Are you looking for tip-top French resources to inspire your primary school students?
You’ve come to the right place!
Younger learners are at an incredible advantage in some ways compared to older French learners.
They can absorb knowledge like sponges and learn new words without even trying.
Wait a minute—can they really?
Well, yes! Provided that you use the right tools and apply them correctly.
These tools are going to span a range of types, but today we have six fantastic websites you’ll refer to again and again while teaching primary French.
Tips for Teaching French to Primary School Students
- Keep it simple. Primary school students don’t respond well to lengthy grammar explanations. Rather than focusing on grammar rules, language learning should be natural and learned through practice rather than theory. Their ear will get used to the sound, syntax and vocabulary of the French language provided that they are regularly exposed to it.
Use simple, short sentences based on real situations. This will help promote immediacy of language use. Do correct your young learners by repeating the sentence multiple times if you’ve spotted any inaccuracies, but don’t be critical. Introduce fun games and activities such as word games.
- Recreate immersion. Elementary school students are particularly receptive to foreign languages if properly stimulated. To that effect, turn your classroom into a no-English, all-French zone. Incorporate authentic, age-appropriate French content into your classes, including lullabies or cartoons, and don’t miss an opportunity to read them stories. You can also show videos of these stories, lullabies and cartoons, many of which are available on FluentU!
- Turn studies into play. Primary school students tend to lose focus quickly. Keep their attention high by turning activities into fun games. A quick way to do this is by reframing the activity: Give them a limited time to complete an assignment, promote competition among students and offer small rewards to winners, such as pictures or a treat.
- Make it interactive. Use technology to turn your resources into full-blown activities. An obvious way to do this is by opting for multimedia content, such as videos, apps or digital games. That’s because young students are used to modern technology and innately navigate toward it.
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Best Resources for Primary French: 6 Sites You Need to Know
1. Bonjour les amis
Designed and developed by the Ministry of Education of Alberta in Canada, this site aims to help K-12 instructors teach French more effectively. Using innovative digital learning and teaching resources, it turns lessons into interactive games using bright colors, friendly cartoon characters and plenty of French vocabulary and expressions.
Letting students play the activities is the best way to use the site. If your school has a multimedia or computer room, book a session and let students get to work! Ideally, students should use this site independently or in small teams of two to three students maximum. This latter option will promote teamwork and collaboration between students.
Sessions are varied and organized into chapters (and we urge you not to budge too much from the order), allowing you to introduce concepts progressively. They come with clear, simple instructions, but be sure to assist your students if they have any problem understanding them.
This British site is a goldmine for high-quality interactive content for elementary schools. With 265 online educational learning games and counting, Cricketweb specializes in primary school as well as foundation stage, key stage 1, key stage 2 and kindergarten. You’ll love the diversity of content, including topics and formats.
There are many ways this site can work for you. One is to simply browse their vast library of free interactive content and use it for classroom activities. No need to be creative—Cricketweb’s activities are straightforward and thoroughly explained. Alternatively, you could head over to the “Extras” section for resources including interactive charts, phonics, interactive quizzes and timers.
3. Primary Resources
Gareth Pitchford’s Primary Resources is a primary school teacher’s favorite, for all the right reasons. The site includes one of the most extensive libraries of content available on the internet, and they’re all free and public.
Lessons are conveniently organized by topics rather than function or level of difficulty, such as “Friends and Family,” “Food” or “Hobbies and Sports,” allowing you to pick and choose freely based on what you desire to teach. Primary Resources includes numerous, well-structured lessons plans. You can simply download the plans that most interest you and implement them, or isolate activities and points and teach only what you most absolutely love.
4. BBC Primary Language – French
If you thought it was about time that primary resources strive to expose young learners to the richness of the French culture, this site by the British Broadcasting Corporation will make your day. Specially designed for primary school French learners, it includes a wealth of lessons, songs, digital games and videos broken into 10 real-world themes—including “School Day,” “Things to Do,” “All About Me” and, yes, “Culture.”
To get started, select a topic and implement according to the instructions. They are quite lengthy, but in English, so your students may be able to understand them based on their reading skills. Lessons tend to focus on vocabulary acquisition through audio, so it’s best to liven it up a bit with pictures of the object or word in question.
Make sure to discuss the theme of the lesson a bit and play the French audio recording. Ask students to first repeat it, and then ask what the word means. Let them guess, then show them the picture and play the audio again as they repeat it together. Make it fun and intimate by changing up your classroom display and gathering students into a circle!
5. La Souris
Designed for native French kindergarten and elementary school learners, this well-done, educational site features a host of learning games, lullabies, stories and enrichment activities. It includes accessible content for reading practice as well as math problems to learn numbers and calculation… in French!
Designed for independent use by preschool students, the site doesn’t offer many details on how to use activities—but that’s only because they’re extremely simple! We highly recommend you let students play them solo or with up to two other classmates and monitor their progress.
Pay special attention to their level of engagement and accuracy. Make sure that they repeat words correctly and enunciate well. If playing multiple choice games, ask students why they selected certain answers.
Once an activity is over, it’s time to recap! Verify that students have effectively memorized new words by going over a few of the questions and asking the class to give the answers one more time, together.
This site was created by the teachers of Hiltingbury Junior School to provide fellow French teachers with free, quality resources for elementary school students. It includes full, downloadable lesson plans with resources, activity ideas and teaching tips ranked by school year.
Don’t get discouraged by its austere design; the content featured in these pages is worth it! Browse course plans and implement each as-is or use them as inspiration for your next lesson. Each course is broken down into three parts with an extra section to go beyond—don’t neglect that part!
Now that you have the best French resources to best teach your primary school students, all that you need is to get started! Bon travail! (Happy teaching!)
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to teach French with real-world videos.