Why use songs to learn? Do you find it difficult to sing to your class, especially in another language?
Starting the lesson with a song attunes the brain to the language. The use of songs and poems enhances the National Literacy Strategy. Songs are an enjoyable, natural and stress-free way to learn the rhythm of language, intonation and pronunciation, as well as embed complex structures, such as questions and answers. Songs combine naturally with drama. Songs can be learned just for fun.
Your pupils will be happy to participate from the beginning. Hum to the song (or ‘la’) – loudly then softly. You say a line – children clap the rhythm (beat) or the syllables; count the syllables. Do not expect children to sing the whole song at once – first listen many times.
Try this song about La famille Souris. Links to the lyrics and music score can be found on our Free resources for KS2 French page on our website. There is a recording of native speakers singing the song to listen to as well, so you can give your singing voice a rest if you want to.
The La famille Souris song can be used to teach basic vocabulary on families, eg j’ai un frère/une soeur, or for progression to extension work with il/elle s’appelle and further adjectives. Make a family tree (un arbre généalogique) for the mouse family. Children could use it as a model to create imaginary family trees, eg using monsters of different colours and shapes. Use the song for further work on adjectives: you could have puppet role-plays in the style of an adjective for the class to guess, eg méchant (naughty) or sympa (kind).
This song is one of 20 found in our best-selling resource Chantez Plus Fort! The book and CD set contains 20 easy-to-learn French songs written specifically to help children to learn French. They are linked to the QCA schemes of work for modern foreign languages at Key Stage 2 but are also relevant for pupils in Years 7 and 8, especially those with special needs.