Méchantes Ados : Teaching French Through Mean Girls

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.)

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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/croustillantsHERE 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!

Check them out:

Awesome Student Burn Book 1: Written by “Polar Bear

Awesome Student Burn Book 2: Written by “Happy-Go-Lucky”

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One thought on “Méchantes Ados : Teaching French Through Mean Girls

  1. This is a brilliant project. Just what I’ve been looking for to wrap up a year full of l’imparfait et le passé composé. Thank you for generously sharing.

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