Good luck!

On the 1st of May in France, people offer each other stems of lilly of the valley "le muguet" as a token of good luck and happiness.What a brilliant way to start this "stressful" month for some of our young language learners.I think this could be used in all languages and the connecton with French culture and tradition can be explored by all the children regardless which target language you then use for the activity.

  • Share with the children a stem of lilly of the valley or show a picture of the flower.
  • Explain that the flower has a beautiful strong scent which can last a long time.You may be able to bring in something with this  the scent.
  • Explain to the children that on 1st May it is tradition in France to give friends a stem or bunch of  "le muguet" as a symbol of happiness and to wish the other person "good luck" for the year.
  • Link the long lasting scent and the symobolic gesture together and ask the children to consider how the pretty flower , the scent and the symbol could make a great token to give to other people in the class or school at the start of May as they begin to take their tests and SATs etcetra this month. 
  • Ask each child to draw a stem for the flower on white paper and to add at least six or seven circles for the buds/ flowers.


  • Using bilingual dictionaries ,ask the children to write first in English on white boards or draft paper six or seven words  they associate with "happiness" e.g nouns - such as smiles/ laughter/ sunshine/holidays etcetra or adjectives like jolly , warm, peaceful etcetra and verbs like to laugh.....
  • In the centre of each circle the children should put the first or last letter of one of each of these words (possibly alphabetically as the buds progress up the page).On right hand side of stem these would be the first letter of the word and on the left hand side of the stem these would be the final letters.
  • The children need to glue the sketch on to a coloured piece of paper (preferably green) and make sure there is room at the top to write a "good luck" message and to draw a thought bubble ( big enough to draw symbols inside).At the bottom  of the page there needs  to be room to  add the six or seven words- nouns, adjectives and verbs- they have found.
  • At the bottom of the page they need to write out their happy words that they have found in the dictionary.
  • Now they can hand their sketch to a partner.


  • The partner has to look up the words in the dictionary and then cut out each of the words and stick the word next to the correct bud that begins with the first letter of the word t or next to the last letter of the word, when they find the meaning of the word. 
  • Finally in the thought bubble they should draw symbols to represent the "happy" words so that they can visualise these when they need support during the month of May.
  • Now the children have a good luck token to keep in their books and pictures that they can think of when they need that extra support or boost......