Monday, November 24, 2014

DAC Intermediate French Weeks 5-10

Bonjour à tous!

We just finished the 10th week of the TALK year! Where has the time gone? It has been quite a few weeks since I last updated. To summarize, here is a list of terms that we covered during Weeks 5-10:

Week 5: Dans la salle de classe (in the classroom):

Un crayon - a pencil
Un stylo - a pen
Un feutre - a marker
Une gomme - an eraser
Une règle - a ruler (Alee's words: "rulers are feminine because girls rule")
Un livre - a book
Un cahier - a notebook or workbook
Des ciseaux - scissors
Une feuille de papier - a sheet of paper (remember that "feuille" means leaf)
Une calculatrice - a calculator
Un sac à dos - a backpack
La salle de classe - the classroom
La porte - the door
La fenêtre - the window
La chaise - the chair
Le tableau - the board
Un(e) élève - a student
Un professeur - a teacher

Week 6: La famille (family):

Ma famille - my family
Ma mère/maman - my mother/mom
Mon père/papa - my father/dad
Mon frère - my brother
Ma soeur - my sister
Ma soeur jumelle - my twin sister
Mon cousin - my (boy) cousin
Ma cousine - my (girl) cousin
Ma grand-mère - my grandmother
Mon grand-père - my grandfather
Mon oncle - my uncle
Ma tante - my aunt
Le fils - the son
La fille - the daughter (also means girl)
Le petit-fils - the grandson
La petite-fille - the granddaughter
Le neveu - the nephew
La nièce - the niece

Week 7: L'Halloween (Halloween):

During Halloween week, we covered a whole bunch of Halloween terms and started introducing a few candy-making words. The majority of the Halloween terms I covered in class can be found in this video, which I showed about twice a day EVERY single day that week. By the end of the week, the kids (at least the ones who always showed up on time) could almost sing along! It was an interesting experience. The kids started complaining on the second day, but I stuck through, and by the end, they started treating it as a joke! Play it for your kids and watch the expression on their face!

Here are the lyrics and their translations. The colors words are the ones I made sure to cover in class.

Les sorcières sortent le soir; les fantômes aussi / Witches go out at night; ghosts too.
Le ciel est tout noir, et les nuages sont gris. / The sky is pitch black, and the clouds are gray.
Est-ce que tu as peur des méchants esprits? / Are you afraid of the mean spirits?
Ô Monsieur, oui oui oui oui oui! / Oh sir, yes yes yes yes yes!

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hé!
C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween!

Pendant l'Halloween, tu peux être ce que tu veux. / During Halloween, you can be what you want to be.
Un tigre féroce, ou un serpent bleu. / A ferocious tiger or a blue snake.
Il se fait tard; rentres-tu à la maison? / It is getting late; are you going home?
Ô Madame, non non non non non! / Oh madame, no no no no no!

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hé!
C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween!

La lune, elle est pleine; le hibou, il crie. / The moon, it is full; the owl, it screeches (or yells).
De toutes les branches pendent des chauves-souris. / From all the branches hang the bats.
Est-ce que tu as peur de cette nuit? / Are you afraid of this night?
Ô Madame, oui oui oui oui oui! / Oh madame, yes yes yes yes yes!

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hé!
C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween!

During Halloween week, we also did two games of Halloween tag, in which a skeleton stands immobile in the center of the room, telling the rest of the class that "I am a skeleton" (je suis un squelette) or "we are skeletons" (nous sommes des squelettes) in French and then asking them to cross over if they are witches, ghosts, spirits, or pumpkins. While crossing the room, they have to act as if they were the object that they were representing.

Week 8: Les contraires (opposites):

Admittedly, Week 8 was not much of a success. On the bright side, after a couple of unintended "monkey in the middle" games, I think they now know June, July, and August (the months they've never previously been able to master) extra well! Here are the terms I tried to cover that week. The adjectives would be used without the portion in parentheses when describing a masculine term, while the portion inside the parentheses are added when describing a feminine term.

Grand(e)/petit(e) - big/small
Loin/près - far/near
Sur/sous - on/under
Chaud(e)/froid(e) - hot/cold
J'ai chaud/j'ai froid - I am hot/cold (literally "I have" but that's French...)
Fermé(e)/ouvert(e) - closed/open
Long(ue)/court(e) - long/short
Plus/moins - more/less
Vide/plein(e) - empty/full
Heureux (heureuse)/triste - happy/sad

Weeks 9-10: Les parties du corps (body parts):

La tête - head
Les cheveux - hair
Les oreilles - ears
Le nez - nose
La bouche - mouth
La langue - tongue (the same word in French as for language)
Les sourcils - eyebrows
Le front - forehead
La joue - cheek
L'oeil - eye (singular)
Les yeux - eyes (plural)
Le cou - nose
Les épaules - shoulders
Le bras - arms
Les doigts - fingers
Le ventre - belly
La jambe - leg
Les pieds - feet
Les orteils - toes
La queue - tail (because we've had a monkey theme in this class)
Les ailes - wings (because, as Chloe reminded us, turkeys have wings)

We did some pretty cool activities with body parts these couple of weeks. First, the kids drew and labeled body parts, cut them out, and taped them together to form interesting-looking creatures. Here are a couple of the end results of this activity.

This past week, we started the week off by celebrating Chloe's 9th birthday. Some of the words we learned pertaining to birthdays were joyeux anniversaire (happy birthday), un cadeau (a present), un gâteau (a cake). We also played a game of pin the body part on the turkey, which most of the kids seemed to enjoy. I used this opportunity to not only have them practice the body parts, but also to give directions. Words we covered to this purpose included à gauche (to the left), à droite (to the right), tout droit (straight ahead), plus haut (higher), and plus bas (lower).

Some other games that we did included go-fish with body parts and some other vocabulary words that the kids have had trouble with over the past couple of months. In playing this game, I also got them to ask rudimentary questions like est-ce que tu as (do you have). Some of the other common expressions that I am trying to encourage them use on a regular basis include je comprends/je ne comprends pas (I understand/do not understand) and je sais/je ne sais pas (I know/do not know).

We had another piece-together body part game, which made use of preexisting flashcards:

Over the past weeks, I began incorporating "mountain tag" (monter la montagne), a game that the kids enjoyed from Kristine's beginning class, into the curriculum, typically on Fridays. In this game, the kids line up on one side of the stage area and attempt to cross to the other side if they match whatever criteria I list. I stand in the middle and tag them as they cross the room. Whoever gets tagged joins the tagger. I started off with simpler phrases and gradually progressed to more complicated forms such as "montez la montagne si vous avez un crayon dans votre sac à dos" or "si vous avez une soeur qui joue au foot."

In December, we are only scheduled to meet for about a week and a half. I plan to use this time to incorporate the Christmas holidays into the lesson plan and to take a day to also celebrate Alee and Corrie's birthday. In the mean time, the best way that I have found to really internalize the French language is to listen to music. When we listen to songs, we gradually learn the lyrics, and even though we may have no idea what they mean in the beginning, when we do hear them in real life, we begin making connections. Sometimes these connections are all we need to start incorporating the phrases we hear into our own repertoire.

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday! A la semaine prochaine!

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