Where people live and what they are used to in housing can
vary from culture to culture. Being able to talk about a housing layout and
describe a room are basic tools for functioning in a culture. It is also
important to realize that people live in different arrangements for various
reasons. Students will show cultural sensitivity by learning to accept these
differences. Students also will examine the concept of “home” and the sense of
belonging that is often attached to a place. In an era when many people move
for business to foreign cultures, being able to express what is important in a
“home” may be a useful tool for them later in life.
- What kinds of housing do people live in?
- What makes a place “home”?
- What is your ideal living arrangement?
Students will be able to...
- Identify different types of housing
- Identify rooms and parts of a dwelling
- Describe a room and its furnishings
- Express preference for a type of housing
Students will know...
- different types of housing
- rooms and house vocabulary
- furniture and furnishing vocabulary
- expressions of preference
- prepositions of place for housing
Students will already need to know...
- Present tense of regular verbs
- Possessive adjectives
- Standard 1.1: Students engage in
conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and
emotions, and exchange opinions.
- Standard 1.2: Students understand and
interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics.
- Standard 1.3: Students present information,
concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety
- Standard 2.1:
Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the
practices and perspectives of the culture studied.
- Standard 3.2:
Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints
that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures.
- Standard 4.2:
Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through
comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
- Standard 5.1:
Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
- Types of dwellings
- Identify different kinds of buildings or
properties that are inhabited
- Explain preference for one type of dwelling over
- Rooms and building parts
- Identify different rooms and parts of a dwelling
- Describe the layout of a dwelling
- Identify furnishings and pieces of furniture
- Describe the furnishings of a room
- Explain what defines “home” individually
- Interpret a description of Victor Hugo’s exile as
it relates to feeling at home
- Web investigation: As a class go to
http://www.insecula.com/musee/M0138.html, which contains a description
and photos of Victor Hugo’s house in Paris. Students will answer questions
related to days and hours that the house is open, its address, and the cost
to enter. Look at the various photos of different rooms in the house,
present house vocabulary by referring to items in the photos. As items are
presented, ask students to identify them in later photos.
- House diagram: Present house vocabulary and
preposition grammar via a PowerPoint diagram of a house. Students will then
diagram their own house and label rooms and structures (roof, door, window,
stairway—vocabulary from web investigation activity) and describe it to a
- Picture description: Students will look at Van Gogh’s
Bedroom at Arles and describe its furnishings in pairs. They will then draw
their own ideal bedroom and write a description of it.
- Dwelling classification: Students will be presented
with different kinds of housing (chaumières, grottes, appartements, maisons,
chateaux). Individually, they will then fill out a chart, classifying each
type of dwelling according to size, comfort, and cost.
- Dwelling preferences: Students will group themselves
based on which kind of dwelling they prefer. They will then discuss why
they made their choice (positives of their choice and the negatives of other
choices) using expressions of preference (“Je préfère…parce que…). Then,
students will debate, trying to convince each other that their dwelling is
- Exile reading: Students will read and interpret a
short description of Victor Hugo’s exile. They will then write one page (in
English) based on one of the following prompts: 1) Describe what makes a
place “home” to you; 2) Pretend that you are Victor Hugo and that you are
writing to a friend in Paris. Describe how you feel about France (do you
miss it? what do you miss? what don’t you miss?); 3) Pretend that you are
about to move to France for business—what will you do to make your new
residence feel like home?
- Daily observation of students’ progress during above
- Feedback/self-evaluation from students
- Vocabulary quiz: rooms, furnishings, and housing
- Written description of ideal bedroom (from picture
description activity). Assessment based on a rubric.
- Reaction paper to Hugo’s exile. Assessment based on a
- Final project: Students will construct a miniature
dwelling of their choice (although encourage a variety of buildings) and
label key parts of the building in French. The models will be presented in
French to the class, then set up for display in a middle or elementary
school, where the students can explain their buildings to the younger
students. Assessment based on a rubric.