an archive of lesson plans

Category: Literature

FR INT/ADV S23 French Museums and Arts

Level: Intermediate and Advanced

This lesson can take between one to two hours depending on the activities you choose to do. It is better to take more time doing each activity and thus to dedicate 2 classes to this lesson

Objective: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to describe different French museums and their collections while learning French vocabulary related to art.


– Computers or tablets with internet access

– Pen and paper


– The teacher introduces the topic of the lesson by showing pictures of famous French artworks or landmarks such as the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, or the Palace of Versailles. The teacher asks the students if they recognize any of them and what they know about them.

Presentation / activity 1:

– introduce various French museums such as the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, and the Musée Picasso, and explains their collections and history. Show pictures of the museums and explain where they are located in France.

– introduce vocabulary related to art such as peinture (painting), sculpture (sculpture), exposition (exhibition), artiste (artist), and œuvre d’art (artwork), etc.

Activity 2:

– divide the class into pairs or small groups of 3 and assign each group a French virtual museum to explore. The museums can be found on websites such as Google Arts & Culture or the museums’ official websites.

– provide a worksheet with questions for the students to answer while exploring the museum. The questions should include specific artworks or collections to look for and descriptions to write.

– encourage the students to use the vocabulary they learnt in class to describe the artworks and to write short paragraphs in French.


– ask each group to present their findings and to show pictures of the artworks they have explored.

– lead a discussion on the different museums and their collections, and ask students to share their favorite artwork or museum.

– review the vocabulary and encourage the students to continue practicing by exploring more French museums or by watching French documentaries or films about art.


Language Resident Name: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 02/09/2023

Class theme/topics discussed: NEWS: TRUTH AND FAKES

Goal of the class:

  • Students will identify for themselves news media where they can read the news
  • Students can distinguish truth from untruth in Russian
  • Students can lie in Russian

How did you structure the class?

  1. Warm-up. Good News (10 mins)
    Share the good news; what positive and interesting things happened to you in the past week?
  2. Activity 1. Discussion about news (10 min)
    Students discuss the following questions in pairs: Where do you read/watch the news? What was the last shocking news item you read? How do you recognize fakes? Is it difficult?
  3. Activity 2. What words are associated with the newspaper? (5 min)
    I write the word newspaper on the board and ask students to write all the words they associate with it.
  4. Activity 3. Objects create news (15 min)
    Create a news story with the items from the picture. In pairs, choose three items from the picture and create a news story.

5. Activity 4: Fake News
In pairs, students choose one news story that is real and make up a fake one from it. They can use their phones to do this. They then tell both news stories to the class, and they have to decide which one is true and which one is fake.

6. Wrap-up. Do you agree or disagree (10 min)
Read these statements. Decide whether you agree or disagree with them. Think about the reasons for your answers.
– Now that we have the Internet, print newspapers are no longer necessary.
– News reports are always biased.

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

I really enjoyed this class. The students are very interested in the topic of news in Russia. They talked a lot during the discussion. The picture activity, where they had to choose several subjects, was very interesting. The students were very creative. Also the last activity worked well. Students were able to practice their presentation and lying skills.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I wouldn’t change anything. In my opinion, the class went very smooth, even though I was a little nervous to talk about news sources.

FR INT/ADV S23 Introduction to French Literature


– To introduce students to French literature and its cultural significance

– To improve students’ reading comprehension in French

– To expand students’ vocabulary and improve their language skills through games and activities related to French literature


– Copies of short stories or extracts from French literature (in French)

– Vocabulary lists for each story/extract

– Whiteboard and markers

– French literature-themed games such as Scrabble, and French literature trivia


– Begin the class by asking students what they know about French literature, what books from French authors they know and/or like/have read before.

– Discuss the significance of French literature in French and global culture and education.

Activity 1: Reading Comprehension

– Hand out copies of short stories or extracts from French literature.

– Divide the class into pairs or small groups of 3 and ask them to read the stories/extracts and answer questions.

– Each group presents their answers to the class

The following activities are examples of games you can use in this class:

Activity 2: Vocabulary Building

– Provide the students with a vocabulary list related to the short stories/extracts they read in the first activity.

– Have them work individually or in pairs to create flashcards or a quizlet deck with the new vocabulary.

– Once the vocabulary list is complete, conduct a quiz or game to test the students’ understanding of the new words.


Activity 3: French Literature Trivia

– Divide the class into teams and conduct a French literature trivia game.

– Questions can include famous French writers, their works, and their impact on French culture.

Activity 4: French Literature-Themed Games

– Play Scrabble with French literature-themed words.

– This activity can help students expand their vocabulary, practice spelling, and improve their understanding of French literature.


– Recap the class by discussing the importance of French literature and its contribution to French culture.

RU F22 ADV: Literature

Language Resident Name: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 08/29/2022

Class theme/topics discussed: Literature

Goal of the class:

  • Learn about Russian Literature
  • Speculate on the content of a literature piece adaptation
  • Check your knowledge on famous Russian books
  • Practice creative writing

How did you structure the class?

  1. Warm-up: 6 classic books (10 min)
    I show students the book covers of 6 Russian literature classics. After randomly reading the books back cover, students should match them to the book cover (the idea is taken from Spanish LR Natalia Cano).
  2. Activity 1. Watch a video with “literature questions for Russian high-school students” (10 min)
    Can you answer those questions?

3. Activity 2. Watch a moment from the adaptation of Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita” (20 min)
I show students a videoclip from anadaptation of Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita” without sound. I ask them to figure out what is going on and what is the conflict of the situation. Мастер и Маргарита
Then we watch it again with sound.

4. Wrap-up (20 min)
In pairs, create a story with this text as inspirations. Then, each pair will share their story with the rest of the class.
Если моя память меня не обманывает, и я всё еще могу считать себя здравомыслящим человеком, с нормальной способностью интерпретировать знаки календаря и часов, я укажу, что я ошибся ровно десять дней и девять часов назад.

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students enjoyed reading summaries of works of Russian classics. I made sure to include key words in these descriptions and encouraged them to search. In addition, I made the annotations as close to real Russian as possible, so they had difficult vocabulary, but the students did a great job determining the general idea. I was worried that my students would not be able to answer the questions of the second assignment, but to my surprise, they knew almost all the answers. As for The Master and Margarita, students came up with creative interpretations. Although one of my students knew the plot, he participated in creating a new story. The last assignment also went well; it was a good way to end the lesson, although I expected it to be more massive.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I would leave it as it is. It was a great class and I really enjoyed it!

RU S22 ADV: Limericks (Chastushki)

Language Resident Name: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 02/08/2022

Class theme/topics discussed: Russian Limericks (Chastushki)

Goal of the class:

  • Learn about Russian folklore – limericks
  • Develop translation skills

How did you structure the class?

  1. Warm up (10 mins): Discussion
    1) What is the definition of “chastuska”?
    2) Why do you think people compose them?
    3) Which topics do they raise?
    4) Do you have something similar in your culture/country?

I ask students to discuss those questions. Even if they don’t know what is chastuska, they can be creative and just guess. Students present their thoughts and results of a discussion by writing the main ideas on the board. Then, I show them a slide with an official definition and main elements of “chastushka”.

2. Activity 1. Read “chastuski” and translate (10 mins).
I give my students a handout with several limericks to read them and analyze. While they translating them, I add some cultural background for them to better understand the lyrics. We read it together and I also show the rhythm.

3. Activity 2. Watch a piece of the cartoon and translate the limerick (25 mins).
I show my students a piece of a cartoon. (11:03-12:50). In the video, folklore characters sing a limerick. Before watching I give my students handouts with lyrics. After watching I put them in two groups and ask to come up with an English translation of the limerick. While translating they realize, how unexpected the lyrics are.

4. Activity 3. Chastuskki in Modern Russia (10 mins).
We watch youtube videos of limericks in modern Russian culture.
TV-show “Voice”
Political Satire

What do you think of limericks now? Do you like them?

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students loved the topic. During the warm-up students found a lot of facts about limericks and managed to create the right understanding of their implementation. Their research made it easier to work later. Even though listeners of chastuska have to possess the certain cultural background to understand the content, students were open-minded and tried hard to understand them. While working in groups, students managed to come up with correct translations of Baba Yaga’s chastuska and were surprised, when we summarized the meaning of it.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

The activities did not take as long as I expected. Students managed to finish the activity very fast. We had 15 minutes left, so I had to improvise and show them videos of modern performances of chastuska. If I could modify this class, I would provide students with lyrics of those songs as well. If the students are comfortable with composing rhymes, the instructor could ask them to come up with their own limericks.

ESADV SP2022 Literature and poetry

Language resident: Natalia Cano

Class theme/topic discussed: Literature and poetry

Goal of the class: The students learn about Spanish literature and poetry

Class structure:

Activity 1: No juzques un libro por su portada

I show students the book covers of 6 Spanish literature classics. After randomly reading the back cover of the books, students have to match them to the book cover.

Activity 2: La Celestina

I asked them if they knew this book. I showed a draw my life video of La Celestina and they asked me questions about the plot.

Activity 3: Helicón

In pairs, create a story with this text as inspirations. Then, each pair will share their story with the rest of the class.

  • Si la memoria no me engaña y puedo considerarme aún un hombre cuerdo, con la normal capacidad para interpretar los signos del calendario y del reloj, precisaré que fue hace diez días y nueve horas exactamente cuando cometí el error.

Activity 4: Poetry

  • Who is your favorite poet? In any language.
  • What do you think it is more important when translating poetry? Keeping the rhym, the meaning or the images?

Activity 5: Your favorite poem

Which one is your favorite poem?

In pairs, they have to choose a poem in English and try to translate it to Spanish.

Activity 6:

Poetry in Spanish.I brought to class two books. One is a bilingual edition of Neruda’s poems and the other one is Lorca’s Poeta en Nueva York, so they can take a look at the poems. 

Resources used:

La Celestina:


Poems of Love, NerudaPoeta en Nueva York, Lorca

What worked well? What did not work?

I would add a warm up to this class, but I think the class went well. The students loved to share their opinions related to literature and poetry and they also found very challenging the translation part.

ESADV SP2022 Music and poetry

Language Resident: Natalia Cano

Class theme/topic discussed: Music and poetry

Goal of the class: The students discuss their opinions and come up with a story in Spanish

Class structure:

Activity 1: Reggaeton or poetry

The students have to decide if these fragments are reggaeton or poetry.

Tú eras tóxica como veneno

Pero me falta el aire desde que no estás

Quizás no me trajeses nada bueno

Pero al menos no nos la pasábamos mal

Es un placer conocerte

Quizá tú me traigas pena

Pero no puedo perderte

Me gustas cuando callas porque estas como ausente, y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te toca. Parece que los ojos se te hubieran volado y parece que un beso te cerrara la boca.

Hoy te odio en el secreto, ante todo lo confieso

Si pudiera te pidiera que devuelvas todos los besos que te di

Las palabra y todo el tiempo que perdí

Me arrepiento una y mil veces de haber confiado en ti

Quisiera que te sientas como yo me siento

Quisiera ser como tú, sin sentimiento

Quisiera sacarte de mi pensamientoQuisiera cambiarle el final al cuento

Y que yo me la llevé al río
creyendo que era mozuela,
pero tenía marido.

Yo sé que lo nuestro es cosa de ayer

Y me pone contento que te va bien con él

Yo ni te extrañaba ni te quería ver

Pero pusieron la canción que te gustaba ponerY me acordé de ti, cuando me hiciste feliz

¡Ay, qué trabajo me cuesta
quererte como te quiero!
Por tu amor me duele el aire,
el corazón
y el sombrero.

Ella y yo, dos locos viviendo una aventura 
castigada por Dios. 

Un laberinto sin salida
donde el miedo se convierte en amor

Activity 2: Now is your turn

In pairs they have to choose two fragments of poetry, or a song and the rest of the class has to guess what they are.

Activity 3: Estopa

I give the students the beginning of a well-known Spanish song:

Era una tarde tonta y caliente

De esas que pega el sol en la frente

Era el verano del noventa y siete

Y yo me moría por verteThe students have to imagine a story with this text as an inspiration, when they finish, I showed them the video and the ‘’storyline’’ of the song.

Resources used:

We used the projector for the poetry/reggaeton fragments.

Video la raja de tu falda:

What worked well? What did not work?

I might add a warmup to this class, but I also think that activity 1 worked a little bit as a warmup.

They discussed a lot during the first activity, so I think it was nice. With the second activity one of the pairs decided to put a fragment of Lorca’s poetry. So, we look the poem up and discussed it a little bit too.I really liked activity 3 because the students had great ideas in their stories, and they were quite disappointed by the actual song.

RU F21 ADV: Russian Folktales

Language Resident: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 09/16/2021

Class theme/topic discussed: Russian Folktales

Goals of the class :

  • Learn about Russian folklore and rules of creating a traditional fairytale
  • Practice storytelling

Class structure:

  1. Warm-up.
    I ask my students to discuss the following questions:
    1) What is “сказка” (traditional Russian verbal fairy tale)?
    2) Did you like reading fairy tales or listening to them when you were a kid?
    3) Do you know any Russian fairytales?
  2. Activity 1. Reading a fairytale “Сказка об Иване-царевиче, жар-птице и о сером волке” (The fairytale of Ivan-tsarevitch, a firebird and a grey wolf) (one and a half page, adapted, with vocabulary).
    Students seat in a semi-circle. We read the text aloud making stops at the end of each paragraph. I make sure they understand everything by asking them questions. I draw a plan of a fairytale on a board while they are reading. At the same time, I have a powerpoint presentation opened with drawings of this fairytale, so students have a visual image of what is going on.
  3. Activity 2. Analysis of a fairytale 
    I ask students to name all characters from the fairytale (7). Then, I ask them about the role of those characters. What do they do? We do it on purpose, so later we could discuss the thesis from the book “Morphology of the Folktale” by a Soviet folklorist and scholar Vladimir Propp. After we wrote all characters and their role (functions) on the board, I present my students Propp’s concept and give them a handout with a plan of creating a folktale.
  4. Activity 3. Create your own fairytale!
    I ask students to use the Propp’s concept of creating a folktale (7 main characters and 31 functions, which constitute the plot). They can choose any quantity of characters and functions to create a folktale.

What worked well in this class? What did not work?
While reading the folktale in the class, I tried to use visual materials, gestures and paraphrasing as much as possible. Students seemed interested in the plot, because they laughed when something funny happened and answered context questions. The fairy tale was not long (adapted 1.5 pages), but it took almost 30 mins to fully analyze it (which was more, than I expected). Students seemed overwhelmed with Propp’s concept, but I was ready for it — I simplified the functions, put pictures to them and printed it out in a handout. We did not have time to complete the last activity (composing a folktale), but when students discussed their plots, they were very engaged and came up with really funny ideas. We will continue talking about it next class.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I would devote two classes to this topic. I would spend more time reading and analyzing a folktale and explaining to students the Propp’s concept, and during the next class I would ask students to create a folktale and present it (in a form of a performance).

PowerPoint Presentation:

CN F21 ADV 我最喜欢的书和电影My favourite book & movie

Language Resident/Assistant Name: Feiya Suo

Day and Date: 2021.09.07

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class): Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed: 我最爱的书&电影 My favourite book & movie

Goal of the class:

By the end of this class, students will be able to talk about likes and dislikes

How did you structure the class?


  1. My story with <The Martian> & <Harry Potter>.
  2. Presentation: introduction to Harry Potter
  3. Wrap-up: Are you going to watch the full movie (again)?

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)

PowerPoint slides (13 in total)

I looked up pictures of the movie on Baidu image.

I used 笔记本 to create notes (see Appendix A)

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

The lesson went really well. Students were really passionate about the topic. In this class every student had read the book and watched the movies before, so we talked quite a lot about it.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I would say I’d like the class to stay like this.

 If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well.

Time/stepTeacher focusStudent focus
PresentationWarm-up (5 mins)– A little presentation about my favourite books: <The Martian> & <Harry Potter>.- Ask each student when and where they watched <Harry Potter> for their first time.– Greet the instructor – Answer questions
Presentation (10 mins)-Who is J.K.Rowling? -Show a picture of her -Ask students the questions: -关于这位作家,你了解多少? -你第一次看这本是在什么时候? -你还记得是谁送你的第一本书给你的吗? -你第一次看这部电影是在什么时候? -你还记得是和谁一起看的吗? 
Guided & Communicative practice (25 mins)-Show a picture of Harry Potter -Ask a volunteer to give brief introduction of Harry based on what is shown on the slide-Play Video clip 1 -Ask students to answer the questions: 在爸爸妈妈去世以后,哈利生活在谁的家里? 他的童年幸福快乐吗?为什么? -Show them a picture of Harry with the word “muggle” -Play video clip 2 -Ask students to answer the questions: 麻瓜是什么意思? 哈利为什么在魔法世界受到明星般的待遇? 罗恩是一个怎样的人? 赫敏是一个怎样的人? 你怎么评价哈利,罗恩,和赫敏的友情?-Show them a picture of the sorting hat and Harry-Show them pictures of four houses and their mottos -Play video clip 3 -Ask students to answer questions: 哈利为什么不希望去斯莱特林? 如果你戴上分院帽,你希望被分到哪一个学院? 在所有的课程中,你最希望学到哪一门? -Give a speech based on the information     -Answer questions         -Answer questions     -Answer questions
Communicative practice (10 mins)-Show some pitctures of other fiction movies魔幻电影, and ask students to answer the questions: – 你喜欢看魔幻电影吗?为什么?Do you like this type of movie? Why?-  你还喜欢看什么类型的电影?What kind of movies do you like the most?- 你最喜欢哪部电影?Which movie do you like best?And make a list of Chinese 11’s most favourite movies & Recommendations.Discuss in groups.


RU F21 ADV Intro to the Soviet Poetry: Gennady Shpalikov

Language Resident: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 10/05/2021

Class theme/topic discussed: Soviet Poetry of the Khrushchev Thaw (1960s)

Goal of the class: 

  • Learn about the poetry during the Khrushchev Thaw
  • Practice translating and listening skills
  • Get to know the Soviet director, screenplay writer and poet Gennadiy Shpalikov

Class structure:

  1. Greetings and warm-ups.
    Discussion in pairs: Do you like poetry? Who is your favorite poet if you have one? Do you know any Soviet or Russian poets?
  2. Introduction. Gennadiy Shpalikov
    I briefly introduce the biography of Gennady Shpalikov to the class. Why he was important for the “Ottepel” (the Khrushchev Thaw) and what the general atmosphere in the culture at that time was. I ask students if they know something about 1960s culture in the Soviet Union.
    “В воздухе была надежда на свободу, и мы дышали этим воздухом, а как точно заметил Сергей Соловьев, Шпаликов этот воздух создавал” (Юлий Файт)
  3.  Activity 1. Translate a poem.
    I give students a handout with the Shpalikov’s poem “Людей теряют только раз” (“You lose people only once…”) translated in English and ask them to come up with a Russian translation for this poem. I put students into two groups, so every group come up with their own translation. Then, I ask them to present their poems to the rest of the class.
  4. Activity 2. Comparison with an original.
    Александр Яценко – “Людей теряют только раз”
    I show students a video of a Russian actor Alexander Yazenko reading this poem in a studio. Before that, I give them a handout with an original text, so students can compare their poems with the original.
Геннадий Шпаликов
Людей теряют только раз,
И след, теряя, не находят,
А человек гостит у вас,
Прощается и в ночь уходит.
А если он уходит днем,
Он все равно от вас уходит.
Давай сейчас его вернем,
Пока он площадь переходит.
Немедленно его вернем,
Поговорим и стол накроем,
Весь дом вверх дном перевернём
И праздник для него устроим.    
Gennady Shpalikov
Translated by Igor Skryagin and Aleksandra Bystrova  
All people may be lost just once,
And a lost trace may not be found,
When a person, who is staying with you,
Leaves into the night, saying «goodbye».
And if they leave in the afternoon,
They leave you anyway.
Let’s return them right now,
While they are crossing the square.
Let’s return them immediately,
And talk to them, and set the table,
Turn the whole house upside down
And arrange a feast for them.  
Activity 1. Translate the poem.
Activity 2. Comparison with the original

What worked well in this class? What did not work?
Students came up with beautiful translations of the poem. They were very engaged into translating it. If students are interested in the Soviet culture and poetry, it can be a very enjoyable class. However, if students don’t like poetry it might be challenging. The level of the poem is appropriate for advanced learners. The groups of two students in each group worked well.

How could this class be improved/ modified? 
I would leave it as it is. If you have more time left, you can do the same with another poem from the Thaw’s poet Bella Ahmadulina “В тот месяц май, в тот месяц мой…” (

FR F21 ADV/INT Harry Potter – create your Hogwarts’ House

Goal of the class: Create a conversation around the books and movies, learn new vocabulary (adjectives, qualities and personal attributes such as bravery/honesty/wisdom, etc.; clothing (colors, various clothes, accessories), furniture and the vocabulary belonging to the magical universe of Harry Potter).

Reviewing some grammar/syntactic points such as the phrases to explain/describe people’s personality and personal attributes, their outfit, detailing the layout of the furniture in a room.

In addition to that, the main activity is designed as well to make students review and practice how to express wishes in French and structure their presentation of their houses.

Creating groups: Depending on the number of students one has in their class, the groups can count 2 to 4/5 students. Putting them in group is a good idea as it incites them to do teamwork, share ideas and vocabulary to complete the main task. I personally made this class more challenging for the students as they are advanced ones and therefore are more proficient/comfortable in the language.

Structure of the class

1- Warm-up :(10 minutes)

•What did you do this Weekend?

Presenting today’s topic: Harry potter. Who is a fan? Which books did you read/movies did you watch? What are your favorite-s one-s and why?

2- Input:(10 minutes) Which words come to your mind when you think about Harry Potter? (in order to introduce new vocabulary, I personally wrote the words they gave me on the board and provided new ones). Since my students were advanced and naturally wanted to know more complex vocabulary and expressions, I showed them two extracts of the first HP movie in French, with French subtitles. I then wrote on the board some words and expressions used in the extracts and which I thought could be very useful for the task and for their personal use (adverbs, common exclamatory expressions in French, idioms, words such as feather, candles, magic wands, snake, etc.)

3-Then I showed them the names of the Hogwarts’ houses in French, we also discussed who had done the internet quiz to know the house they belonged to. Then I had made a detailed PowerPoint slide explaining the main activity for the day: “créer votre maison à Poudlard!” (create your Hogwarts’ house!).

The steps they could follow to create their house were the following:

1) Find a name

2) What are the values qualities specific to your house and required to be a part of it?

3) Which animal represents your house?

4) what sort of uniform/clothing? (Colors, motifs, design, accessories)

5) How does your common room looks like?

This lesson plan can also be used with Intermediate students. I would recommend however providing more input before starting the main activity such as vocabulary lists with expressions and phrases to guide the students in expressing themselves and structuring their argument/presentation.

Below is the PowerPoint I made and used to teach this class to both Advanced and Intermediate students:

4-Main activity:(20-25 minutes)Idivided them in 2groups of 4-5and after explaining to them what the activity was about and thesteps to follow, I handed a vocabulary sheet to them with words, expressions and phrases to help them complete the activity. The handout was designed in accordance withthe guidance/steps I had provided beforehand for completingthe activity.While they were exchanging in groups, I went back and forth between thegroups and projected images with ideas of items they could include in their common room (this way they could also learn more words). Bothgroups made amazing drawings of their House’s uniform, animal, and common room! One group designed a common room with a pool and an aquarium in it. The other one decided the animal that would represent their house would be a mix between a bear and a bird.5-After each group had completed the task, I asked them to come forward and present their house to the rest of the class6-To conclude this class on Harry Potter, I asked them to give me one or two words they had learnt todayWhat technology, media or propsdid you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)I used internet, a vocabulary sheet, and aPowerPoint I had designed myself for this classWhat worked well in this class? What did not work?This class went very well.Like with my intermediate students,even those who were not Harry Potter fans were interested in the class and very engaged into the activity. They all participated and really tried to design a detailed presentation of their house and its specificities.

JP SP21 INT/ADV: Hyakunin Isshu, Waka, Renga

This topic can be done in a class or two classes.

anguage Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto  

Day and Date:  

Wednesday April 14, 2021   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  


Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Movie trailer 
  • Make Renga 

Goal of the class:  

  • Understand a movie trailer  

anguage Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto  

Day and Date:  

Wednesday April 12 – 15, 2021   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  


Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Movie trailer 
  • Hyakunin isshu 
  • Renga 

Goal of the class:  

  • Understand a movie trailer  
  • Understand hyakunin-isshu, waka poetry, and other ideas around waka
  • Make some renga 

How did you structure the class?  

  1. Trailer #1 (20 min) 
    2. What kind of characters? 
  2. Karuta or Hyakunin isshu (15 min) 
    1. What is this? 
    2. A collection of Waka poems 
      1. 100 poems from 100 poets throughout the history  
      2. Created in the early 13th century 
      3. Who are poets? 
        1. Emperors, aristocrats, monks 
    3. There are lots of other waka collections 
      1. Some of them include regular people’s poems and poems with writers unknown from ancient times  
    4. What Is waka? 
      1. Haiku (5.7.5) vs. Waka ( 
      2. 柿くへば鐘が鳴るなり法隆寺 by 正岡子規 
      3. ちはやふる 神代もきかず 竜田川 からくれなゐに 水くくるとは by 在原 業平 (9th century) 
    5. As a game 
      1. How the game works 
    6. Renga 
      1. Difference between waka 
  3. Trailer #2 (15 min) 
    2. What’s new here 
    3. New Character? What’s she like?  
    4. What’s a message shown throughout the trailer? 
    5. The effect of adopting story that was originally written in a manga format. 
  4. Let’s make renga (30 min) 

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)  Class agreement, breakout rooms 

Zoom, Sharescreen, Youtube, Whiteboard 

What worked well in this class? What did not work?   


  • Today’s trailer was a lot easier to understand for them. They were able to guess the relationship of 3 main characters. 
  • They know some sort of card game is related, but they had little idea. One student was able to guess that it would be something with poems. That was great. 
  • Introduced this game, Hyakunin Isshu, Waka, and Renga. I talked a lot for this to explain what they are. It was like I’m doing a Japanese class in a junior high school in Japan. At least they got the new ideas and cultures around Hyakunin Isshu and Waka poems. 
  • The trailer #2 was fun. This time we guessed what’s going on and also tried to listen carefully each phrase in the trailer. From these phrases, we thought about shared value that these characters are having (team work) in contrast to the best player (individualistic). 
  • Renga was a fun activity. This is a collaborative poetry, so you have to follow 5-7-5 and 7-7 format and also develop the idea and theme that previous people present. They created funny poems collaboratively. 
  • I used whiteboard for this collaborative activity. They just type their work on to whiteboard by themselves. This worked out very well. 
  • I shared music when they were working on poems. It was a good and fun addition to the class. 


  • Today’s trailer was a lot easier for them to grasp the story. They were able to find more details than 11.1 students 
  • We talked a lot about Hyakunin Isshu, Waka, Haiku, and Renga. They knew Haiku but they didn’t know Waka. 
  • We discussed the difference between Karuta and Hyakunin Isshu, which also called karuta occasionally  
  • With trailer #2 we talked about certain values that Japanese society likes to hear and see in pop cultures and entertainment. Some elements, friendship, collaborative work, hard work, are so popular and they are seen a lot of pop cultures 
  • We also talked about a little strange cinematography. This might be because the film tries to adopt the styles of comic. 
  • Renga making was so fun. I used background music to play while they are thinking so there is no awkward silence. Their works are so funny. 
  • I used white board for the renga making activity, and it worked well 

How could this class be improved/ modified? 

  • Renga making was so fun. I used background music to play while they are thinking so there is no awkward silence. Their works are so funny. 
  • Renga activity can be done in breakout room instead of whiteboard. I was thinking which way to do. This time I used whiteboard. But I think breakout room works as well 


Haiku, Waka, and Renga Whiteboard

Students’ Renga Works

CN F20 ADV Chinese movies and TV shows

Language Resident/Assistant Name:

Ruoyu (Agnes) Fu 

Day and Date:


Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):

Chinese Advanced level 

Class theme/topics discussed:

Chinese movies and TV shows  

Goal of the class:

  1. By the end of this class, students will be able to talk about different movie genres in Chinese (see Appendix A)。
  2. By the end of this class, students will acquire more knowledge of classic Chinese movies and TV shows. 
  3. By the end of this class, students will be able to express personal interests (e.g., 我最喜欢看武侠电影)
  4. By the end of this class, students will be able to find expected information based on the instructions provided. 
  5. By the end of this class, students will be able to provide detailed information on a subject. 

How did you structure the class? (please see more details below on Page 3 and 4) 

  1. Take attendance and greet the students 
  2. Warm-up: what is the last movie or show you watched
  3. Presentation: Chinese movies and TV shows 
  4. Discussion: What do you like or dislike?
  5. Solo presentation: the one on my to-watch list 
  6. Wrap-up: what you could watch for your Chinese learning 

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)

  1. I used PowerPoint to create the slides (17 in total) 
  2. I looked up pictures of some dishes on Baidu image.
  3. I used 笔记本 to create notes (see Appendix B) 
  4. I used to play Jackie Chan’s movie clip. 

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

What worked well: 

  1. Students are familiar with all the genres, even the one that is less common (i.e., martial arts). 
  2. Students did not get confused about what those points and stars meant after I explained that it was from a website worked as “a Chinese IMDb”.
  3. All of them have a habit of watching Chinese movies and shows on some American streaming platforms, so they were interested in getting relevant information about what might be available. They also had a lot to contribute themselves. 
  4. There was a Chinese teen drama <> on Netflix, they were very excited to learn that their classmates had also known that show, so they had a very interesting conversation about it with each other.
  5. Compared to the intermediate level classes, they had a bigger vocabulary size to support their production on likes and dislikes, so they felt comfortable bringing up more prior experiences with different kinds of shows and movies.
  6. They were willing to invite the observer to their conversations and get them going smoothly. That was my first time watching them speak in Chinese to an “outsider”. I was quite satisfied with their performances.  

What did not work: 

  1. They were familiar with those genres as just “terms” or “words”, they did not have sufficient experience with most of them to reflect on. I was expected the advanced level class to know more information about certain topics such as Jin Yong’s work. But only one student had heard of him. 
  2. I thought they had already learned the four great novels somewhere else. Although I was aware of the lack of knowledge of the details (that is why I demonstrated them in English). But none of the students had even heard of them. It made my presentation on it more challenging. 

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  1. I always try to avoid giving away too much information about the coming topics to make sure their output is spontaneous. In the future, if the topics seem to need a fair amount of world knowledge, I probably will release the agenda of the next class prior to it to help them prepare for their participation. 

If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well.

Time/step Teacher focus Student focus 
Presentation  Warm-up (5 mins)-Take attendance  -Greet students by asking them if they still remember the differences among 明星,名人,网红,偶像。– Connect their devices  – Greet the instructor  – Answer questions
-Answer questions 
Presentation (20 mins) -Show them different genres of the movies and TV shows  -Introduce Jin Yong and his work  -Show them the old Hong Kong version and the new Mainland China’s version  -Demonstrate the list of the gangster movies  -Play a 30-second clip of 《无间道》 -Demonstrate Zhou Xingchi’s work  -Demonstrate the list of the action movies  -Play a 2-minute clip of 《我是谁》 -Demonstrate the list of the new action movies produced by some new directors from Mainland China  -Sharing my own experience of watching 《红海行动》and 《战狼》at AMC  -Demonstrate the rest of the slides of the movies  -Introduce the four great classic novels (see Appendix B) -Play the theme song of 《西游记》 -Demonstrate the rest of the slides of the TV shows 
Guided practice (15 mins) -Make sure they are able to access the handout  -Send them into breakout rooms  -Let them discuss the questions with their partners: their favorite movie genres; last watched Chinese movie; last watched Chinese TV show, etc.  -Bring them back to the main session  -Ask them what show they were talking about, whether they use Chinese subtitles; whether they use English subtitles, etc. 

-Discuss with their partners 

-Present to the class 

Communicative practice  (15 mins) -Show them a 45-second video clip of 《知否》 -Read the four lines on the slide  -Explain what they mean  -Explain why I show them that  -Ask them what cultural aspects were presented in it -Ask them what historical aspects were presented 

-Answer questions 
-Answer questions   
Wrap-up (5 mins)-Go over the genres and their Chinese expressions  -Mention the availability of the list of movies and shows on Sakai  -Ask questions 
Appendix A 

武俠片/武侠片 Martial arts​
警匪片/警匪片 Gangster​
犯罪片/犯罪片 Crime​
愛情片/爱情片 Romance​
動作片/动作片 Action​
喜劇片/喜剧片 Comedies ​
電視劇/电视剧 TV dramas​
四大名著 Four great novels ​
历史片 history ​
古装片 period drama ​
校园片 teen
Appendix B


JP F20 ADV: Reading Kanji

Language Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto 

Day and Date:  

Tuesday November 24, 2020   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  


Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Last class: kanji games 

Goal of the class:  

  • Guess how to read unusual kanji

How did you structure the class?  

  1. How are you doing? Hanging in there? Good news if any??? (7 min) 
    1. Hawaiian Thanksgiving dishes – lots of Asian food included  
  1. Guess and read the kanji (45 min) 
    1. Veggies
    2. Fruits 
    3. Things in the water 
    4. Family names 
  1. Most complicated kanji (10 min) 
    1. Some legendary mysterious kanji 
    2. Officially registered real kanji

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.) 

Class agreement, breakup rooms 

Zoom, white board 

What worked well in this class? What did not work?   

  • We talked how we feel at the end of the semester. Since everything happened online at home, there is not a huge difference compared to pre-COVID time when students used to move back to their hometown etc.  
  • We talked a bit about Hawaiian Thanksgiving food 
  • Kanji guessing game was fun, and they had very good questions such as when these vegetables were introduced to Japan and how their kanji were decided like that. 
  • One student was sharing her knowledge about how Taiwanese use the same kanji for the same fruits and how a kanji was chosen for a certain fruit because of the meaning of kanji (蕃) 
  • We guessed some strange and rare family names and some super complicated kanji as well. 
  • We had a pretty fun time. They used everything they know to guess the kanji, such as a documentary film about fish that they watched the other day, the knowledge of Taiwanese usage of kanji, etc. 

How could this class be improved/ modified? 

  • There are lots of kanji. Some are easy to guess, and others are just impossible to guess. We can do a lot about this. 

If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well. 

Below are what we did with whiteboard



Things in the water 

Rare and strange family names 

Complicated kanji 

Taito たいと – a family name (not officially recorded in anywhere but there is a story around this kanji)

Biang – From Chinese kanji

Jin ジン – dust

JP F20 INT/ADV: Haiku

Language Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto 

Day and Date:  

Monday October 5, 2020   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  

Intermediate / Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Haiku 

Goal of the class:  

  • Learn about Haiku 
  • Create haiku and kigo 

How did you structure the class?  

  1. Good news (5min) *We share positive stories at the beginning of each class.
  1. Today’s plan and watch a video:  (10 min) 
  1. Example of “kigo” (5 min) 
  1. Break out room (2-3people) (25 min)  
    1. How we appreciate season? Any new “kigo” that we can create that’s specific to American seasonal moments? 
    2. What reminds us of seasons? What kind of things do we appreciate in a season? What do we do, see, hear, taste or feel in a season?  
    3. Let’s make a haiku! 
  1. Main room (15 min) 
    1. Share the haiku each group made.  

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.) 

Class agreement, breakup rooms 

Zoom, Breakout room, emails, YouTube and internet resources.   

What worked well in this class? What did not work? 

  • They knew the basics of haiku. The video helped them understand a little deeper about haiku. 
  • “kigo” is an interesting concept. Instead of telling them this as a rule, I let them think about and come up with their own “kigo” in their own environment (American or California or whatever they think of) 
  • I believe it’s a nice activity to reflect how we are related to our environment, such as nature or seasonal events.  
  • This also turned into finding a little nice or memorable moment in their daily life relating to a season 
  • They enjoyed thinking of “kigo” and they explained how seasonal a certain word is to me, as I’m not quite familiar to American seasonal practice.  
  • They enjoyed making haiku, too, and they are using some techniques such as ji-amari (extra letter) or taigen-dome (ending a phrase with a noun)   
  • I also had them type their poem into the chat so I can make sure I know what they did and also I can save it. 
  • This was also finding a little nice or memorable moment in their daily life 

How could this class be improved/ modified? 

  • We focused on fall as it’s fall now, but we can do this any seasons 
  • We can also do “senryu,” which is like haiku, but you do not need to use “kigo” in it. So this could be a little freer and more hilarious.  

 If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well. 

Some concepts: 

Student works (with my quick translation): 

With Milky way, tonight’s moon is rare. 

While enjoying the colorful fall tree leaves while it’s on fire in California 

At Corn field, a skeleton is coming while dancing 

花枯れる (はなかれる) 
BTS が来る (ビティエスがくる) 
The season the flowers die, it’s also a season BTS comes here. Feels happy. 

Taco Tuesday, also Thanksgiving, I’m eating too much 

At dusk, I curve a pumpkin and light inside. 

Fall time, I remember lots of colors. 

Coming in the fall, I feel happy looking outside 

In early spring, while waiting for a train, I saw the girl. 

My homework is all blown away, thanks to a strong spring wind! 

Cicada sounds, let’s spit out seeds with my sticky hands 

The first rain, and then snow falls, the mountain sleeps 

大雨で 峰
A huge rain fall, the peak of mountains become white as mountains sleeps 

After the rain, the clounds are blown away and I see a white mountain.  

JP F20 INT/ADV: Onomatopoeia

Language Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto 

Day and Date:  

Wednesday November 4, 2020   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  

Intermediate  / Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Check in with everyone and see how they are doing 
  • Onomatopoeia 

Goal of the class:  

  • See if everyone is cool to do a class (This class was right after the presidential election)
  • Explore Onomatopoeia 

How did you structure the class?  

  1. How are you doing? Hanging there? Good news if any??? (7 min) 
  1. Introduce Onomatopoeia (8 min) 
    1. ザーザー and パラパラ 
    2. Animal voices etc. 
  1. Breakout room (30 min) 
    1. Describe a moment or create a story 
    2. Pick 3 or 4 Onomatope from and use it in sentence. One sentence one onomatope. 
  1. Main room (15 min) 
    1. Share the sentences that each group creates 
    2. Wrap up. Stay positive, and stay calm

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.) 

Class agreement, breakup rooms 

Zoom, breakout rooms online resource 

What worked well in this class? What did not work? 

  • Students were tired and stressed out with election situations. 
  • Students loved Onomatope. They sound funny and cute apparently. 
  • In the breakout rooms, students were laughing so hard finding new Onomatope and how they sound like 
  • They were so creative about making a story. This is a lot more than I expected. 
  • In the main room, students typed what they created in a chat and read aloud. It became almost like a theatre at some point. One student acted character A, another one was character B, and another one was a narrator, etc. 
  • They were so good at creating, writing, and using new words. I gave a little grammar correction to make a phrase sound natural after every group presented their stories. 
  • I enjoyed so much how engaged they were in today’s activity.  
  • I wanted this class to be somewhat fun. I’m glad that this class created some cheerful moments for them, especially after hearing them saying that other classes were all ok today and that they were just ok. 
  • This is one of classes students chose as the best.


  • They knew a lot more onomatope than the intermediate class. 
  • They were very nervous and worried about the election results.  
  • We ended up with talking a lot of feelings and situations around the election with onomatope.  
  • We also had some fun moments with some fun and positive and funny onomatope.  
  • Students also expressed some feelings about COVID. 
  • Onomatope are very nuanced expressions, so it was a great exercise to think about what the equivalent expressions are in English. I ended up with doing a lot of acting and facial expressions to tell them the nuances. That was fun.  
  • Manga is a great way to learn onomatope. 

How could this class be improved/ modified? 

  • Onomatopoeia is very fun and great things to know. I used an entire class focusing on this. But also it’s possible to introduce a few Onomatopoeia at the beginning of every class. This would give students some laugh and create a positive mood to start a class. 
  • I used a breakout room with 3-4 people. It could be smaller groups. 

If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well.

Student works: Each group created a story. 

  • ある日かえるさんとあひるさんが、いけに会いました。あひるさんは、かえるさんにかっこつけて、大きな声で 「ガーガー」と泣きました。かえるさんは、これを聞いてクスクス笑いました。じつは、あひるさんはじこあいせいでしたので、笑われたことがなかったです。あひるさんは、これを聞いて「ブルブル」ふるえました。かえるさんは、それを見て「おほん、きみはキャンセルドだ!」と言いました。あひるさんはもじもじして、こいにおちました。そして、かえるさんは、「へんなやつだなー」と思ってたたたたにげました。
  • ある日、マイケルジャクソンは馬をみました。馬はマイケルに向かってサクサク走りました



サクサク = stepping in dirt 
タタタタ = running 
ガミガミ = being lectured/nagged by someone above you 
ひひいん = sound of a horse 
うっとり = being fascinated by something beautiful 

  • 昔々 きみちゃんという六歳の子供は もりに すたこらに あるいていた。

きゅうに おおきくてこわいくまが 起こった。

でも きみちゃんは ゆうかんな子供 泣かなかった。

くまさん、大丈夫ですか?一人で もりにいるのは さびしいでしょう
くまさんは、ええええ、何これ?どうして この子 怖くならないの?

きみちゃんは、私の方が くまさんより こわいよ!それで、どんなに大きくても ぜんぜん ぶるぶる ふるえない!
くまさんは、そうなんだ。じゃあ、一緒に 世界せいふくをしよう!
きみちゃんは、世界征服 したくないけど。でも、人間は 最悪から 一緒に 森を 守ろう!
それ以下 きみちゃんとくまさんは もりを守ったり 毎日ラーメンをたべたり 幸せに 住んでいた.

RUS F20 Adv: Children’s Literature

Language Resident Name:

Maria Glukhova

Day and Date:

Wednesday, 10/14/2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):

Russian, Advanced

Number of people:

1 (or any)

Class theme/topics discussed:

Children’s literature

Goal of the class:

To work on translation skills and storytelling

How did you structure the class?

0. Greetings, announcements, general questions.

  1. Warm up questions:

On a scale from 1 to 10, how much did you enjoy reading as a child? Why?

What books did you like the most when you were a child?

What are the five (+) main differences between adult and children’s literature?

Do you think parents should read books aloud to their children? Why?

2. Activity: Find a short picture book that has no words, only images. Ask a student to look at it first. They should then come up with a text that describes what is happening as if it was written on these pages. Then you can do a slide show, and your student should pretend that they are narrators, and you are their child who is listening to a story. As a child, you can ask questions!

3. Activity: Find a short picture book with English text (I used “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats). If you only have one student, you can work on translating it into your target language together. If you have a group, students can work in pairs, and then you can compare different translations. Students should convince others that their translation is the best. 

4. Conclusion and a follow-up discussion.

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)

Zoom, prepared picture books

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

In this class, I only had one student, and we had a great time working on translation together.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I would leave it as it is. If you have more people, for the first activity, they can do one page each. Or you can also find a couple of books.

ES S20 INT/ADV Literature/Idioms

Language Resident: Katherine Pérez Gutiérrez

Class theme/topic discussed : Literature & Idioms

Goal of the class 

  • To practice literature related vocabulary
  • To become familiar with Spanish speaking authors and popular titles
  • To recognize common idioms

Class structure

  • Warm-up: Questions about reading taste & habits (Do you like reading? How often do you read? What was the last book you read? Who is your favorite author? Which one is your favorite book? Do you have any favorite character? Do you have any reading routine?) 
  • Activity 1: I show students the book covers of 6 Spanish literature classics. After randomly reading  the back cover of the books, students have to match them to the book cover and come up with a title for the books. At the end students comment on which book seems the most interesting for them.
  • Activity 2:  Santiago en 100 palabras: I show students a Micro-stories. After reading 2 examples,  in groups, using a template provided by the organization in charge of this contest, they have to write a micro-story.  (
  • Activity 3: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Students have a list of idioms commonly used in Spanish. In groups they have to guess the meaning of each idiom. I explain what the real meaning of each idiom is before jumping onto the next activity.
  • Activity 4: Using story cubes,  in groups, the class comes up with a short story where they put the idiom in context.
  • (extra) Activity 5: Childhood texts stories. I tell students a story about how this children story that marked me greatly when I was a kid. They do the same. 
  • (extra) Activity 6: Students are randomly assigned one of the idioms we have been using all along the class. They have to write the idiom for their classmates to guess, but only using emojis.
  • (extra) Activity 7: Students watch a video where you have to guess new idioms based on emoji phrases.

Resources used

  • PPT
  • Youtube
  • Story cubes
  • “Santiago en 100 palabras” handout

Reflection: What worked/did not work? How can it be improved?

  • The class worked well. Even though we didn’t go pass activity 3, they seemed quite engaged when reading and commenting on the books’ blurb.


Santiago en 100 palabras handout



© 2024 Language Residents

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑