French Level 1, Activity 07: “Avoir” / “To have” (Online)

Image shows a text box with "Avoir," the French verb for "to have"
Description: In this activity, students will review the verb “avoir” by going through flashcards and discussing things in their possession.
Semantic Topics: Avoir, possessions, flashcards, verbs, “to have”

Products: “Avoir” is an important word in many French phrases

Practices: To express hunger, to express fear, to express possession, etc.

Perspectives: As an important building block of language, “Avoir” is central to preserving French grammatical structures and is used daily by most Francophones.

  • Since “Avoir” is such an essential word to the French language, what do you think that says about the value of ownership, or “having,” in French society?

NCSSFL-ACTFL World-Readiness Standards:

  • Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations or correspondence in French to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret spoken and written French on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas in French to an audience of listeners or readers.

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.
  • COMM 3.1: Present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media in the target language.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements: 

  • I can use common phrases about my basic needs.
  • I can talk about things in my possession.
  • I can understand the cultural differences that are apparent in common phrases.

Materials Needed:

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1. Begin by introducing the Can-Dos for today’s activity.


2. Using the phrases on the presentation, go to the “Avoir Cards” and have students try to guess the phrase based on the image.
For example: Picture of a sleeping cat, “la chat a sommeil”

À l’aide des phrases de la présentation, accédez aux fiches-éclair et demandez aux élèves d’essayer de deviner la phrase en fonction de l’image.
Par exemple: Image d’une chat qui dort “la chat a sommeil”

Main Activity

Students are going to practice using “avoir” phrases. Go through the Canva Avoir cards. The word cards are first, and the picture cards are second. If the students cannot think of something, help them by suggesting one of the picture cards. Depending on the “avoir” phrase, the students will give their own response which will vary depending on the person.

Les étudiants devront pratiquer comment utiliser les phrases contenant le verbe “avoir”.  Regarder à travers les cartes Canva Avoir. Les cartes de mots sont les premières et les cartes d’image sont les deuxièmes. Selon la phrase “avoir”, les étudiants devront répondre de manière personnelle.


1. Choose an “avoir” card from Canva and say it out loud. Give the students an example. After, have them go around and respond to the example as practice.

Je vais choisir une carte “avoir” et vous allez compléter la phrase avec votre propre réponse. Par exemple (piocher une carte et lisez-la à voix haute) “avoir… ans”— je dirais “j’ai 22 ans.” Nous allons continuer autour du cercle jusqu’à ce que tout le monde ait participé. Vous êtes prêts ?


2. Pick another card and continue doing the same thing until you have gone through all of them. There are cards with images and vocabulary to help students if they need it. If they need help with how to say something else then you can tell them. They do not have to use vocabulary from the cards, as they are just ideas.

Pigez une autre carte et continuez l’activité jusqu’à ce que vous ayez lu toutes les cartes “avoir”. Si besoin, il y a des cartes avec des images ou des mots afin d’aider les étudiants. S’ils ont besoin d’aide supplémentaire afin de dire autre chose, vous pouvez les aider. Ils n’ont pas besoin d’utiliser les cartes, ces dernières étant seulement des idées.


3. It is important to have the students practice using “avoir” with the other subjects too (il/elle/tu). So, have the students repeat what their neighbor said (il/elle a …).

Il est important que les étudiants pratiquent l’utilisation du verbe “avoir” avec d’autres pronoms personnels (il/elle/tu). Par conséquent, faites-leur pratiquer ce que leur voisin a dit (il/elle a …). 


4. After, have the students talk in pairs so they can practice using the “tu” form.

Ensuite, en équipe de deux, faites pratiquer les étudiants à utiliser la 2e personne “tu”.


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

  • Quelle est ton expression “avoir” préférée ?
    • What is your favorite “avoir” expression?
  • Lesquelles sont les plus utiles ou les moins utiles à ton avis ?
    • Which ones are the most useful or the least useful in your opinion?
  • Raconte-moi une petite histoire utilisant au moins 2 phrases “avoir.”
    • Tell me a little story using at least 2 “avoir” phrases.


For anglophones learning French, there are many “faux amis” with expressions that use avoir. In English, some of our most common expressions use the verb “to be” – e.g. I am cold, I am hungry – in French, these expressions are used with avoir. If directly translated and we use être  in place of avoir these expressions can take on an entirely different meaning.

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 common phrases about my basic needs.
  • I can talk about things in my possession.
  • I can understand the cultural differences that are apparent in common phrases.

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Let's Chat! French Copyright © 2022 by Alexandre Bourque-Labbé; 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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