AP Families and Communities / Personal and Public Identity: “How do major life events influence the lives of children, adolescents, and families around the world?”

This is the fourth of a series of posts about French AP. Several colleagues told me it would be helpful if I shared my materials so here we go! Feel free to critique them, use them, share them, toss them, ask questions about them, whatever you like! I try to give credit where credit is deserved but if you find that I forgot to credit someone or an organization, please do let me know.

For my AP curriculum, please click here.

In this unit, students compare and contrast major events in the lives of francophone children/teenagers/families with their own. I use the IPA model as my main backbone structure: first an interpretive task (viewing, listening or reading an authentic source about the topic), followed by an interpersonal task (discussing, comparing, contrasting, etc.), and then finally a presentational task (debating, creative writing, formal presentation, etc.). I sometimes skip the presentational step and go right back into an interpretive task.

Here is the folder with my resources. However, since this unit is pretty long, I have summarized below the main discussion topics and referenced the pages in my student packet, so you may pick and choose whatever you like.

  1. Discuss important childhood events and rites of passage such as:
    1. Catholic baptism p.5 through an educational video (that’s the only “non authentic” resource for this unit but it is a really solid one)
    2. Malian Tchoudi pp. 6-8 through the exploration of a blog and the viewing of a video (http://www.pulaku.com/fr)
    3. Divorce pp. 9-11 through the song “Double Enfance” by Julien Clerc
    4. Death of a relative pp. 12-15 through the song “Ciao Bella” by Rose
    5. Leaving home pp. 16-17 through the reading of an excerpt from “L’Enfant Noir” by Camara Laye
    6. An important discussion with an adult (1/2): Racism pp. 18-21 through the reading of an excerpt from “Le Racisme expliqué à ma fille” by Tahar Ben Jelloun
    7. An important discussion with an adult 2/2: War pp. 22-24 through the reading of an excerpt from “Un Sac de Bille” by Joseph Joffo

2. Compare and contrast different family structures:

  1. Homoparental family pp.25-28 through a TV5Monde “7 jours sur la planète” video and a newspaper article about gay marriage.
  2. African family pp. 29-34 through the exploration of a brochure by Morija, a non profit organization.
  3. Should African governments adopt the One Child policy? pp. 35-45  While this topic has led to intellectually challenging debates in my AP class for the past few years, I don’t think I will be using it any longer. Since China officially announced they were retiring their One Child policy, this debate has become obsolete.

I would love to hear ideas and suggestions to continue developing this unit, especially as topics become obsolete. Our job is never over, right?

(Featured image credit: “La famille Africaine” by Morija, April 2011)


  1. Merci de la Nouvelle Zélande! I am so excited to look at your ideas and adapt them in our educational context here. Merci! Lydiq

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