Friday, May 22, 2015

Au pas camarade unit now available!

It's been in the works for a couple of years! My unit for Au pas camarade, (French version of "Branded", the novel by popular YA fiction Canadian author Eric Walters) is finally available to anyone who'd like to pick it up to use in their class. I always make the same mistake - I think I'm almost ready to publish something, to share in my TPT store or on my blog, or other places that I make material I make available for other teachers to use, and really, I ought to know better. The hours it takes to get something looking just how I want it, and proofreading, and making sure stuff I tell students orally in class or post on chart paper is actually explicit enough for another teacher to make sense of it... well, that quickly turns into days. And I do have a full time job as a teacher apart from this, plus a family, and all that other stuff that makes life fun!

Au pas camarade teaching material cover, sample student handout, additional pages by Teaching FSL


When I use this novel unit in my class, I distribute a duotang to each student & have them write their name, and the purpose on the cover right away, before I distribute the novel. (Note to self... pick up LOTS of duotangs in back-to-school sales, given the serious cut in consumable budget we seem to be facing, yet again this year!) Actually, the exact timing of when I give students the handout and duotang is right after we do the pre-reading activity that explores character traits in an authentic oral mill to the music format. Then I have them place a copy of the blank vocab sheet, and a few lined pieces of paper to get them stated on what they'll use to answer. I also usually double side the chapter handouts so they get two chapters at once, in order to use less paper, save space in the duotang, and encourage students to use lined paper for their answers.

Students are told that they can make rough notes on the photocopies, but that the vocab sheet should be used for recording their vocabulary, to keep it all together (and give them more double-sided copies as needed... maybe 2-3 total for the unit, per student.)  And their questions I want answered on lined paper. Sometimes I do collect these to provide some feedback on their written expression. When I do that, it's usually to check for clarity, depth, and how well they are supporting their answers with evidence from the text or other connections. This is a great opportunity to provide descriptive, formative feedback.

Please leave me a comment below.... what would you like to see offered as a freebie from this unit? I'm considering offering:
  1. the chapter one vocabulary cross word puzzle 
  2. the pre-reading character trait activity (with a focus on students mixing & mingling to explain their answers orally)
  3. one unit's student question handout
Within a couple of weeks, I'll pick one, if there's any interest at all!  (PS.... I already DO have a free activity that I use as part of my pre-reading setup for this novel in that blog post from almost 2 years ago!  Feel free to download it & check it out!)


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