This is the second of a series of posts about French AP. Several colleagues told me it would be helpful if I shared my materials so here we go! Feel free to critique them, use them, share them, toss them, ask questions about them, whatever you like! I try to give credit where credit is deserved but if you find that I forgot to credit someone/an organization, please do let me know.

For my full AP curriculum, please click here.

Wow, it took me a while to clean-up and organize this first set of materials so that I could share them on my blog. But not only did I really enjoy the exercise, it also actually helped me improve and even find new resources. So it’s a win-win and I am excited to share them with everyone!

This first “Beauty and Aesthetic” sub-unit is entitled: “What makes a movie beautiful?”

Here is the folder and a summary of what students can do during this unit:

1. Read, analyze, and discuss a famous French fairy tale “la Belle et la Bête”

I love starting the year with reading “La Belle et la Bête” by Leprince Beaumont because it is a very well known fairy tale so students may rely on their background knowledge to comprehend the authentic text. Also, by allowing them to compare and contrast the original 18th century story with the popular Disney movie, students realize that the “Gaston” character does not exist in the original story. So where did Disney get this character from? Students will get an answer once they watch the 1946 film by Jean Cocteau. Lots of interpretive and interpersonal communication happen during this first part.

Please note, if you don’t want to buy the book, you can find an online version here.

2. Discuss the definition of a “beautiful movie” and what factors influence our perception of beauty

Students come up with a definition for what makes a beautiful movie, using measurable and specific criteria. This is mission impossible because beauty is such a subjective thing but it is fun and interesting, as we talk about what influence our perception of beauty, and we end-up voting on the best criteria and come up with a class definition. I love discussing their criteria with them and each year, we manage to come up with a pretty interesting (though always flawed of course) definition. Lots of interpersonal communication.

3.  Watch a 1946 version of “La Belle et la Bête” and debate whether it meets their definition of a « beautiful movie »

When I first inherited the study of the film “La Belle et la Bête” by Jean Cocteau from my predecessor, I was a little concerned that students would find it difficult to connect with. But I am now very happy with how I have integrated it within a “Beauty and Aesthetic” context. After viewing the movie and having great discussions about the major twist at the end of the movie and the “Avenant” character (So that’s where Gaston comes from!), students get to formally debate whether or not “La Belle et la Bête” is a beautiful movie, using the criteria they came up with in class. Interpretive communication, formal and informal interpersonal communication, and presentational writing communication abound!

I hope you will enjoy perusing these resources. As usual, please feel free to critique and modify as you see fit.

(featured image credit: film poster found on Wikipedia)

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