Saturday, 8 October 2011

A level Environment topic - a song to use

What's the weather outlook for humankind? Ask GCM - Grand Corps Malade,  His "Bulletin Météo" was enjoyed by my Year 13s recently as a change from the more solid approaches of text book or articles from the Web. I love his style and way with words, so it's win/win.

For what it's worth, here is how I used the song.
  • Lead in to the idea of using a weather forecast as a metaphor for the future prospects of something - French equivalent of "outlook bleak", or " clear periods with storms on the horizon"
  • Play the song Bulletin Meteo to class and ask them simply to try to note down any weather related words they hear. They can find 10 or so by the second time through, I found. 
  • Next, they should try to note down the rhyming words at the ends of sentences. Challenging but fun. Very interesting to see the kids comparing their findings and misheard attempts - they learned a lot from this about the sound/spelling link like claire et nette NOT clarinette!
  • Next, let them see the text - I found it easily on the web. They highlight the weather words, look for cognates and we worked on the text to see if we felt GCM was positive or negative about the future for mankind, from the language he used. 
  • Next for fun we read through it all with GCM trying to match his speed! What a good exercise for trying to improve your mouth muscles in French! 
  • We worked through the meaning of the text in groups of lines with a lot of help from me. I left it there with a final hearing of the song but wonder if I could be brave enough to get a talented class like this to write a forecast next.
It's not an easy text and as usual I wrestle also with exact meaning in places as a non native, but I think it's worth helping pupils to see that real songs will not always be fully understandable, certainly on the first meeting with the material, but that with effort you can get a lot from it. 
By the way GCM is positive about a future for humankind IF we change our ways - Hmmmm. On va voir.

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