Our topic theme this half term is Fantastic Fiction. We have been reading Anansi stories, performing poetry and gameschooling traditional stories! Now while I may not be a French speaker, I strive to give the children a bilingual experience whenever possible because I do agree with W (8) that it’s important for children to speak more than one language. Which is why, when I discovered traditional tales in French on YouTube I jumped at the chance to explore the story of The Little Red Hen in both French and English. This blog is an overview of the activities we did around the story.
Before we start ‘reading’ a story, I always ask the children to read the title, find the name of the author and the name of the illustrator. I find it helps them to realise real people wrote/illustrated the stories and boosts their confidence when they have to do a piece of creative writing. During our Traditional Tales week we talked about repeated phrases and adjectives, so I asked the children to listen for any repeated phrases and/or adjectives they could identify in both the French and English versions.
We then compared both versions of the story. B (6) chose to make a table with labelled drawings, whereas W (8) wrote out some comparative sentences. eg. In the French story they make cake but in the English story they make bread.
Obviously as the story involves baking, we had to bake something. I found this uncredited recette (recipe) on Pinterest and printed it off. It was a great opportunity to talk about different measuring systems, the fact that in French it is ‘coffee spoon’ rather than ‘teaspoon’ and learn French measurement vocabulary. The children had a great time making the cake, which was delicious and disappeared within 5 mins of being ready to eat! You can find a video of the children making it on our Instagram!
I think it’s really important to encourage children to explore their own interests and both of the boys were really interested to see in the French version that a horse pushes the millstone to grind the grains into flour. They thought that only windmills could make flour, so we had a great time looking up how flour is made. And then I remembered this TV show from my childhood to share with them, which they loved (mainly for Pippin):