Are you teaching French and wanting to find fun "learning French" games? Look no further for suggestions, ideas, and even some resources to put some pizzazz back into your French class.
Fun "Learning French" Games in the Classroom
Games that help your students learn the basics of French make learning a language more fun and make retention much easier. Choose a game based on what you're trying to teach, and the level of your students. A game should reinforce what they have been taught. Here are a few examples:
Everyone knows how to play Simon Says. But do they know how their body parts in French? How about simple commands like jump, sit, stand, or march? Simon Says is an excellent means of reviewing these concepts. Start out by doing the motions with the students and finish by simply calling out the instructions. You'll see pretty quickly who has mastered basic vocabulary.
Card Games with a Twist
Simple cards games like "Go Fish" can also be adapted to the French classroom. This is a great idea for practicing questions and numbers. Other games like Uno can also be played in French helping students remember colors and numbers.
Start with a set of vocabulary words such as "Les Animaux", and create a set of vocabulary cards for the theme. Then students can take turns drawing their vocabulary word while the other students try to guess what it is. The person who guesses the correct word gets to take a turn drawing.
While this is not a game in and of itself, if you have the students make flashcards, you will find it to be a good means of memorization--almost without the work. Have students bring in magazines with lots of pictures. Whenever there is vocabulary that you want the students to learn, consider having them find a suitable picture in a magazine and then write the word in French on the other side. There is an added benefit to this method: leaving out the English word when possible, encourages students to think in French rather than simply translate. This of course leads to greater proficiency overall.
- Où est Georges?--A great idea for getting kids to learn prepositional phrases.
- Living Bingo--A great way to review basic vocabulary before a test!
Fun "Learning French" Games on the Computer
- Quia--This is a great site that allows you to create your own games and share them with others. Not only will you find a lot of French games already here, you can create your own to go with specific units that your class is studying.
- Games for the Intermediate Student--This page has games that require some basic reading comprehension, fill in the blank, and other vocabulary.
- BBC Language Courses--BBC offers a variety of games to hone students' skills in colors, numbers and basic phrases.
- Digital Dialects--An excellent page that delves well beyond the simple first lessons of French class. Practice verbs avoir and être, verb conjugation, units of time, clothing and building vocabulary.
Learning French Printables
- Freeway Printables--This is an extremely comprehensive site offering worksheets of all types for every level of French. All worksheets are free to print for non-commercial use.
- Softschools--This site offers basic beginning level French worksheets and flashcards. This is very suitable for younger children.
- Enchanted Learning--Enchanted Learning is a treasure trove of worksheets for foreign languages. These are suitable for younger kids who may still be into coloring. Their offerings include a French-English picture dictionary along with other printables that are theme related (like animals, numbers, etc.) There is a fee for the year to join Enchanted Learning to get the printables in full size without advertisements.
- Flashcards--This is a great site where you can create and use other people's flashcards.
Adding Games to Your French Class
No matter what, adding games to your French class can make for a memorable experience and that can help students better retain what is learned. The more you get students interacting, speaking, and pronouncing--the better their French skills will be. Games are better saved for the end of the unit rather than the beginning--this way students can reinforce what they learn rather than try to learn as they play.