La foule - the crowd

This year it is the Euros 2016 and the BBC anthem for the competition is la foule by Edith Piaf- the crowd. I found this beautiful painting by Olivier Suire- Verley which for me evokes the feeling of being in a crowd and our individual voices, reactions and emotions melding together and relaying a message.

What a gift for target language teachers be it French,Spanish, German ,Mandarin Chinese etc. We can explore language, sounds, words ,emotions through the use of the odea of the "crowd". This is an opportunity too ,to work on different levels with different stages of language learners. 

Beginner learners - calling the colours of the crowd! 

  • Listen to the song "la foule" .
  • Ask the children to close their eyes and listen.
  • Pause the music and ask them to call out colours that they think of as they listen to the music.
  • Ask them now to put on their target language thinking heads and repeat the activity with a little more or the music but this time call out colours in the target language.
  • Show the children the picture at the top of the blog post. Ask the children to help you to create a class flip chart picture of swirling written target language colours to reflect the colours and the mood of the picture.
  • You can now link this to the Euros 2016 and discuss with the children the team colours and the countries' flags and the colours rhey can see.Can they now create  their own  "colours of the crowd" Euros 2016 flag, using written target language colours on their own word art flags? 

Moving on learners-sound crowds and scape crowds

  • Listen to the song "la foule"
  • Ask the children to either close their eyes and listen carefully or to sit very still and imagine the emotions they can hear in the music that they are listening to.
  • Depending on the level and knowledge of language of the children ask the children to jot down on rough paper or mini whiteboards, adjectives,verbs and  feelings in english (minimum of  5 words )that come to mind as they think about the music they have just listened to.
  • With the support of bilingual dictionaries ask the children to find the key words they have jotted down in the target language.
  • Ask  children to share their target language words with a partner so that the partner can cross reference the words they have found and try to ensure the meaning is correct.
  • Now it is time to be creative - you can either ask the children to practise the target language words and phrases as spoken words adding actions and emotion in the sound of their voices and then bring the whole class together and create a "sound crowd"  where all the children perform and speak at the same time at at different volumes and speeds indicated by you as the conductor of this  "sound crowd"
  • Or you can ask them to create their own crowd scape and draw a crowd of people's silhouettes and add thought bubbles for some of the silhouettes with the key target language in the thought bubbles.
  • To link this more directly to Euros 2016 why not  ask the class to make their sound crowds or crowd scapes in to cheering football crowds?

Add a crwod sound command celebration

  • Just one more creative way to develop this activity.Create a sound and movement peformance of the crowd. Think with the children about how  you would create commands with action verbs (e.g move,dance,jump,run, turn around, go, advance etc).
  • Create a colour command celebration chant e.g in French you could write as a class :

Allez les bleus

Avancez les rouges

Sautez les jaunes......

  • Practise the chant as a class
  • Divide you class into colour groups and ask them to create human ribbons of colour that weave between the other colour ribbons. The ribbon should have an action that depicts the colour.
  • Now perform your colour chant and ask all the children to weave in and outr of eah oher as they speak.
  • When a particular colour is called then ask the children who are part of that human colour ribbon to perform the action as they say their phrase from the chant.
  • Mix up the colours and the commands and add a new challenge - listening and responding to new/ slightly different information.