Le mur

Le mur

This is the last book I bought in the summer of 2019... but what a beautiful and important story to share with our children!

Click here to watch me show you inside it and introduce it!

Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Giancarlo Macri, Carolina Zanotti, Sacco & Vallarino, published by nuinui
Intended age of students: Key Stage 1/2
Source reference: 9782889356744

This is the story of the day a king realises that his kingdom is very colourful, and he does not like it. As he is blue, he just wants blue people around him, and he decides to build a wall to keep the other colours separate...
I will start by telling the children that "Le mur" means the wall and let them guess what might happen in the story.
You will need to decide what is best for your class: there is not very much writing and the illustrations are clear, so you may feel that you can read it all the way through in French, then ask questions to check understanding. However you may decide to do the following...
I would read the first 3 double pages before I pause and ask them what they think is happening... then turn the page and ask again. It becomes very clear at that point that the king wants to keep the blue characters separate.
Once the wall is built, it should be ok to read the rest of the story through and watch the children as they realise that more and more people end up on the right-hand side of the wall. You can ask them at the end what they think the moral of the story is. How does it make them feel?
Once you have discussed the gist of the story, you can look at more specific vocabulary: pick out the colours with beginners (they can say them in French for you if you pause in the story), work on the jobs with more advanced learners (look at what the king demands and try to guess what sort of people are going to be needed next). There are also some interesting phrases which the king uses to demand what he wants and which you can practise.

There is a character that has to be found on each page, as in the "Where's Wally?" books, giving an added (and more light-hearted!) challenge.

Rationale:
This is a beautiful, original (when you open the book flat, the wall actually stands between people!) and thought-provoking story.
You can share it with younger learners and use it to discuss in English how everyone can live together and help each other; you can share it with older learners and look very closely at the text to develop their language skills.
This is a very powerful yet versatile book.

Outcomes:
The children could make up/ draw their own characters, put them within a set area (eg a square) and label (some of) them outside the area with their colours (younger learners) or write descriptions of them (including hair etc, more advanced learners).
This story can be used to introduce the imperative or reinforce it: teach the children to spot the verbs in the imperative form in the story and to guess what they might mean (cognates) as well as work out what their infinitives are. There is even of example of a reflexive verbs, so the work you do with this story can be very challenging to your learners if you want it to be.

Topics or themes:
European day of Languages; colours; jobs

Grammar:
the imperative

How much time required:
1-2 lessons

You can buy it here on Amazon.co.uk.

Click here for more stories which are especially good for the European Days of Languages and other days when you want children to think of our relationships with others.

What is a story that really gets to your heart and of which YOU love the message? Please do let me know in the comments!

N.B. Would you like to read about books, ideas, resources and opportunities for the primary languages classroom? Then click here to receive a monthly round up of my blog (and more!) straight in your mail box!

 

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