As A Second Language

Who Am I?

Kids LOVE birthdays and what better way to get them excited about their birthdays than singing happy birthday to them in French! The French versions follow the same tune as Happy Birthday. It is important to note and explain to your students that Happy Birthday in French varies between cultures (Bonne fête in Canada/ Joyeux anniversaire in France/ Gens du pays in Québec) The lyrics for the Canadian version (Bonne Fête à Toi) are attached below:

Bonne Fête à Toi Lyrics

An opening activity that can be used for a lesson about "birthdays" is to get the students to line-up according to their birth months without any talking. After all students are lined up, the teacher asks each student "quand est votre anniversaire?" and each students responds in French mon (for boys)/ ma (for girls) anniversaire est... (ex. le quinze décembre). If the students are lined up in the correct order, they win the game. If the students line up incorrectly, the teacher wins the game. This activity should be done after learning about "les mois."

To integrate French and Mathematics, one activity that I like to do with my students is have them each create a bar graph showing the different ages in our classroom. This activity works well for practicing oral language skills where students ask each other in French, "quel âge as-tu?" The student who was asked their age then responds back "j'ai ____ ans." As students are asking each others' ages, they mark it on their bar graphs. Once the graphs are complete, you can screen shot a picture and save it to the students' flash drives or Google Drive. Below is an online bar graph that I one of my students completed:

Quel age as-tu? Bar Graph

The website that we used to create out bar graphs is very simple to use. Just input the information that you want in your bar graph and the program builds it for you. Here is a link to the website that we used to create our bar graphs:

Not a technology lover? That's OK! Here is an alternative handout to complete the "quel âge as-tu?" bar graph:

Quel age as-tu? Bar Graph

I have attached another PowerPoint below that ties into "les partis du corps." I used Bam Bam from the Flinstones as a model for the different body parts:

Les Parties Du Corps

Below is another wonderful Youtube video by alain le lait all about the different body parts:

Sara Jordan also has a fabulous song for learning body parts in French called "The Body- Le corps." This song is great to play for your students and have them follow along with the corresponding actions. "The Body- Le corps" can be purchased through iTunes or from the following link:

Tête, épaules, genoux et pieds- This is a fun activity where the students sing along to to Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in French, while completing the corresponding actions. Here is a Youtube clip with the song:

This project focused on body parts in French. The students began by tracing themselves on a large piece of construction paper. After tracing themselves, they cut and pasted each French Body part to the correct part of the body. The students decorated their trace-outs as the final step.

Body Part Terms


The students can also use the smaller outline in the following attachment to complete this activity. All that is required is to label the outline with the correct body parts. The outline can be coloured in following the activity:

Body Outline with French Terms

Attached below is a Powerpoint for "les traits de personnalité" (personality traits) enjoy :):

Les Traits Personnalité

Simon Says- This is a fun game that can be used to locate different body parts in French. As "Simon" (this could be either a student or a teacher) gives a direction, he or she names a body part in French. This can be an elimination game where students are eliminated if they don't follow the command correctly or there could be a thirty second rule where students sit out for thirty seconds then rejoin the game.

This following project focused on personality traits in French. The students designed a Tagxedo with French words that could be used to describe their personalities. Students could complete a Wordle for this activity as an alternative to Tagxedo. In the past, I used a word image generator called "You Are Your Words" that produced a much clearer and crisper image. Unfortunately, the "You Are Your Words" generator is no longer available, so hopefully the American Heritage Site will eventually bring it back:


*Please note that Tagxedo requires a Silverlight Install*

The students can also create French passports that combine physical and personality traits. Here is the printout for the activity along with an exemplar. Students can design a detailed picture for their passports or use a shadowed outline (as shown below):

Mon Passeport


Using verbs can be tricky in French. I have attached a PowerPoint that shows four verbs (aimer, n'aimer pas, adorer and détester) and how to write these verbs in the singular present tense. I tried to make my explanation pretty straightforward, so hopefully it makes sense to you and your students. I did not go into "er" verbs and how to write the endings, as that would be quite difficult for grade four FSL students:

Aimer, N'aimer Pas, Adorer and Detester

A brief follow-up activity to this lesson, is to bring in a bag with a variety of items (for example: pictures of places and things, small food items, toys, etc.). Pulling out one item at a time from the bag, select students and ask "est-ce que to aimes?" (for example: est-ce que to aimes nager?). When choosing items, if you are unfamiliar with the names of the items in French you should check pronunciation and tag the items. Students must respond back with "j'aime, j'adore, je déteste, je n'aime pas" and the name of the item, thing or place in French.

Reverso can both translate and pronounce words for you free of charge:

A video is a great approach to teaching the concept of likes and dislikes. Embedded below is my video exemplar along with a sample script for student use.  For the video, the students bring in four items, two of which they like and two that they dislike. The students translate the names of the items that they chose into an online translator. After the translation, they add the names of their items into the script. The final step is to create their iMovies. This is a fabulously fun project that I enjoy doing with my students :):

Aimer et Detester iMovie Script