New French Students
If you are teaching brand-new French students, you obviously want to start with the basics. Here are some suggestions on where and how to start.
I plan to start my first day of French I all in French, getting students to understand basic greetings and introductions by modeling Bonjour, je m'appelle and then having them answer me, and then letting them greet one another. This allows all students to eventually introduce themselves. Then I'll have everyone stand up in a circle and we will throw a small ball around. When you throw the ball you must ask the question, Comment t'appelles-tu? When you catch it you say Je m'appelle...
- The very first thing I do is have my students pick a French name. I come prepared with a few suggestions or hand out a list.
The week is just Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday so trying to get started on anything real is a pain. I only see kids three days per week. I have learned that these first days are a great time to get the kids accustomed to the room. I have bulletin boards with French-speaking countries pointed out.
For 6th grade I have them complete a scavenger hunt where the answers are either posted around the room or in books that I have in organized baskets, etc. This gets them out of their seats, lets them see what really is useful to them in the room and gets them involved right away. My classroom rules are also posted.
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- For the first few days, don't even bother with the text book. There are lots of things that can be done with visuals and modeling hands-on things like teaching numbers.
- I like to start with cognates, there are hundreds! Then I give the students the start of a sentence with être: Je suis... Tu es... Il est... Elle est... The students then create a family tree and describe their family using two of the new vocabulary words. They enjoy this very much.
- Some TPR is good. They'll feel excited about what they can understand in French after one lesson.
But what about students that have already taken some French - what can you do with them? Go on to page two for helping ideas on the first day of French class with returning students.
Keep reading: New French Students | Returning French Students