Whistlefritz French for Kids
Foreign language with little kids can be very casual. You listen to music in the language, watch some fun videos and ta da! You have your French lesson for the day. For the parents who want to move into the next level of language instruction and be more involved themselves, there are now lesson plans to round out the adorable and fun Fritzi DVDs and song CDs. I have been looking forward to these ever since the Spanish version came out and I saw how much more a child can get out of the videos/songs using the lesson plan. Rather than relying on drills & memorization, children are making puppets, following recipes, making play dough, playing bingo (and more) all while they are hearing & practicing their French. Lesson plans (available separately or as part of the Educator's Collection) are in English for the parent/teacher and will refer to phrases and vocabulary used on the video that day. It would be helpful for the parent if you have a knack for the language; if that is not the case, you will rely more on the videos than if you do have a little French in your repertoire. While the lessons are scripted, there is an assumption of previously pronunciation knowledge on the part of the parent. The lessons integrate all areas of the curriculum, with each new lesson circling back to prior ones, helping the French stick. Also, the lessons have written out what the French portion will be for the day, so if you are nervous about your own knowledge, you could do a little practice ahead of time. I really don’t think you will have to, but you could. There are 40 lessons in all taking about 30-40 minutes each. There are several pages in the Lesson Plans which can be reproduced. These include coloring, games, sorting/graphs, flashcards, and other goodies to add to your lessons. Every lesson plan provides an overview, objective, vocabulary, materials list, time frame, PLUS activities focus, teacher input, guided practice, independent practice, closure, extension activities, and song lyrics. French Lesson Plans is a bound 277pp book and is available separately or in a bundle with the DVDs, CDs and more.
DVDs are 25 minutes and all in French. They feature live action, animation, and puppets. Plenty of repetition, slower-paced conversation, and an easy-to-follow format are nice for parents and kids. Several short songs are included as well. Each DVD includes a booklet with English translations of key vocabulary words. The videos are great for seeing a person’s face as they say the word, allowing you to imitate more easily. CDs feature authentic speakers singing over a dozen lively songs with basic vocabulary and include lyric booklets. Memory Matching Cards show 25 pairs of French verb infinitives (toucher, taper, chanter, etc.) all starring Rito the fox, a friend of Fritzi’s. I love that these are not just colors and numbers but move your student beyond the basics! The authors did a wonderful job putting together the lessons for you. I think your children/students will love learning French this way. This program could be used in a small group too, like a homeschool co-op, if the students had the videos & songs to practice at home in between lessons. ~ Sara (former French teacher)