Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Part of my huge struggle with my 2/3 split classes is finding enough time for each side.  Both sides have expressed frustration that they feel I neglect them and spend too much time with the other side.  It's obviously a losing battle.

A colleague of mine suggested that, instead of running back and forth between each level during the hour, I take one day per week and dedicate it to each level.  For example, the day I focus ALL of my attention on the 2s, I give the 3s an activity/assignment to do that requires minimal to no teacher intervention.  Then on the days I work with the 3s, the 2s have an activity.

I implemented it this week, starting with giving the 2s my attention today.  But 3:00 rolled around yesterday and I STILL couldn't think of something to do with the 3s that wasn't just a boring old worksheet.  They are all 9th graders, so they also have laptops because of our 1:1 laptop initiative.  I really wanted to do an activity online where they could use the tools at their disposal.  Then it hit me.  Ratatouille.

It's a Disney movie everyone loves.  It is a dish that goes way back into French history.  AND it fits in with our food unit.  Win/win/win.

So, I made the activity into three parts.  Part 1 had them looking up (on a link I gave them) the recipe for ratatouille.  It used a TON of the vocabulary they are just learning, so they were able to easily pick apart the recipe.  Part 2 had them watching a clip from the movie Ratatouille.  They had to watch it a few times.  One or two times should be dedicated to just picking out vocabulary words they see in the clip (both verbs and nouns).  The last time (maybe two times) have them putting events in order.  I made 5 statements that directly use the vocabulary they are learning, and they had to number them in the order they did them.  Part 3 had them researching the history of the dish and why it is significant to French culture.

The activity went REALLY well.  The kids were excited to use their laptops and to be able to watch youtube clips and explore on the internet.  They have already expressed interest in cooking ratatouille together, so I'm hoping I can figure out a way for them to cook.  It might need to be before or after school, but that is fine by me!  The French 2s will be in this chapter in the spring, so maybe I'll just have everyone cook at once.

CLICK HERE for the download of this activity.


  1. This sounds like a great activity! Can you share the specific video clip you used and/or any weblinks that you used for these activities? Merci!

    1. I used this youtube video:

      And this was the link for the recipe: