Today I decided to spend my time reviewing the passé composé with my grade 9 Immersion class in preparation for their unit test on Monday. I decided to do something different than just reviewing forms on the board and worksheets. I did the “Qui a fait quoi?” activity that I had done last week, only this time, it was with the être verbs. I’m so glad I did this activity again because it forces them to use what they’ve learned. I also asked them to ask questions that were practical in nature and that would take place in every day conversation. For instance, I told them that I didn’t want questions like: “Es-tu monté au sommet du mont Éverest?” Although creative, it’s not exactly a question that would be used in every day conversation and would have no chance of getting a positive response from anyone in the class. It was so nice to see that when they were mingling, they were helping each other out. As I was circulating to check the questions they had written, I was able to help them with their verb formations and sentence structure as well. It gave me an idea of who needs support and who is comfortable with it. This activity also provided an opportunity to discuss prepositions in front of place names, which is something they’ll be doing next year, but it was a quick little lesson on the board, just to point it out to them.
The next part of the review was a cooperative activity where students were asked to create a story using sentence prompts. I bought the activity from Teachers pay Teachers. I gave them chart paper, markers and divided them up into groups of about 3 students and had them get to work. They didn’t have time to finish, so we’ll be continuing tomorrow. I also plan to post their stories in the room and have them read each others’ stories with a gallery walk. I’ll let you know how it goes!
I still gave them worksheets for homework. I know that we are supposed to be moving away from the worksheet format, but I still believe that there needs to be a balance. Students need the tools in order to do all those communicative activities we ask them to do. I have scaled back on the worksheets over the last few years because endless worksheets will not create fluent French speakers either. Hopefully the balance will create more confident L2 learners who are willing to take more risks with their language learning.