A few months ago the principal of my school had asked me to teach the grade 1 class French. I was shocked as I had not taught grade 1 in over 2 years!! I was so nervous as I am now loving the junior/intermediate grades and felt like I would not know what to do with the primary students coming my way!
At first I asked myself what I would teach them? I thought maybe the animals, the salutations or even some songs? However, the night before I was scheduled to have them come to my class, I had this idea that I would start with the basics like the alphabet and numbers. I figured why complicate things and the students!
I used a strategy that I use with my junior students where they are discovering the language on their own. I began by teaching them the alphabet (the grade 1's) and having them repeat the alphabet with me. This form of chorus teaching is common practice in FSL. Once I had used various forms of chorus and hear all the students by separating the room into left and right, girls vs. boys and so fourth, I gave all the students a letter, a magnifying glass and a clip board with 3 post-its. The 3 post-its were for the students to write the letter that I had given them and to write the letter that comes before and after that letter. I then had them get into groups of 3 which I facilitated.
Once I had all these formalities in place I explained to the students what we would be doing.
- We will be searching like detectives for our 3 letters using our magnifying glasses.
- Once we see one of the 3 letters we are to put a check mark on that particular post-it where we have the letter written down. (You are only allowed up to 10 check marks per post-it)
- We will be going around the school looking for these letters and collecting our data.
- We will be searching through the library, intermediate quad and exterior of the building.
- Upon our return we will harmonize our findings on a large anchor chart (I previously prepared) with the numbers from one to 10
- Please count your check marks and place the post-its into the correct square based on the number of post-its. Ex: "Therefore if you have ten check marks for the letter A please place your post-it in the square marked 10/dix"
This lesson proved to be a success!! The students were so engaged on our search, the lessons following this one included the numbers as well as charts, tallying our results and oral comprehension activities in French.