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Exploring the World from Inside of the Classroom

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It has been said that Paris, France is the city of love. As my students prepared to watch Girlhood, a coming of age narrative placed within this famous city, I began to wonder about life and culture in France. What would my students and I miss because we were looking at this film through our American lens?

Undoubtedly, when asked what we know about France, little anecdotes like the one that leads this blog post would come to mind. But what did my studentsТ reallyТ know about France to help them understand this film in the way it was intended? We needed every day information that clued us into the real lives of French teenagers.

Thus, we embarked upon a modern day expedition that could take us all the way to France and bring us back within the span of our class period- a webquest. Students watched aТ videoТ about everyday life for teenagers, explored aТ PreziТ about major differences in culture, chose an article to read about important issues, and then found a source of their own based on what had piqued their interest.

The wonderful thing about having a multi-genre quest like this is it gave the students multiple opportunities to find something that engaged them. Students were encouraged to record questions and reactions to each resource.

Video:

Why do you have to make your job choices so early?

I think it’s stressful to having to pick what you want to study at sophomore year.Т 

I’m surprised they let students smoke in front of school.Т 

What happens to people if they don’t pass the final test?

How is it effective to have the schedule change every day?

Why do you have to choose a cluster to learn, why can’t there be a variety?

Prezi:

Food is a central part of culture in france in which as it isn’t that important in america as in culture.Т 

Activities only take place on Wednesday and weekend.

When they get a 50% on a test they still pass, if we get 50% on tests or scores we fail.

Article:

The article explained to me that France is much more free and loose about restraints on some subjects that Americans are usually scared and uptight about.

The people in France are much more private about certain things rather than the people in America are.

This article made me realize how much more laid back France is. They don’t frequently date the way Americans do.

Students posted research from their own findings on the collaborative website Padlet:

http---padlet-2

After viewing the film, many students used information from our research for support as we digested and dissected different moments in the film. The spirit of inquiry can be a very powerful thing in a classroom- allowing students to follow their own interests to learn and grow. In this case, my students came to develop and own a broader view of our world.

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