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This is an unlikely love story which children always love!
The main character is the cheeky Simon whom you may already know from Caca boudin.
Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Stephanie Blake; published by l’école des loisirs
Intended age of students: Key Stage 1/2
Source reference: 9782211202466
This is a lovely story which can be shared with a class around Valentine’s Day if you would like to mark the occasion but without doing anything over the top: Simon is in love with Lou but Lou loves Mamadou… until Lou gets headlice! Who will win Lou’s heart in the end??
When I read it 1st, I ask the children to listen out for the sound “ou” and put their hands up whenever they hear it. Then we will look at the grapheme which represents it.
On second reading, we will focus on the story and greet each character, and join in whenever the word “poux” comes up… which of course they will love doing! I also get them to scratch their heads as they say it. I apologies in advance – you will all end up with an itchy scalp!!
On third reading the children can come up with their own gestures to join in with the story.
I have also, as you can see from the picture above, printed and laminated flashcards of the 3 characters of the story. I have used them along key phrases and gestures to help the children retell a simplified version of the story… it has worked a treat! You can find the pictures here: Poux characters for flashcards
This sort of love story is simple enough, fun and can be exploited in many ways. My Y3 and Y4 pupils love it but I would also use it with younger or older children.
The children, who will now never forget the grapheme “ou” in French, can make their own cut-out puppets on sticks of Simon, Lou and Mamadou and re-enact the story, simplified: bonjour / je t’aime / des poux, ah! / je t’aime! / des poux, ah!
Topics or themes:
“ou” sound; a fun love story for Valentine’s Day
-er verbs in the 1st person; plural of words ending in “ou”
How much time required:
There are some lovely resources here if you want to do more with the story.
You can order the book here from Little Linguist.
If you would like more ideas for stories around Valentine’s Day, I have written a blog about some.
You can find out about more stories about Simon here! What is YOUR favourite Simon story?