Language for Little Learners

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Archive for April, 2009

Make a French alphabet book with your kids

April 30, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

One on-going French project we do in my house which will take about a month to complete is a French alphabet book. We folded several of pieces of paper together and we stapled the middle. Then each day we take a different letter and we either draw a picture that starts with that letter or we cut something from a newspaper that starts with that letter.

Today our letter was P. We looked for pictures of ‘Pommes’ in some magazines, but we couldn’t fine any, so my 6 year old son and my 3 year old daughter drew their own and then colored them. It’s a great way to reinforce vocabulary because the whole time they were looking for apples, they kept saying “Pommes, où et tu?” (Apples, where are you?).

If you can’t think of something that starts with that particular letter, you can use a dictionary or online dictionary to help you find one.

Also, you can make a themed alphabet book. Some examples are: French food words, French animal words, French outdoor words…

French word wall

April 29, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

I know most parents have heard about word walls for when you teach your children how to read. So, why not make a French word wall for when you teach your children how to learn/read French? Find the perfect spot in your house where you child will see it while he is studying his French. Perhaps the closet door on your food pantry right next to the kitchen table where you teach your child French? Any place you find will be just right for your family.

The next step is to add a few French words to your wall and review them every day. You can add to the wall whenever your children are ready to move onto new vocabulary.

You can attach the words onto the door or wall or you can buy a poster board to attach to the wall and then attach the words to it. Either way will work. Also, you can make a title for your word wall. For me, we used “Callum’s and Mia’s French Word Wall.” My kids prefer a little ownership and it does show them that it is indead their wall. Do whatever you want to make the space a great space for you and your children!

How to motivate your children to learn French

April 28, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: motivate children to learn French

My kids sometimes need a little motivation to learn French or any school subject for that matter. Here are a few approaches that I use.

French Wall: I’ve spoken about this previously. We have a wall in our living room where I hang a few strands of yarn and then hang their French work on the yarn with clothes pins. This is an opportunity for them to really see what they are accomplishing and to be proud of what they are doing.

Make a daily chart for every day they do their French: You can print out a simple calendar or make one yourself. Every day your child studies French you can have them color in the box for that day. This is another way for them to see their progress and to be proud of themselves.

Reward of another activity: Some days my kids really want to do something other than study French, so I simply tell them we can do that activity after French. This motivates them to concentrate very hard so they can move on to the next activity.

Reward of a treat: I rarely use this tactic, but it definately has its place for motivation. But the treat could even just be a little box of raisins or a graham cracker.

Praise: I know I’m a person who needs a lot of praise for what I’ve done so I think others like it as well. I really try to praise my kids as much as I can for their French learning. I don’t think you can praise your child too much.

No reward, just do it: Yes, there are days when they don’t want to study French where I just say, “I’m the mom and you have to do it.” And of course it works because it’s true. 😉

Using board games to help you teach your children French

April 27, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Today we played Candy Land and we played it in French. It’s great for reinforcing colors in French and for practicing some of the lower numbers.

I’m sure if you are like me you have tons of board games in your closet, so now is the time to break out a few and change the rules and play them in French. It’s a great activity to do because my goal with homeschooling and teaching my children French is first and foremost to make them happy and when they play board games they have such a great time. I just sneak some French learning in there and they never realize it.

Fun at the beach!

April 26, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

I always look for an opportunity to teach my kids new words in French in a natural environment. They learn so much better if they see and touch the things I am teaching them. Today we went to the beach, and I had the opportunity to introduce a few new words while we built some sand castles. It was amusing to me because I don’t think the kids ever realized they were learning any French, they were so involved with building sand castle.

So next time you take a little day trip, log onto the computer before, go to a French dictionary website, or break open your French dictionary and look up a few words that you could teach your kids during your trip. It will only take a few seconds for you to do and it will really help them develop their French vocabulary.

Here are a few of the words I taught them today:

la plage – the beach

l’océan – the ocean

l’eau – the water

le sable – the sand

Teaching more body parts in French to your kids

April 25, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: fingers hand teach french

I’ve been really focusing on teaching my 3.5 year old her body parts lately. One fun activity that she likes to do is to trace her hand on a piece of paper. Every time she traces a finger she says “le doigt“. Then after she traces her hand, she writes a number on each finger and then counts the fingers in French.

un doigt
deux doigts
trois doigts
quatre doigts
cinq doigts

You can also teach le pouce for thumb and la main for hand during this exercise.

Teachng facial vocabulary to your children

April 24, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: face teach kids children french preschoool

Here are some facial words that you can teach your children and at the end I have an activity you can do together.

head -la tête

face – le visage

nose – le nez

eyes – les yeux

ear – l’oreille

mouth – la bouche

Most kids like to draw, so after you teach your children the above words, you can do this drawing activity.

What you will need:
Paper
Crayons

What to do:
1. Tell your child that he/she will draw a face. As you say the words in French they can then draw them on the page. For younger kids you may need to help them with the face shape.
2. After you child completes the activity have them point to each face part and tell you the name in French.

Hint: If they can’t remember a word in French, point to your face and show them what it is rather than telling them the English name for it.

Have fun with this activity and when you are done you can hang your face on your French wall so they can use it to review their facial vocabulary later on.

Teaching your children the seasons in French

April 23, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: seasons french kids learn teach

Since the seasons have just changed, it’s now a great time to teach your children the names of the different seasons. Here’s an activity for you:

What you will need:
1 sheet of paper
crayons

What to do:
1. Fold the paper into fourths and then unfold it.
2. Have your child draw a different season in each of the folded rectangles.
3. Depending on if they can write yet or not, help your child write the name of each season and practice saying them outloud.
4. Hang it on the fridge or their French wall so they can practice throughout the next few weeks.

Vocabulary:
le printemps – spring
l’été – summer
l’automne – autumn (Fall)
l’hiver – winter

What to do on days your kids don’t want to learn French…

April 21, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Today my kids were pooped, just plain tired and unmotivated and weren’t so interested in practicing French. I looked around in the kitchen to find something that might add a little excitement to the lesson. I found some pilsbury cresent rolls in the fridge. The kids are always up for baking no matter how tired they are, so we did a little baking French lesson. I let the kids turn the cresent rolls into whatever animals they wanted. My daughter made trois chats and my son made un chien, un lapin and a few other animals. Then before we put them in the over we put sprinkles on them and practiced our colors. All and all it was a very successful lesson!

Mission Accomplished!

Getting started with the basics…

April 20, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

If you are wondering what the very first thing you should teach your children in French is…well it’s really up to you, but I like to start with bonjour! It’s a great word that means hello, good day and just a greeting in general. You can reinforce it throughout the day and with little toddlers you can try to even teach them bonjour before you teach them Hi in English. With older kids try to stop saying hello completely and just replace it with bonjour, in no time they will be doing the same thing.

Another great word to start with is coucou (pronounced koo-koo). This word means hi or hello and is also used when playing peek-e-boo with babies. It’s a less formal word, but it used very frequently especially in France.

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