French Level 3, Activity 07: Passé composé et l’imparfait / The Past Tense (Face-to-Face)

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Description: In this activity, students will practice asking and answering questions about what they have done in the past. Students will practice discussing how they did activities in the past couple of days and the past couple of years.
Semantic Topics: past, weekend, years, time, childhood, history, week-end, temps, enfance, histoire, passé, année, l’imparfait, le passé composé, the imperfect, the past tense

Products : Childhood memories

Practices : Reminiscing about the past, remembering

Perspectives : Cartoons are very different in France! In addition to many of the big names that Americans might be familiar with from their childhoods, Francophones often have a soft spot for Astérix and Obélix, or for Tintin! As with most cultures, the French value their childhood memories.

NCSSFL-ACTFL World-Readiness Standards:

  • Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations or correspondence in French to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret spoken and written French on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures of the francophone world.

Idaho State Content Standards:

  • COMM 1.1: Interact and negotiate meaning (spoken, signed, written conversation) to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.
  • COMM 2.1: Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • CLTR 1.1: Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture.
  • CLTR 1.2: Explain the relationship between cultural practices/behaviors and the perspectives that represent the target culture’s view of the world.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can explain what I did over the weekend.
  • I can talk about what I did when I was younger.
  • I can relate my experiences to those of other French speakers.

Materials Needed:

Would you like to make changes to the materials? Access the template(s) below:

Warm-up

1. Begin by introducing the Can-Dos for today’s activity.

2. Ask the students the various questions listed below. Make sure that they are correctly using passé composé (or l’imparfait).

  • Qu’est-ce que tu as fait le weekend dernier ? (What did you do last weekend?)
  • Qu’est-ce que tu as fait pendant les vacances d’hiver ? (What did you do over winter break?)
  • Qu’est-ce que tu as mangé hier soir ? (What did you eat yesterday evening?)
  • Qu’est-ce que tu as fait pour Halloween l’année dernière ? (What did you do for Halloween last year?)

Main Activity

1. Students will practice asking and answering questions in l’imparfait. There will be three stacks of cards, purple, orange and green. Purple will be used for (Quand tu avais 5 ans…), green will be used for  (Quand tu avais 13 ans…) and orange will be used for (Quand tu avais 16 ans…).

Maintenant, on va pratiquer l’imparfait en posant et répondant à des questions ! (Now, we’re going to practice past imperfect by posing and responding to questions!) Il y a des cartes de 3 couleurs différentes: le violet pour les questions de 5 ans, le vert pour 13 ans, et l’orange pour 16 ans. 

*Note: At the end, there are blank cards, if you would like to make your own and/or ask questions about a different age.

 

2. Students will go in a circle choosing a card from the corresponding stack. They must complete the question by adding on the part from the card.

Vous allez choisir une carte par personne à tour de rôle, et posez la question sur la carte pour les autres étudiants. Par exemple : si tu choisis une carte qui dit ‘(aller) à l’école,’ tu peux poser la question ‘Quand tu avais 5 ans, est-ce que tu allais à l’école ?’

 

3. After the student asks the question, go around having the rest of the group answer the question. Check to make sure the students are correctly using l’imparfait in the “je” form when they answer the question.

Chaque personne va répondre à la question en phrase complète.

Par exemple : “Quand j’avais 5 ans, j’assistais à l’école.”

 

4. Have the next student choose a card and ask the question. Continue doing this with the rest of the cards.

 

5. When the purple stack is finished, start using the green cards. When the green stack is finished, use the orange cards.

Wrap-up

Ask the following question(s) to finish the activity:

  • Quelle était votre activité préférée quand vous étiez jeune ? (What was your favorite activity when you were younger?)
  • Quel était votre aliment préféré quand vous étiez jeune ? (What was your favorite food when you were younger?)
  • Quel était votre film préféré quand vous étiez jeune ? (What was your favorite film when you were younger?)
  • Quel était votre livre préféré quand vous étiez jeune ? (What was your favorite book when you were younger?)
  • Qui était votre chanteur/chanteuse préféré(e) quand vous étiez jeune ? (Who was your favorite singer when you were younger?)

End of Activity:

  • Can-Do statement check-in… “Where are we?”
  • Read can-do statements and have students evaluate their confidence.
  • Encourage students to be honest in their self evaluation
  • Pay attention, and try to use feedback for future activities!

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can explain what I did over the weekend.
  • I can talk about what I did when I was younger.
  • I can relate my experiences to those of other French speakers.

Cultural Resources

Time permitting, watch this clip of Astérix le Gaulois, a famous French cartoon that has been very influential to Francophone culture for many years and across many different childhoods, spanning the last few generations!

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Let's Chat! French Copyright © 2022 by Alexandre Bourque-Labbé; Antoine Abjean; Cassy Ponga; Emily Blackburn; Jasmine Wall; Jorge Corea; Josepha Sowanou; Justin Snyder; Lily Nelson; Manon Pretesesille; Michael Quiblier; Mimi Fahnstrom; Olivier Roy; Rylie Wieseler; Samantha Lind; Sharon Westbrook; and Tori Fisher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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