Je Cherche: A Game to Teach Children Personal and Possessive Pronouns in French
How the Game Is Played
Both students and teachers get bored from time to time. In order for students to remember what they learnt, they need to review their work at regular intervals; so innovative ways to strengthen patterns and structures are always welcome. Teachers can use the following games to review the use of personal pronouns, possessive pronouns and prepositions; students will enjoy playing them.
Divide the class into pairs or groups of four. Students who have a better grasp of the lesson can even assist the teacher by acting as monitors for some of the groups. Each member of a pair or group is given about four items, or picture clippings from magazines, representing certain objects. Each item must represent respectively the masculine gender, the feminine,the masculine plural and feminine plural .For example, one student from a pair can have a clipping of une montre (fem.), de l’argent (masc.) des cartes postales (fem.pl).anddes tickets (masc.pl) The other can haveun crayon, unepomme, des chiffres, and des photos.
Je Cherche (I'm looking for)
The game begins with one player saying “Je cherche ma montre.” To understand and deepen the concept of the pronoun elle being used for the inanimate object watch, the second player asks a series of questions, limited to three or as desired. The questions are, for example “Qu’est –ce que tu churches (What are you looking for?) The other player replies to each question, for example: "Je cherche ma montre; Je cherche mon argent ." The player asking the questions, in turn asks with concern “Est-ce qu’elle est sous ta chaise (Is it under your chair) for example,or “Est-ce qu’il est derrière la table?" to each of which the other player looks in the direction and replies “Non.” Finally,at the end of the third question , the player who says “Je cherche.. "will suddenly announce “Ah non, elle est dans ma poche !” or " Ah non, Ils sont dans ma poche!” accordingly.
This game involves not only use of the possessive pronouns ‘mon, ma, mes, and ton, ta tes’ but also the delicate use of matching ‘il, elle, ils or elles to the object. It also involves the use of the definite article and utilizes prepositions; as with each question the player asking the question uses a different preposition.
Variations of the Game
Another day, this game can be continued with the use of ‘ton, ta, tes; with one player asking for example “Où est ta..” or « ton…’ ; est-ce qu’il or est-ce qu' elle est…?and "Ou sont tes… est ce qu’ils or est-ce qu'elles sont?" The other player can respond as he or she wishes with, for example “Non, il or elle n’est pas...”, and finally ending with whatever location he or she chooses. The students will have had enough practice by this time, and can divert from saying the original “dans ma poche” and use whatever preposition and location he or she wishes to.
The Game Continues
The game continues with the use of son, sa and ses as students ask questions about the whereabouts of a third person’s items; eventually moving on to notre and nos, votre and vos and leur and leurs.
Give the students points for correct use of pronouns and prepositions each time they play, and a grand prize at the end of the game. By the end of this game, be assured that your students will be pros in the use of the personal pronouns as they are applied to objects; the use of the possessive pronouns, and the vocabulary for prepositions.