9. As-tu un animal?


Early Start French 1: CONTENTS | HOME

French Starter Pack
1 Greetings
2 How are you?
3 What's your name?
Famous people
4 Alphabet
5 Family
6 Numbers 1-12
7 Ages
8 Brothers & sisters
9 Pets
10 Colours
11 Months
12 Numbers 13 - 31
13 Birthdays
14 LDays of the week
15 Today's date
16 Weather
17 Christmas
Consolidation and assessment

What you will learn in section 9

Film A1: "J'ai un chien".

Film A2: "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" "C'est une tortue".

Film A3: "Elle a un lapin".

In section 9, children learn to say what pets they have. It introduces the French words for some common pets, and also how to find the words for other pets you may have, using a dictionary.

They get used to French nouns having a gender, with 'le' and 'la', 'un' and 'une'.

e-flashcard: Hear and echo the phrase - to listen and refine your pronunciation, hide the text and see if the class can remember it

Can you remeber the whole list of French words?

Is this noun masculine or feminine? Often there are easy clues, but sometimes you have to remember...

Interesting facts and figures about British and French pet-keeping habits

Pets and rabies: Why France didn't have animal quarantine laws like Britain, and how Pasteur's vaccines helped...

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Finding a dictionary for young beginners

What kind of dictionary?
Which is more suited to young beginners:
a bilingual dictionary? ..or a picture dictionary?

A simple bilingual dictionary arranges words in each language's alphabetical order (so they are easy to find), and introduces children to the dictionary skills they need to develop as they mature as language students.

We suggest how to learn dictionary skills, so you avoid mistakenly using French words in the wrong context, or trust in "false friends" that sound like an English homonyms, but have a different meaning.

A picture dictionary arranges words according to themes, which could make it less obvious where you would look for a particular word. Some words may be difficult to illustrate unambiguously.

For these reasons, "grown-up" dictionaries don't use this format - but a picture dictionary can be helpful to beginners, who have a small vocabulary - mainly words with concrete meanings.

A bilingual dictionary:
Collins Primary French Dictionary  

Paperback - 640 pages - new edition.2014

We have selected ideal first French dictionary, offering detailed coverage of core vocabulary in a clear, easy-to-use format. The dictionary has been designed specifically to meet the needs of children learning French, especially at Key Stage 2.

Core vocabulary is covered in detail with simple examples to illustrate usage, key phrases and carefully selected illustrations. This dictionary has been designed not only to appeal to children and their parents, but should also be useful for teachers who may be faced with the challenge of teaching French for the first time.

Click here to buy direct
from Early Start Languages
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A class dictionary project

An alternative to the pupil vocabulary book

Instead of asking students to keep their own A-Z record of new French words they learn, why not try working together on a group effort that you can all talk about as you make new entries?

When the class decides a new word would be worth adding to the class dictionary, you could include a new page with:

  • a picture illustrating the meaning
  • an example of a phrase or sentence use the word
  • an equivalent word in English (or your own language)

Keep the pages in a loose-leaf binder. Decide whether to arrange the pages in:

  • alphabetical order of the French words
  • alphabetical order of the English equivalent
  • topic themes, e.g. food, animals, places in a town...

Encourage children to add to the dictionary when they find a useful new word.

When a student is looking for a French word, suggest they refer to the class dictionary, in case another student has already added what they are looking for.

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Books for the teacher

The Literacy Link (Young Pathfinder 9)
Catherine Cheater & Anne Farren

How can a modern foreign language be integrated into the primary school day?
How can learning a foreign language enhance literacy development?
The literacy link considers a wide range of skills and their development through MFLs, both for KS1 and KS2 - vocabulary extension; confidence with text, with listening, speaking, reading and writing; phonological awareness, phonics and spelling; grammatical awareness; sentence construction and punctuation; reading comprehension; and writing composition - supported by practical examples of activities.

Word level • Sentence level • Text level

86pp • 1 902031 41 5 • 2001

How to order from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Literacy-Link-Young-Pathfinder/dp/1902031415

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Games with plurals
The activities outlined below are also a good way for pupils to revise numbers.

Play "What shall I draw?"

Ask individual children to tell you what animals to draw on the board or OHP. When you have finished, count up the numbers of cats, mice etc.

Play "menageries"

Ask pupils to draw the menageries they would like to have. Ask them to say what is on their pictures.

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Tongue Twister

Ask pupils to try saying:

"Cinq chiens chassent six chats." -- (Five dogs chase six cats.)

.....very quickly, over and over...

For more tongue twisters in many languages, see:


(only a handful are suitable for young beginners!)

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Make your own extra resources:
Making your own flashcards and activity sheets with extra pet animals to add to those included in
EARLY START French will be something many teachers want to try.

Here are some sources of clip-art useful for making up your own materials:


has black and white pictures grouped in topics and is aimed specifically at teachers.

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