I have never been the biggest fan of Mean Girls.
(We’re talking the movie, as I don’t think anyone is actually a fan of mean people, regardless of gender.)
It’s not that I disliked it, per se, but given my choices for high-school film satire, I prefer 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s The Man, Easy A, or even Clueless to Mean Girls. Recently, however, I’ve been shown the (somewhat dubious) light by a fervent group of persuasive students in my French Classes. After listening to them unanimously extol the virtues of this film, I subsequently decided to integrate it into my class as a year-end part of a unit on story-telling.
Some of you (particularly if you are a teacher) might think that this is playing with fire. . . as Mean Girls is more than a little bit inappropriate.
So, in order to navigate this, which I decided would be okay since all of my students had already seen the film in English AND because it got them excited about French Class even in late June, I made a permission slip for all students to get signed prior to showing the film. (Download a modify-able copy of it by clicking THIS, if you’d like!) I did this right at the beginning of my Comment Raconter Une Histoire unit, so that by the time students had an opportunity to learn/work with basic storytelling vocabulary, we could watch the film (en français, bien sur!). After showing the Canadian-French version of Mean Girls (Méchantes Ados), we rounded out the year with a final “story-telling” project; the making, and subsequent sharing of our very own “Burn Books”.
I set it up a little differently, because I didn’t want any truly nasty things being written in my class… just juicy secrets, or as the French might say des secrets explosifs/croustillants! HERE is the link for my project prompt, if you’re interested in integrating this in your own French 2 class! With that set up, students began to engage in the process towards their final creation! As always is the case when I let my students be creative, I was ridiculously impressed with the outcome!