In Year 3 we have been learning to ask and answer questions about ourselves and each other. We then put all these into a conversation. To get the children thinking about a real life conversation, we put these words and phrases in order then practised using our French puppet Claude!
To practise asking and answering questions, we played a circle game with these ‘Q&A birds’. With French music playing in the background, the birds were passed around the circle in opposite directions. When the music stopped, whichever child was holding the purple bird had to ask the child holding the blue bird a question about themselves and they would then answer. This was great speaking and listening practice and the children were excited to have their go!
In Year 3 we have been learning how to give our name, age and describe how we are feeling in French. We put all this information into a speech bubble and shared these facts about ourselves with the class verbally and in writing. We decorated our speech bubbles to celebrate French and France!
For European Day of Languages in Year 4, we explored the geography, flags and French names of some European countries. We then used ‘Passport to the European Union’ booklets (ordered from the European Commission) to research key facts about each country, including language, capital city and how to say ‘hello’ in the languages spoken there. We then put all our research together into a book to be kept in the reading area for others to enjoy and investigate!
I have introduced this French stationery holder to LKS2 to both introduce and reinforce classroom objects and also to get the children excited to produce written French work during the lesson. Each lesson two hard working children are chosen to use the caddy and share the materials.
The stationery caddy itself is a cutlery holder, some cheap and fun items and laminated labels. The children are really enjoying using it in our lessons (and the magic colour changing pens which are included!)
To begin the school year in Years 4 and 5, we recapped our conversational skills with questions and answers. First we played this dice game in pairs:
Each number on the dice corresponds with a question in French and the children take it in turns to roll the dice and ask questions/respond.
The children then moved on to writing similar information about themselves on a hand cutout:
For ‘la rentrée’ in Year 6 we thought about our return to school, what makes a good language learner plus the things we do and enjoy whilst we are at school.
I was inspired by this list I saw online:
In a similar way, we thought of things we do at school. Then we used our bi-lingual dictionary skills to find suitable verbs in the infinitive form.
Here ‘s my example:
And one of the children’s:
It was a simple activity but it focused the children on identifying appropriate words in the dictionary (looking for ‘v’ or ‘vb’ for verb, instead of ‘n’ for noun etc) and was a good introduction to further verb work later on in Year 6.
To encourage learning and engagement at home and to foster a love of French, I decided to introduce a French take home bag. Inside the bag is a bear (Pierre), a basic storybook, a CD of songs and some games. This was purchased from Language Learners North East. I also decided to put a journal in the bag for children to write about their French themed adventures with Pierre and the French words and phrases they practised with him. I began the journal using photos from a recent trip to France (with Pierre in tow 🙂 ).