When I first approached one of our school’s Innovation Specialists with the idea of a podcast experience for my students, I never actually anticipated making one. By that, I mean a “real” one and not a podcast-like experience.
But we did. And I am so proud of my students.
It started twelve years ago…
The “Mystères Au Grand Hôtel” journal intime (personal diary) project is one of my favorites. I have done this project with my students for twelve years and this year, it took the next natural progression into the digital world.
Students read “Mystères au Grand Hôtel,” a short story written by Marie-Claire Bertrand and Sarah Guilmault, and assume a character of their own creation or take on a role from the story. They write diary entries in reaction to events that happen over the course of the tale. Over the years, the final products have been beautiful compilations of student creativity – some with burned, crumpled paper rolled into a glass bottle that had been thrown into the lake. Other journals were placed in a Milk Bones box from the dog who had witnessed everything.
“Coin de Culture” makes its debut.
In the spring of 2021, my students recorded their very first (as well as my first!) podcast. I, in no way, anticipated that these recordings would make their way beyond the borders of our own classroom. After speaking with Nathan Hoffman, Innovation Specialist, about a podcast possibility, he later told me that the school had invested in Transistor, a podcast program. Et voilà! A murder mystery series was born.
An opportunity for expression
In this innovation age, a podcast feels like a natural choice for student voice. This original on-paper project has now come off the page, permitting my students to demonstrate the French language in all capacities: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students wrote their scripts, designed their cover art and stepped into the personality of a new character. We laughed, our characters bantered, and this was an incredible experience I hope my students look back on and remember.
I have to admit that our Innovation Specialist, Nathan Hoffman, added the final touches and made the process incredibly smooth. He not only helped with recordings but also created our theme music and transitions. He wove together and uploaded our episodes and it as polished as it is because of his generous help.
“Mystères au Grand Hôtel” by Coin de Culture is available on your favorite podcast app. A new episode will be released each week. Tune into the finale on June 4!