Every week in my first semester French class, we played games to review and reinforce what we did in the previous class. For other French teachers out there who are looking for more activities, these are what I actually used in my class this year. A lot of these I found on Pinterest, where I have a Teaching French at Uni board. Some of these classroom games require little to no prep, but having dice and maybe some playing pieces on hand is always a good idea.
Hangman is the first game I start with to practice the alphabet, though I change it to Escape from Alcatraz (draw the stickman jumping into the water and escaping from the island) to make it somewhat less depressing.
Bingo is an obvious choice for practicing numbers, and I have also used it with regular vocabulary. I only included the English words and did not allow them to write down the French words, but they did have to recite the words in French in order to win. I used a bingo card generator in Excel.
Battleship is pretty handy for practicing verb conjugations and putting sentences together. I used the clothes and porter one from the French Teachers in New Zealand site, and made my own for practicing être and aller with prepositions and places. [download .doc]
For family members, we play le jeu de sept familles and I have them alternate with using est-ce que tu as and est-ce que vous avez. I bought 5 decks from amazon.fr for about 20 euros instead of making my own.
Guess Who ? / Qui est-ce ? is the obvious choice for describing physical appearance. I just pasted in Francophone names. [download .jpg]
Faire expressions just requires a dice. Students must say a sentence using an expression with faire in order to move to that square. [download .doc]
To review vocabulary at the end of the semester, we played Scattergories / Le petit bac, which requires virtually no preparation.
Jeopardy was also great for review at the end of the semester. This site has lots of Powerpoint games to choose from.
Other games that I thought about using but didn’t have the time to make (or money to buy) include:
Uno to practice verb conjugations (you must play either the same verb or the same conjugation); Teacher’s Discovery created Verbo
Connect 4 – you just need to create the boards with words/phrases or pictures and have some playing pieces
Word Roll – somewhat similar to Connect 4, especially if you only have dice and not enough playing pieces
Alphabet Game – students must think quickly to name words that begin with the letter they chose
Apples to Apples would be a good review of vocabulary. Teacher’s Discovery has a game called Cognate Frenzy that they bill as their version of Apples to Apples for first year French students.
Slap and Spoons are two card games that I’d like to try next year, while Pictionary, Taboo, and Password seem like they would be fun as well. If I do create more games for next semester, I will update this post!
Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.