Lettre de Marie Curie

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Lettre de Marie Curie

Contributor: Sarah Brough

Language of text: French
Type of text: Letter
Author or source: Marie Curie
Intended age of students: Key Stage 3
Source reference: Background to the letter on France Culture: http://www.franceculture.fr/emission-la-boite-a-lettres-marie-curie-a-un-journaliste-2014-08-09
Actor reading the letter on France Culture: http://www.franceculture.fr/player/reecouter?play=4883340
Other scientists on vikidia: http://fr.vikidia.org/wiki/Portail:Sciences

Attached files:
Word document which contains the letter; gapped versions of the letter and a sorting activity.
Powerpoint which contains excerpt from the letter and list of key verbs

File nameFile typeSize
Lettre de Marie Curie.docxNo description22.44 kBInfo
Lettre de Marie Curie.pptxNo description121.88 kBInfo

This is a letter that Marie Curie wrote to a French journalist after she won the Nobel Prize for the first time. The journalist had asked for a copy of her biography and some photographs - and she had neither. In response, she sent a potted biography in simple, accessible French.
1) Ask the students to think about how they would go about constructing a biography in French: which verbs would they need, and in which tenses? The intention here is to make the students more independent about tackling writing tasks for themselves in future. Ensure students know the present tense and past particples of the key verbs.
2) Students listen to a reading of Marie Curie's letter and pick out the key verbs - I have created listening gaps with three different levels of difficulty. After the listening activity put the text up on the interactive whiteboard and use mini whiteboards to check understanding / highlight key features of the text.
3) Challenge the students to re-tell the key events in the first person working only from the lists of verbs.
4) Students work with a partner to choose a scientist on Vikidia - the French junior version of Wikipedia - and to write a letter in the first person re-counting the key events of the scientist's life.
5) We are developing a French and Science day for able students in our region in which they will work in a laboratory using French as the means of communication, as Marie Curie had to do, even though her first language was Polish, and meet scientists who work in a language other than their mother tongue. Watch this space for further resources in 2015!

Develop independent writers.
Encourage an understanding of the use of modern languages in the work place.

Production of a biographical letter - see above.

Topics or themes:
Practice and consolidation of present and perfect tenses at the end of Year 9.

Perfect tense and present tense with depuis.

Talk for writing.
Adpating a text for your own purposes.

How much time required:
1 lesson and 1 homework + response to feedback time in a later lesson

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