I kept seeing this book (Dix petites graines) getting mentioned in LiPS (a Facebook support group for Languages in Primary Schools teaching, which you can join here), so I bought it from Little Linguist (click here to buy it too) as I had it listed in my blog about stories around growing and spring (click here to view it) . I am finally getting round to writing this blog!
You can watch a short introductory video above on YouTube.
Title: Dix petites graines
Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Ruth Brown, published by Gallimard Jeunesse
Intended age of students: Key Stage 1/2
Source reference: 9782070545216
This is a very simple story about 10 small seeds (dix petites graines). How they become 9 seeds, then 8 etc… and in the end from just 1 flower come 10 seeds again! It is therefore a story about the cycle of life and about growth.
I will first read it to my children, all in French, without telling them what it is about. They have to be language detectives and work it out. The illustrations are so lovely and clear that they will be able to understand the story even if they don’t understand any of the words.
I then need to choose what to focus on – there are so many options to either introduce vocabulary to the children or reinforce it. For instance, if I want to focus on the numbers, I can get the children to say the numbers (count down) as I tell the story again. If the children are familiar with some of the animals in the story in French, they could join in the telling of the story by saying them; if they are not, I would choose 5 animals that I want them to know, practise those, then ask the children to help me tell the story by saying the names of the animals.
They could end up saying both the numbers and the names of some animals for me as I show the pictures! There is so much you can do that I can’t say it all here. However 10 new animals would be too much in one lesson; this is the type of book that you could easily keep you and your class busy for half a term if you wanted to exploit the scientific aspects of it as well as all the French.
In order to do these activities and more, there are links to lots and lots of resources on the version of this blog that is on my website – no need to go off and create them yourself!
This story is very simple, as each page only has a few words on it – they are not in a sentence, they are mostly nouns, e.g. sept pousses, une limace.
It is perfect if you are talking about growing with children, as it shows the different stages of the growth of a sunflower.
It can also be exploited with older children to introduce or revisit the grammatical points mentioned below. For instance, you could ask the children to sort the nouns into masculine, feminine and plural categories.
It has so much potential that you could use the book over a few lessons.
The children will have learnt about growing in French: new vocabulary and new concepts. They can even write their own version of the story – see below.
Once they are familiar with the story, you and the children, as a class, could rewrite it by imagining different situations that could interfere with the development of the 10 seeds. If 10 were too many, with little ones you could limit it to 5; older ones could each rewrite their own version, with the help of dictionaries; they could even use a different seed, not just a sunflower one.
Topics or themes:
numbers 1 to 10, summer, spring, growing
masculine and feminine nouns, plural, adjectives “petit”, “grand” and “jeune” (which all go in front of the nouns they describe).
How much time required:
1 lesson or over up to 6 lessons / half a term
Are you looking for more suggestions of books about growing? Click here to see the ones I recommend!
Or are you looking for resources to use with this one? Vicky Cooke (in LiPS) found some great ones (click here for them). I also love these: here (great for younger learners), here (lots and lots of ideas!) and here (some for older children too).
You can buy the book from Little Linguist by clicking here.