The Year in Review: My Favorite New Lessons & Activities from 2014

My classroom, December 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, I'd like to share some of my favorite lessons and activities that I tried for the first time this year.  These are activities that I won't hesitate to use again next year.  Some of them are my own ideas, but many of them are adapted from other teachers' ideas.  That's what I love about having a virtual PLN - so many of my favorite activities come from other teachers' Tweets and blog posts, and we all benefit from having this ability to share on a global level.

Certainly these aren't the only new things I tried this year, but these stick out in my mind as some of the ones I liked best.

1.  Le verbe être sur internet (adapted from Cécile Lainé) - I previously blogged about this here.  Cécile's great idea for showing students an abstract verb in context helped my students make sense of être.  I liked the activity so much that I did the same thing for the verb faire.

2.  Rock, Paper, Scissors Evolution (from Chris Fuller via Amanda Salt) - Another activity I previously blogged about here.  The students like the rock/paper/scissors part of this activity; I like that they are excited to get out of their seats and speak French.

3.  SpongeBob Verb Story - I'm certainly not the first person to write a story to reinforce grammar, but this is one I wrote all on my own.  As the students read the story, they observed how verbs changed in different contexts and then from there determined what the rules were.  Read the full story here.

4.  The Price is Right (from Steve Smith) - The one thing on this list I haven't blogged about yet comes from a great idea from Steve Smith of  He proposed having a game show à la The Price is Right, having students guess the price of various items.  My students absolutely loved this activity.  They worked in groups to guess the price of various items I had on the SMART Board, but they had to negotiate entirely in French.  They also had to write their answer in a complete sentence, reinforcing the difference between il coûte, elle coûte, and ça fait.  I had several students say to me at the end "J'aime l'activité !"

5.  Une publicité - I blogged about this end of the year activity here.  The students enjoyed being creative here, they got to use their French in context, and they learned a little bit about digital citizenship.  I would like to do this activity again this year, but with the iPads our department will be getting.

6.  Let's Roll the Dice - A simple dice game I blogged about here.  The students enjoyed this opportunity to review verbs and speak entirely in French.  It wasn't the most communicative activity we've done, but it was good scaffolding.

What new lessons or activities did you try in 2014?

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