Saturday, September 15, 2012

Silent Shorts to teach big ideas.

Another year has begun and a new crew of grade 1 students have entered through my classroom door.  One of my biggest struggles every September is how to communicate the big ideas of community and respect to my students without using English.

While on Pinterest this summer I saw a pin from Shannon Wiebe for a silent short.

I realized that if I could get students talking about this video I wouldn't have to explain the concepts in English and I could give them the vocabulary to express some of these big ideas in French. I discovered that there are many animated shorts on youtube that I could use with my students.

 We have 3 big "rules" in our school and I use these with my students.

Je me respecte - I respect myself.
Je te respecte -I respect others.
Je respecte l'environnement - I respect the environment.

I used this video to spark a discussion on "Je te respecte"

We also had a lot of fun watching "Le Lutin" and talking about how we can respect our environment.

After watching  the students talked about what they saw with a partner. Then we discussed some of the big ideas as a class. Student provided their answers in English and I repeated them in French.
After we worked together to color some class posters for each rule.
You can access the posters in French here: French Posters
An English version of these posters is available here: English Posters

There are many possibilities here for French Immersion classrooms and for English classrooms as well. There are many ways we can use these videos with our students.

Sylvia  Duckworth has a Youtube channel full of animated shorts.
Check it out here:

So what did I learn? I can communicate big ideas with my students without saying a word.

Do you use shorts in your classroom? Any favorites? How do you use them? Do you have a good video suggestion for "I respect myself?" How do you communicate big ideas with your students?

A side note: sometimes I only want parts of a video. (I skipped a large part of the "fighting" between the lutin and the woman in the video above) I like to use because I don't have to download the video and can easily access it from anywhere.