Here is 2-week cultural unit on Francophone Africa for Novice learners. I just finished running it with my 7th grade class, made couple of tweaks based on how I want to run it next time, and I am now sharing it with you. It is input-based and focuses on three Intercultural Can-Do (Investigate):
- In my own and francophone African cultures I can identify everyday food
- In my own francophone African cultures I can identify some elements of a classroom and a school schedule
- In my own and francophone African cultures I can identify some artists and musicians, their styles and contributions
Objective 1: In my own and francophone African cultures I can identify everyday food
1.1 Video “Le Fast Food au Togo”
- Students locate Togo on the map
- Students watch the video and answer a few questions (based on what they see)
- Teacher plays the video again and narrates the video as a movie talk, pausing and pointing, and asking questions to students.
1.2 Reading: La cuisine africaine
- Students read a short simplified text about francophone African everyday foods and answer a few questions
- Students identify foods and match them to their pictures
- Students place various countries and foods on the map
- Homework: write 1 paragraph in English comparing and contrasting your everyday food to food in francophone Africa (Assessment)
Objective 2: In my own francophone African cultures I can identify some elements of a classroom and a school schedule
- Students locate Burkina Faso and Mali on the map
- Teacher assigns either Burkina Faso or Mali to each student (You can differentiate based on your students’s reading level: BK is easier with 294 words, Mali has 504 words)
- Students browse a blog about schools in these 2 countries and collect key information in a graphic organizer
- Students exchange with a partner who read about a different school
- Homework: write 1 paragraph in English comparing and contrasting your school to a school in francophone Africa (Assessment)
Objective 3: In my own and francophone African cultures I can identify some artists and musicians, their styles and contributions
I use Song of the week to explore music. Since we spent 2 weeks on this cultural unit, I selected the following two songs:
- “Aicha” by Khaled (Lyrics, Cloze) — pays: l’Algérie
- “Je suis chez moi” by Black M. (Lyrics , Cloze) — pays: la Guinée
La carte d’Afrique
Each time we talk about a country, we place it on the map. Then, we also put on the map foods, schools, stories, and artists.
Additional input: Story Listening
On the days I knew the input was going to be less rich (i.e. when students place foods on the map or when they are are exchanging information about their assigned school comparing and contrasting with their own school), I told students a story for the first 15-20 minutes of class, using the Story Listening method. The stories I selected are:
- Anansi l’araignée (Conte d’Afrique de l’Ouest)
- La djinné, la jeune femme et l’oiseau (conte du Sénégal)
- Un enfant dans une valise (Adapted from true story that appeared in an article from Le Petit Journal Francophone about a child who was smuggled from Ivory Coast in a suitcase)
My students LOVED all 3 stories and I felt guilt free giving them the rest of the class time to do less input-rich tasks! Click here for examples of stories told using the Story Listening toolkit.
Additional input: Self selected articles about Francophone Africa
I printed all the articles from Le Petit Journal Francophone that were related to Francophone Africa and grouped them by theme. All the articles from 2016 and Spring 2017 are available for free in my TPT store.
- Students chose a topic of interest to them and read the article
- Students briefly exchanged about their article with someone who had read the same one (2-3 min in English)
- Students exchanged about the article with someone who had read something different (2-3 min in English)
- Repeat 3 times
My students were excited to be able to choose (Music was a VERY popular choice)!
PS: I received a question about pacing. Every class is different and your objectives might differ from mine.
We ran this in 2 weeks, meeting everyday for 40 min. Objectives 1 and 2 took roughly 4 periods each, given that we use the first 10 min for song of the week (Objective 3), and I used the first 20 min for cultural stories for 3 periods. We used one period to read the self selected articles. Additionally, on Monday, we spend 10-15 min talking about our week-end. I hope this helps set the right pacing for your class!