Worth Paying For

Curriculum is worth the price. I believe our departments should purchase materials for us to use in our teaching. Let’s let the experts with degrees in curriculum writing decide on themes, essential questions and can do statements and make the activities and assessments to support them. Then teachers can add in playful games and up-dated authentic documents.

There can be so many rich resources in an online textbook, especially in the ancillary materials. For example, I like the graphics from professionally made info-gap activities. Should you be fortunate enough to have a budget for a textbook series, consider one where in the ancillary materials there are IPAs, topical readings with questions and online readers with glossed words.

But like many of you, I have been teaching without a textbook ever since that became the fashion. It means that I spend a lot of time writing materials and that my activities are all amateur. So, I don’t mind paying out of my own pocket for affordable resources as I think that smart ideas that have already been tried with students are worth it, but I have trouble finding quality ones. Sometimes you have to sacrifice diversity in the people who are represented in order to use paid-for materials. Usually you can’t find paid-for activities based on authentic documents. Yet, when you find a good reasonably-priced resource it is invaluable. In this post I am going to share quality paid-for resources that teachers can afford on their own. I hope that it will save you some time to know what’s available. All of these are found on Teachers Pay Teachers.

My first set of resources is Movie Talks from MadameSay:

I love how these three Movie Talks have images that can be talked about with beginning level language. And, I find MadameSay’s stories and activities to be high quality and I can use them as they are. Movie Talks are fun and motivate students. These purchases have saved me hours of preparation in planning for my students.

The next resource is one I have mentioned before on these pages, Le Petit Journal Francophone from Toward Proficiency. This is a short journal of news summaries. I paid for the full year and I love how it is updated monthly with current content. As I said for the Movie Talks, I appreciate this content because it is so accessible. These are good for Intermediate Low learners. You can see the resources that I have used with news summaries in my post on Current Events in the World Language Classroom. Some articles make their way into my thematic units to be used year after year, not just one time as a current event article. For example, an article on Pagnes is now in my unit on clothing.

In addition, I want to share with you two projects. The first is a guide for a 20-questions guessing game that my students always enjoy made by World Language Cafe called Famous Francophones. Start by having your students guess. Then, they research a famous person and make a guessing game for the class. Making guessing games for classmates is a highly engaging project. This purchase was so valuable. Secondly, from Madame H there is a selfie project for Une Journée Typique. My students like to take pictures without themselves in them, so it isn’t truly a selfie project. One of the best parts of this resource is the scaffolding it offers for the project. You will love the graphic organizer.

Finally, I rely on Mme R’s French Resources and Chez Shepard for some of my speaking activities. Mme R’s French Resources packets come with writing activities as well that are more traditional and address grammar and are of value too. You can sort through these resources for what fits your approach. Consider her packets on School Subjects, Family, Foods and Drinks and Clothing. If you purchase one of these look for the Student Interviews where students ask each other questions and then report their findings in a paragraph, the graphic organizers where students can fill in information about themselves and their preferences and then speak about it with a partner and the info gap pair activities. Chez Shepard has full units, for example consider her unit on Snacks. If you purchase it, I recommend the paired activity where student exchange information and record their answers on two different authentic resources on the same topic.

Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment with what you think is worth paying for!

2 thoughts on “Worth Paying For

  1. My department purchased a subscription to Notre Histoire for me this year. It is the online CI textbook from Teacher’s Discovery. I would look into that before T’es Branché, which I used to have. I found that I became a slave to the textbook and had to teach certain things just because they were in the book and because of the book’s scaffolding. I have a bit more liberty with Notre Histoire because it is so comprehensible, it doesn’t necessarily matter if I skip around. In the long run, I also think it is cheaper than a traditional textbook.

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