickers (in less than 10 minutes!) for adoption day. I asked students to put them on their shirts and wear them for the whole day. This served as excellent advertising for the French program!
We all had a great time. I hope you believe as fervently as I do that learning another language is a fascinating & exciting process. Convince your students of this by trying adopt an escargot. REALLY. If you find yourself feeling tired & lacking motivation, your students will notice & it will affect your teaching. This might be just what you need to feel inspired again.
Just do it. Your students will thank you, I promise!