Monday, February 4, 2013

Celebrity Masks

Señora Hitz asked me to blog about my success and fun times with celebrity masks last week.

Our new semester started 11 days ago and I am still riding the high that the new students have brought. I’m teaching level II French, which is new for me this year since I switched to TPRS. The last level II classes I had were last year and I taught them in the traditional style. I wanted to rip out my hair every day. So, understandably, I was excited to continue my enthusiasm for these students, 2/3 of whom had me last spring or this past fall for TPRS. 

My colleague attended Carol Gaab’s conference in Baltimore last week and emailed all of us tips and tricks he learned while there. One trick he learned (and that I had heard about before but never had the time to do) was to cut out pictures of celebrity faces and put them on popsicle sticks as masks. I gave it a go for an activity last week for French II. We were discussing the words “he wanted” and “he went” and I threw in words like “there” and “to the house of” (both very handy but difficult prepositions in French). I started off small, with just pictures of Amanda Seyfried (from Les Mis) and Channing Tatum. The kids were so excited to say that they wanted to go to Channing’s house, or that they went to Amanda’s house over the holiday break. Some wonderful student decided to throw in the phrases “he kissed her” and “she kissed him” from previous stories. 

I couldn’t believe how much play I got out of those 2 masks. I had my service learning student make me 8-10 more because who better than a teenager to know what her classmates are into? I think I have Johnny Depp (for me, of course!), Emma Watson, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, and several others. Other classes besides the level II French are now begging to use the masks. Sometimes I hang the masks around the room so that the celebrities can “watch” the kids. This amazingly simple trick will be so worth it in your classroom.

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