Pour Utiliser Un Dico: A Lesson Plan

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post called A Thorough Guide to How to Use a Dictionary for French Students. I recently created a lesson plan based on it that I have not yet implemented, but I would like to use in my classroom. I believe knowing how to use a dictionary is a valuable skill that needs to be taught, otherwise the effectiveness of the dictionary is greatly diminished. As a teacher of first year French students (7th graders), this is not a lesson I will implement right away (especially since a certain amount of prior knowledge of French grammar is required), but I think in most cases it would be a good lesson to give before doing the first writing assignment or project of the year. Students can use the first page of notes as a sort of "cheat sheet" when they are writing subsequent compositions.

Objective: After the completion of this lesson and with practice, students will be able to effectively use a dictionary to improve their reading and writing skills in the target language.
• SMART Board or non-interactive projector connected to computer
• Website: Wordreference.com
• Guided notes/Paired practice worksheet
• Classroom set of dictionaries
Instructional Sequence:
• Distribute guided notes and paired practice to students
• Project guided notes on SMART Board or other projector
• Have student read introduction and explain the importance of the skill of using a dictionary
• Fill in symbols and meanings with students (have them figure them out)
• Have student read context paragraph; clarify the meanings of “context” and “idiomatic expression”
• Have student read agreement paragraph; clarify when a verb or an adjective would have to be changed
• Show WordReference.com, explain how it works
• Let students work on paired practice for 10 minutes before going over it.
• Undoubtedly, the issue of using an online translator will come up. If/when it does:
o State that using a translator to write a paper or an assignment is cheating, and will be treated as such
o State that translators don’t do as good a job as you can with a dictionary, and it is very obvious when they are being used
o Remind students that taking the shortcut of using a translator, besides not being effective, does not give you any practice with the language, and as a result you won’t perform as well in class and on assessments.

Guided Notes and Practice (Key)

What's New at the French Corner

Je suis prof de français !As you may have noticed if you visit the blog's website (as to opposed to reading this in your RSS reader), The French Corner has taken on a new look. I decided a change in design was long overdue; I have had the same one for a couple of years now I think. I have a very happy announcement to make to my readers; I will begin my first year of teaching this fall! I will be teaching 7th grade French at Maple Avenue Middle School in Saratoga Springs, NY.

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