At a Glance

Discipline

  • Languages

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP

Course

  • Littérature fantastique - langue et culture (Fantasy Literature - Language and Culture)

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Solving problems
  • Reading
  • Writing

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Low-tech classroom but is best in a Lab with access to computers for Google Docs and MyDALITE

Class size

  • Small (20-49)

Time

Multiple class periods (2-3 classes)

Overview

This activity is used to analyze a short story of 19th century French Fantasy and provide students with reading and comprehension strategies. Students are asked to read, annotate, and answer questions relating the various themes discussed in class (death, ghosts, and vampires). In doing so, they will develop the skills to read the text beyond the surface level and allow them to prepare for their “role” in the in-group discussion.  

After applying the reading strategies, students are prepared to ...

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This activity is used to analyze a short story of 19th century French Fantasy and provide students with reading and comprehension strategies. Students are asked to read, annotate, and answer questions relating the various themes discussed in class (death, ghosts, and vampires). In doing so, they will develop the skills to read the text beyond the surface level and allow them to prepare for their “role” in the in-group discussion.  

After applying the reading strategies, students are prepared to present their analysis of the text from a unique perspective (within their chosen roles) to their groups. Each student presents an activity to the group to foster discussion around the perspective they have adopted or role they are playing (ex. If the student’s role is a linguist they might bring a word bank to go over with their group or analyze the language in a certain passage).  

The instructor then encourages students to synthesize and consolidate what they worked on in their groups by prompting them with questions related to the reading and encouraging a conversation about what was discussed in their groups. Students then have a choice to either give a presentation to the class of their favorite group activity or students can individually prepare a project related to the reading and discussion.  

French short story reading: Masque de la mort rouge 

 

Read Less -

Instructional Objectives

  • Encourages the students to learn to read advanced French texts beyond the surface level. 
  • Provides students with the strategies necessary to extract the information themselves from difficult texts. (ex. strategies of note taking) 
  • Gives students the language needed to ask the right questions of texts and to provide them with a broader context of the study of the fantasy genre of literature. 
  • Motivates the students to become more autonomous when analyzing texts 

Workflow & Materials

Activity Workflow

Cercles de Lecture (Reading Circles)

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Contributor's Notes

Benefits

  • The retroactive and collaborative aspect of this activity, when analyzing the text at home in the google doc (where students share their comments and questions with the rest of the class) or in-class in their groups, helps students feel less alone in facing the difficulties of analyzing hard texts. 
  • Giving students the option to be creative in their approach to the text makes them feel more motivated to read in French beyond the surface level. 
  • Students learn to read texts not to “find answers” but to learn how to use a text as a prompt for asking questions. 

Challenges

  • Given that this activity takes place over the course of several sessions. Instructions must be given out piecemeal so as not to overwhelm the students with information. 
  • The activity requires a lot of organization to plan the activity and explain it. 
  • This activity devotes a long time to the analysis of one text, meaning there is less time to go over theory etc… 
  • Choosing what to evaluate in this activity is a challenge. Also the variety in roles and options means that there needs to be several different ways of evaluating students individually. 

Tips

  • In order to accomodate students of all learning types, provide them with different ways of reading the text assigned (electronic, paper, and audio formats) 
  • Giving a wide variety of options for the roles the students can play allows them to approach the text from a perspective that interests them. 
  • When beginning to integrate this activity, use a simplified version with fewer details to manage and tasks to assign. If this is the first time this activity is integrated into the syllabus of the course, test it out on one reading instead of for each theme. 
  • Make sure to have a very clear and concise structure for the activity to make sure the students always know what step they are on. 
  • The teacher making the groups helps make sure there is full participation in the groups. Sometimes it may be necessary to intervene and change around the groups to find an optimal dynamic. 

Applied Strategies

  1. 1
    Reflective Writing
  2. 2
    Jigsaw

Feedback

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