Teach it Tuesday: One-off French Lesson

This lesson is based on an activity I did during my final practicum. The kids loved it and it has since involved. My favourite thing about it is that it focuses on listening and oral French with an aspect of fun thrown in the mix. I think it’s so easy to get caught up with writing when teaching a second language but the most valuable part of learning a language is being able to communicate and understand.

I usually call this lesson “On Dessine” or “Les Indices” depending on what I feel like in the morning… please give me more creative suggestions for names if you have any! I will tell you how I usually do this lesson but keep in mind that I have done it so many different ways! If you go to do it yourself just make it work for your time frame, your students’ levels and your teaching style and I know that it will be a hit!

To start off I explain that the students will need to draw a picture as a group (using colour!) that shows an understanding of the description they will be getting…

1. “Les Indices” – First I give 3-5 clues about the picture. (Here is where you can adapt it to fit your students’ level and your unit vocabulary). Recently I did one of these using Olympic vocab that worked well. A basic one would look like this:

  1. Il y a deux garçons.
  2. Un garçon a les cheveux rouge.
  3. Les garçons sont à l’école.

I always let students write down the key vocabulary at this point but I don’t write it on the board because this is to check for their listening and understanding of spoken French.

2. “Les Questions” – Now I give about two minutes for each group to come up with a question to ask about the scene they are drawing. It must be a yes or no question and I just walk around and help them format their question properly in French. Each group only gets one question but the whole class can listen and use the responses to the other groups questions in their pictures. This is the fun part because sometimes kids come up with really interesting questions that add a lot to the pictures when you say “oui” or “non”… For example today a simple picture of two boys playing soccer turned into two boys who were distantly related playing soccer in the park beside their apartment building they live in.

320140225-191035.jpg. “On Dessine” – And the fun part! I give the students 5-7 minutes to draw their pictures. After they have finished they have to hold up their pictures and share how they met all the clues and questions in their drawing. Sometimes we vote for the one and have a group that is a winner and sometimes that’s just the end of the lesson.

This lesson is a lot of fun and I have found that it really is a good way to check for students’ understanding of vocabulary. Plus I love the creativity side of it too!

As always, if you use a lesson we would LOVE to hear how it went!


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