I happen to teach at a school which is close to Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. It has a large collection of impressionist and post-impressionist work.
I’ll be trying out Madame Shepard’s Impressionism Unit this year with my students. I have taught an impressionism unit before, but the focus wasn’t on the French, it was on the culture. This time, I’m very excited to be teaching in French and incorporating the cultural components.
The culminating activity, which I have used before, for this unit is a field trip into Chicago to visit the impressionist and post-impressionist works in person. Students will record themselves talking about a painting of their choice…in French. In public. With other francophones around! In the past, the students have loved the challenge and struck up a few conversations with others around. That was before I moved to integrated performance assessments (IPA) in my classes and the increased focus on proficiency. I’m hopeful that students will feel emboldened!
I’ve used this resource to help my students out with questions and potential responses. After working through Madame Shepard’s conversations, they’ll be very prepared to do this activity. I will have students practice one or two paintings before we go to the museum too!
Image credit: Wikimedia.org