French Sayings for Simon Says

Rachel Hanson
Teacher and class

Using French sayings for Simon Says is a great way to teach French vocabulary. In addition to the phrases for the game itself, you'll have to know the actual vocabulary that you are going to teach by playing the game. Commands, body parts. . .your creativity is the only limitation to the type of vocabulary lists you can teach with this game.

Uses for the Game

Simon Says is great for teaching many basic French words, the most obvious ones being body parts, classroom objects, and other nouns. For example, 'Simon says touch your nose' can only be implemented by students who know what the word for 'nose' is. Body parts are a great way to start.

French Body Parts
Word Translation
le nez nose
la figure face
la tête head
le bras arm
la jambe leg
le pied foot
le ventre stomach

Using 'Simon Says' to teach vocabulary is a great teaching tool because students are more alert and have more fun while playing the game than they would if they were quietly sitting at their desks doing worksheets. This combination of paying attention and having fun most often produces excellent results in the domain of vocabulary learning.

Simon Says with Colors

In order to teach colors with this game, give the children pieces of paper in different colors and ask each child to cut a shape out of a piece of paper that is their favorite color. Use several examples of shapes that you cut out of different colors to demonstrate that circles can come in all different colors and that red paper can be made into all different shapes. Of course, this will only work if the children already know a number of words for shapes.

Once the children each have cut out a shape of their favorite color, you can talk with the class about the shapes and colors. Use similarities to bring the children's attention to one color by remarking on all of the different shapes that are all the same color. In addition, remark on all the circles, telling which child in the room has a red one, which a blue one, etc. (Sarah a une cercle rouge et Simon a une cercle bleue).

Once the children have heard a fair amount of description about the colors, you can start playing 'Simon Says'. At first, ask the children to point to a yellow item (Montrez-moi quelque chose qui est jaune), then a green one, etc. Once this is going well, ask them to point to a blue square (un carré blue) or a pink triangle (un triangle rose). Finally, ask the children to go to a particular color by placing all of the red items in one area, blue in another, etc., and asking the children to walk to the color items you specify by saying Simon dit: allez toucher les objets bleus/les cercles etc.

French Sayings for Simon Says

In addition to knowing how to play the game and knowing the color words (for above version), the classroom objects version (desks, chairs, blackboard, windows, etc.), body parts, or clothing vocabulary, you'll need to also teach the actual French sayings for Simon Says. These terms are repetitive, so your students should have no trouble at all picking them up.

Simon Says Phrases
Phrase Translation
Simon dit Simon says
Touchez un pupitre Touch a desk
Allez toucher une fenêtre Go touch a window
Courez à la porte Run to the door
Indiquez qui est Simon actuellement Show who is playing Simon at the moment
Donnez votre crayon à un ami Give your pencil to one of your friends
Sautez Jump
Prenez un livre Take a book

All of these expressions are phrases that you are likely to use frequently while playing Simon Says in the classroom, but almost any phrase can be used. Use the objects and the people in the room, as well as the most recent vocabulary you've taught your students. The game is always a fun and energetic way to review vocabulary so that it sticks!

French Sayings for Simon Says