Students in Ms. Paula McLaughlin's French class made their voices and thoughts heard during the Women's March in San Francisco on Jan. 20.
She asked students to pick positive messages that were personally important to them and the class brainstormed in French and English, and looked at photos of marches in French-speaking ideas to see if they wanted to use any of those slogans. Students were not allowed to use any of the vulgar language.
"The timing of the March was perfect as I was trying to set a tone of focus on Social Justice themes in the second semester. The first day back from Christmas break, students each came up with a New Year's wish for the world in terms of social justice," Ms. McLaughlin said. "The level of writing varied from single words like "Paix" (peace), "Égalité" for French I to complex sentences using the subjunctive verb tense in AP French. This activity introduced the students to a lot of the vocabulary needed to discussing social justice issues. The Women's March and making the signs was a logical and meaningful extension of this activity."
Following the March, students discussed the highlights and then answered and talked about the question: What now? This helped students brainstorm ideas for the rest of the semester which included volunteering together to serve the hungry, tweeting in French about social justice issues and current events, learning about violence targeted particularly to indigenous women in French-speaking Canada and planning to attend an indigenous ceremony to heal the violence at SF State in February, and keeping track of other marches.
The class overwhelmingly agreed that they wanted to do this more than once a year, according to Ms. McLaughlin.