A dance scene from West Side Story

Assessing musicals with 4e euro

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 19 January 2023 > Pedagogy

We promised you an update on a project to study musicals with 4e Euro using the resources of Toulouse’s cinémathèque. So here is the sequel: how did the project go?

Our challenge last year was to get 4e students interested in musicals!

As we couldn’t take them abroad on an exchange, we felt like taking “a bit of abroad” to them, through musicals.

You can read what we planned to do here, and below you'll find our conclusions about what worked and what didn't.

Though a bit reluctant and amused at first – particularly when seeing “cheesy” stills from Singin' in the Rain – the students rather quickly got into the world of musicals and were eager to do the matching and speaking activities and learn new words or expressions. They also enjoyed watching extracts from musicals they had often heard about but never actually watched.

Sharing short articles with the other euro group via padlets also whetted their interest.

Nevertheless, as we could feel the sequence was a bit long and tended to drag on, we decided not to show them the whole movies but simply extracts.

Taking a step back we could say that the whole experience was rather positive, yet if we were to do it again, we’d change a few things. We’d aim for shorter activities and a shorter sequence for sure.

For instance, instead of having the whole class work on the 3 musicals after a few group activities, we’d divide the class into three groups, each one working on a different musical and then presenting their work to the rest of the class.

Likewise, as one of our goals was to make them understand how “U.S. history is seen through the lens of Hollywood movies.” we’d focus their attention more on historical events – though it may be hard to make these topics accessible to 13-year-old teens…

All in all, the project was a good one to attempt with 4e euro since, after all, teaching is meant to broaden their horizons and goad them into discovering new things!

Still, as no project is perfect, this one needs amending and, for sure, most of its success relies on how eager the teachers are to launch into the project and how willing to step in the students are 😉

Find a cinémathèque

You can visit the Toulouse cinémathèque site here.

To find a cinémathèque near you, the Fédération des Cinémathèques et Archives du Film de France site regroups more than a dozen cinémathèques around the country.

Auteur(s) :

Odette Toneatti and Clémentine Burnier teach at Collège-Lycée Le Caousou, Toulouse. Odette Toneatti is one of the authors of the Shine Bright collection.

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