Grade 6 students are beginning their big projects. Using only their workbooks, acquired vocabulary and word walls, 6E and 6D are beginning to retell the story of Brigitte lost in the forest. The biggest challenge is that students must write in the third person narrative (which is very different from the play dialogue) and they must use new words. If three or four words in the retell seem to come directly from the play, I mark ‘mots differents’ in the rough copy, which means they must choose different words.
The key to a unique and interesting story lies in the use of adjectives and adverbs. I am thoroughly enjoying the line of students forming at my desk as they seek support in their writing. I am seeing creativity, originality and risk-taking! There are even students who have very little English who are producing samples in the French language. I love to see the humoured eye-rolling and hear the funny sighs when I write a little arrow in here and there in students’ rough copies, indicating I would like an adjective or adverb… it is so much fun to see the blossoming talents of my students as they are challenged to write long and interesting sentences.
Grade 7 students have a very big undertaking at the moment. We are beginning scene 4 of our 7-scene play and the vocabulary is particularly more challenging at this moment. New words are introduced and correct pronunciation is integral to a flowing and fluid way a speaking. In groups of three, students are building upon their vocabulary; providing expressiveness to their words and speaking at a faster and faster pace. Words like ‘peut-etre’ and ‘mes amis’ provide excellent examples of how words in French flow together and connect together.
Students just completed a massive assessment of their comprehension of scene 3, including the reading of an unfamiliar story and a listening of an unfamiliar aural text. I usually read the text four times and the students are tasked with answering questions in full sentences. The stories contain familiar and new words which require analysis of context in order to determine meaning.
Grade 8 students are continuing to practice and hone their conjugation skills in the context of their study of the play. There is so much analysis, discussion and practice, and I am very thrilled with the results. In preparation for Grade 9, it is very important that students recognize and be able to write in the past tense. We begin lessons with review, whole-class discussions, practice on the whiteboard and then individual work. Many students really enjoy the logic of conjugations and ask for increasingly more challenging exercises. I am very happy to oblige!
Looking forward to a productive and engaging Spring at the Valleys!
p.s. If you are currently not a member of French Club, then what are you waiting for???