I really hate prepping lessons, especially when I don’t have a curriculum and don’t really know the level of the kids.
Sometimes, this allows for some flexibility on content. Sometimes, I just flounder. It always helps if the kids give me something to talk about.
A couple nights ago, Algeria beat Egypt in a World Cup qualifying match, and with a huge percentage of my students having some Algerian roots, excitement was in the air.
So I got to use that as a topic, teaching them the verb to beat, which is always fun, because bite is a word in French (same pronunciation) which means ‘dick’. In any case, the kids were excited to learn a few words related to soccer matches, at least for a bit.
They told me that the night of the win, people threw rocks at Casino, a French supermarket chain. I checked it out and took the above picture. I expected more damage, but I guess it shows something about the area if people are so excited that their team won that they go and try to destroy the local supermarket.
As for the subject of this post, I have the troisieme (3rd, in French), the last grade in middle school in France. Kids that know they are going to trade high schools, not to a university and go to school out of obligation. This means I need to go doubly out of my way to keep them interested. I figured I would do this by giving a healthy dose of slang and perhaps personality quizzes and the like, from teen mags.
Sometimes, material falls from the heavens. While waiting to get my half of the troisieme, I saw one of the girls take her gum out of her mouth and give it to another girl. There was a good 5-10 minutes of class right there, as I taught ABC gum (already been chewed). It took them forever to understand what I was talking about, but once they did, they understood that I brought it up because of what they did early.
While I was walking to school, I realized my fly was down. And hence another 5-10 minutes, when I taught XYZ (examine your zipper). The kids were especially excited about this one, as I used a scenario with their English teacher as an example. (“So, if Mr. M walks in and I say ‘XYZ’, what am I saying?”)
When they were angry with their English teacher after class, they yelled at him ‘XYZ’!
It’s good to know I make an impact.