Learning in new ways with an old friend

It seems so strange to be blogging after such a long absence! While I have been busy with professional obligations as an independent consultant, moderator of #langchat and #langbook and as the French Content Editor of FluentKey, I have not been lesson planning, leaving me with so little to share here. And while I am in absolute awe of the amazing way that all of you are addressing the challenges inherent in distance learning, I felt at a loss when it came to providing support for something with which I have little experience. However,  when a member of the French Teachers in the US Facebook page posted a question about Petit Nicolas books, I thought that maybe sharing some of the resources I’ve created might be helpful to some of you that were using these stories for the first (or twenty-first) time.

Please note that I have used these stories in a lot of different ways over the past thirty years.  My understandings about how languages are learned evolved immensely during that time, and I would not necessarily use some of these resources in the same way now as I did then.  You will be invited to make a copy of any document you wish and I encourage you to make any changes that you’d like to meet your needs and those of your students. 

I also wanted to provide a bit of information about the links to the videos I have shared.  These videos are adorable and I love using them with students. Unfortunately, the videos seem to disappear quite regularly from Youtube (often to reappear later from a different source) so the links will most likely not remain active for very long.  If you have problems with any of them, try a search with the title in Youtube and you might find a different copy.  I would also recommend checking Edpuzzle for listening activities.  I had created Edpuzzles for several of the videos, but my account is no longer active as it was associated with my school email.

I’ve also included a link to the text of each story for those of you that don’t have access to the books.  There are several sources for online texts, but unfortunately these often do not include the adorable pictures from the book. It would be so much nicer to be able to post a copy of the book pages for the students!

Here are the links to the resources I had in my files.  While some have been shared in previous posts, I thought it might be helpful to have them all in one place.  Please let me know if you have any questions!

Les Campeurs

  1. Document that includes IPA-style interpretive reading tasks, an interpersonal task and presentational writing task and an interpretive listening 
  2. Object pronoun practice worksheet
  3. Link to pdf of story (pp 7-9)

Clotaire a des lunettes

  1. IPA-style reading comprehension (separated into 2 parts)
  2. Link to pdf of story (pp 1-3)
  3. Link to video (Active as of 4/29/20)

Le Football

  1. Traditional multiple choice assessment with grammar section on verb tenses
  2. Link to written and audio version of story
  3. Link to video (Active as of 4/29/20)

Je quitte la maison

  1. Link to text
  2. Link to video (Active as of 4/29/20)
  3. Document with 1) true/false prediction questions, 2) comprehension questions, 3) inference questions 4)future tense practice 
  4. IPA
  5. Pair Crossword (Students take turns giving clues to enable their partner to fill in missing words.)

Je suis malade

  1. Document with reading comprehension and grammar practice (object pronouns and verbs)
  2. Link to written and audio versions of text
  3. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)


  1. French evidence-based true/false questions
  2. Multiple choice questions about video 
  3. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)
  4. Link to copy of text 


  1. Comprehension questions (true/false + justification) and grammar practice (verb tenses and object pronouns)
  2. Speaking and writing assessment
  3. Multiple choice comprehension quiz
  4. Text of story
  5. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)
  6. Pair crossword activity (Each partner has different words missing and they take turns giving each other clues.)
  7. Directions for making pair crossword

Le Musée de Peintures

  1. Document with 1) true/false with justification questions and 2) verb practice 
  2. Pair crossword puzzles (Students take turns giving clues to enable their partner to fill in the missing words from his/her puzzle)
  3. Interpersonal and presentational writing tasks
  4. Link to text 
  5. Link to video (active as of 4/29/20)

Le Petit Nicolas (Feature film)

Document with 1) comprehension questions and 2) quotes from the film that the students discussed in small groups.

18 thoughts on “Learning in new ways with an old friend

  1. Monsieur Fritz

    Salut Ma Belle,

    Great to “see” again – obviously a trip to the Mid-West was delayed this year. Coffee in Columbus will have to wait. I did a GoFormative lesson on “Clotaire” (One of my favorites, along with Le Bouillon – ses yeux) and my AP students enjoyed it. We read it together in class and it was a nice “break” from some of the harder material we covered. What I LOVE about this IPA is the fact it’s accessible to some of my lower levels. My advanced twos might be able to handle it with a little guidance, especially if I record an “annotated” reading for them or we spend some time on a Zoom chat going over it. Just as an aside, I always have a couple of extra “drawing” slides in my Pear Decks these day. “…c’est en dessin qu’il se débrouille le mieux.”

    Les Bises,


  2. Polly Henshaw

    Thank you Lisa! You are amazing.
    I just wish that you were compensated for all that you do.
    I hope you are! We are so lucky that you are helping us the way that you do.

    merci mille fois!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Oh, gosh. I am compensated in so many ways! It is an honor to be a part of the language teaching community and without the blog I never would have met so many great teachers from around the country!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      I’ve used these docs with 3s and 4s. With more support, I’ve read some of the stories with 2s.

  3. Patricia Voelker

    Thank you so very much for sending this resource email.
    It has been a difficult time trying to provide learning to students in this manner, at 100%
    Your resources and site has been very supportive!
    Pat V

  4. Elizabeth Antolik

    Thank you so much! Your work has inspired my teaching style, motivated me, and improved my student production in all areas. I LOVE Petit Nicolas, and I haven’t had time, with 6 preps, to create much new! Thank you for thinking of us and sharing! Great to hear from you again!

  5. Kathy Zetts

    Hi Lisa
    So nice to see another post from you! Merci mille fois!
    I hope all is well with you and yours!

    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thank you! We are doing well! My daughter, who lives a couple of miles away, is expecting her second baby in a couple of weeks so my husband and I have totally self-quarantined so we can help out with their 3 year-old and meet the baby when they come home. I hope you and yours are also safe and healthy!

  6. Wendy

    Bonjour! I’ve done MovieTalk slides for all of the Petit Nicolas stories in the first volume that had videos available in 2019-2020 🙂 I’d be happy to send them to you if you think other teachers might want to see them! I don’t have an up-to-date sharing space, but they might be useful to someone else! Merci!


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