🟰French Level 1, Activity 04: Les mots apparentés / Identifying Cognates (Face-to-Face)

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Description: In this activity, students will be identifying French cognates in a French magazine article. They will also have the opportunity to practice their comprehension of cognates with bingo.
Semantic Topics: cognates, bingo, magazine, les mots apparentés, individual words, mots individus

Products: Cognates, les mots apparentés

Practices: Used when learning a new language, les mots apparentés can aid in comprehension

Perspectives: Cognates are sometimes used to study the origins of words. How can cognates help us to better understand other languages?

NCSSFL-ACTFL World-Readiness Standards:

  • Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken French on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures of the francophone world.

Idaho State Content Standards: 

  • COMM 1.1: Interact and negotiate meaning (spoken, signed, written conversation) to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.
  • COMM 2.1: Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • CLTR 1.1: Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture.
  • CLTR 1.2: Explain the relationship between cultural practices/behaviors and the perspectives that represent the target culture’s view of the world.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can use French/English cognates to help improve my understanding in unfamiliar situations.
  • I can identify common false cognates to avoid misunderstandings.
  • I can comprehend the overall topic of an article in a French magazine.

Materials Needed:

Would you like make changes to the materials?

  • To add more words or make changes to this set of bingo cards go to mfbc.us/e/hm58zw


1. Begin by introducing the Can-Dos for today’s activity and distributing a white board marker and a laminated French magazine article to each student.

Aujourd’hui, nous allons parler des mots apparentés. (Today we are going to talk about cognates.)


2. Ask your students if they know what a cognate is.

Qu’est-ce qu’un mot apparenté ? (What is a cognate?)


3. Then, explain what a cognate is.

Un mot apparenté est un mot qui est similaire en Français et en Anglais. Par exemple, le mot “moderne” en Français est “modern” en Anglais. En plus, le mot “romantique” en Français est “romantic” en Anglais. “Modern” et “romantique” sont les mots apparentés. (A cognate is a word that sounds very similar in English and French. For example, the word “moderne” in French is “modern” in English. Also, the word “romantique” in French is “romantic” in English. Moderne and romantique are cognates.)


4. After, explain that they are also false cognates.

De plus, il y a des “faux amis” en Français. Par exemple, “collège” ne signifie pas “college” en anglais. Ça veut dire “middle school.” C’est un “faux ami,” et non un mot apparenté. (Also, there are false cognates in French. For example, “collège” does not mean “college.” It means “middle school”! It is a false friend, or false cognate.)


5. Now pass out one magazine article to each student.

Maintenant, tout le monde va prendre cinq minutes pour souligner les mots apparentés dans son article et puis on va les partager avec le groupe. (Now, everyone will take 5 minutes to underline the cognates in their article and then we will share with the group.)


6. After, have the students share aloud the cognates that they underlined. Check to make sure the words are indeed cognates. Correct students if needed.

Main Activity

1. Pass out a Cognate Bingo Card and some bingo chips to each student.

Maintenant, nous allons jouer au Bingo ! (Now, we are going to play Bingo!)


2.  Tell your students:

Je vais vous dire un mot apparenté en Français et vous allez le trouver en Anglais sur votre carte. Par exemple, si je vous dis le mot “romantique,” vous aller chercher le mot “romantic” sur votre carte. La première personne qui complète une ligne va gagner ! (I am going to say a cognate in French and you are going to find it in English on your card. For example, if I say the word “romantique,” you are going to search for the word “romantic” on your card. The first person to complete a line wins!)


Ask some of the following question(s) to finish the activity:

  • Quel est votre mot apparenté préféré ? (What is your favorite cognate?)
  • À votre avis, pensez-vous qu’il y a beaucoup de mots apparentés en Français ? (In your opinion, do you think that there are a lot of cognates in French ?)
  • Quels sont d’autres exemples des mots apparentés que vous connaissez? (What are some other examples of cognates?)

End of Activity: 

  • Can-Do statement check-in… “Where are we?”
  • Read can-do statements and have students evaluate their confidence with cards.
  • Encourage students to be honest in their self evaluation
  • Pay attention and use feedback for future activities!

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements: 

  • I can use French/English cognates to help improve my understanding in unfamiliar situations.
  • I can identify common false cognates to avoid misunderstandings.
  • I can comprehend the overall topic of an article in a French magazine.

Cultural Resources

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Let's Chat! French Copyright © 2022 by Alexandre Bourque-Labbé; Amber Hoye; Antoine Abjean; Cassy Ponga; Emily Blackburn; Jasmine Wall; Jorge Corea; Josepha Sowanou; Justin Snyder; Lily Nelson; Manon Pretesesille; Michael Quiblier; Mimi Fahnstrom; Olivier Roy; Rylie Wieseler; Samantha Lind; Sharon Westbrook; and Tori Fisher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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