Bonjour! My name is Rachel and I have been working and sharing ideas with Kara and Megan for many years. I have been more of a behind the scenes kind of person until now. I am a high school French teacher (levels 1-4 and AP) and Kara and Megan thought that I would be a great addition to their blog. I am here to offer French resources and just like Kara and Megan I am here to offer ideas to all language teachers.
In my district, we teach an “Arts and Me” unit to our Level 3 students. Last year was my first year teaching this unit and I wasn’t very sure if I would like it, but more importantly, I wasn’t sure if my students would like it. I must admit, I didn’t really know where to begin (although after reading Megan’s post Tuesday, I am excited to start the unit using her idea). We started with the elements of art and moved on to genres of art.
I thought this would be a great time to expose my students to French art. I organized a “gallery walk” with some works of art from several different Paris museums. Of course we know as language teachers how important it is to include culture in our lessons. I chose 4 different museums in Paris: the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, the Rodin Museum and the Centre Pompidou. I also chose pictures of several different types of art: paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry, etc. I hung the pictures up around the classroom and as my students walked around looking at the pictures, I had them “Tweet” their opinions in French (unfortunately our students are not allowed to use their phones in class so I had my students write on a blank Twitter paper). Now depending on your school and the technology available, you could have them actually Tweet or blog.
This activity did take a little time to prepare and I had the pictures printed in color (very important), but it was worth it. My students did a great job and really enjoyed seeing famous works of art.
Now to continue on this lesson, you can go to different museum sites and show videos or print out written text about works of art (great for interpretive listening and reading exercises). You can have students create their own works of art and describe them; furthermore, you can have them go and explore local museums and write about the art they see. In our town, we have an art fair that coincides very well with this unit. One of their Real World homework options is to go to the fair, take a picture of a piece of art and describe it.
When it was all said and done, we really had fun with this unit! I was pleased at how much of the vocabulary they continued to use throughout the year. The key to this unit is to incorporate all types of art (tattoos, graffiti, music, etc.), so that your students can make their own connections to the art they enjoy!!!!
Some sites that I have found useful:
http://www.musee-orsay.fr/fr/outils-transversaux/galerie-video/1-minute-au-musee.html ***One of my favorites
Download the TweetSheet from el Mercado. -Good for all languages!