This is my first content unit in French 7 after I've established our routines and purpose for the year via my initial Bienvenue en classe de français unit. The unit performance objective is "I can have a conversation about what makes each of us unique" and many of the materials come Shelby County Schools' (SCS) excellent unit. I describe this 8-week unit in depth in my unit template, and my daily lesson plans are here. The authentic resources I use for the unit are mostly found on this Pinterest board.
I wrote this unit after attending MaFLA's Proficiency Academy with Thomas Sauer, where we spent a lot of time learning to lead with input and making sure that our students could process this input without having to produce lots of language. Therefore you will see that for each authentic resource, there is an accompanying processing guide of some sort where students need to complete a table, match terms and images, sequence, and/or classify what they hear. Here is my full processing guide packet for this unit.
For vocabulary, I used a template from Thomas Sauer that allowed me to triage vocabulary into words that students need to be able to use; to understand; and personal vocabulary (aka "nice to know"). You can see my lists here, here, and here. I also made a 4th list that focused on structures, but I'll just combine this with other vocabulary next year.
While I always aim to use authentic resources, you will see that this unit includes some materials from TV5's Adomania and other sites that teach the numbers, alphabet, etc. In order to find an engaging and appropriate resource for students on these very basic topics, I could not be strict about "authentic only" resources. I am proud to say that the unit does include several authentic examples of French-speaking teens presenting to peers on YouTube, as in the K-Boyz TV or Espwa Quad videos that I've screenshot here. Click on the videos for the direct links.
My assessments, which come from SCS, really helped me improve the quality of my performance-based assessments. They are real-world, appropriate for my proficiency targets, and let students show what they can do with the language. For the presentational writing, the assessment was a natural starting point of our ePals communications exchange. Here are 3 formatives by mode, each adapted from SCS:
INTERPERSONAL: Although you know most of the students in your language class, there are several students that you don’t know, and it is time to get to know them. Introduce yourself to your classmate. Ask your classmate his/her age and birthdate and find out where he/she lives. Make sure to answer your partner’s questions when he/she asks you about yourself.
PRESENTATIONAL SPEAKING: You have received an acceptance letter stating that you have been chosen to attend a summer camp in Strasbourg, France. They have asked that you call a toll-free number to give them some information about yourself. You call the camp, but you reach their voicemail. Leave a message.
PRESENTATIONAL WRITING: Mme Blouwolff has paired you with an e-pal so that you can practice what you’re learning in class. Write a message introducing yourself to your e-pal.
If you're looking for more resources to start off the year with Novices, I highly recommend Lisa Shepard's site Madame's Musings where she offers wonderful materials, many of which I used with this unit. And the best thing about this unit is that once it's over, you can LEAVE Novice proficiency behind and jump into a target of Novice High (which is really just INTERMEDIATE...!).