Sunday, 29 March 2009

Poissons d'avril (April Fool)

It is at this time of the year that my teachers all over the country start to trawl the TES resources website looking for April Fool’s resources. This, although not a bad thing, is very time consuming, so I decided to create a one stop poisson d’avril shop to help any of you struggling to find ideas for this week. There is no point reinventing the wheel now, is there? Below you will find a collection of ideas and resources which I have brought together to save you any work. If you do use any of the resources, please drop the authors a note to say “thank you” and tell your colleagues about them, too. Sharing resources is the keystone of a good department.
As you probably know, in France and parts of Canada (French speaking ones, I guess!) it is the custom for children to pin paper fish on people’s backs and call them “poisson d’avril”.
The history behind it is all explained here:
Or here if you want it in French:
Both give differing histories, so choose your favourite!
The poisson d’avril is, apparently, a mackerel. I found this quote explaining: The mackerel is called the poisson d'avril, “parce que les macquereaux se prennent et se mangent environ ce mois-la.” So now you know.
If you have a KS1 or 2 group of learners there are some excellent colouring fish here:,poisson-d_avril.html
Or even here:
If you do teach les petits there are lots of resources at not just fish related things.
Last year Jo Rhys-Jones (one of my teaching idols!) created this page for primary teachers
It’s great and has lots of links to excellent resources, which I haven’t replicated here. Just take a look.
For older learners I found a great lesson plan with resource links from a US site identifying the differences between the French and American April 1st traditions: It may not all be relevant to UK teachers but you could adapt it in minutes. I’m not sure who authored it, but the website editor is Susan Murphy and she can be found here:
If you have a very good GCSE class or an A-Level group you might want to use this article:
For those of you who just want to play a joke on your francofriends you can send e-cartes from these 2 sites, some of them come with animations and sounds.
Have fun and be careful, you may end up with a fish on your back!


Clare Seccombe said...

Great post, Dom!

Here are some things that I like, with a KS2 focus.

Cool poem -

Another cool poem which I'll be using with Y3 tomorrow -

And another poem!

I think you'll appreciate this Poisson d'avril tongue twister:

and this joke has the best poissons to make:


J Pooley said...

Thank you, I used this in 2 primary schools yesterday and the pupils loved it!

Dom said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad your students enjoyed themselves.