Lesson # 3 – French numbers
French numbers – Free weekly lessons for kids #3
Welcome to another weekly French lesson plan! This week we are learning French numbers, up to ten, and also how to ask ‘how many are there?’
For this lesson I needed something to give you something to count, and I decided on counting boats… ‘un bateau‘ (uhn bah-toe) (a boat)
I do not know why I chose boats, but I created the little boat cards and it reminded me of a bath time toy. If your child is small and you still spend time with them while they float around at bath time, it is a nice relaxing moment to practise some of your French numbers. You don’t have to count the boats though, you could choose to count bubbles…’une bulle‘ (oohn boole) (a bubble)
I have chosen boats for these activities but you don’t really need to print out the worksheets to play the games and you can substitute boat for any other object of your choice. You can use these phrases to count an infinite number of things and hopefully have a lot of fun doing it.
What are the French numbers up to ten?
The best way to encourage your child to count is to ask them how many of something there is… ‘il y a combien de…?‘ (Eel ya com-bee-ahn duh…?)
For example, you could use your worksheet above and ask ‘il y a combien de bateaux?‘ (Bateaux is the plural of bateau but still pronounced the same)
The reply to the question is ‘il y a deux bateaux‘ ( Eel ya duh bah-toe) (there are two boats)
‘Il y a‘ means ‘there are/ there is’ and ‘combien de‘ means (how many?) So it is easy to substitute the word ‘boats’ for any other objects of your choice that you know how to say…
Il y a combien de pommes? – How many apples are there?
Il y a combien de chaussettes? – How many socks are there?
Try counting any familiar objects around the house with your child.
What’s in the bag?
One of my most favourite things to do in class is to ask the kids ‘what’s in the bag?’. I have developed a little chant and it goes like this:
‘dans le sac, dans le sac, qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans le sac?’ (In the bag, in the bag, what’s in the bag?)
You can hear the phrase in this video we made on Youtube. The rhythm is really catchy and kids love to repeat it over and over. You can also substitute ‘sac’ for any other kind of receptacle such as a box…’dans la boîte, dans la boîte, qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans la boîte?’
To do this activity you can cut out the boat cards that I have provided or you can simply choose ten items of your own that you have around the house.
Find a bag or a box and place some of your items inside. Repeat the chant ‘dans le sac, dans le sac, qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans le sac?‘ with your child and see if he/she can guess how many of that item you placed inside. Ask your child ‘il y a combien de (bateaux) dans le sac?’ When your child has made his guess open up the bag and count your items together…‘il y a sept bateaux’
Then it is your child’s turn to place a number of objects in the bag and to ask you ‘il y a combien de (bateaux) dans le sac?’ Repeat the chant together and then you make your guess.
This is a really super simple activity but repeating the chant and playing the guessing game is a really good way to encourage repetition of the French numbers. It also gives your child a boost if you get most of the answers wrong and they get the majority right!
Also, don’t forget about your language puppet or toy. Are you using one? This is a great game for getting your puppet upset or over joyed when he gets the answers right or wrong. Just like last week’s activity you can let your puppet go wild!
Tonton the Tortoise has a wonderful new picture book that is perfect for starting your child on a path to loving languages. Full of new characters, Tonton goes on a journey around the park making lots of friends…one friend in particular is extremely memorable!
‘Tonton Makes Friends’ teaches children how to say their name and how to ask others’ names with lots of fun and laughter!