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I totally fell in love with this story in a bookshop in Lille in January!

Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Jean Leroy & Giulia Bruel
Intended age of students: Key Stage 1/2
Source reference: 9782211231879
After working out with the children in English what the story might be about, I suggest you read it to them all in French but make them join in with the animal noises at the beginning then with “c’est long” when the bear and the hen are waiting for the egg to crack and finally “maman” and “papa” at the end. Once the story is finished, I would check their understanding of it in English before reading it again and pulling out the key phrases which you want the children to be able to understand, join in with and use in their own work.
I love this story because it just shows that parenthood comes in all shapes and forms: at the end the bear cannot possibly tell the chick he is not his father! It is very sweet. Also the title is a play on words: “un papa poule” is a doting father… which the bear becomes, even though he is no chicken! Also “mon poussin” (=my chick) is a pet name for a child.
The children will most definitely get an emotional reaction to this story and want to read it again. It will enable you to have a discussion about families, around Fathers’ Day or any time of the year for that matter.
The children will pick up from this story some onomatopoeia and useful phrases which they will be able to use in class, like “il a y trop de bruit”, “ouste, du balai” and “oui, volontiers”.
The children could then write, as a class with their teacher, their own version of the story, with different animals which you wouldn’t normally put together either. Higher ability pupils could write their own, with the support of dictionaries.
Topics or themes:
Fathers’ Day; family; onomatopoeia; food and drink; habitats
avoir froid/faim/soif; il y a; vouloir, pouvoir and il faut + infinitive
How much time required:
1 lesson
If you liked this book, you will also like “Les orteils n’ont pas de nom”, one of my go-to stories!
This book is also mentioned in a blog about my top 3 stories to use around Fathers’ Day, which you can read here!