I met a bilingual dog this weekend. He grew up in France with an owner who spoke French and one who spoke English to him. As I heard him being asked to sit and stay in both languages it reminded me of a game that is in one of our books.
✦ One of the most popular of all physical response games is ‘Simon says’. Change the name ‘Simon’ for an appropriate name in the target language.
✦ It works particularly well with classroom actions but can also be used for any topic to which the children can produce a physical response, for example, hobbies, or any sentences using a variety of verbs.
✦ In case you don’t know the game, if you ask the children to do an action and you say ‘Simon says’ (Jaques dit/Manuel dice/Max sagt), they do it.
✦ A request without ‘Simon says’ means that they continue to do the last action.
✦ If they start to do the action when Simon doesn’t say so, they are out.
✦ This is one of the most challenging games to bring to a conclusion and find a winner. The children become so proficient at it, especially in years 5 and 6, it is hard to catch them out. Try using children already eliminated to spot anyone making an error or ask the remaining few to stand at the front in clear view of everyone.
✦ It is great fun and you will be asked to play it again and again.
This game is one of 137 tried and tested activities found in 100+ Fun Ideas for Practising MFL in the Primary Classroom. These fun activities can be used to develop oracy and literacy skills in almost any language.