Using hands-on learning activities in your French class is a fun way to get students engaged! Kinesthetic learners who learn best by movement will benefit from activities that are tailored to their specific learning style. Because the activities are often so much more engaging than paper/pencil tasks, your other students will love the activities, too! We all know that when students have fun and are engaged, they are going to learn more!
Here are some easy ways to provide hands-on learning for your French class:
Cut up words or sentences and have students rebuild them.
You can buy sentence strips at a lot of dollar stores and write your sentences on them. Then, just store the sentences in a bag until you are ready to have students rebuild them. To help students find the right words to build each sentence, you can write each sentence in a different color.
To make it easier and save time, type your sentences on cardstock and then cut those apart. It’s easy to change the font color, and even the font style, and you won’t have to rewrite them all!
To practice spelling words, I just printed off a lot of letters onto cardstock and we would go through the list every week using the same bag of letters. It was a really easy and quick way to provide hands-on learning for French spelling words, and he is now a 7th grader who is a great speller!
Write out the words in sand (or something else tactile).
I did this a lot at home with my son when he was practicing spelling words in early elementary. I’d put some corn meal on a baking pan and have him spell out his words. It was a fun way to practice, and because he struggled with pencil/paper tasks, it was much more fun (and productive) for both of us!
If you can go outside, writing them with sidewalk chalk is always a lot of fun, too! Sometimes, we would write out the words on different hopscotch boards. Then, once we had spelled them all, he would practice hopping through them, spelling them out loud. That is a fun way to get out a little extra energy, too! I’m always a big fan of adding movement to my lessons when I can!
Give students puzzles and have them match the French word with the image.
Puzzles are one of my favorite ways to offer hands-on learning for French class, because students get to see and read the words while getting the movement that is really helpful for retention. You can use this as a whole-class activity, for a little extra practice for students who need just a little more time, or at learning centers. I love these so much, because they are a great support for visual learners!
Use manipulatives to help students learn verb conjugation.
Have you ever had students who don’t seem to understand that you have to take off the infinitive ending before you conjugate an -er verb? Every year, I used to have students who didn’t understand that this was an important part of the process – until I began doing this activity! This is a fun way to teach basic conjugation that even bigger kids love!