French Level 1, Activity 07: Révision et “avoir” / Review and "avoir" (Face-to-Face)

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Please Note: Many of our activities were created by upper-division students at Boise State University and serve as a foundation that our community of practice can build upon and refine. While they are polished, we welcome and encourage collaboration from language instructors to help modify grammar, syntax, and content where needed. Kindly contact with any suggestions and we will update the content in a timely manner. 

Review and "avoir" / Révision et "avoir"


In this activity, students will be practicing expressions using the verb avoir. Students will also use images to describe basic needs and things in their possession.

Semantic Topics

Avoir, expressions, possession, images, phrases


Avoir is an important word in many French phrases


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


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.

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.

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.

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 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. Hand each student a card with a blue “avoir expression” card. 

2. Then the instructor should hold up the different images of people one at a time.

3. The students should raise their hand when they think they have the “avoir” card that corresponds with the picture. If they’re right, they should use their avoir expression to describe the person.

For example:

  • The instructor holds up a picture of a sleeping baby.
  • The student should respond with: “l’enfant a sommeil”

Remettre à chaque étudiant une carte bleue contenant une “expression d'avoir”. Le prof doit montrer aux étudiants les images de personnes différentes, une à la fois. Les étudiants devront lever la main lorsqu’ils pensent avoir la carte “avoir” qui correspond à l’image. S’ils ont la bonne carte, ils devront utiliser leur “expression avoir” pour décrire la personne.

Par exemple:

  • Le prof montre une image d’un bébé qui dort.
  • Alors, l'étudiant devrait répondre en disant: “l’enfant a sommeil”

Main Activity

Students are going to practice using “avoir” phrases.

Les étudiants vont pratiquer comment utiliser les phrases contenant le verbe “avoir”. 

1. Have the “avoir” cards set in a stack on the table and have the other cards (with the pictures) laid out on the table for reference. 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.

Faites une pile avec les cartes “avoir” sur la table, et éparpiller les autres cartes (avec photo) sur la table pour référence. Selon la phrase “avoir”, les étudiants devront répondre d'une manière personnelle.

2. Choose an “avoir” card from the stack 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 (piochez 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 ?

3. 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.

Piochez 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.

4. 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 ...). 

5. 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 du singulier “tu”.


Ask the following questions to finish the activity: 

1. Quelle est ton expression “avoir” préférée ? (What is your favorite "avoir" expression?)

2. 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?)

3. Raconte-moi une petite histoire utilisant au moins 2 phrases “avoir.” (Tell me a little story using at least two "avoir" phrases.)

Cultural Notes

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.
  • Encourage students to be honest in their self-evaluation
  • Pay attention, and try to 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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