Ch.5: Les couleurs: Colours


Early Start French 1: CONTENTS | HOME

French Starter Pack
1 Greetings
2 Goodbye
3 Ça va?
4 What's your name?
Famous people
4a Alphabet
5 Colours
6 Numbers 1-12
7 Ages
8 Months
9 Numbers 13 - 31
10 Birthdays
11 Days of the week
12 Today's date
13 Pets
14 Brothers & sisters
15 Consolidation / assessment
16 En classe

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Download FREE sample (low bandwidth quality) complete video clips from this section

What you will learn in Film 5

Playing "beach boules" in a park in Villeneuve d'Ascq

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LANGUAGE AWARENESS: Where did we get the words for colours?

Talking about colours
Write a page for your Language Portfolio about what you notice. Be a Language Detective - you are beginning to find out the importance of language and how we use it in our lives!

Colours in different languages
We made a table of the words for colours in different world languages.


Find out more....
You could make a display of the words for colours in as many different countries and languages as you can find. The website will be useful in your research.

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The colours of Henri Matisse

Matisse and the colours of the South of France
As part of their work on "colours", one class decided to look at the French artist Henri Matisse, who was born in a hard-working town in what was then grey, flat Northern France. As an adult. Matisse escaped to lively Paris and warm Nice in the South of France - where he did most of his work. He retained affection for his childhood roots, and gave a big collection to found a museum in his home town of Le Cateau Cambrésis.

The class found that, even in his lifetime, Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954) was counted as one of the greatest modern artists.

The children learned that he is known for his use of rich, bright colours, fanciful patterns, flattened abstract forms, and graceful lines.

They enjoyed this web site based on an American collection of Matisse's work - in Baltimore.

Through the website, they found that Matisse had left lots of comments on record about how he worked. For example, he explained why he used the same props in different paintings:

"I have worked all my life before the same objects. The object is an actor. A good actor can have a part in ten different plays; an object can play a role in ten different pictures"

Children enjoyed spotting which prop appears in both "Interior With Dog" (1934) and another painting in the Baltimore Collection.

On other pages, they looked for patterns, and found out how Matisse represented real objects and people.

Matisse and "Cut-out art"
As he grew old, Matisse became too ill to paint, but he explored making "cut-outs" instead, and produced some of his greatest works - like "The Snail", created in 1953, a year before he died.

Find out about Matisse's cut-out, "The Snail" at Tate Modern in London, or on the tate website...

The class found out more on the Tate Modern website, which showed how took sheets of paper, and had them painted by assistants in the colours he needed. Then he cut of tore them into shapes, and directed the assistants to arrange them pinned up on a large canvas on a wall.

Find out more---->

The class designed their own cut-outs using the activities on the Early Start CD-ROM. Find out more---->

They went on to try making cut-outs in the style of Matisse. If you are working at home, you can buy a paper collage kit based on Matisse's "The Snail" from the Tate Online Shop:

Henri Matisse on the Internet

See Art Encyclopedia for links to collections of pictures of works by Henri Matisse:- 

See the Web Museum for a biography of Matisse and a collection of images.

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Playing boules in France in the 19th century: the Pétanque version was devised in 1910 in the south of France.

We suggest you start pupils playing the very simple game of "beach boules", where they play as individuals. This is played with coloured balls, and gives opportunities to talk about colours.

Later, in section 9 (Numbers 13-31), we look at pétanque as a team game, which brings in counting and measuring. With section 9, there is a single-sheet summary of the rules of the team game, which you can give out to pupils.

Links to sites about pétanque:

British Pétanque Association

Schools can affiliate to the BPA and get help with running competitions, coaching, and access to local Petanque clubs, They also run an award scheme with four levels to help encourage young people to develop their ability and skill at the game.

British Pétanque Association,
12 Ensign Business Centre, Westwood Park, Coventry, CV4 8JA
Tel: 02476 421408 Fax: 02476 422269

Pétanque / boules is a game for all ages.

Buy your equipment from the Association atL: - website of a US supplier of equipment, includes pages on:

  • How to play,
  • Concise rules,
  • Guide to boules,
  • Building a playing area: a "piste" or terrain. - lots of useful information from a US enthusiast.

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