By Sarah Dodson-Knight
Photo Credit: Posh Living, LLC
Over the summer, we took our French lessons outdoors: my son and I reveled in the warmth and sunshine while we played with earthworms and ladybugs, helped the seeds in our vegetable garden turn into salads and pasta dishes, and played games outside.
Read about all of our garden-themed language learning activities here!
Now as autumn descends, we’re turning inward to look at home-related activities that we can do to practice our French.
This next series of articles will explore activities you can do at home with your kids to help them learn and practice vocabulary related to the home, including:
- music, rhythm, and rhyme, with songs and comptines about what goes on in the house (Part One);
- art and drama (Part Two);
- literacy activities, including recommended books in French for children (Part Three);
- and tactile and kinesthetic activities (Part Four).
We’ll also explore ways to learn vocabulary such as prepositions and names of furniture and rooms of the house all while using French in a meaningful context.
Before we try out the activities, though, let’s first take a look at some vocabulary about the house via word lists and websites:
- A printable drawing of a house labeled with the rooms and some of the furniture.
- A list of French terms and their English equivalents, accompanied by a native speaker pronouncing the words.
- A simplified blueprint of a typical home with a panoramic photo to accompany each room; move your mouse over the objects in the photo to see their name (and sometimes a more detailed explanation) in French, and don’t forget to mouse over the arrows on either side of the picture to see more.
- Drawings of the rooms of a house; mouse over the objects to see their name in French and hear them pronounced (scroll down to “la maison” and look at all the pages within this category).
- A map of the outside of a house and what you might find in the yard, with each item labeled and pronounced.
- “Habitat et cadre de vie,” a very detailed vocabulary list divided by category (city vs. country homes, for example–click on the categories in the left sidebar) with photographs, illustrations, sample sentences, and cultural information; no vocabulary about what is found inside the homes.
- Images of appliances used inside the home.
Now let’s take a look inside some French homes with these video clips! The first three are designed for language learners. (They’re all in French, but very clear.)
- A house in Provence, the tour given by the owner’s son.
- Tour of a French house by the owner (the video is divided into five segments; click on the names of the rooms in the top right-hand corner of the page, beginning with le salon).
- Footage of a little girl explaining her daily routine in the different rooms her house.
- In “L’enfant découvre sa nouvelle maison,” and “L’enfant découvre sa chambre,” a toddler explores the new house her family has just moved into.
- Detailed tour of teen’s room, narrated by herself.
- Commercial for children’s bedroom furniture (no narration, but suitable for the parent to describe the furniture shown).
Now that you’ve seen and heard words and phrases about homes and furnishings, you’re ready to play with songs and rhymes about houses!
We’ll introduce you to our favorites in the next installment in this series.
Are you ready for the next lessons? Make sure to check out all of Sarah’s French Activities!