Students adopt snails in a “shell”ebration of French language learning

Students in Dawn Sylvester’s French class adopted des escargots (some snails) for a memorable lesson that will help build their language skills. The snails arrived in small pink and blue baby carriages with adoptions papers written in French. 

Tiny pink and blue plastic baby carriages with white tissue paper peeking from inside are lined up on a desk. Two students sitting at neighboring desks smile at the camera. One student holds a blue baby carriage, the other holds a pink carriage. Small snail shells peek out from the carriages. Two students sit at neighboring desks. One students looks down at an open dictionary and a pink baby carriage nearby on the desk. The other students has an open Chromebook and is writing with a pencil on paper. A blue baby carriage is nearby on the desk.

Using their dictionaries, the students translated the adoption papers to learn about the personalities of their snails, including their likes and dislikes. One student found out their snail’s favorite color is pink, for example, (Sa couleur préférée est rose). Another learned their snail enjoys jumping, dancing, swimming and knitting (Elle aime sauter, danser, nager et tricoter) and is afraid of owls, clocks and oysters (Elle a pour des hiboux, des horloges, et des huîtres).

Students began naming their adopted snails (which are really just shells, not live creatures). Some students chose such traditional French monikers as Pierre, Chloe and Margot, le escargot!

The snail adoption is an engaging and fun activity that supports learning of vocabulary and fluency with idiomatic French.

A student wearing a knit cap and glasses with dark frames, points to the snail shell he is holding. A student with glasses seated at a desk thumbs through a dictionary as a pink baby carriage sits in front of a nearby Chromebook A student sits at a desk with his left hand on the keyboard of a Chromebook. A dictionary and pink baby carriage are on the desk in front of the student.