One thing that drives me bonkers is that, no matter how many times we go over the four main verbs in French (to be, to have, to go, to make/do) the kids STILL don't remember how to conjugate them. Of any verbs in the French language, these are the ones to do.
Because of how often we work on these verbs, it's easy to run out of ideas of how to practice them. I've done everything under the sun: dice tic-tac-toe, straight up conjugating worksheets, whiteboards, word scrambles, you name it. I came up with an idea this week that kind of puts a spin on word scrambles: anagrams.
The activity has two parts and the difficulty depends on the level. French one only did this activity in the present tense, while French 2 and 3 got to do it in present, futur simple, passe compose, imparfait and conditionnel.
I started off with a powerpoint with 20 slides. Each slide prompted them to write a conjugation (I had them use whiteboards). Then, they had to show me the answer upon me counting to three. Then I clicked the mouse, which then revealed the answer. Each one they got right, they got a point.
At the end of this activity, I had them grab random letters and accents (I just typed a bunch of letters into MS word and cut them with a paper cutter) that was equal to the number they got right during the powerpoint.
Then I handed out a worksheet that required them to fill in the letters at the top. Using the letters they got, they had to come up with as many conjugations as possible. For each conjugation, they had to indicate which of the four verbs it was as well as which subject (French 2 and 3 also had to indicate which tense). For every three conjugations they got, I gave them a point of extra credit (I RARELY give extra credit, so this was a treat for them).
This activity worked really well because it incorporated them coming up with the conjugations upon me giving them a subject and verb, but then the roles switched and they had to come up with not only the conjugations, but the subject and verb as well.
One thing I would do differently next time would be to give them maybe one or two "free" letters. Once they got started, they could pick a letter or two to add to their list. Some kids got majorly screwed over and could only make one or two conjugations.
Overall, though, they enjoyed it. They love anything that has a competitive edge to it.
After doing this activity I realized how many different places I could apply this activity. It could be applied to ANY verbs, not just the four main ones in French. It could even be applied to grammar and/or vocabulary. You could even get multiple topics into one with the activity if you were to do a grammar concept in the powerpoint and vocabulary and/or verbs with the anagrams.
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