9 Activities for Alternate Schedule Days

I'm sure you've experienced alternate schedules, where you see some students for longer than others.  These could be caused by delays due the weather, state testing, assemblies, drills, or unplanned circumstances.  Because lunch periods cannot be shortened, I have two classes (which occur during lunch periods) which I always see for a full 40 minutes when other classes are shortened.  On days like these, I like to do enrichment activities or fun review activities.  These are activities that are conducted in French that you just may not have time for in your other classes, or that you've done before but are worth repeating.  These activities also happen to be great for the day before a break or on a field trip day when many students are absent.





Beg, Borrow, and Steal: 7 Great Ideas from Other Blogs

At a conference last year, one of the presenters said that the best teachers are the ones who take ideas from other teachers and adapt them when needed.  Why reinvent the wheel?  In my class, some of the best activities I do come from other teachers, be in my colleagues at school, teachers I meet at conferences, or in the case of this post, blogs.  While I plan to do another post in the future on ideas from other teachers I know personally, today I am sharing with you seven great ideas I use in my classroom that came from other blogs.  Some of the ideas didn't change very much from the blog to my classrooms, and others I adapted to better suit my students.

Write, Draw Pass (from Martina Bex)
If you're looking for a fun activity with almost no prep work that gets students to practice their grammar while having fun, look no further!  Martina Bex blogged about this classic activity where students write a sentence, on a piece of paper, pass it to the person next to them who draws it, then folds the first sentence down and passes it to the next person, who writes a sentence based on the picture, and so on.  It helps a lot to give example sentences.  Martina even has a template you can download!  Here are some of my students' results:










Le verbe être sur internet (adapted from Cécile Lainé)
Cécile had the simple yet brilliant idea of showing students realia containing forms of the verb "être" in context to help students understand how the verb works.  This can easily be applied to any verb.  She had her students visit a Pinterest board that she made to look at the different forms.  Using her idea, I made my own worksheet with realia I found on the internet.  You will notice that I had students translate the sentences.  Ordinarily, I shy away from translation activities, but given how abstract this verb is, I found it to be helpful here.


La mini-bande dessinée (adapted from Señorita Barragán)
Crystal blogged about having students practice accepting and turning down invitations by having them create a comic strip using the characters from Adventure Time.  This seemed like a great way to practice this vocabulary, so I had my students do the same thing in French, only I allowed them to use any character.  I've done this for two years now, and I am always so impressed with the results.  Here are some highlights:








Carte heuristique:  C'est moi (adapted from Territoires des Langues)
I blogged about this back in September.  Marion Charreau's fantastic blog full of gorgeous mind maps and great ideas for using them in your lessons had a post on presenting oneself with a mind map.  I liked the idea but I adapted it to suit my first-year students.  What I ended up with was what you see below.





Vocab. Word Order Match Up (from World Language Classroom Resources)
Joshua posted a great activity that takes a little prep time before, but you have it to reuse in years to come once you make it.  You make up a class set of strips, each containing several images that represent vocabulary words on them.  Every strip should have a duplicate.  Then, students go around the room, speaking French only (saying in order what the images are), until they find the person with the same strip as them.

Frankenstein Body Parts (from the Creative Language Class)
This assignment adds a fun twist to the classic "draw a picture of a person and label it," by using body parts from various people.  When I give this assignment to students I allow them to choose whether they want to draw the person, use a photo, or make a Frankenstein person.  Here are some of the creative results:







Rock, Paper, Scissors, Evolution (from Chris Fuller via Amanda Salt)
This is a fun way to spice up conversations in the classroom.  Students exchange a piece of information, then play rock, paper scissors.  The twist is, that the students start as eggs, then when they win they become chicks, then birds, then elephants, then super heroes.  Eggs can only interact with eggs, chicks with chicks, and so on.  The first person to evolve to the super hero level wins a prize.  The students love this activity!

What's an activity you've tried that you got from another blog?

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