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Modern Languages - Shadow play and slavery

What it's all about

Lapin, Elephant, Cheval and Tigre compete to win the affection of Mademoiselle Christelle in a new French play for 7- to 11-year-olds.

Theatre Sans Frontieres brings the story of Les Aventures de Lapin to UK schools. The story explores folk tales from the French-speaking Caribbean. The rabbit, who is the underdog, represents the black slave who battles against the other, more powerful characters, symbolising white colonialists.

The show introduces pupils to French vocabulary for colours, fruits and animals in a musical performance with live action, puppetry and shadow play. Pupils will hear French language in context, while learning about issues of slavery (a topical subject for Black History Month in October).

A CD-ROM pack, including synopsis in French and English, music and lyrics, vocabulary and learning activities, is available for teachers who book to see the play which tours 24 September-16 November. For more information or to book, visit

What else?

French: an easy dice board game helps pupils to practise holiday vocabulary and sentence structure. The board is divided into sections, each with a statement or question. Pupils roll two dice to select their section. They gain one point for translating and another for responding to the statement or question in French.

Spanish: a "Light bulb game" tests memory recall. A set of 25 cards are printed and laminated; each has a topic printed on it, such as opinion phrases or things you might take on holiday. Place the cards face down on a table. Pupils pick one and in two minutes write as many words associated with its topic as they can.

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