Day 1: Afrique
We began our unit with a card talk a la Tina Hargarden. I began with a simple question in French- when you think of Africa, what image do you think of? I asked students to quickly draw this on the card along with writing their name in large letters. This allowed us to begin talking about Africa in a personal way and to make connections between the students ideas. This helps to build some vocabulary but also build community. All of this was of course in French. I also asked students if anyone had ever visited Africa. No one had.
After our card talk, I projected a map of Africa in French and I began CI introduction to the continent with plenty of questions to engage the class. My students already know basic geographical terms from our France unit in 6th grade. But this provided a good review and also introduction to our unit.
Here are some of the questions I asked in French during the Input phase to elicit student engagement and output: Is Africa a county or a continent? What's an example of another continent? What's an example of a country in Africa or Europe.. etc.. What's the name of country in the north, south, west, east, center of Africa? What ocean/sea is next to Africa? What's the difference between a sea and an ocean. I also told them that I had visited Africa one time. I have visited Egypt when I was very young. I told them more about my trip and then told them I would love to return to Africa but that I would like to visit a French speaking country. Then I asked them which country they would want to visit most. I asked them to write the name on their card. This would be the perfect introduction for next class.
.Day 2/3: Afrique Francophone
We began with the card talk of which Africa country each student would love to visit. The two most popular countries in the class were Egypt and Madagascar. We talked in French about why those two countries are so popular and did some compare and contrast about geographical and cultural differences.
I then projected a map of French speaking Africa - this allowed us to begin talking about langues in Africa in the different geographical areas and we also got in to a discussion using CI methods about why theses languages are spoken,
This was a great lead into now speaking more specifically about different Francophone countries. I used Cecile Laine's resources on Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria, and Guinea. The Black M song Je suis Francais, led into a quick discussion about immigration in France (I did choose to do this part in English because of the topic and the language difficulty- if your students are at the Intermediate level you could do much more here).
Day 4: Senegal
As the students walked into the classroom I played Senegal Fast Food and we also completed a cloze lyrics activity.
I did a CI introduction to Senegal using a powerpoint presentation. Each slide included pictures about Senegal organized by categories: location, geography, languages, religion, population, art, food, traditional clothing, music, homes, important places.
We then read about a day in the life of a Senegalese child (page 1, page 2) We read and discussed the article together and then the students completed the IPA style interpretive reading activity created by Lisa Shepherd. The work we did upfront as a class allowed them to do this with relative ease individually.
Further readings on children in Senegal:
Enfants du Senegal (Higher level text but accessible to students through cognates and with teacher guided discussion)
Les enfants fantomes du Senegal - Petit Journal Francophone- September 11, 2016
Day 5: Student project - Francophone Country in Africa. Students prepare a speaking presentation about a country in Africa that they will research. Here is the rubric I use. I will show them again my presentation on Senegal. Remind them how I was able to talk in relatively simple French about Senegal - its location, basic information, and its culture. My students have background language from units we have done on food, geography, clothing, school life, etc from which to pull. The Francophone Africa map that we used a few days ago is an amazing tool for students to do some research in French as each country has a link to an information sheet about the country in French!
I will be posting monthly about activities I am using in my classroom, new ideas, or reviews.