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This is a story which funnily enough my children were not exposed to when they were little, but I discovered it when I really started to buy more and more picture books. It is definitely one I could not do without now! I also own it in Spanish. You can buy either here from Little Linguist.
Watch a short introduction to it here on my YouTube channel before you read the whole blog!

Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Mario Ramos, l’école des loisirs
Intended age of students: Key Stages 1/2/3
Source reference: 9782211060615
This is the story of a little boy looking everywhere in his house for his mum and shouting for her… why though??
After looking at the front cover with the children to try to predict what the story is about, I ask them to join in with me every time the child shouts “Maman !”. At the end, you may need to write the word “araignée” on the board and talk about arachnophobia for the children to get the punch line, but it will be nonetheless fun!
Depending on your focus, you can read through the story again and ask the children to: count the animals, say what the animals are in French, or say in French what room they are in. After a couple of readings, you can test the children’s memory by asking for instance how many monkeys there are, you say a number in French then the children have to say the animal or ask them what room the giraffes are in etc.
This is a story which never fails to make children (and adults) smile.
It is so simple yet so versatile!
This story can be revisited when you learn about numbers, animals or the rooms in the house.
With older children still, you could use it to talk about daily routine as each set of animals is doing a different activity.
Older children could practise speaking then writing, in French, what animals there are in each room, eg Il y a huit cochons dans la salle à manger. They could then write and draw their own version of the story with different animals; the dictionaries would help them.
Topics or themes:
numbers 1-10; animals; rooms in the house; daily routine; Mothers’ Day in England and in France
the plural; “il y a” structure
How much time required:
1-2 lessons
There are many great resources which can help you exploit this story, especially with younger children: my favourite are here on Master Albumhere on Math Maternelle, and here on Mais non on ne galère pas.
Check out here other books by Mario Ramos which I love.
Click here if what you are looking for is more stories that celebrate mothers.
Please tell me in the comments below how you have used this story in the past!

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Merci !