Lettre de Georges Gallois 1915

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Lettre de Georges Gallois 1915

Contributor: Sarah Brough & Bernard Clark

Language of text: French
Type of text: Letter
Author or source: Georges Gallois
Intended age of students: Key Stage 4
Source reference: Paroles de Poilus www.librio.net ISBN 978-2-290-33534-5

Attached files:
Copy of the letter
Copy of the letter with verbs underlined
Page of activity ideas
Page of translations
10 ideas for exploiting a text.

File nameFile typeSize
10 activities for exploiting a text.docxNo description23.96 kBInfo
Georges Gallois letter translations.docxNo description25.23 kBInfo
Lettre de George Gallois activites.docxNo description241.27 kBInfo
Lettre_de_Georges_Gallois.docxNo description16.05 kBInfo
Lettre_de_Georges_Gallois_vbs_underlined.docxNo description14.71 kBInfo

NB This is a challenging text suitable for a top set year 9 or 10.
Give students the list of health related vocabulary in activity 1 and ask them to find out what they mean and predict what the text they are about to read is about.
Work with the class to get to grips with the meaning of the text - see the 10 ideas sheet for some possible approaches.
Ask the students to sort the verbs out by tense.
Ask the students to make a list of the words in the letter which show the difficulty of life in the trenches. Challenge them to write either an acrostic poem, or a calligram using the words they have chosen. An Gulinck has a useful booklet on the TES http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Using-poetry-in-the-French-classroom-workbook-6255848/; You can find Apollinaire's Calligrammes on google - original book: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k1049438w/f31.image
An additional activity would be to translate the background detail about Georges Gallois' life story and for the students to write their own extended version / imagine his wife / speculate about the story of Le Cheu or what was in the parcel.

This is a great starting point for collaborating with your History and English departments on a World War 1 project.
This letter is a rich source of learning and provides a chance to approach a typical KS3/4 topic from a different angle.
For students who are interested in history, it is a way of showing that learning French gives them the chance to read source material in the original.

An understanding of how people naturally switch between tenses.
An opportunity to compare the tenses.
Further study of the First World War in the target language.
Creative outcomes, such as a poem.
Compare the letter with a letter home written by an English soldier.
A better understanding of what life in the trenches was like.
See Approaches above.

Topics or themes:
This might follow the study of the topic of health - see above.
This is an opportunity to test students' recognition of all the tenses - perhaps at the end of Y9.
There are examples of higher level negatives, connectives and object pronouns which students could incorporate into their own writing.
Tags: WW1 WWI War Guerre Verdun

A mix of tenses.

Once the students are very familiar with the content of the letter, ask them to take the google translation and improve it. Discuss how to translate idiomatic phrases which do not 'work' when translated word for word.

How much time required:
At least 2 hours - this could lead to a half term project.

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