I’m at home suffering through a case of strep throat, so today I thought that I would suggest a really great resource on French idioms. It’s called 101 French idioms by Cassagne and Nisset. Each page has a picture of the expression drawn out literally. For instance, the expression “tomber dans les pommes” has a picture of a lady falling backwards into a pile of apples. “Sauter du coq à l’âne” has a picture of a rooster on one side, a donkey on the other and a person in mid-air jumping between the two animals. The drawings are quite funny!
Above each of these drawings, there is a literal translation of the expression, and then underneath the drawing, it states what it really means. There are also short dialogues or paragraphs where the expressions are used in context. The way I use this book is I photocopy some of the pages on to a transparency and I use Post-it notes to cover the expression and what it really means. The only thing students see is the funny drawings. Their reactions to the drawings are priceless! I try to get them to figure out what the expression is and then what it means. This activity certainly gets them speaking in French! After a few of them, they start to get the hang of it. I was going to do this activity today, but I need to get better and not get my colleagues sick either…
When I try it with my grade 11/12 class, I’ll let you know how it goes.