Creating your own French lesson plans is easy to do. However, there are also a variety of lesson plans, activities and ideas online for you to research as well. Keep reading if you're looking for tips to make your French class truly memorable!
A Formula for Creating French Lesson Plans
In your French class you'll want to follow a basic formula for regular days (where there are no special holidays, activities, etc.):
Introductory Activities 10 min.
Do the same type of activity every single class day. If you're teaching a beginning class, you'll want to do things like go over the calendar, talk about the weather or something similar. If you're teaching a more advanced class, you may want to take a few minutes and randomly select a few kids to tell what they did over the weekend or something similar. (This is a good time to take attendance as well.)
Introduction to the New Concept 15 min.
You should next introduce your new concept. In general, a clear and concise explanation of what you're going to do works best in a foreign language. If you're teaching vocabulary, try to speak in French as much as possible. Even if you have to speak in French and then translate into English--that's better than simply going over vocabulary by saying the French and then translating. If you're teaching a grammar lesson, you may well find that you'll have to use quite a bit of English as often students don't know their English grammar that well.
Reinforcing the New Concept 20 min.
This is the time that you give students to practice. Sometimes, it will work well to give them an "assignment" that they will have to share with the class. However, the primary goal at this time is to help your students get the concept and master it.
Wrap Up 15 min.
There are a variety of ways to do a "wrap up" in a French class, but like the introduction, this is a good time to do something similar every time. Some great ideas include:
- Introducing one artist, famous monument, French history fact or some other aspect of culture to your students. Get the students to pay attention by giving a mini-quiz or using the material as extra credit.
- Reviewing tenses by randomly selecting students (the ones you didn't select at the start of class) to tell what they will do, what they wish they could do, etc.
- Going over some aspect of current events in a French speaking country.
- Showing a native source such as a newscast or passing out a magazine.
- Play a quick game.
- Choose a children's book to read aloud to your students (in French of course.)
Special Lesson Plans
Your goal as a French teacher is to teach students to speak the language but also to engage them in understanding the culture. There should be a variety of occasions during the year, on which you have the opportunity to celebrate a holiday, sample some food, or in some other way explore the Francophone culture. Here are a few ideas to incorporate in your school year:
- Bastille Day is July 14th but it is the epitome of French independence. If you start your year in August, consider doing a lesson at the very beginning of the school year on this National French holiday.
- The Winter Carnival in Québec is a highlight of French Canadian culture. It is held annually starting in mid-January.
- Game Day: This is a fun day during which you can let your imagination run wild. The best games are ones that the students are both familiar with, but require them to speak. Some examples are:
- Charades--The students who are guessing have to yell out the word in French.
- Pictionary--Same idea--those who are guessing need to call out the word in French.
- Simon Says--Appropriate for when you've been studying parts of the body--even if your class is older.
- Go Fish--great for reviewing numbers or you can even make your own "Go Fish" sets with colors, vocab, etc.--anything you've been studying.
Making Your Lesson Plans Great
A good French teacher will present material in a consistent manner, with a target goal of getting the students to learn to speak the language. A great French teacher, will incorporate variety, be creative in getting things to stick, and get the students to speak in context.