THIS LESSON PLAN provides a self-directed project for upper-level French students that can be done with a minimum of guidance while being sufficiently challenging to meet curriculum requirements. The result is real-world French immersion activities enhanced with the use of technology.
Lesson description: Fourth-year French students are given various prompts to be used in creating a Web page on a particular theme such as family, travel, a doctor’s visit or finding a job. The students conduct Web-based research to find the content needed to create their Web sites. The students then present their Web sites and research to third-year French students. This allows both grades to benefit from the project: The third-year students are exposed to real-life situations and the fourth-year students practice their language-speaking skills.
The idea for this lesson was inspired by teachers Parthena Draggett and Humphrey Fradl of Jackson High School in Massilon, Ohio. Draggett presented their ideas in a workshop sponsored by the Ohio Foreign Language Association.
Subject area: The lesson is designed for third- and fourth-year French students.
Standards: This lesson meets the Ohio Foreign Language Standards for Communication requiring that the student “create and present a wide range of personal, historical and cultural texts.”
Resources: With www.freewebs.com, students have a user-friendly method of creating their Web sites. It allows them to easily add pictures and connect to other sites or pages.
The rubrics follow the recommendations for Foreign Language Assessments according to the Ohio Foreign Language Standards. In part, these standards are as follows:
A: Few grammatical or spelling errors. Wide variety of vocabulary, grammar and sentence structures. Few word order errors.
B: Some grammatical or spelling errors. Some variety of vocabulary, grammar and sentence structures. Some word order errors.
C: Many grammatical or spelling errors. Limited variety of vocabulary, grammar and sentence structures. Many word order errors.
D: Significant grammatical or spelling errors. Lacks a variety of vocabulary, grammar and sentence structures. Excessive word order errors.
• Have a least one computer available per group at all times.
• Be sure to practice the grammar and writing skills needed for each of the tasks. For example, students may write letters of intent and curricula vitae for a sample job before beginning their individual projects.
• Also, prepare a backup plan in case Web sites are blocked or the Internet is down. Make printed materials available to use in the event of technical difficulties.
• Finally, some students are uncomfortable researching and creating Web sites. Make sure these students are grouped with someone who is comfortable, or find an alternate way for these students to accomplish the goals of the lesson.
Jacylyn Doerner is a French teacher at St. Peter Chanel High School in Bedford, Ohio.