Friday, April 20, 2018

Teaching Bart veut un chat-day one

Thanks to Mike Coxon and all the people at TPRS Books, I got a classroom set of Bart veut un chat, which I (full disclosure) helped translate (and am still finding spelling errors in...I must have read that thing a million times and errors still snuck through).  Mike asked me to teach it in my classes and let him know how it went.  So, here's what I did.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know!!

I did this first with my French 2 kids because I knew we could whip through it quickly and I was proud to share the book with my students.

We all started off on page one together. There wasn't anything too terribly interesting or difficult on page one, so I just read it quickly so we could get to the good stuff.  With beginners, I think you could talk about what makes someone happy, who has a MacBook, etc.  But I didn't want to drag this part out for my kids who have already acquired that language.

When we got to the choice, I let students vote to choose where we went next.

One class chose Coqui and we all turned to that page together. After we read the part about her having a Youtube famous cat, we talked about different famous cats. 
Image resultGrumpy Cat, Nyan Cat, and, my personal favorite: Keyboard Cat.  I let them in on the secret that Coqui's cat was Keyboard Cat, and we watched this video.

One class chose the parents, and we read that page and talked about chocolate.  Then, we discussed whether pets can make you happy.

Both choices end up with Bart talking to 4 people to decide which pet is the best.  We decided that the veterinarian and the biology teacher were both experts in animals.  After the biology teacher says that turtles are the best, we discussed that and someone brought up turtles eating strawberries, so we watched this clip.
When I read the dentist's recommendation, I did so in a creepy voice because what she says is so out there. "Piranhas are the best because they can eat humans"?!

Then, when we had read all the recommendations, we discussed which animal everyone thought was the best pet and why and I wrote up the ideas on the board.

Then, we voted again.  Sadly, both of my classes chose that he wanted a cat :(  No imagination, these kids...  When Bart searched for incredible cats on the internet, we did the same (I'm pretty comfortable with my kids and searching for things in front of them without fear of stumbling upon something that will get me in may want to try this on your own first).

The sad thing about this section is that one of the big jokes of the book is lost because it is supposed to say that there are NO cats at the library, but that got lost in the translation and the copy/paste of publishing.  So I just told my kids that.  We talked about the different types of cats, and when we got to exotic cats, I had to look up pictures of the hairless cat (again, make sure safe search is on)...and then a student told me about the Devon Rex cat that he was getting that weekend.  So then we had to look up videos of that cat. Image result for devon rex cats

Anyway, then we chose where he went to look for the cat and the kids chose the cat cafe.  Luckily, there was a vlog of a mom taking her two sons to a cat cafe in Paris.  Some of my students had no idea what a cat cafe was, so this was a great introduction.  I told them that they wouldn't be able to understand most of what was said, but to try and pick out one or two words and use visuals. 

On his way to the cat cafe, Bart meets a weird guy and we were able to use the conditional: What would you do?  Would you talk to the guy?  Would you run away? Etc.

The kids chose to talk to the strange man.  This page would be GREAT for acting out because the story gives the actors directions on how to act and what to do.  I read through it and acted it out myself because I was trying to go quickly through the story. 

Next, my kids chose that Bart looks in the bag, and we find out that the cats had been tested, which brought us to a discussion on animal rights vs. human safety.  We had a really deep conversation in basic French about who is more important, animals or humans? 

Of course we chose the strong cat and we ended our story quickly with the super ending, which I think was one of the fastest endings possible.  END OF DAY ONE.

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