Online French Activities for Students at Home

French Distance Learning

So the coronavirus has hit your town, your school closed, but you are still expected to teach your students who can’t come to school. These online French activities will provide engaging lessons while your students are learning remotely.

If you want fully prepared 2 week online French lessons, click on the button below. For tons of ideas and a free online lesson, keep reading.

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1. YouTube French Grammar Videos

Choose a video for the subject that you’re learning or let your students choose what they’d like to learn. Students take notes on the video and write sample sentences using the information they learn. Then they submit their notes and sentences online.

2. Francophone Culture Videos with Question Guides

I spent weeks and weeks in the basement of the public library one summer finding 101 appropriate and interesting cultural videos for 30 Francophone countries. This took forever, but was totally worth it! And the video clips come with questions on paper or as a Google Classroom version. Send students the link, assign a few videos a day, and voilà, your work is done.

Plus, we never spend enough time on culture anyway and that’s one of the most exciting parts of learning a language!

Grab free video clips for France and Canada in the Free Resource Library.


3. Create a French Online Discussion

Set up a group text chat or other electronic chat where students speak only in French. Tell them you expect them to participate a certain number of times a day. Give discussion prompts each day, based on what they have learned or are currently learning. Create a free chat group with Google Classroom or Marco Polo (video chat – would need to use cell phones for this, but I bet students would love the social interaction of video since they’ll be cooped up).

4. Assign a French Book or Article to Read

Pick an interesting, yet simple book for students to read. For Spanish 4 and 5, I love “Le petit Nico“, a novel with several short stories about a mischievous boy. 

Since you won’t be able to physically get the books to your students, take photos of the pages and send them electronically. Create comprehension questions and vocab lists. Have them write vocab definitions of French words in French. That will certainly challenge them.

If you need more book ideas, check out the French book lists in my Reading Library post.

French Spanish Library in Your Classroom
Lists of Books for a Reading Library

5. Boom Cards

These French self-correcting online activities are great for teaching your students not just verbs and vocabulary, but also tricky grammar concepts.

They include audio files, mini lessons, fill in the blank questions, etc. Just send the link to your students and your work is done. So simple! The best part is that students finally understand these tough grammar concepts after using them – perfect for review or for teaching the concepts from start to finish.

French Distance Learning
French Boom Cards

6. Final Exam Review

Since your school year will most likely be shorter, you’ll have less time to review for final exams. Have students create French end-of-year review packets for the final exam based on what they’ve already learned.

 How It Works:

* Divide students into groups of 3-4 and assign each group a unit from your textbook or a few topics to cover.  They can work virtually via phone, email, and Google Hangouts to coordinate. They’ll type up a few review pages which include:

– a concise list of vocabulary from the chapter with definitions in English

– brief notes reviewing the grammar concepts

– notes about the culture from that unit

* The group prepares a review game of their choice that covers all the material from the unit.  At the end of the year, they’ll briefly reteach the grammar to the class and then lead the class in playing the review game. Correct the review materials and pass them out as study guides at the end of the year.

What You’ll Need to Do:

Create a grading rubric, correct the rough drafts of the study guides, correct the final copies with their corrections of the study guides, make copies for the class or send via Google Classroom, and grade their presentations.  Your rubric might include:  initial grammar, final grammar, grammar instruction (all in the target language, accuracy, class engagement), and review game (speaking all in the target language, creativity, preparation, grammar).

7. Write a French Daily Journal

Students write what they do every day while they are out of school. This could also be a video journal or PowerPoint journal with photos. Give them key phrases or grammar points to help them write complex sentences.

Ex. To use the past tense for ER, RE, and IR verbs, drop the ER and add é, drop the RE and add u, drop the ir and add i. 

Teach them a few irregulars:  Ex.  Je suis allé/e

Demonstrate how to write complex sentences.

Ex. Instead of writing, “J’ai joué au football”, write, “Ce matin, j’ai joué au football avec mon frère, Robert, pendant deux heures.”

8. Learn New Vocabulary

Tell your students to learn 20 new vocab words that interest them. In Google Slides, students will type the vocab word, use it in a complex sentence (at least 8 words), and find an image to represent the word.

Variation: Have students label 20 objects in their house and take photos of the object with the label to put into Google slides, accompanied by a complex sentence. Remind them not to use tape to place the piece of paper on the object, unless their parents have given them permission.

9. Research an Interesting Topic from the Francophone World

Ask students to research a topic of their choosing in French (or a theme that you choose for them: health, sports, international education). When they find an article online relating to that topic, they write a summary of what they read and make a list of new vocab words.

French Distance Learning
Online French Activities

10. Teach a Family Member a French Lesson

Students teach a family member or friend a lesson in French. They must create an assessment (quiz, video, etc.) to show that this person has learned the lesson and get a signature.

11. Listen to a French Song

Students select a YouTube song in French that they like and make a mixed media collage to represent the song. Their collages should include a photo of the artist, key French vocabulary words, and images that represent the song themes and vocab.

Hopefully, these online French activities for students at home will help you with lesson plans for your next few weeks. More importantly, I hope that you and your students stay healthy!

P.S. If you want fully-prepped French distance learning lesson plans, click the button below.


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