French teacher Emmanuel Labadie decided to try a different approach to the study of a classic novel by Michel Tournier: Vendredi ou la vie sauvage, a story inspired by Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Instead of having his 7th graders simply summarize their reading of the book, M. Labadie turned it into a multimedia project.
“My goal is to get my students to practice their oral skills in French, and I thought of ways to basically get them to talk”, says M. Labadie. After reading the book, students were tasked to create - out of any materials they wanted - their own desert island, which is the main theme of the novel.
The students had to explain in writing their island project before starting to create it. “They had total freedom in how they could build their islands, and their creativity blew my mind!”, says the French teacher. They used cardboard, stones, grass, glue, drawings, lego, clay…
“I really liked the freedom that we had in this project”, says one student. Others appreciated the group work with peers, and the non-traditional approach to a book reading.
Besides the islands, students recorded themselves explaining their projects in English and in French, and the recordings are accessible by scanning a QR code on the project. The three winning islands will be on display at the Lower School library after the Winter Break.