I’m always up for going off piste and abandoning the Scheme of Learning in favour of something else (who isn’t?!). There is so much to explore for us Languages Teachers- we want to immerse the pupils in all the target language country’s festivities, bring the culture to life in the classroom, expose them to the rich language associated with festivals and events. My Spanish colleagues have been going crazy for El Dia de los muertos activities this year and our pupils are in for a treat, which means I’m going to have to rev up what us Frenchies do, nothing like a bit of inter-departmental competition! But in the meantime I’d like to share a few tried and tested things I have done in previous years. Scroll on down for Friday Freebies.
One of the activities I love to do each Halloween is quite simple but the outcome always astounds me: ‘une potion magique’ (or for the older ones ‘un smoothie d’Halloween’- they seem to respond better to this so I ask them to design a Halloween special smoothie for the local shake bar- adding challenge by getting them to describe the health benefits/risks.)
For the magic potion, I teach them some Halloween vocabulary using my Halloween PowerPoint and then let them loose with the bilingual dictionaries and they get stuck into their ingredients search- creating the most vile and disgusting concoctions you could imagine. They always surprise me with their enthusiasm and then the requests for quantity words come flooding in, followed by requests for imperatives. It’s lovely when the pupils want to spontaneously include new structures. Corrections I make as I circulate usually involve adjectival agreement. The finished pieces are often quite accomplished, brilliantly creative and downright stomach churning!
I have included a magic potion worksheet at the bottom of the post- either use it as a lovely visual to display on the IWB as they work in their books, or if you have a generous printing budget then pupils can use to write up their potions and you could create a nice display with them.
The second Halloween freebie I’d like to share with you is a Follow Me game- keep scrolling it’s at the bottom of the post. If you haven’t played before it is quite simple but takes a bit of getting used to with the pupils. Once they are well trained it is a FABULOUS speaking and listening activity. Distribute the cards (I do it at the door as they come in); all pupils sit down; the pupil with ‘START’ stands up and says ‘qui a un chat noir?’; the next pupil (the one with the corresponding card) stands up and says ‘I have a black cat, qui a un vampire?’; then the pupil with the vampire card stands and so on and so on. The last card has ‘FINISH’. It sounds complicated but when you and the class are used to it you’ll love it. Sometimes I just do 15 cards and get the boys to race against the girls etc. to see which team can get through the pack in the shortest time. Or I time the group and get them to try to beat their personal best.
To develop the idea, and if I really want the class to interact with each other I distribute the follow me cards and shout ‘human circle’. Chaos ensues. And when chaos is for all the right reasons, because pupils are strategising, communicating, solving etc. etc. then I get all warm and fuzzy inside #smugteacheralert. So what is the human circle? Using the same cards as in the above paragraph, the pupil with START comes to the front so that pupils know where the starting point of the human circle is. Then I shout ‘c’est parti’ and they have to find their corresponding cards and from a circle which begins with ‘START’ and ends with ‘FINSIH’ and each pupil is in the correct order according to their card. This involves a lot of communicating. I encourage phrases such as ‘je cherche’ or ‘je voudrais’ and ‘c’est moi’ or ‘ce n’est pas moi’. Obviously lots of them whisper in English but I reward use of French with raffle tickets. What is so great is that they usually get themselves into a circle with a few pairs or trios stuck and confused. This is where the natural born leaders will take over in an attempt to complete the circle, directing pupils to move to a different spot etc. I often have to put a time limit on it and say something like ‘you have completed about 5/8 of a complete circle. When they do get it right, the feeling of success and achievement is palpable!
So…what about the ‘something special’ I mentioned last week? Well, I have been working on this for a while now but it is taking a little longer than expected. I have been setting up a ‘shop’ section on my site. I know a lot of you use the links on my posts to purchase my resources through tes.com and tpt.com but if I bring them to you myself I can avoid commission and therefore pass the savings on to you, my subscribers. So, you will be able to find all my resources, right here, at a discounted price. BUT.. on top of that, you will also be getting additonal discounts because you read my blog. And my blog is where I will be publishing special offers and discount codes for you all. I will be uploading all of my 100+ resources over the holidays and ‘cutting the ribbon’ with a MASSIVE discount code for you.
But the Friday Freebies will also remain- I love a giveaway!
Betsy ‘soon to be self-publishing’ Belle