French attention grabbers are words or short sentences that get your students’ attention in the classroom because they’re easy to understand and remember.
A classroom management staple that will let you gain control of your classroom in a fun, playful manner.
And you know what’s better?
Kids love it!
French Attention Grabbers – List and Ideas
Here you will find a list of common French attention grabbers, or attention getters. You will also read some tips on how to use them in your classroom and how to come up with your own.
The “original” and its variations
Teacher: “Classe?” Students: “Oui!”
Teacher: “Classe, classe!” Students: “Oui! Oui!”
Teacher: “Claaaaaaaasse?” Students: “Ouiiiiiiii!”
In order to make sure students are really paying attention to you, vary the intonation and the “voice” and have them say their part just like you did. For example, use a robot voice or a monster voice, or just stretch some sounds (like the third example). That prevents them from repeating mechanically.
The “un, deux, trois” attention grabbers
Teacher: “1, 2, 3” Students: “4, 5, 6”
Teacher: “1, 2, 3, écoutez-moi!” Students: “4, 5, 6, écoutez-toi!”
Teacher: “1, 2, 3, regardez-moi!” Students: “4, 5, 6, regardez-toi!”
Teacher: “1, 2, 3” Students: “Les yeux sur toi!”
Teacher: “1, 2, 3, les yeux sur moi ” Students: “4, 5, 6, les yeux sur toi”
Teacher: “1, 2, 3…” Students: “On ne parle pas!”
The “gesturing” attention grabbers: teachers and students gesture as they say their lines
Teacher: “La main levée!” (teacher raises hand) Students: “La bouche fermée!” (kids can mime “zipping up” their lips, for example)
Teacher: “Les mains sur la tête!” Students: “Tout le monde arrête!” / “On arrête!” (kids place hands on top of their heads and stop doing whatever they’re doing)
Teacher: “La chute” / “La chute d’eau” / “La cascade” Students: “Shhhhhhh!” (kids wave their hand up and down like a waterfall)
You don’t even need to use your voice – you can just clap a beat. Students repeat the clapping. The idea is for teachers to vary the clapping beat and for students to repeat the beat correctly. In order to vary the routine, teachers can also snap their fingers or stomp their feet instead of clapping.
The “titles and famous lines from songs, books, movies, commercials, cartoons, etc” attention grabbers
From McDonald’s theme song
Teacher: “Ba, da, ba, ba” Students: “C’est ça que j’aime!”
From Toy Story
Teacher: “Vers l’infini…” Students: “…et au déla!”
From the all-time famous French children’s book
Teacher: “Le Petit…” Students: “…Prince!”
“Invent your own” French attention grabbers
You can turn pretty much anything into an attention grabber.
For instance, use famous nursery rhymes. You might even teach a nursery rhyme by using it first as an attention grabbers.
Teacher: “Frère…” Students: “…Jacques!”
When kids get used to it, expand it.
Teacher: “Frère Jacques” Students: “Dormez-vous?”
Use seasonal vocabulary and create a “beat”.
Teacher: “Prin…prin…prin…” Students: “…temps…temps…temps!” (you and the students might even clap while saying it)
Repeat this a couple of times, if necessary, to make sure you’ve got everybody’s attention. Then, say the word one last time:
Teacher: “Prin…” Students: “…temps!”
If you’ve got older students, just choose something that they are into.
Teacher: “Papa…” Students: “…outai”
Practice vocabulary: antonyms, synonyms, etc.
Teacher: “Bruit!” Students: “Silence…” (have students whisper the word slowly)
Make pop culture references.
Teacher: “Je m’appelle Bond…” Students: “James Bond!”
Last but not least, you could have your students create new attention grabbers after they understand the logic behind it. This would work particularly well with older students, like middle and high-schoolers.
And the list could go on and on! Let your imagination and your students’ interests guide you!
French Attention Grabbers – how to use them in your classroom
No matter which one you choose to use, the key is to make it very clear to students what you expect them to do: stop, reply, and pay attention to you.
When introducing attention grabbers in your classroom, train kids to respond to your statements. Be sure to practice a few times to make sure they’ve really got it.
If you find a call-and-response that works, keep using it. If you feel the effect is waning, change it up and introduce a new one.
The most important thing is for the students and you to have fun with these French attention grabbers.
That way, getting your students to listen will be as easy as “un, deux, trois”!
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Thank you for reading! Merci 🙂
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