Intro to passé composé: film story

As a new teacher to comprehensible input, I always wonder how much I’m impacting my students. Clearly, I am not doing a perfect job, but I hope that the strides I am making will help my students each day. One day, I’ll be totally 90%, but this first transition year is hard.

That’s one of the reasons I love stories so much. I worry that students aren’y getting the “grammar” they need, and that the vocabulary we’ve been working with this year has been a lot of the same. I look at my traditional-styled colleagues, who are well into preterite vs. imperfect in level two, and I wonder, “am I doing this wrong?” I have to constantly battle my “old” ways of thinking to remember what’s better for my students.

So, this week, as we head through a unit on entertainment, I’m hoping to talk about the Oscars, but before we do that, my students need to be exposed to a little bit of the past tense. What better way to intro with a story? And, what better introduction to past tense? On a Monday, students always want to share a) where they went, or b) what they watched/listened to/ate over the weekend, so I think this is the perfect combination of the two.

For this story, I’ve incorporated a short review of question words (in general) because we spent last week (two 2-hour delays, one full day, and mardi gras) reviewing questions words explicitly. I hope to just incorporate them from now on, and that students will catch on, and eventually be able to ask and answer a variety of questions on familiar and unfamiliar topics (one of my only memorized Ohio FL standards, and a great push into the murkiness that is the intermediate level.)

I’ve also included a review of “plus ______ (que)” a way to compare two things, since we’ll hopefully be comparing movies using the Oscars this week. I’m also looking into comparing the artists and winners from the Grammys, if I can find the appropriate resources (and who doesn’t want to talk about how Kanye insulted another artist this year?!)

Hopefully I can pool all of those resources in the coming week, and actually post my first mini-unit, a totally #fearless thing of me to do!

In this particular story, I’ll be using a boy from my class as the main character, Henri. I’m hoping that this will keep students intrigued, and I may even use a celebrity as the girl, Rosalie. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve included the story script here, and as always, I’d love your feedback if you want to offer it! I always worry about the key structures; one day I’ll get the hang of choosing them!

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