I love Geoffroy de Pennart's stories as they really appeal to my sense of humour. I was so delighted when I discovered this one made especially for little ones, in strong hardback/cardboard pages! (not sure how else to describe it - a board book?).
Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Geoffroy de Pennart, published by kaléidoscope
Intended age of students: Key Stage 1/2/3
Source reference: 9782877678629
This is a remake of the famous French nursery rhyme "Promenons-nous dans les bois"... but instead of getting ready to go and eat the 3 little pigs, the wolf is actually getting undressed, and a lot more traditional characters are worried about it! Should they be?
After looking at the cover to try to work out what the story might be about (with clues, as it is a difficult one!), you can ask the children how animals and fairy tales characters feel about the wolf, until they tell you they are scared, then you can teach them the phrase "avoir peur de": "j'ai peur" (so they can tell you when they are scared in the story), "il/elle a peur" and "ils/elles ont peur". You can agree with them on an action to demonstrate fear so everyone can join in, even if they find the phrase "avoir peur" a little more challenging.
You can for instance read the story and let the children fill in the gaps for "a/ont peur" as you do the action; you may get the children to join in with the repetitive "Loup y es-tu? Entends-tu? Que fais-tu?"; some of the children could be the wolf and pretend to get undressed, the others could be animals looking scared etc.
The book is clear, entertaining, accessible to all and yet will teach the children so much.
This story is a great introduction to the nursery rhyme "Promenons-nous dans les bois", which you can then learn with your children, as they will already be familiar with some of the key phrases. It is important that children practise and learn traditional rhymes (it even is in the national curruculum in England). Click here for one of my favourite videos of this rhyme on YouTube.
You can challenge the children to identify the traditional characters who are scared of the wolf: they may not know the story of "le loup et les 7 chevreaux" and you may even want to read it to them in English. Click here for versions of the tale both in French and in English.
With younger children, you can rewrite the story and agree on a class version: think of traditional charaters that are scared of the wolf and give him a different outfit to start with; this can be made as simple or as sophisticated as you like and the children could all make a mini-book of the new story.
With older children, you can work on the vocabulary, eg the different verbs the wolf uses to say he is taking his clothes off, the unusual clothes he is wearing.
Topics or themes:
traditional rhymes, the sound "on", clothes
Click here to find more French words that end with a "on" sound, to rhyme with everything the wolf says! You can also find endless ones here.. most of them I do not even know ha ha!
the verb "avoir", as in "avoir peur du/de la/de l'/des"; at least in the 3rd person (a/ont); reflexive verbs in action (je me glisse/promenons-nous)
How much time required:
Did you learn this nursery rhyme when you were younger? Please tell me how you feel about it in the comments!
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