Monday, October 22, 2012

Montreal Thrift Shop Loot

Guess where I stopped in during my family's summer vacation, to help get ready for a French Immersion intermediate level classroom this year?

That's right!  I visited a certain "Value" store!  I looked around for a variety of ideas that might be handy for my class, but  - call me boring - the only thing I ended up buying were books. These seemed more appropriate than the Core French level books I already own, so I was very happy with my find.

Can you believe it was only about $30 for my treasures?  I was considering buying JUST a second copy of the traditional verb conjugation hard cover student book, Bescherelle, for about $18 on its own.

Unfortunately, I have not yet read all of these books myself, so there is the possibility of there being something in there that isn't quite age-appropriate. So far, the students have ONLY been drawn to the Disney movie books, but they are reasonably text-heavy, so for a little bit of personal reading, I've been allowing it if they forget their own book.

I also had an opportunity to snap photos of a few other things that I found interesting.  I'm not quite sure how I'll use this, but I'm open to any suggestions that you might have!

À la prochaine!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Five Virtual Field Trip Ideas for FSL Classes

Resource dollars are tight, as is time to cover the curriculum, and there sure are a lot of forms to fill out for educational experiences that take place outside of the classroom - especially if it involves significant travel.  Why not try one of these 5 virtual field trip ideas for your francophiles-in-training?

Live Video Chats

Use Skype or Google + to video chat with other classes learning French, or with francophone students learning English, whichever you prefer for your students... or whatever you manage to arrange through your network of contacts.


The Louvre has an extensive web site. - In addition to the virtual tour, they also offer a database of all their art, so you can set your own mini-tour on a theme or artist, or even create a web quest for your students to complete.

How about the Virtual Museum of Canada, with tons of content (including accompanying lesson plans!) in both English and French?  (try to give a couple of examples!!)

Try the Ontario Science Centre's virtual tour, which includes in the Démonstrations section lots of try-it-yourself experiments. How about some fun homework? Pass out some LifeSaver wintergreen candy in class and tell students they need to perform this scientific observation. (Note: All the videos linked in throughout the site seem to be only available in English.)


The variety of virtual peeks inside people's homes around the world provides a wealth of opportunities for learning. Options range from having younger students describe what they see, and give instructions to find a particular room in a given house (i.e. "Où est la salle de bains, Monsieur?") to asking students to compare and contrast rooms in their own house to what they see elsewhere, make inferences based on layout, select accommodations and explain or defend their choices.

Virtual French apartment tours:

Virtual French house tours and floor plans:

Historical Tourist Sites

For grade 7 History in either official language, this 360 degree live virtual tour of Quebec City from the Observatory might be interesting to explore.  Turn on the option to "afficher les points d'intérêt" if you'd like blue dots shown to indicate main historical sites, with pop-up labels.

The Mother-load

Of course, Google Maps street view can be used to tour virtually any city in the world. Take a walking tour of any francophone downtown core, compare and contrast rural and urban neighbourhoods in Canada & France, research some middle school addresses around the world and check out what the buildings look like, and use Satellite view for a general campus layout as well.

What great virtual field trip am I missing for intermediate level French classes? Please leave a brief description, as well as a link if you can, in the comments below!

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