This year was the third year I was advisor to our school's French Club. Each year since the club began, I have tried to find more service-oriented projects for students to do. Last year we had a fundraiser to benefit the children of Haiti. Earlier this year, students made a Moroccan couscous salad to donate to the local soup kitchen. At the first French Club meeting of the year, I asked students to suggest activities they would like to participate in. One student suggested that we go into the elementary schools and teach French. I thought that sounded like a great idea, so that is what we did!
Students who participated in the project came in after school on a number of different occasions to prepare lessons and create visuals and examples. Students practiced the lessons on each other, and we discussed some scaffolding and classroom management techniques. For the first two lessons, my colleague and I developed the agenda, but for the third and final lessons, the students gave their input.
We went to the elementary school on three different Fridays right after school (while the elementary school was still in session). Students were assigned to a second or third grade classroom in groups of four or five. Lessons went for about a half hour. For the first lesson, students taught the younger kids colors and shapes, and played color and shape bingo. For the second, they taught them parts of the body and learned the Alouette song. Finally, for the last lesson, they taught them how to give their age and say their birth month. The younger students then made a small poster with some of their information, drawing themselves in their birth month. Above is an example one of the French Club students made, with some additional vocabulary included.
This was a very rewarding project for the French Club students, and the younger students enjoyed having their "French friends" come in on Fridays. We are looking forward to repeating the project again next year, and hopefully expanding it to more lessons!
Have you ever done a project like this with your French Club? If so, what was your experience?