Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Get students speaking by hosting a Game Show!

Bonjour tout le monde!  I hope everyone has had a great start to their school year! I haven't posted in a while, and I'd like to thank those of you who've recently reminded me that you are reading my blog which has really encouraged me to keep on writing. I'd like to share a successful lesson that I taught last week.  This lesson was used in high school French II and students were learning how to name various professions.  I took a writing activity from my textbook (which described what certain people did in their professions and asked students to guess what it was based on the description), and turned it into a television style game show!  I made index cards on which I wrote the short descriptions and the French name of the person assuming that profession.   Then I made a Power Point presentation to create a game show atmosphere.  The slides of the Power Point showed the same names and descriptions that were on the index cards.  I also inserted game show music and applause at appropriate times in the presentation, which definitely helped to set the tone.  The index cards looked like this:


Je travaille dans un hôpital.  J'aide les malades, mais je ne suis pas médecin.

 DO NOT READ THIS OUTLOUD:  Je suis infirmière. 

And then, I DRESSED UP as a game show host, and my students participated as either contestants in the show or members of the audience.  The goal was for the audience to guess the professions of the  contestants by listening to the description and then asking questions.  I welcomed my students at the door, dressed in a mullet wig, a ridiculous sport coat, a name tag that read "Gigi Paris", and a toy microphone. When greeting students, I said (in French), "Welcome sir/miss.  My name is Gigi Paris".  If they addressed me as Madame, I corrected them.  I wish you could have witnessed the giggles on the way to their seats, especially from those who try not to show their emotions.  It was almost worth all of the effort just for that!  I welcomed the class to the show with my mic and asked for a volunteer, and then gave that person the mic (an important prop for this lesson!).  They came up front and were given one of the index cards to read.  All they had to do was give the name on the card and read the  description.  In the background, I was projecting the Power Point slides at the same time, which gave the same information they were reading.  After each description, I projected a slide that showed  questions students could ask to narrow down the answer, such as "Do you work in an office? Do you travel a lot?".  The contestant could then call on any audience member to ask a question.  The rule was that the audience had to ask at least 3 questions from the screen before attempting to guess the profession.  The person to guess correctly became the next contestant, and the game continued in this manner.

My game show host costume!
This lesson was successful for several reasons: students were interested, everyone was engaged in either speaking, listening or reading French, and everyone was having a good time.  I encourage you to consider doing something similar. Your students will thank you!  One of mine approached me in my costume, hugged me, and said, "Madame, you're awesome!"  I'm sure you would love to hear that as much as I did :).  Happy teaching!!!


  1. Je l´adore! What a great idea!

    1. Merci beaucoup! Thank you for taking the time to comment. :)

  2. I have done game show lessons before, but you have a knack for making things over-the-top awesome! Where did you get the wig?

    1. Oh, thank you!!! I bought the wig at a Halloween costume store. I've bought many, many props for my lessons at Halloween USA over the years :). Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Hello Chez,

    I really enjoyed reading through your ‘French Game Show’ lesson! I am a student teacher from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I will be completing my long practicum starting in September 2017. While you used this lesson for a high school French class, I think I would be able to successfully do something like this for my grade 7s. Of course, I would need to adapt the material to the grade 7 curriculum, but the students would love this lesson. I think the lesson is effective not only because of its engagement value, but also because students are required to listen, read, and speak in French. The format is exciting and it sounds like your class loved it.

    I wonder if the Game Show idea could be extended to span multiple lessons, where each student creates their own cue card for the game to be played the following day. This would add another written component and allow students to think outside the box in creating their ‘character’.

    Thank you for such a great blog post!


    1. Bonjour Carter,
      Thanks for your comments! I think it's a wonderful idea to try and adapt this idea for your 7th graders. I think they would love it, provided that the language comprehension required of them was not too difficult for their level of French :). Wonderful idea to have them create their own characters, but I do think that would have been hard for my high school students to do. Maybe you can figure out a way that will work for you! Thanks for stopping by my blog.



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