Five Starters

This week’s teaching tip has kindly been supplied by the MFL department and is the first in a four part series from them! The department have compiled a booklet of Starters and Plenaries, and although the examples are mainly in French, the ideas can be applied across various subjects, and they have kindly passed this on. Over the next few weeks, I am going to share a selection of these. Many thanks to the MFL department.


Five Starters


Starter 1  Find the odd one out


1.    Trousse, crayon, stylo, feutre

2.    Verte, bleu, brune, blanche

3.    Je mange, je bois, je joue, je regarde

4.    Angleterre, allemand, français, espagnol


There can, of course, be more than one correct answer, which allows pupils to give justifications for their choice of word.

(trousse, bleu, je bois, Angleterre)


Starter 2  Jumbled up letters  


1 dhun

2 zatek

3 musa

4 chinnkane

MFL: Bonus point for knowing gender and which letter should be a capital (eg der Hund)

Other subjects: Can they write a sentence with these words in?


Starter 3  Grouping words  


Give pupils a list of words and ask them to put them in groups.

Salon, frigo, douche, baignoire, salle de bains, garage, voiture, canapé, cuisinière, vélo, lit, armoire, télé, cuisine

MFL: Words could be grouped according to gender, rooms/furniture, appropriate places for each item etc.

OTHER SUBJECTS: Pupils can give justifications of the words that they group.


Starter 4

Give pupils a letter and they must find words beginning by that letter in various categories.   This could be played as “Stop the Bus – Arrêtez le bus! etc” where the team which gets all 5 categories first scores a point and each team  can score an extra point if the word they have found is unique. This encourages them to try to find more exotic words.


Eg C


Pays Animal couleur vêtement Fruit/légume
Chine cochon crème chaussette carotte


OTHER SUBJECT: Use this as an introduction to a topic / revision of a topic when considering key vocabulary that could be used.

Starter 5 Wordsearches

Useful to have on the desk to get learning started straight away. They are easy to produce as you can use a table in word. Why not get the pupils to write a sentence that incorporates the words they have found?