Here's a great activity for your francophiles-in-training that suits the first day back following the winter break (which of course would work equally well for la rentrée scolaire or after le congé de mars) I got this idea from a facebook group I belong to made up of intermediate teachers in Ontario - yet another salute to French teachers not reinventing the wheel, or feeling isolated!  

If you teach immersion grades 7+ or Core French grades 10+, this kinestetic game can be used with passé composé et l'imparfait or just with le passé composé in any level of core French below that. Who says the students need to even KNOW what the past tense is... if you model it, and make it fun, they WILL repeat! It's so fun and geared to kids' interests - themselves! - that you could use it just for team-building, as an icebreaker or warm up any class with French as the language of delivery, or if you are responsible for providing a DPA opporunity in your class time, while still having kids us the target language.

Here are the instructions:

  1. You may want to brainstorm vocabulary for possible activites or useful verbs (or have them independently think about what they want to say for a couple of minutes)
  2. Have students arrange themselves in a circle (on chairs, or just sitting on the floor if you have a younger crowd)
  3. One student, without a chair, starts by standing in the middle.
  4. Give them a starter:  Avez-vous jamais...? or Pendant les vacances, avez-vous...? (Using Est-ce que instead of inversion is fine too; choose whatever best suits your learners and their needs.)Note: Remember to offer the imparfait option if it applies.  For example, Pendant les vacances, est-ce que vous faisiez de la grasse matinée? Est-ce que vous passiez de temps en famille?
  5. The student in the middle makes an oral statement, and all students for whom the answer is "Yes" change seats. 
  6. Whoever is remaining in the middle without a seat asks the next question. Play continues.

One last tip.  You may want to establish a time limit or a certain number of turns in advance, as 
whomever was about to be the next to ask the question is sure to be disappointed when the game ends.

Hope you have a wonderful and restful holiday!