FLE en mai

In the midst of all the testing and burnout, here are some ideas that are light, yet cultural. La fin est en vue !

Joueurs de pétanque (source)

    • Patate chaude (hot potato): Have students review a list of vocabulary, set a repeating countdown timer, and have them toss around a ball or stuffed animal. If they are eliminated, have them sit down and review the vocabulary for the next round.
    • Boules ou pétanque: We started out with several sets. They are withering down from hard middle school use, however. Use them if you have them, though!
    • 1, 2, 3 soleil: A game like red-light, green-light. One student is « it », and turns around, says « 1, 2, 3, soleil ».  While he is turned around, the others try to advance. As he says soleil, he turns around. Anyone who is still moving must go back to the start line.
    • Awalé: See my previous post on this African and Caribbean game. It is good for counting, talking about gaming vocabulary, and learning about other cultures.
    • Watch a movie or TV show: If your administrators will let you, that is. Movies such as Le Petit Nicolas and TV shows such as Tintin are perfect for vocabulary practice.
    • Write a book: Have students write a book that integrates all the units studied that year. For example, if they studied entertainment, vacations, illness, and daily routine, they should write a book that includes all of that. They can even choose authentic target language names, invent stories and lives for them. There are apps to do this electronically, but it can also be done on paper.
    • Cook food: You can make a lot of things very cheaply. If you have a waffle iron, make waffles. There are mixes that only require water. Bannann peze (fried plantains) are a popular Haitian dish that are basically sliced, fried plantains. Bring in some nutella. Have a cheese and fruit tasting party. Make croque-monsieur or a quiche.
    • Another list of grammar and vocabulary games and activities

Banan peze (popular Caribbean & Haitian dish)

Objectif : Donner son avis

J’ai trouvé sur https://fr.islcollective.com/ une excellente ressource pour pratiquer les avis. C’est en forme de jeu de société. Voici le tableau :


Pour préparer, il faut avoir une liste des thèmes à discuter. Les élèves peuvent également le faire. Par exemple, dans l’unité pour le divertissement, j’ai instruit les élèves à faire des thèmes au sujet de n’importe quoi par rapport au divertissment : la musique, les chanteurs, les films, les sports. On met tous les thèmes sur des cartes, on fait des pièces, et on joue !

Les élèves roulent un dé (il y en a des virtuels, comme ici), avancent leur pièce, et ils doivent produire une phrase selon la case où la pièce tombe. Par exemple, s’il tombe sur « Selon moi… », ils prennent une carte pour le thème, et ils créent une phrase : « Selon moi, Black M est un excellent chanteur.

Et voilà. Ça donne une manière de pratiquer de divers phrases pour donner son avis.

« Mune, le gardien de la lune »

Dans le thème du divertissement, on peut parler du film. Voici un film qui plairait aux apprenants: « Mune, le gardien de la lune ». J’ai hâte de le voir, mois aussi ! Malheureusement, ce n’est pas encore disponible en Amérique du nord. Voici la bande annonce

Cependant, montrer la bande-annonce peut servir de point de discussion: que pensez-vous de ce film ? voulez-vous le voir ? c’est quel genre ? avez-vous déjà vu un film similaire ? quelle est l’histoire ?

En plus, pour pratiquer la compréhension orale, les élèves peuvent écouter cette critique du film et en donner leur avis.



Awalé (oware) is a game played throughout Africa, even in some parts of the Caribbean, though it may have different names or slight variations. In a unit on entertainment, teaching students awalé is a great way to involve in an authentic cultural experience while at the same time teaching some important vocabulary, such as turns, winner, loser, (game) board, players, play, opponent.

The board looks like this:



The gameplay is not complicated, but there are many strategies that you can use to win. Here are some resources for awalé.

  1. Awalé instructions exercise (.pdf, ..docx): An exercise that shows the English and French versions of the rules, and students have to match them up.
  2. Illustrated instructions in French
  3. Short video how to play, how to harvest seeds
  4. Play awalé online
  5. Strategies for awalé (FR)
  6. Awalé app for iPad. This app is great because it allows the students to play against the computer or another student. This helps when you do not have physical boards.

Amusez-vous bien !



Instructional Strategy: Charades

This is a vocabulary-building exercise that is fairly simple. This activity works for verbs that require action (such as swim or faire de la tyrolienne).

Here is the process:

  1. Teach students a set of vocabulary (such as « entertainment », or « pastimes »).
  2. Print the vocabulary into cards
    • Quizlet is a good way to keep a centralized set of vocabulary for each unit.
    • Quizlet also allows you to print out flashcards.
  3. Give students cards of the vocabulary and put them into small groups.
  4. Students race to act out the vocabulary and have their teammates guess the new vocabulary word.
  5. Students take turns acting out the vocabulary.
  6. The first group to get through all of the vocabulary cards wins.

C’est une manière amusante de pratiquer le vocabulaire !

Strategy for practicing the passé composé


(image source)

A fun way to practice the passé composé (ou « pretérito perfecto compuesto ») in Spanish is to have students do « Find someone who has … ». Par exemple : « Es-tu déjà allée en France ? »

Sequence of instruction

  1. Introduction: Show some images that you will put on your « Find someone who » document. For example: someone going diving.
  2. Give context: Then, pose the question to the class. « Avez-vous déjà fait de la plongée ? » Have you ever gone diving?
  3. Model responses: Answer the question yourself, and ask students to answer the question after your model. Give them an affirmative and a negative model.
    Oui, j’ai fait de la plongée.
    Non, je n’ai jamais fait de la plongée.
  4. Activity: Give out the « Find someone who has … » paper. Then should pose all the questions to various students. They need to find someone who has done each activity. (Stop the activity if it goes on too long. They really only need some names for discussion and practice.)
  5. Discussion: After the activity, ask the class some questions in the 3rd period. Après qu’ils ont eu la discussion, poser des questions à la classe. « Qui a déjà (fait de la plongée) ? » Who has ever (gone diving)? Students should responde in the third person: Eric has gone diving before.
  6. Extension: Pose follow-up questions. Did you like diving? Where did you go diving? With whom?

I attached an example Powerpoint (alguna vez2) and « Find someone who has … » (present-perfect-walk-around-bingo) paper. They are in Spanish because I used them recently for a sample Spanish lesson that I taught. The principle is the same. Les exemples sont en espagnol pour une classe que j’ai récemment enseignée, mais le principe est pareil.

Teaching direct object pronouns in context


(image source)

In this post, I will address a strategy that I use to practice direct object pronouns in context, as a complement to explicit grammar instruction that would follow.

Instead of beginning with explicit grammar instruction in direct object pronouns, I chose to introduce them in context. Teaching grammar in context allows students to put the grammar into a memorized context, which they can later generalize.

In introducing the direct object pronouns, I had students write down three questions, with the following prompt:

  1. Est-ce que vous aimez le/la/l’/les ________ ?
  2. Est-ce que vous regardez le/la/l’/les _______  ?
  3. Est-ce que vous lisez le/la/l’/les _______ ?

I then had the students post a few of their questions to me. For example, one student asked me « Est-ce que vous aimez la pizza ? », and I replied « Je l’aime ». After I responded to several of the students’ questions, a few of them asked each other the questions, following my model. All students then circulated and asked their questions to several others.

This initial exposure to direct object pronouns gave them an idea of how the grammatical construction works in a limited context and prepared them to use it further in the future. It also paves the way for explicit grammar instruction, since students have a basic idea of how direct object pronouns work, and they have now encountered and used them.

Target trackers in a foreign language class

Having students track their learning is never a bad thing. The problem arises when you teach a foreign language, and you want and need to use that target language as much as possible. You do not have 10 minutes of class time to waste in the students’ primary language to have an in-depth discussion of the learning targets, but yet you want to have them be more mindful of the learning targets and their own progress. I created this simple target tracker that I plan to use as a warm-up and debrief at the end of each lesson for a while, as an experiment.

Students will copy down the learning target(s) for the day, and auto-evaluate their confidence and ability for this target at the beginning and end of the class session. This does not require English, perhaps other than introducing them to the target tracker the first. The language is simple: dateobjectif(s) ‘learning target(s), au début ‘in the beginning (of the lesson)’, à la fin ‘at the end (of the lesson’.

Students will simply rate themselves on their ability in the learning target at the beginning and end of each lesson and share out their answers to the teacher. Another problem arises of whether or not to put the targets in the students’ primary language, but I’ll work on discussing that later… I’ve attached my target tracker to this blog post.

Échauffement à la technologie

Si vos élèves ont accès à une tablette ou un ordi, Padlet.com nous donne une manière simple de partager leur réponses à la classe. Padlet est comme un tableau électronique. Vous créez un « Padlet », envoyez le lien aux élèves, et ils peuvent y accéder et écrire dessus. Par exemple, mon échauffement aujourd’hui est que les élèves doivent décrire la fête dans cette image (source). 3465-on-ose-les-jeux-de-plein-air-pour-un-0x400-4

Avec Padlet, tout le monde peut voir les réponses des autres. Comme ça, on peut réviser le vocabulaire et corriger les erreurs ensembles.