Preschool curriculum activities: French words, numbers, or letters, are sometimes difficult for teachers. Many of the techniques that work with older children also work with preschool children. Themes grouped around various activities can also teach specific French vocabulary.
Preschool Curriculum Activities: French Words
Children gain new words by leaps and bounds from the time they first learn how to talk until they reach their preteen years. Preschool children are especially adept at learning new words. Just as they have to learn the English words for things, so too can they learn French words for objects around the classroom, their homes and more.
Toys That Speak French
Preschool children love toys that repeat words to help them learn vocabulary. While you may know of toys that repeat words in English to help small children learn vocabulary, there are also French-speaking toys that can help your preschool students learn French words. Jolie is a French-speaking doll that little girls will love. She sports cool clothes and is made from soft, cuddly fabric. She speaks words and phrases and some models include songs.
Other toys and games that can help preschool children learn French vocabulary words include musical recordings and CD's, as well as picture books printed with vocabulary words. The instructor can hold up the book during reading time, point to a picture, and ask the children to say the name of the object in English and French.
Preschool children learn best through hands-on activities: play, games, dances, puzzles, art projects and more.
To create a preschool curriculum activity, French words can be included in games such as Simon Says. "Simon says…le pied!" and have the children point to their feet or hold out one foot. "Simon says…le nez" and children point to their noses. This is a fun way to teach the parts of the body and help children acquire vocabulary.
Another way to practice French vocabulary is a bean-bag toss type of game. Collect soft plush toys such as stuffed animals. Ask the children to stand in a circle. Pass the first toy to the children and have them announce in French the name of the animal. They should toss it to the child in front of them in the circle. That child must then repeat the word and toss the soft stuffed animal to the next child. If this is too hard, the teacher can begin the game by saying the word and gently coaching the children if they forget the word.
Art and Craft Projects
Children love art projects, and they can learn new French words through many preschool art activitieslike coloring and painting. One activity is to print a French word on a sheet of paper and glue a picture of the word on the page. Ask the children to draw something about the word. La maison with a picture of a house can prompt children to draw or paint their own houses. Making collages or sculpting with clay also help children acquire vocabulary words.
Matching and Memory Games
Memory games for young children need to be kept very simple. Themes help children remember and catch on to the game. Teachers can create their own classroom memory game by using pictures. Animals make an easy theme to teach vocabulary. Cut out pictures of animals and photocopy them so you have two. Using tape, you can tape them to a board and cover them up. Have the children point to a word or square and repeat the name of the animal in French. Next, when they find the match, ask them to say the word in French. Soon they will be more than happy to shout out the correct name, especially if fun prizes or stickers are involved!
No matter how you decide to teach vocabulary to preschool children, it's important that it remains playful and fun. Engage children's imagination, and make sure that lessons are short to help retain their attention and energy. Incorporating French vocabulary words and phrases into the daily classroom activities is also a natural, easy way for children to acquire words. Soon, French can be as natural to preschool children as running and skipping.