6 Steps for Planning a Themed Week for Your French Immersion Classroom
WHAT IS A THEMED WEEK?
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love themed weeks. They are an excellent tool for engaging your FSL students in both in-person and distance learning. You pick a theme of your choice (or even more fun - ask your students for suggestions!), then you create a series of activities that meet your curriculum expectations and engage your students in meaningful learning! To learn more about the basics of themed weeks, check out this post.
LET'S DIVE IN!
If you are ready to jump right into implementing themed weeks in your FSL classrooms, I have provided step-by-step instructions to show you how! Keep reading for all of the awesome details that will save you time & inspire positive change in your French classroom.
1. PICK YOUR THEME
The most important step to getting started is choosing a theme. Your theme can be anything, and you can choose based on holidays, seasons, or something your students are particularly interested in. You can also use this as an opportunity to do a classroom poll and vote. Click below for 5 FREE themed week templates that you can use right away with your students!
2. CREATE A TIMELINE & LEARNING GOALS
After you have picked out a theme, then map out a timeline of how long you want your students working on these themed activities. Establishing a timeline and goals will help you when it comes to planning activities. You will have a clear vision of how many activities and days to prepare for.
3. PLAN YOUR ACTIVITIES
Now the fun begins... planning! After you have established and mapped out your timeline, you can start planning what types of activities you will want to include. Be sure to include a variety of writing, reading, listening, and oral communication tasks. It’s always fun to have games, too! Click here to visit the themed week category of my TPT store for bundles that includes themed activities, en français.
4. COMMUNICATE SUCCESS CRITERIA
My favourite part of themed weeks is involving my students in the learning and the planning. Work with your students to create success criteria that are understandable yet achievable for them. When we include students in the learning process, they will be set up for success & will be able to confidently complete assigned tasks while feeling engaged and excited.
5. ADJUST & ASSESS
Be flexible. If you notice your students are struggling with something, then change it. Themed weeks allow for so much flexibility, and nothing needs to be set in stone. That is the beauty of it, and it’s also an excellent lesson for your students. When they see that you are adapting and changing because something didn’t work, it opens their eyes to making mistakes, and it’s okay if something didn’t go as planned.
Also, assess your students as they work through the tasks. This is why themed weeks work perfectly with reading and writing centres. Themed weeks allow for more student engagement and participation, so it’s really important that you check in with them along the way. Ask them how things are going? What do they like vs. dislike? What are some of the challenges they are facing? And, what themes would they want to see next? This is a great time to incorporate a classroom poll or an exit ticket to figure out how they are feeling.
6. CELEBRATE & REFLECT
After you have completed your themed week, take a moment to reflect. Look back to your student check-ins to better understand how things went and then make changes for next time. Don't forget to also take a moment to celebrate - you did it! Planning a successful-themed week is no easy task, so make sure that you're giving yourself some credit even if everything didn't go to plan. Remember, themed weeks allow you to adjust and change things as needed, and they pair great with a second language classroom.
Themed weeks are implemented to make things easier for you and to engage your students. You’re learning, too! Enjoy the process. If you’re super excited to jump into themed weeks and would love to know more, be sure to check out my mini-course, Planning a Themed Week For Your FSL Students, where you can learn even more about using themed weeks in the FSL classroom!