Lesson Plan from the CoBaLTT Project
Senegal by Numbers
Submitted by **Adapted from the POLIA
Cultural Theme or
Academic Content Area:
Cultural Contexts (Demographics)
are the standards targeted for this lesson.
You may want to print this lesson (frame) so that you can
highlight the activities and assessments that indicate the
standards targeted. Located at the end of this page is a discussion
of why the CoBaLTT staff feels each standard has been targeted
Traditional Middle School, 4
To review complex numbers in the context of Senegalese
demographics; to practice interaction; to gain insight into
what is defined as a "third world country" and to compare
and contrast such a country with the United States.
The teacher may begin with a quick review of numbers (especially
thousands, millions and billions) as deemed necessary.
Language: Content Obligatory
Language: Content Compatible
Learning Strategies / Skills Development / Social (optional):
Two 50-minute class sessions
(See "Attachments" below for the following)
Description of Task:
Students, in groups of three, will receive a handout (see Attachment
1) with a list of terms in French for vital statistics equivalent
to "infant mortality rate," "fertility rate," "death rate," "population
under 15 years," etc. in English. Using their knowledge of cognates,
students will try to decipher these terms and identify to what they
refer overall. As a class activity, groups will report their understanding
of each term. Because some students may not have encountered these
terms in English and may have no sense of their meanings, the teacher
should allow sufficient time to explore the meanings of these terms
in English, what they measure and how they work (e.g., per thousand,
percent, etc.). Once students seem to have a grasp of the meanings,
the teacher should reinforce pronunciation of the terms so that students
can readily use them in the following partner/information gap activity.
The teacher provides a review of "quel" in forming questions.
The teacher will direct students to determine which form of "quel"
they will use to form questions related to the demographic statistics.
Individually, students will write on their list of French terms, the
form of "quel" they would use with each term. Since the terms
are not preceded with gender indicators, the teacher may want to do
a quick review to determine noun gender (e.g., "-ion" ending is generally
feminine, adjective endings may provide a clue, etc.) Students will
finish each question so that in the end, they will have a complete
list of questions in French: "What is the population?" ("Quelle
est la population de Sénégal?") "What is the rate?" ("Quel
est le taux?"). To assess this activity, the teacher can walk
through the class and check each student's work.
During speaking/listening activities:
Information Gap Activity:
Students should now be ready to perform the following partner/information
gap activity (see Attachments 2A and 2B). For this task, each student
will have half the statistics and ask his/her partner for information
that s/he needs. The teacher should model the first question/answer
("Quelle est la population du Sénégal?"). Once students have
filled in their sheets, partners should check to see that each other's
work is correct. In the end, each student will have a column filled
with vital statistics related to Senegal. Returning to the group setting,
as an oral review and check of numbers, the teacher may ask individual
students "Quel est le produit national?" and so on.
Listening Comprehension Activity:
Now the teacher will direct students to the third column on Attachments
2A and 2B in which they will fill in statistics related to the United
States (provided on Attachment 3). The teacher may first begin by
having students predict the statistics for selected categories. Then
the teacher may approach this activity as a means of checking oral
comprehension of numbers by dictating the statistics for each term.
The teacher may collect these sheets and correct them for use with
the following day or s/he may choose to have students exchange papers.
With a contrasting color of pen, these student "evaluators" will make
sure each number is correct. The teacher may then quickly scan the
sheet to see how well each student did on the oral comprehension exercise.
In the end, each student will have all of the statistics for both
Senegal and the United States and s/he is now in a position to compare
and contrast the two countries.
Looking at the statistics for both Senegal and the United
States, students are able to answer the questions related to these
facts and what they mean. In groups of three, students will respond
to assigned questions, some of which reflect basic facts, and some
of which require more thought and deduction based on the facts (see
Each group should assign a "recorder," who is responsible for taking
notes of the group-generated responses. Another student is given the
role of "reporter" and is responsible for reporting the group's ideas
and opinions to the whole class. The third student in each group is
the "task facilitator," whose job it is to keep the group on task
so that all questions are addressed.
The teacher may choose to assign different questions to different
groups, or assign all of the same questions to all groups. Once students
have responded to these questions, they have a base for further conversation
and discussion. Based upon their responses, they may make some deductions
about Senegal and its people (At this point, the lesson may move on
into consideration of the country through computer images, slides
and photos where students will see that this country is more than
Statistics related to France (see Attachment 5) or other Francophones
countries could be introduced, adding more dimensions for comparison.
Much of the assessment is built into these tasks with the teacher
making consistent and informal checks of learning for each group,
partner, and individual.
The teacher may want to collect and grade the numerical dictation
of statistics related to the United States for a comprehension check.
For the final question activity, the teacher can collect the responses
to the questions (as recorded by each group); s/he may also select
a number of questions to evaluate; for example, questions 5, 8, 13,
14, and 15 emphasize the comparison between Senegal and the United
Attachments: NOTE: you will
Reader to see most attachments (some are in WORD.doc format also).
A Lesson Plan from the CoBaLTT Project
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
University of Minnesota
again are the standards targeted for this lesson.
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do you agree?
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why (or why not) each standard is "targeted" by this lesson.