TP-Issue14.5 | 77 some of the words start with ‘le’ and some ‘la’. Explain that this shows whether they are masculine or feminine and that all nouns in French have a gender. The gender of a noun isn’t always what you think it is, so you can’t guess. Can children remember other masculine or feminine words they’ve learnt previously? Why are some of the words ‘les’? Explain that this is the plural form and emphasise that the pronunciation is not like English; this is a common error as pupils apply their English phonics knowledge to French. Play a game to practise – point to different parts of your body and where you indicate more than one, eg both arms, pupils call out ‘les'. More able pupils could also add the noun. If you point to only one body part, pupils stay silent. Play ‘Simon says’ in French. Pupils will be interested to know that, in French, Simon has a different name: Jacques. The game is just as in English: ‘Jacques a dit touchez le pied’, or just ‘Touchez le pied’ to catch children out. Tell those children who are out to sit down – ‘Asseyez-vous’ - and help you to see who’s going wrong. Ask more able children who are caught out to take on your role and deliver the ‘Jacques a dit’ instruction. Dr Amanda Barton is a freelance writer and educational consultant who has taught MFL in primary and secondary schools. She is co-author of Teaching Primary French and Teaching Primary Spanish (Bloomsbury). “Can children remember other masculine or feminine words they've learnt previously?” l Play pupils the catchy song and video from BBC Bitesize ( tpbbcfrench) which looks at the crazy idea of gender in French. Ask pupils to write ‘le’ on one side of a mini whiteboard and ‘la’ on the other and to hold it up whenever they hear one or the other. l Play an extended version of ‘Jacques a dit’ which includes additional body vocab and some new instructions. As well as ‘Touchez les genoux’ etc, you can also include imperatives such as: hochez la tête (nod your head); levez-vous (stand up); asseyez-vous (sit down); levez la main (raise your hand); baissez la main (lower your hand); ondulez les bras (wave your arms); dansez (dance); marchez (walk); stop. EXTENDING THE LESSON l Using an online or physical dictionary can you work out what the following words are in French and what gender they are? Face; tooth; thumb; cheek; back; neck. l What are the following plural forms in English? Les cheveux (hair); les dents (teeth); les doigts (fingers); les cils (eyelashes). USEFUL QUESTIONS une bouche et un nez, Tête, épaules, genoux, pieds – genoux et pieds! As most children will already know the tune, you don’t really need any musical accompaniment, but there are lots of videos on YouTube if you want some cartoon figures or an animated robot to sing along with you. It can also be useful to display the lyrics for some children. Find them on our Powerpoint download (see panel, right). 3 | NOUN GENDERS This part of the lesson focuses on the gender of nouns. Display the body part words you have learnt (see our Powerpoint) and introduce new ones such as ‘le bras’ (arm), ‘le ventre’ (belly), ‘la main’ (hand) and ‘la jambe’ (leg). Ask pupils why they think Free online resources Download an accompanying Powerpoint to help you deliver this lesson from resources/french-body-parts