Why not make a French dictionary, which your class can refer to throughout their work on the French language? This could be posted on the wall or kept in an easily accessible area so that children can look at it when they need to. More information about creating dictionaries of this kind can be found here (the information on this page is based on creating a Latin dictionary, but the concept can easily be adapted for any language).
Ideas contributed by Vicki Bath
These activities have been given for teaching Italian, but any language could be substituted.
- Memoria/Memory – Children look at a collection of classroom objects displayed on a table and try to remember as many objects as they can, e.g. Hai un libro, una gomma, una penna blu,..
- Che cosa mangi? Children list what they eat at each meal and then interview each other, noting the similarities or differences. Results may be recorded on a tick chart.
- Che Cibo e? Blindfolded, children touch different fruits and vegetables which have been cut into odd shapes and try to guess what they are.
- Un Invito – Children invite others to a class party or afternoon tea and serve Italian foods and drinks.
- A cena con noi – Children role-play a meal at a restaurant or fast food outlet. One child orders from a menu, while the other takes the order and adds up the bill.
- Le recette – Children collect recipes for Italian dishes and create a recipe book. Illustrations could be added.
- Prodotti italiani – Children make a class display of Italian products sold in Australia or England etc. Labels and packaging of Italian products used at home could be collected over a set period of time. Children write comments about the products they have tried, e.g. M piaccono i biscotti, sono deliziosi!
- I miei cibi preferiti – Using illustrations cut from magazines, children make a Big Book, mobile or a collage of their favourite foods. They write a label and brief description of each item.
- Intervista – Working in groups of three to five, children interview each other about their hobbies and pastimes. They record their findings in a graph.
- Parliamone – Children role-play telephone conversations with friends, e.g. exchanging news and views, describing a new pet, discussing a problem etc.
- Il tempo – Children cut out pictures from magazines and then discuss and decide by the clothes, weather etc., which month/season the pictures belong to.
- Cosa facciamo oggi? Children work in pairs. Child A and Child B have schedules with times of the day and some activities already marked in. Pairs work together to find mutually convenient times for activities they would like to do together.
- Chi sono? Children mime different workers in the community, and the class guesses their identities, e.g. Sei un poliziotto?
Scavenger Hunt (suggested by a visitor)
For older children, a scavenger hunt for objects written in the language being taught is fun. You can divide the class into teams, and the first team to come back with all the items on the list wins. Also, have the child pick a name from that language, sing songs, have spelling bees, and make the lessons fun, and they will have great memories.
Cross the River (contributed by Anne Laure Humbert)
An efficient way to make children learn some specific vocabulary is to use “le passage à gué”. Put flashcards (with drawings of objects on them) on the ground, and the children have to get to the other side of the room as if there was a river to cross, naming in French what the drawings are.