There’s a quote that I can’t remember that I’ve been thinking of today – something about me being a sum of all the people I’ve ever met.
So, today in my French III class, I used an activity I found from Lisa Shepard. We’ve been talking about art, and she did a unit where she focused on impressionism, so I borrowed
some all of her ideas. Today, we did the activity she describes here, where students look at two paintings, pick which one was an example of impressionism, and support their case. I grouped students into partners, and they spent yesterday looking at their paintings, and coming up with supporting reasons that the painting they chose was impressionism. We talked about subjects, scenes, colors, point of view, brushstrokes, etc.
Then, today, I moved the desks into a circle, with one desk on the inside and one on the outside. I modified Colleen’s “fair” activity, so that students had a few minutes to review with their partner before they presented. Then, the students on the inside (partner A) walked from desk to desk, asking which painting was impressionism and the reasons why. Their partner, on the outside (partner B), stayed with their paintings, and defended which they chose. Once these students had finished, they switched roles with their partner, so that partner A stayed to defend while partner B walked the room. I circled around, sitting across from students and letting them explain to me. Every group chose the correct painting!
Then, I added an element of John’s fairy tale activity (which he modified from Colleen’s fair activity as well) He had students circumlocute different fairy tales, and student A would guess what student B had described to them. I had students guess which one of the paintings they thought was impressionism, and had them decide if the “defender” of the paintings described the correct one.
I think a great extension of this activity would be to give students new paintings and to choose on the spot which one is impressionism. One thing I would change for next time is that I would limit how much the students got to use their cheat sheet, arm the inside circle partner with questions to ask, and/or have the “questioner” rate how well the “defender” described their painting.
Here are a few pictures of the madness:
Overall, this mash up activities worked out well. One of the things I want my French IIIs to work on is their ability to have a spontaneous conversation. While this wasn’t spontaneous, I think that it’s a step in the right direction.
One day, I’ll have my own amazing activities, but until then, I’ll keep modifying and sharing others. :] Thanks Lisa, Colleen, and John for your great ideas!