In this blog post I want to share an activity to make authentic songs comprehensible. The idea is not mine– it comes by way of Kara Jacobs. She has created examples of the technique in Spanish and I am hoping I can bring the community of French teachers on board.
Kara writes a script to tell the story of a music video. Well, actually she writes all kinds of stories and one type of story that she writes is from music videos. I find this idea to be ingenious because it is another way to give comprehensible input to your students while sharing a song with them. Songs grab students’ attention and are as such a way to get students to engage with material.
Here are the steps following Kara’s format with the French resources linked to start you out while using the song Rien à vous dire by Jérôme Minière.
- Give students a sheet with six boxes. Read the story out loud, stopping at the end of each paragraph. Students draw what they hear on the handout.
- Show the video.
- Have students read the story. Collect back the story.
- Have students unscramble the story.
- Play Quizlet live with blanks for the verbs in the sentences.
- For homework, students rewrite the story and change three things, including the end of the story. Have them use their pictures to remember what happens in the story.
- Students read their stories to their group and the other group members need to identify the changes. Group votes on the best story. Teacher reads out loud the best stories and the group members become the actors for the mother, father, boy / Jérôme, teacher and a couple students. Maybe do three stories.
- Teacher has students underline the verbs in their stories and does a class workshop to correct the verbs. Students hand in stories for teacher to read and respond to content and humor only, not verb tense.
I think that stories from music videos work well with Intermediate Low learners. There is yet another great way to deliver comprehensible input for songs that I think works better for Novice Mid learners and I learned from posts by Elizabeth Barron on Musique Mercredi. Elizabeth write stories about penguins to preview vocabulary from current songs. I wrote a penguin story in the same style. You can see the original Penguin Stories on the Musique Mercredi Music Facebook page. Join the group and search on Elizabeth Barron’s name.