Starter Activities for mfl lessons Françoise Armstrong County Adviser for mfl (Herts)



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Starter

Activities for

MFL lessons

Françoise Armstrong

County Adviser for MFL (Herts)

Dear Colleagues


This booklet contains a few examples of starter activities. For each type of starter I have given a brief example in French to demonstrate the activity.

This is by no means an inclusive list and space is left at the back for you to add your own favourites.

The thinking behind these tasks is that they should be easy to prepare, quick to administer and fun as well as challenging to complete, thus generating an early sense of success in your Modern Foreign Languages lessons. Starters also provide a welcome opportunity to recycle language and therefore to encourage better memorisation and greater flexibility in the use of language across a diversity of contexts.

Most of these tasks are oral with a heavy focus on word accuracy, sentence building and development of learning skills.

This is not to mean that listening tasks for instance are not suitable starter activities.

As for most things, variety is the key: starters will only remain interesting to students if the methods used are diverse.


Françoise Armstrong

County Adviser for Modern Foreign Languages
August 2002


Starter A- Reorganise jumbled up letters in a word


(To practise spelling, alphabet and revise vocabulary)

Tell pupils the topic all words belong to

Bonus point for gender of nouns

Pupils spell correct words aloud


Des vêtements:

[laprpeuai]  parapluie un (+1)

[umaeatn]  manteau un (+1)

[urtco]  court

[aeysesr]  essayer

Starter B- Reorganise words within a sentence


(To practise word order, agreements and revise vocabulary, practise learning skills i.e. using grammatical and punctuation clues)

Tell Pupils the context /topic



La maison:

  1. est/ coté de la / bureau /porte. /à /Mon

  2. ma / deux / il /étages. / a / maison / Dans / y /


Starter C- Determine the words in a sentence


(To practise word order, agreements and revise vocabulary)

Hierjesuisalléenvilleavecmesamisnousavonsachetédescassettesetdeslivresnousnoussommesbienamusés.

 Hier/je/suis/allé/enville/avec/mes/amis/nous/avons/acheté/des/cassettes/et/des/livres/nous/nous/sommes/bien/amusés.

Starter D- Match up words and topics

(To practise using similar expressions in a variety of topics and making transfers, recycling vocabulary, learning skills: learning to proceed by elimination, look for key words)





Mots

Contextes


1. L’eau est froide

a. chez le docteur

2. Mon couteau est sale

b. à la piscine

3. Je ne vois rien. La personne devant moi est trop grande.

c. dans la rue

4. Prenez la deuxième à gauche


d. au restaurant

5. Un aller-retour pour Bordeaux s’ il vous plait

e. à la gare

6. J’ ai mal à la gorge et je tousse.

f. au cinéma

1b, 2d, 3f, 4c, 5e, 6a




Starter E- Find the odd one out


(To practise vocabulary and recycle language out of usual context, can be grammatical as well as vocabulary based)

More able pupils could explain the differences in the target language.

There may be more than one correct answer: correct as long as pupils can justify their answer.



  1. Peux / veux / dois / bois

  2. Arrive, sort, descend, répond

  3. Rose, bleu, marron, orange

  4. France, allemand, italien, espagnol

1: bois (nous form of present not based on infinitive stem)

2: arrive (only er verb)

3: bleu (only one to have a feminine)

4: France (country / nationalities)

Starter F- Le pendu: fill in letters missing


(To practise spelling and revise vocabulary)

Give the context

Verbes qui prennent être au passé composé:

- o - - i -  sortir

- o – t – r  monter

- o – b - -  tomber

r - - t - -  rester


Starter G- Find the mistakes

(to practise accuracy of spelling and grammar, to check retention)

1 bonus point to justify why it’s worng and correcting it

Should be related to a point of language previously studied

Could offer alterative options to less able groups

Adjectival agreements


  1. Je porte des chaussures grises avec des rayures bleus et blanches.

  2. Sa chemise blanc est trop courts.

  3. Ma pull noir est mon préférés.

1 (bleues); 2(blanche, courte); 3 (mon, préféré)


Starter H- Le Baccalauréat:

Give pupils a letter; they must find words beginning by that letter in a variety of categories. They are allowed to leave one blank each time as some letters are more difficult than others.





Prénom

Animal

couleur

vêtement

nourriture

Pays ou ville

Bernard





bleu

blazer

bonbon

Belgique

Starter I- Match beginning and ends of sentences

(To practise vocabulary, grammar and encourage the use of connectives)


To revise gender concept and possessive adjectives

1. J’ai un frère…….

A …...des soeurs?

2. Mon….

B ….souris est grise.

3 Tu as….

C …..qui s’appelle Alain.


4. Ma….

D. ….chien s’appelle Tom.

5. Je voudrais une correspondante…..

E. ….qui habite en France.



Starter J- Wordsearch


(To recycle vocabulary and practise spelling)

Give pupils the context – grammatical or topic based.



Identify a minimum of 5 verbs on the future tense- a maximum of 8 in 3 minutes

A

R

E

V

I

R

R

A

S


S

N

V


T

U

Y

S

E

R

B

I

E


O

E

K

R

U

F

A

A

R


E

F

A


I

E

R

Y

Z

R


L

I

R


A

E

A

V

S

A


L

O

A

F

S

N

D

P

A

R

U

A


Q

L

P

O

I

A

R

I


N

I

F

I


For a bonus point put those into a sentence with the correct personnel pronoun.

Starter K- Find similar sounds

(To practise pronunciation and matching sound and spelling)

Identify words with the same sounds and underline it

Use a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar words.

Bonus point to find other words with a similar sound.




  1. Poisson; François; choisir; pourquoi (oi)

  2. Chez; chercher; macher, riche (ch)

  3. Quand; pourquoi; quelle, esquiver (qu)

  4. Bonjour; bijou, jambon; rajouter (j)



Starter L- Crack the code


(To practise spelling)

Context must be given to pupils so that the task remains doable. You could do this activity in pairs against the clock to be more stimulating. This is quite a demanding activity.

In the context of clothes vocabulary:


  1. & % $ $ ! @  bonnet

  2. £ % & !  robe

  3. @ ! ! - ? ( ^ £ @  tee-shirt

  4. + (# ? ? ! @ @ ! ?  chaussettes

  5. + (# ? ? * £ ! ?  chaussures

a = # / b= &/ c= + / e= ! / h= ( / i = ^ / n= $ / o= % / r= £ /

s= ?/ t= @ / u= *

Starter M- Reorganise sentences within a text


(To practise use of connectives, complex structures, looking for clues in a text)

This exercise can only be done with a story line with a clear and obvious time progression.

Discuss what clues pupils used.


  1. Je suis rentré à la maison avec toutes mes courses.

  2. D’abord, je suis allé acheter du pain.

  3. J’ai aussi acheté de la moutarde pour manger avec les saucisses.

  4. Avant de rentrer j’ai vite acheté un sac de bonbons pour mon petit frère. J’avais presque oublié!

  5. Ensuite je suis allé à la boucherie. C’est juste en face de la boulangerie.

(2 /5 /3 /4 /1)

Starter N- Punctuate the text

(To practise use of accents, ability to use punctuation as clues in a text for comprehension)

This activity is best done on an OHT as a class activity or individually on computers or worksheets.

S il fait beau demain j irai au parc avec mon amie suzanne mais s’il pleut nous irons peut etre au cinema qui est juste en face de chez moi le soir apres le parc je voudrais aller a la discotheque parce que nous aimons beaucoup danser cependant si c est trop cher nous resterons a la maison et nous regarderons la television.


Starter O- Build a sentence up


(To practise use of connectives, move to longer sentences and more complex structures)
Pupils could complete the task in groups and against the clock to introduce a competitive element.

Reward accuracy of adjectival agreements, verb endings, correct word order, spelling etc.



Initial sentence: “ Je voudrais une chemise”.


  1. Je voudrais acheter une chemise.

  2. Je voudrais acheter une jolie chemise.

  3. Je voudrais acheter une jolie chemise bleue.

  4. Je voudrais acheter une jolie chemise bleue en coton.

  5. Je voudrais acheter une jolie chemise bleue en coton pour mon père.

  6. Je voudrais acheter une jolie chemise bleue en coton pour l’anniversaire de mon père.

  7. Je voudrais acheter une jolie chemise bleue en coton pour l’anniversaire de mon père qui a lieu le 12 mars.

  8. Si j’ai assez d’argent je voudrais acheter une jolie chemise bleue en coton pour l’anniversaire de mon père qui a lieu le 12 mars.


Starter P: …………………………………………………………………..



Starter Q: …………………………………………………………………..




Starter R: …………………………………………………………………..



Starter S: …………………………………………………………………..



Starter T: …………………………………………………………………..


Starter U: …………………………………………………………………..







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