Lesson 2: Pencils and things in the French classroom

Using song and games to learn the French names for common classroom items and understanding that every French noun is either 'masculine' or 'feminine' and the gender affects the form of the word for the indefinite article — 'un' or 'une'.

Learning objective

  • To say items that are in a school bag, and recognise if they are masculine or feminine

National curriculum links

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
  • Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English


KS2 Framework:

  • Perform finger rhymes and sign songs (O3.1)
  • Imitate pronunciation of sounds (KAL)
  • Recognise that languages describe familiar things differently (KAL)

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Teacher knowledge - language points

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: will require either peer or adult support to recall and pronounce vocabulary.


Pupils working at greater depth: challenge to ‘be the teacher’ and lead an activity and/or make up their own version of the ‘dans mon sac’ song.

Wrapping up

During the week

  • Make, or encourage the children to design, labels for different equipment in the classroom. (You could do this with other home languages found within your class/school too.)
  • Use a class French-English dictionary to find other items the children might have in their bags and decide whether they would go in the ‘boy’ bag or ‘girl’ bag.
  • Get the children to name items as they use them or put them away at the end of a lesson. They could even sing ‘Dans mon sac’ as they pack their bags to go home.

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Belinda Dean,  
Languages specialist
Belinda is a French and Spanish teacher as well as a trainer for Network for Languages at Bath Spa University for the last seven years, delivering courses for teachers and PGCE students, and Expert Centre co-ordinator for the Global Learning…
Find out more