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« Comme chaque année depuis que je sais écrire, et ça fait un drôle de tas d’années, j’ai dit à papa et à maman que j’allais vous envoyer une lettre pour vous demander des cadeaux pour Noël. » But this time, Nicolas is going to go directly to Père-Noël to ask for gifts to make others’ lives easy: a moto scooter, so his parents don’t have to drive him everywhere; all the correct answers for Math, to make his teacher happy; money for cookies to share with Alceste; and a bike for Clotaire, so he can learn to ride. Originally intended for young French natives, Sempé-Goscinny’s Le Petit Nicolas, c'est Noël ! is a great book to entertain any French-language learner who wants to improve their reading skills.
©2012. French. Advanced. High school. 4 x 7 inches. Softcover, 137 pages.
To keep students’ attention, instead of having them take notes as they read the book, have students draw out storyboards for each chapter. At the end of each chapter, have them try to retell it in French to a partner—even if they only remember certain characters, expressions, plotlines, etc. Without looking at the book, and only looking at the drawings, have them try to rewrite what they can. Come together as a class afterwards, and see if students remember the main details and if they are in the correct order.