Dimoitou Chez Nous French Take-Home Activity - Grade 1 | Toronto Teacher Mom

Dimoitou Chez Nous French Take-Home Activity - Grade 1

Thursday, January 22, 2015

For my grade 1 French class, we have a program called Dimoitou. If you went to school here in Toronto, there's a chance you may even remember the main character, a green, lanky puppet that is always an instant hit with the little ones. Sometimes, I will pick a student of the day to take care of Dimoitou during class but I thought it would be great to let them take Dimoitou home as incentive to practice their French. I got the idea from when my daughter was in nursery school and they had a similar take-home teddy. Only I call this Dimoitou chez nous!  Given that this full-size Dimoitou puppet is our only one and they are no longer in stock, I decided to make my own Dimoitou hand puppets out of felt. They were fairly easy to make once I created the initial design and didn't talk all that long to stitch together.

Then I created a cover page to be glued onto a primary notebook and coloured it in. (Tip: I 'laminated' it using packing tape!) This was our classroom journal where the students would draw a picture of what they did with Dimoitou. For example, did they sing a song, read a book or play with Dimoitou? While they weren't required to write anything down, I did include a language card to help them get started with a greeting, an introduction and a series of sentences au passé composé that they could copy if they wanted to. (Tip: I printed this on card stock to make it a little more durable.) Many of them chose to do so, some parents helped them write their own sentences and some wrote as little as, Bonjour! There were a couple of students who didn't have to time to finish their drawings or journal entries at home so I gave them time in class the next day to finish, especially since they really wanted to contribute. Students were also delighted to have me read their journal entries and share their drawings with the class. 

On the inside front cover of the journal, I included a note to parents explaining a little about the Dimoitou take-home program and that it was completely optional. The goal was merely to have students engage with the puppet and practice what they have learned in French outside of the classroom. On the inside back cover, I glued a class list and kept track of those who had their turn. I placed the journal, the language card and the Dimoitou puppet inside a large zipper bag for storage and included a sharpened pencil, a pack of pencil crayons and a beginner book from our levelled readers collection. The one in the photo above has a lot of repetition and vocabulary already covered in class. It also tied in well with my French rendition of a popular Wiggles song, Salade de fruits!

On the whole, I found the Dimoitou chez nous program to be a really well received by the kids. They loved the responsibility of taking care of Dimoitou and they took ownership of their work with such pride. Now that all of my grade 1 students (and the senior kindergarten students in my SK/1 class!) each have had a turn, I am going to look into making seasonal clothing out of felt for each of the puppets and creating a language card based on the clothing theme. Wish me luck!

Want to make your own Dimoitou hand puppet? Check out my free Dimoitou Hand Puppet Template that you can download and print. 

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  1. I've never heard of Dimoitou, looks like fun lessons for the kiddos!

  2. Sounds like a fun way for them to learn! Good luck on the clothes :) (Judy Cowan)

  3. My daughter is learning french now and seems to enjoy it.. I have never heard of Dimoitou

  4. This sounds like an innovative way to get the kids more interested and active in their learning of another language. Great idea!

  5. Thats nice, it looks like a fun way to learn French

  6. That's a good idea, to have kids try to interact and use French outside of the classroom. Never had Dimoitou when I was in school, but I think it's a great idea.

  7. If this gets children to speak French outside of classroom settings, it's great!

  8. how can i get a copy of dimoitou pedagogical guide?

    1. For some reason, I was under the impression that there aren't anymore in stock but I found several of the guides (in French and in English) on the CEC site that are apparently in stock: Dimoitou. Hope that helps!

  9. Hi Diana,
    Thanks for sharing this great idea! I'm just finishing up my education degree and have begun to sub in various elementary classrooms. Though I did my practicum in a grade 1/2 class and my district does not begin teaching core french until grade 5, I would love to have the chance to one day implement something like this in my classroom. I've seen the idea of a take-home class "pet" or teddy in English, but did not think to try it in French. I like your idea of attaching a basic vocabulary sheet, as this will help not only the students, but their parents as well, who may have otherwise struggled with trying to help their children with this French activity. I also feel like this is an activity that can be adapted for other grade levels and other French competency levels. For older students, or students with more experience, the vocabulary sheets could be more advanced, or the students could create their own to correspond with the activities they did with the class buddy. The other students could have a copy of the vocabulary sheet and learn from the student presenting.


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