Back-to-school ideas for MFL teachers

Heather Charles
24th August 2018
Different coloured speech bubbles reflecting French, Spanish and German lessons at secondary

Grammar displays, target language prompts and first lesson inspiration for teachers of French, Spanish and German

The start of the new academic year is a great opportunity to capitalise on students' energy and get them excited about languages. From setting out your routines and target language expectations, to refreshing knowledge of tenses, opinions and connectives, we've selected some of the best MFL resources to help you get your displays looking brand new and to make those first few lessons as engaging as possible.


Introduce the perfect tense using this clear-cut slideshow that includes both regular and irregular verbs. If you would rather dive into a more detailed presentation, try this two-lesson resource and get down to the nitty-gritty of Passé Composé. 

Looking to make your lessons more fun? Check out this murder mystery and this interactive board game to make learning grammar more engaging. 


PowerPoint slideshow that can be used to introduce or revise the Perfect tense (Passé Composé). Covers regular and irregular verbs, avoir and être verbs, and reflexive verbs.
By kesmfl

Intro to the perfect tense in French / passe compose

I have put two lessons worth of activities together here. I normally use these lessons with Y8/9 students who are seeing the past tense for the first time. I aim to explain how to form it to give them the freedom to be creative rather than teach set expressions.

The first lessons has slides on:
- starter to match up familiar and cognate infinitives
- list of phrases in present/past for students to identify and recognise patterns
-explanation of 3 parts of perfect tense (person or object, auxiliary verb, past participle) with animations
-links to YouTube videos to help with memorising avoir
-Whiteboard activities to practise writing short expressions eg. I played, he hid

The second lesson looks at irregular past participles:
-translation starter to recap last lesson
-table to complete with infinitives and past participles
-short phrases to practise as a class
-Connect 4 grid for pairwork
-Match-up exercise for recap of time phrases
-Translation exercise incorporating time phrases and past tense verbs.
-Possible extension to write own paragraph.
By batondecolle

French Perfect Tense Murder Mystery - (passé composé)

For pupils studying the Perfect Tense, this is a whole set of resources based on an exciting murder mystery. It includes, not only the murder mystery, but starter activities, two plenaries, extension documents, lesson plans etc. Pupils work in groups and compete against the other groups to solve the murder first. This set of resources was used for both Ofsted and internally reviews lessons which were rated as 'outstanding'. The objectives are: To enhance thinking skills in order to participate effectively in a team and reflect on learning. To consolidate prior knowledge of the past tense in order to further develop understanding and accuracy.
By cgazzal

Perfect Tense Board Game

2 versions of this board game:
Game 1 is all in the first person
Game 2 is a range of pronouns
Answers included.

Bright and attractive. Educational. Great for collaboration. A fun twist in revision.
Good extension task- why not print them off and stick them in a plastic wallet on the wall for pupils to come and play when finished main activity.

Minimal prep: If you forget to bring dice pupils can play with a coin: move forward 2 spaces for heads, 1 space for tails. They can use a tiny scrap of paper for a counter.

By Betsy Belle


Get learners acquainted with the perfect and imperfect tenses in German using a mneumonic from this thorough resource. If you prefer to introduce grammar in context, why not try these activities that urge students to use the perfect tense to talk about the weather?

Looking to make your lessons more fun? Check out this review game and choose from five translation activities. Alternatively, try out one of the games in this interactive presentation and ensure learners use das Perfekt across different contexts. 

German Perfect Tense Introduction

An introduction to the formation and correct word order of the perfect tense in German.
This technique is one I created myself (based on my childhood pet!) which works brilliantly with a wide-range of ages and abilities, particularly in ensuring that perfect tense sentences have the correct word order.
This resource contains:

  • a memorable pnemonic to remember the word order of perfect tense sentences
  • explanations of how to form regular past participles
  • examples of irregular past participles
  • an explanation and examples of the time, manner, place rule
  • a review of what is meant by a ‘subject’ of a sentence
By chrisferguson13

das Wetter -- Imperfekt und Perfekt / Weather in the past / imperfect tense

A Powerpoint to help pupils review previous vocabulary related to describing the weather in German plus introduction to saying the weather in various past tenses (imperfect and perfect tense). Plus, a short worksheet to help pupils identify the differences between the three tenses. Not intended to take up an entire lesson, feel free to add whatever suits you.
By mllemaki

German perfect tense translation game

This is a fast paced activity reviewing the perfect tense conjugation of German verbs. There are over 100 slides and five games to play. Slides give the English and pupils have ten seconds to find the German translation. The presentation is easily adaptable and can be used either as a whole lesson or as several short activities within a lesson. You can come back to it as often as you like. It helps pupils to perfect their translation of verbs in preparation for exams and helps boost confidence when speaking.
By Maryjane Bennett


Benefit from the discovery-learning tasks in this introductory presentation and familiarize your class with the perfect tenses in Spanish. To show how the tense is used in context, take a look at this bundle and help pupils improve their grammar as well as reading comprehension skills.  

Looking to make your lessons more fun? Check out these battleship games for a quick or a lengthy review of el pretérito perfecto compuesto.

Perfect Tense

Introduction of the perfect tense
By Nicciedge

Present Perfect Bundle - 2 Readings and 4 Worksheets!

2 Readings and 4 Worksheets!
present perfect indicative
present perfect subjunctive
past perfect
future perfect
By Nina Schmidt

Battleships - Perfect Tense

Game to practise perfect tense formation.
By Maria_Collado

Present Perfect Tense Spanish Battleship Board Game

Present Perfect Tense Spanish Battleship Board Game-Ernesto Clases Divertidas en Español

Try out my Present Perfect Tense Spanish Battleship Board Game.
How to Play It:
Battleship is a game for two players. Players try to guess the location of five ships their opponent has hidden on a grid.
Players take turns calling out a row and column, attempting to name a square containing their opponent’s ships. The goal is to sink all of your opponent’s ships by correctly guessing their location.
Each player gets a game sheet with two grids and five ships. There is one 5-length ship, one 4-length ship, two 3-length ships and one 2-length ship. Students secretly place their ships on the lower grid. Each ship must be placed horizontally or vertically (not diagonally) across grid spaces. Ships must not hang over the grid. Ships can touch each other but can’t be on the same space.
Players take turns firing a shot to attack enemy ships. On a turn, students will call out a letter and a number of a row and column on the grid. Their opponent checks that space on their lower grid, and says miss if there are no ships there, or hit if they guessed a space that contained a ship.

How to Score It:
If a student “hits” an opponent’s ship, their opponent must use the target language to perform the tasks on the spaces that they land on, whether it be answer a question or fill in the missing word. If the student doesn’t succeed he/she must take the hit. If the student is correct his/her ship is safe for that turn. His/her opponent must try to get a correct answer on a future turn. Try having students write the word for an extra challenge.
When a ship is hit, students will put a check mark on that ship on their lower grid at the location of the hit. Whenever a ship has all of its length spaces checked off they must announce to their opponent that he/she has sunk their ship. Students will mark their guesses on their upper grid, with an “X” for misses and a check mark for hits, to keep track. The first player to sink all of their opponent’s ships wins.
The ships are included on page 2.
An answer key and instructions are included on page 3.
All Spanish battleship games are formatted to be printed on legal size paper. However, you can use a pdf editor to take a snapshot of the game, paste it into a clean document, and then stretch or shrink it to any size you want.
Be sure to download our free “Accents & Dialects Battleship Board Game” English sample to try one out.
Look for this game in English on our website and take advantage of the lower prices you will find there.

By eslfungames

Contact us

Visit our forums

Latest education news

New to TES Resources ? Find out more about becoming an author on TES, or dive straight in and start downloading.