With the arrival of the nice weather, it can be increasingly difficult to keep students on track and focused. As Mike suggested, coaching them to the finish line is a must. However, what helps immensely is when they are interested and engaged enough to put out the effort, which for Grade 8’s at this time of year is a challenge. I thought I’d share something that my grade 8 students seemed to respond well to. We have been studying the passé composé for some time now (in a more isolated grammatical fashion) and it was time to start using it in a more concrete fashion. Seeing the success my colleague had with the Six Word Memoirs (see previous blog), I decided to kind of mirror that and have them write out their 5 most memorable moments. I wrote out an exemplar based on my own personal memories (excluding marriage and birth of children – didn’t think they could quite relate to that) and then we brainstormed most frequently used verbs and them listed on different charts according to verb endings. Just to make it a little more interesting, I came across some really nice watercolour paper and had the students paint a background. The project was short enough that it seemed feasible even for the most reluctant students and was a bit of a creative outlet for the artistic types. However, even with 5 sentences (more or less), I was able to see if they had in fact grasped the concept. The photos convey what they were able to come up with.