12 June, 2017

Les Amérindiens - Native Americans

Two years ago I found a beautiful book about a Native American in one of my travels to Lille.

I thought I could use it when Year 3s learn about the Americas and I couldn´t resist to buy it.

I hadn´t used the book yet, but last term, I finally planned some activities to teach a unit on Les Amérindiens.

We first located Les Amérindiens in the frise historique or time line, located them in the map and learnt about how they used to live.

We practised listening to the French words related to their way of life and customs while playing bingo.

We also learnt an authentic song about un petit indien called Nagawika. This is a song that French children learn at school!

un petit indien nagawika (officiel audio and... by dm_51a0a978942d1

Finally, we read Heyo and learnt some frequency verbs. The story has some repetition (Je suis Heyo, un Lakota; je suis un bon chasseur, je suis un bon cavalier; je suis un bon pisteur) so it works really well to introduce the form Je suis + adjective.

The children created beautiful minibooks about Heyo, we hope you like them!

Next year we will also learn the story of the Native American Pocahontas.

03 June, 2017

Activities around Japan

In Summer 1, the whole school topic was "Countries Project". Each year group focused on a continent and each of the classes studied a country on that continent.

This is one of my favourite topics, as you can be so creative with your planning. I also like "Countries project" because the last day of the half term we celebrate "Travelling week" at Sudbury and we get to go to different classrooms and learn about a lot of countries. There is a presentation, a performance, activities and crafts and even food!

Year 4 focused on Asia and I decided to plan a series of activities around Japan.

We listened to the song "Le petit japonais"and practise our listening skills indentifying some vocabulary.

Find the song in this book CD on Amazon

We also learnt some facts about Japan. I used a fantastic book that I found in Paris two years ago.



I planned a carrousel activity where the children, in groups, had to read a short paragraph in each station and use their language skills to understand information about the typical dish, sports, greetings, clothes etc. Some children even translated the text into English!

On the following lesson, we created minibooks with all the facts that we learnt about Japan.

25 May, 2017

Le doudou de Trotro - Trotro's teddy

Today the pupils of Year 2 have met Trotro's teddy. I don't know who was more excited, if the Year 2s or me!

We talked about teddies and what we enjoy doing with them, then we read the story... The children burst into laughter with the part of the toilet, they asked me to read it again!

The surprise came after the reading.... when I showed them the actual teddy, they all wanted to hug him.

Then, the children did a coulouring activity and practised their copying and spelling skills.

You can find this colouring sheet and other activities in Le livre de coloriage de Trotro.

14 May, 2017

Book hunt in Toulouse

Book hunting is one of my favourite things to do when I travel to France. This time, I found some gems in the bookshops in Toulouse (Gilbert Joseph, Ombres Blanches, Tire-Lire) and the Museum of the school in Carcassone.

Here are the books / magazines and some ideas to use them in class:

J'ai vu un lion (Séverine Vidal, Laurent Simon - Milan)

A funny book that tells the story of a child who has seen a lion in the neighboor's garden.  The child tells very random features in each of the pages, and the mum says a comment at each time: "joli pour un lion, chouette pour un lion, étrange pour un lion".
At the end of the story, the child invites Bernard, the supposed lion, to come to eat le goûter.

Children could write a mini-book starting with a supposed animal and then revealing a different animal by the description of the feathers, height, colour, wings, beak, etc.

Rouge hippopotame and Jaune Chameau (Janik Coat - Éditions Memo)

The series include Vert tamanoir, Rouse poulpe, Marron mammouth, Orange sanglier, Violet chat, Blanc chouette et Noir rhinocéros.
The language in these books is simple. The animal and the colour are introduced in the first page: Mon hippopotame est rouge. Then, there are a series of similes: rouge comme + plural noun.

I am thinking that the children could practise forming the plural of nouns, use the bilingual dictionary and write and illustrate their own mini-book.

Ça se fabrique peut-être comme ça (Chihiro Takeuchi - Rue du Monde)

I found this book very witty and original and couldn´t resist buying it. It´s the story of a factory where simple things can turn into unexpected items!
The text presents some items in the plural form with the indefinite article des +  repetition of the question "Que vont-ils fabriquer?" + the name of the ending product in singular or in plural in the following page.

I think it would be a great story to stimulate children's creativity and another way of practising plurals and searching for words in the bilingual dictionary.

Un repas monstrueux (Tobias Krejtschi - Miniedition)

This is a cute lift-the-flap book that could be used to teach the shapes and perhaps some items of food.

It shows the picture of a plate with food in different shapes and a monster on the opposite page. The question is always the same: what will the monster eat? (monstre carré / rond / en triangle / en rectangle / ovale / en coeur).

Perhaps we could stick the names of the items of food on the picture so that the children can answer the question, then, they can check their answer by lifting the flap.

Mais qui est là? (Constanze V. Kitzing - La joie de lire)

This is another book written in short sentences. It shows a picture with the part of an animal and invites the reader to guess what it is through repetition of the question: Qui est là?. When you turn the page you will see the full picture and a phrase: Article + name of the animal + adjective: un éléphant souriant, une grenouille affamée, etc.

We could use this book to teach about animals, articles, adjectives and the order of the sentence in French.

Ma pochette Montessori: les animaux des continents (Nathan)

I bought this resource to use when I teach my unit on geography. It contains flashcards of the continents, flashcards of 35 animals and a leaflet with information about these animals.

We could first teach about the animals, habitats, classify them on the type of food they eat, etc. Then, we could play some games to sort the animals by continent (the flashcard of the continent has the shade of the animals that live there).

Les formes autour de moi (Tourbillon)

These cards show a figure made out of different shapes. For each figure, there are two cards: one card with the figure in colour and the shade of the figure in black on the other side; another card with no details on the figure, but the concrete shapes with different colours and on the other side the name of the figure.

We could use them in our lessons for different activities: naming the shapes, counting the shapes, but also matching the shade with the shapes or practising reading the new vocabulary, articles and nouns.

Coffret L'âne Trotro et son doudou 

I have been searching for a Trotro teddy for some time so I couldn´t resist when I found this coffret.

The story is really cute, Trotro tells the children about all the things that he likes doing with his doudou. I can´t wait to read it to my Year 2s, who love the stories of Trotro.

Mots et images de l'école d'autrefois 

I bought these books and the fountain pen in the Musée de l'École de Carcassone. If you travel to Carcassone, this museum is worth the visit. It has a fantastic collection of items, resources, books and all type of memorabilia of the French educational system of the end of the XIX century.

Je comprends tout! CP, Français (Nathan) and J'apprends à lire (Magazine Milan)

I bought this revision workbook and this magazine for a French speaking pupil in Year 2. She often prefers to join the rest of the class and enjoys the songs and the stories, but she benefits from working on reading and writting on her own too.

Olalar, l'art dès la maternelle (Magazine Faton)

I really liked the observation games and the colouring activity about Degas.

Youpi, j'ai compris! Que deviennent nos déchets? (Magazine Bayard)

I bought this magazine to plan some new lessons for my unit on recycling. I specially like the article on the benefits of recycling, the different recycling bins and what do the waste turn into.

Quelle histoire mag (Presse Fleurus)

Two of the topics that I teach in my CLIL history / French lessons are present in the articles of the magazine: Ancient Egypt and Romans. I was also interested in the article on Native Americans, as I am currently planning some lessons on les Amérindiens.

01 May, 2017

Toto in Toulouse

Toulouse is a charming and vibrant city in the South of France. It is the 4th largest city in France and it is known as "La ville rose" (the pink city) due to the pinkish bricks in its architecture.

Toto has travelled to Toulouse this Spring holidays and has visited some of the landmarks of the city, like the Basilica of Saint Sernin and the Capitol. He has also been to Carcassone, an impressive fortified medieval city that was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

As you know Toto likes trying the specialities of the region in his travels. This time, he found some yummy Easter treats in the chocolateries (chocolate shops): poissons au chocolat, cloches au chocolat, poules au chocolat and of course oeufs et lapins au chocolat. In addition, Toto tried le pâté au canard (duck pâté) and la casserole (a regional casserole made with white beans, sausage and duck breast).

Check the video and find Toto writing with a XIX century fountain pen in the workshop ("atelier d'écriture avec plume et encre violette") that he attended when he visited the Musée de l'École in Carcassone.

31 March, 2017

Joyeuses Pâcques!

This week all the year groups have learnt about Easter traditions in France and did different activities around Pâcques.

Year 3 made poissons d'avril and took them home, ready to put on their friends back on the 1st of April!

Year 4 learnt a poem and made some beautiful egg cards:

Year 5 made calligrams in the shape of cloches volantes. We took the vocabulary from this wordle created by Fun with French  and we used the template from Light Bulb Languages.

Year 6 wrote these lovely cards for our French penpals at École Providence in Paris. You can find the template in Light Bulb Languages too.

Do you know the legend about the flying bells? At Sudbury, we have really enjoyed it!

Have a look at the activities we did last year.