5 Simple Ways to Use French Vocabulary Cards

Do you own any of my French vocabulary cards bundle?

These vocabulary cards are so versatile and can be used in so many different ways that I thought it would be fun to write a blog post featuring 5 of my favourite ways to use them.

I LOVE being able to repurpose a resource and get the most bang for my buck, so check out all the different ways I’ve used these vocabulary cards in my classroom over the years!

Looking to vary the way you use vocabulary cards when helping your French primary students learn important French vocabulary words? Check out this blog post for lots of ideas!

#1: Vocabulary Cards On Your Word Wall

My first (and favourite) way to use my French vocabulary cards?

On my word wall!

This was the original intention for these cards when I created them – to add to my word wall to help my students with their writing.

Here are three ways you might add these to your word wall:
1. Laminate the cards and stick a magnet on the back for easy student access from your magnetic whiteboard – this makes it quick for students to grab just the word they need, and put it back in the right spot (by looking at the first letter/sound).

2. Hole punch the top corner of each card, pop them on a binder ring, and hang them on a hook for a more portable word wall option.

3. Slide them into a pocket chart beside your main word wall, for more easy student access.

I do the binder ring thing, and I love it because I can keep previous months/themes hanging up, without using tons of word wall space.

During our writing block, my students are free to go up to the word wall, take the set they need off the hook (I use magnetic hooks from Amazon), take it to their spot, and copy the word that they need for their story.

I model this and we practice a lot – how to walk to the word wall, how to find the set you need, how to bring it back to your spot, look at the symbol, add an article that makes sense, copy the word, and then return it to the correct hook. This is a mini lesson that we repeat often ;)

Looking to vary the way you use vocabulary cards when helping your French primary students learn important French vocabulary words? Check out this blog post for lots of ideas!

#2: Vocabulary Cards At Your Writing Centre

My French vocabulary cards are simple to add as part of your writing centres, as well!

You might have a writing centre area all the time in your classroom, where you can display these words. Or, you might be like me and have your writing centre materials in a bin to be taken to a table that is used for other things throughout the day.

Just like I suggested above, you can laminate, hole punch one corner, and stick your words on a binder ring. Instead of adding them to your word wall, you can just pop the set into your writing centre bin.

If you have a more permanent writing centre area, you could display your words on a bulletin board. A fun tip I’ve seen a lot on Instagram is to run a string across your bulletin board and clip the words up with clothespins.

This is easier and faster than tape or staples every time you want to switch out your theme!

The great thing about using these cards in your writing centre is that it’s easy to differentiate the activity – some students can write a list, some can label a picture, some can draw their own picture and add labels, and others can write whole sentences and/or stories.

#3: Personal mini dictionaries

The third thing you can do with vocabulary cards is make personal thematic mini dictionaries.

Print the words your students will likely need most on plain white or coloured paper, cut along the lines, and staple together to make mini thematic dictionaries for each of your students.

You could have your students then colour them if you wish! If your school supplies coloured copy paper, it might be helpful to colour code each theme.

You can send these home for extra vocabulary practice, keep them somewhere your students can easily reference during writing time, or have students practice their words with partners.

If you don’t want to do the cutting & stapling part, you can use the cards to make simple, one-page reference sheets.

Print all desired slides to one page by using the “Multiple” option in the Adobe print menu (you could do 4×5 or 5×5), and then you can create a quick and easy reference sheet.

You can send them home each time you switch themes so that parents know what words you’re working on and can practice at home, too!

We are actually getting ready to send home vocabulary sheets to parents as part of our school improvement plan at my school.

#4: Oral communication games

You can also use my French vocabulary cards to play oral communication games.

Instead of printing one set of cards, you can print two sets and use them to play Go Fish, Memory, etc.

If you did my 5-day BTS teacher challenge in 2019 or 2020 and play “Mme _ a perdu” in your classroom, these word cards are fantastic for that game.

We practice saying “c’est un(e), voici un(e), and regarde le/la” with the vocabulary cards, or we use the verb cards (pictured) and practice saying “Je _______“,

My students are also obsessed with playing “As-tu le ______” which is the simplest game on the planet. It makes NO SENSE why they love it so much, but here we are haha.

I do this game as a transition as students clean up and come to the “tapis”. It really motivates them to clean up quickly.

They sit in a circle, one student closes their eyes, and I give a vocabulary card to another of the students in the circle. They hide it by sitting on it, and the first student comes back and asks everyone « As-tu le/la _? » until they find it. Repeat!

That’s it… that’s the game.

Looking to vary the way you use vocabulary cards when helping your French primary students learn important French vocabulary words? Check out this blog post for lots of ideas!

#5: At-home extra practice/review

I touched on this one a bit above, but these vocabulary cards are great to use to encourage students to practice specific words/sentence structures at home.

The maternelle teachers at my school use them for “mot du jour” and send home a new word each day.

You can make mini at-home vocabulary books – just print the black & white cards on white paper, staple them together, and send these home to have your students review and practice with their families.

You could also use blank journals and glue two new cards per page as you learn each word. Then students can fill in their journals all year long and gradually build a big bank of words.

Some sets work well as labels, too – you can send home words on white copy paper and encourage families to label items in their home and say them in French.

And, don’t forget the one-page reference sheets like I explained in idea three if you’re short on paper!

Want to try these vocabulary cards out?

Now that you’ve seen just how versatile these vocabulary cards can be, you might want to give them a try.

Good news – I’ve got a FREE set in my TPT store right here. The freebie is for Valentine’s Day words, but even if it’s not Valentine’s Day right now, you can still download the freebie to see if you like how the cards are set up.

(They are also inside my Free French Resource Library if you prefer to download from there).

FREE French vocabulary cards for Valentine's Day - in colour and black & white!

If you’re looking for the rest of the vocabulary cards to purchase, you can buy them individually, but if you get the year-long bundle, it’s a better bang for your buck with 22 different themes!

Click here to see them on TPT.

How do you use my vocabulary words? I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a comment and let me know :)

If you’re looking for more blog posts with tips and tricks to using French vocabulary in the classroom, click below!

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