Do you teach writing in French class? Teaching French writing has always been one of my favorite activities. Not all students love to write, but there are some easy ways to make it a lot more fun! With these super-low-prep activities, you can help your students get the necessary practice to become better French writers while making it much more engaging for all students.
French writing can be fun! Here’s how:
1. Create a comic strip.
Not all kids will love to write a story, so how about making it something they will love? You can always give the option to write a traditional story or a comic strip. My son absolutely HATES to write paragraphs, but if he is given the option to write a comic strip, he’ll gladly do a writing assignment.
You can create the page for the comic strip by making a page with as many boxes as you want students to complete. Short on time? Just have them draw their own. 🙂
Give them a topic that corresponds to the unit you are working on and have them write a short story or even use the comic strip to write a short dialogue.
This can be as formal or informal as you want. A lot of times, I’ll do French writing activities like this as a follow-up reader response to a novel we are reading.
2. Use this fun sentence extender practice to have a sentence-length challenge.
Not all French writing activities have to be formal essays. This is a really simple activity that I have done with students to help them start using longer sentences when writing in French. I don’t know about you, but reading a lot of short sentences really bugs me. Here’s what I do:
Show students a picture. It can be anything, really, but do stick with something that students will have the vocabulary to discuss. For example, for beginners learning -er verbs, you you could show something like this:
Write the question words on the board to prompt students to add more detail:
Then you’d model how to make it longer. Start with the subject and verb. Rewrite the sentence and a detail by answering one of the question words. Then rewrite the new sentence adding another detail. You can keep adding to it with new details.
Once you’ve modeled this to students, have them work in partners to try and create long sentences. You can even make it a competition with a little prize for the longest sentence.
Obviously, they wouldn’t always add all these details, but the point is to practice writing with more detail. In this case, more is better. It’s a really easy way to improve French writing no matter what level students are!
3. Use a snowball writing activity.
This was always my students’ favorite French writing activity when I taught advanced classes and older French immersion class. It’s a really fun and easy way to get students writing in French!
1. Start with a French writing prompt. You can ask a question of the day, give them a silly story starter, or have them tell a funny story with a picture you find online. If you want to mix it up, assign a different question to each table.
2. Give students a few minutes to start writing in French. I usually do 3 minutes, but that’s just the time that seemed to work the best for us. You can adjust it based on your students.
3. After they’ve written for the chosen time limit, have them ball up their papers and toss them up in the air. Then each student jumps up, grabs a “snowball” and reads what was written.
4. Give the class another 3 minutes or so to continue the story, then ball them back up and toss them again. We do this two or three times . When you are ready to end the story, have the final person write an ending.
Make sure you vary your types of activities, and be sure not to overwhelm students (and yourself) with too many French writing projects. It should be fun! I hope this helps you get your students writing in French!