Keeping the Wheels Turning As the Year Winds Down – Detective Stories

Yes, it’s that time of year again – summer vacation on the horizon but before getting there, you must survive the last few weeks of French with the Grade 8s.  In case you’re not familiar with that scenario, getting them to do any work can be “a most frustratingly futile experience which sees your heart rate and blood pressure soar.” And that’s putting it politely. Although I agree with Mike about the need to have the students working on something that motivates and engages them, the challenge with seeing your students for one period a day is that there is little continuity at this time of year with it being a time of constant disruptions. What I’ve more or less resorted to by the last two weeks of school is mini activities that span a range of 1 to 3 classes. One that I’ve found they’ve enjoyed is the Murder Mystery activities. There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing your students thinking, debating and collaborating during this time when the most energy they seem to be able to muster is devoted to them repeatedly asking you why you’re still making them do work. Although I started off this post talking about Grade 8s, this is actually an activity that could work with a rannge of grade levels. I found  a couple of online sites suited for students which had a variety of mysteries (and even magic tricks as a bonus). Two that were particularly are listed below. I also found the Schoastic website helpful for ideas to develop a whole unit (ideas for next year…)  As for finding material in French, I was not overly successful. There was one site Polar FLE that seemed to be fairly good but again as a Core French teacher, you’ll probably find that you will need to translate and adapt the material so that your students can easily follow along. Happy sleuthing!



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