Chez moi et dans le monde entier: Exploring our use and relationship with water
Lesson 01: Utilisation de l'eau à la maison

Submitted by Jill Pearson


Students will...

  • Increase their awareness of how they use water each day.
  • Gain an initial understanding of which household activities consume more water than others.


Language: Content Obligatory
Students will...

  • Identify water-using activities using reflexive and non-reflexive infinitive verbs such as laver, nettoyer, se brosser, prendre une douche, faire la lessive, etc.
  • Use nouns to identify household uses of water with nettoyage, bain, douche, etc.
  • Share information about personal habits using the present tense (1st person singular) of reflexive and non-reflexive verbs like se laver, se brosser, se baigner, faire la lessive, faire la vaisselle, prendre une douche, boire, nettoyer, etc.

Language: Content Compatible
Students will...

  • Make predictions about their own water use using the present tense (1st person, singular) of verbs like croire, penser followed by the relative pronoun que.
  • Encourage one another using expressions like très bien, bonne idée, vas-y, etc.
  • Ask for clarification with the question Que veut dire...?
  • Talk about frequency using the superlative le plus + the adverb souvent

Learning Strategies / Social and Skills Development:
Students will...

  • make predictions
  • use background knowledge
  • work cooperatively

Time Frame:

1- 55 minute period

Materials Needed:

  • “riddle” worksheet of water facts
  • pie chart transparency of household water usage percentages
  • personal water usage tracking worksheet

Description of Assessment (Performance Project):

Preview Phase (Kucer et al, 1997)
I will put students in small groups and give them a “riddle”—a sheet stating many interesting facts about water but the word eau will be removed and the students will try to figure out what these facts are about.  Once groups have an idea/or ideas, they will share them with the class, i.e. Nous pensons qu’il s’agit de l’eau.  After students have shared, I will reveal that these are all facts about water. (Standards 1.1, 1.2)

Next, I will tell students that now that they’ve talked about some scientific facts about water, I want them to think about the associations they make the word eau — what descriptive words come to mind, places, activities, etc.  Students will make a list of words/ideas and then I will ask them to share their ideas as we create a mind map together on the board.  As I see ideas connecting, I’ll ask for students’ help in connecting ideas and words on the mind map.  (Standard 1.1)

Focused-learning Phase
Now we’ll split into two “families” and play a kind of “Family Feud” game.  The category will be Activitiés à la maison qui consomment beaucoup d’eau.  The team winning the coin toss will have the first opportunity to predict a domestic water-consuming activity.  If their activity fits into one of the areas represented on the pie chart illustrating water usage, I will reveal that part of the chart and award them points according to the percentage (20% = 20 points).  I will then alternate between the two teams until all of the answers have been given.  To continue activating knowledge of previously learned vocabulary, there will be a second part to the game.  For the broad categories like Nettoyage, I will ask that the teams list as many specific water-using activities as they can under these headings, and will again alternate between the teams, awarding 10 points per reasonable answer (Je suis la juge de raisonabilité!).

Expansion Phase
In the final stage of the lesson, I will explain their assignment for the next 24 hours, which will be to track their water usage.  I will ask students to scan the sheet and ask any questions they have regarding the language.  Next, I’ll have students make predictions about the activities they think they engage in the most often.   I will model and write on the board, Je pense que je ... le plus souvent, and continue asking students Qu’est-ce que tu fais le plus souvent? (Standard 1.1)


Formative assessment:

The family feud game will not only be an opportunity for the students to re-activate knowledge of previously learned vocabulary but will also help me determine how easily they are able to use these terms and/or how much review they will need of these expressions.  If students are relying greatly on circumlocution to identify water-using domestic activities, I will need to do more explicit review of the terms.  In addition, I may need to provide more scaffolding for the next day’s reading, which includes many of these terms.


NOTE: some attachments are in PDF form (get Acrobat Reader)

Pie chart graphic: Utilisation de léau a la maison

Handout 1: riddle
Handout 2: Mon utilisation d'eau