In this unit, students will: Engage in conversation about fast-food items, menus, and advertising, including exchanging opinions (about food items, restaurants, and what to eat at each meal) considering reasons for those opinions (taste, smell, appearance, whether or not you have had it/been there before, whether you like trying new things), ordering items and asking companions what they would like to order. They will also: Understand and interpret fast-food menus, websites, advertisements, and lists of menu foods; acquire and use information from a variety of sources only available in the world language, using technology (interactive websites and menus), print (printed menus and print ads), and audiovisual media (videoclips of commercials); begin to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of French and American fast food.
In order to offer the most useful information to anyone using this unit in his or her own classes, I will expand upon a different method of approaching the content in each section. In this way, I hope to provide a variety of options from which may be chosen those deemed most inspiring, relevant, or supportive by each teacher based on the particular strengths and needs of that teacher's classes.
As for me, I teach grades five through eight at an arts magnet middle school in New Haven, Connecticut. The seventh and eighth-grade years combined are the equivalent of the French I experience in high school; successful completion of those two years allows a freshman to enter directly into a French II course. The curriculum in grades seven and eight is thus more rigid, with more specific requirements. Grades five and six are more of an introduction to language and culture, with greater flexibility to explore concepts in greater depth. The fifth and sixth-grade years are big vocabulary-building years, and then in seventh and eighth grades, students are able to call on that vocabulary supply while practicing targeted grammar concepts in thematic contexts.
Any of the lessons or ideas put forth in this unit can be adapted to any grade/experience level. But my goal here is to create a unit fit for my second-year, sixth-grade students to be able to complete during the last marking period of sixth grade. May is the month we will revisit and expand on the foods vocabulary learned in fifth grade, and since it comes toward the end of the year, students will be well acquainted with the general learning goals and skills practice methods we employ in sixth grade. After starting with that brief review of vocabulary, we will quickly move into this new, multimedia unit. Up to this point, students will have had tastes of these media, but predominantly within the context of vocabulary-building and question-and-answer based units. By beginning from a place of confidence, students will be best-equipped to synthesize what they have learned all year in terms of numbers, expressing likes and dislikes, and describing things. By digging into websites and commercials, students will be able to see how far they have come at the same time as they are challenged to put it all together in practice. There will be plenty of options so that each student will be able to excel at his or her own pace. It is my intention that the placement of this unit will get students ready for the increased expectations of seventh-grade learning in a fun and exciting way.