Teaching House and Home

Whilst it may not be up there with my preferred topics of food, holidays, media and Christmas, house and home always makes its way on to a year 7 or year 10 course.  Here’s a few of my favourite activities.

Origami houses (massive thanks to Mrs Shepherd and Mrs Cotton on my teacher training course)

This is tricky but kids love it and there are plenty of youtube videos showing how to make morecomplicated ones.  Once you have the technique nailed you can produce it year in year out.

Try this.

  1. Get A4 sheet
  2. Hold it so it is landscape
  3. Fold it in half to make it like a birthday card.
  4. Fold in half to make it like a small birthday card but don’t press all the way down the fold, just make a crease
  5. Open out  6)
  6. Fold from edge into crease on both side and press down the fold.  At this point it should look like a wardrobe.
  7. This is the really tricky bit to explain.
  8. Where the tops of the wardrobe are you need to put your thumbs in and pull down on the paper.  It will make a triangular roof   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZioO5aeHhY   2mins 30 explains what I am aiming at here.
  9. Students are then free to decorate the outside and inside, label it in French/Spanish/German and you have some excellent display work or a good revision activity.

Luxury House

Independent learning is the order of the day.  After teaching the house topic, students have to produce an A3 brochure page for a luxury house.  One half must be the pictures and students can get these from magazines or the internet.  the other half has to be a description.  Put students in pairs.  You have of course the normal options here

  • Friendship pairings – often produces good results but naff results in other cases as they chat too much
  • Single -sex pairings – same as above
  • Mixed pairings – careful the brighter one does not do all the work.
  • Abiliity pairings – pair together students of similar ability

“I can’t help noticing I am considerably richer than you”

Based on the Harry Enfield sketch.  This is essentially the shops game.  Students try to out compete each other as to the features their house has.  This is great for practising plurals and numbers too.

Student 1: En mi casa hay un baño grande.

Student 2: En mi casa hay tres baños grandes, dos aseos and a partridge in a pear tree  etc…

Chocolate eclairs prepositions mini-plenary

I remember this lesson from when I was in school a long time ago.  Our teacher had taught us the prepositions but to test us, she had glued or placed a number of Cadburys chocolate eccairs in positions around the room.  Any one who could use it in a sentence got one.  The nature of toffee is that it keeps kids quiet for a while.  Genuis!  Make sure your most disruptive student is not lactose intolerant 😉


If you have seen the TV programme of the same name.  You will notice the hero’s ability to remember and remark upon every feature of a room.  Give students a picture and get them to do the same

12 days of House-mas

Great practice of rooms in house, phrases like il y a, numbers and plural endings.  Using the 12 days of Christmas as a model get students to describe a house.  Then get them to draw a floorplan of their partner’s house and label it accurately.

En mi casa hay doce …

En mi casa hay once ..

En mi casa hay nueve…

Before and after. 

Exactly what it says and there is not much of a leap between il y a and il y’avait or es gibt and es gab  Give students  two pictures of the same rooms and get them to comment on before and after.

Spot the difference

Again exactly what it says, try and find two pictures of a similar room on google.  Or compare a double and a single room from a hotel website

Famous houses

Essentially the same as the Sherlock activity above however you can recycle language previously taught by bringing in family vocabulary.

Dans ma maison au premier etage il y a la chambre de mes parents.  Mes parents s’appellent Robert et Carla.

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