Tuez la Tortue!

Tuez la tortue 1


It’s a good day when my students look like this during class!  We went super low-tech last week for our review of present tense verb conjugations with the best review game ever: Tuez la Tortue.

I wish I could take credit for this fun review game, but sadly, it’s not mine own idea!  My colleague Alison Burnette at Spain Park High School explained it to me.  She read about it on a blog somewhere.  But it’s still a GREAT game worth sharing!

Name of the Game: Tuez la Tortue (Kill the Turtle)

Object of the Game: Kill the other team’s turtle.

You may have noticed that this game might be just a little morbid… but stay with me. 

How to Play:  I give all the directions en français. 

Separate class into two teams (un, deux, un deux, un, deux…etc)

Explain that each team needs to create a team name (must be something Frenchy) and that each team needs to draw a turtle on the board.  The turtle has to have a head (une tête), a shell (une carapace), a tail (une queue), and 4 feet (4 pieds).  As I am explaining, I draw a model turtle on the board and explain that they can decorate their turtle however they want as long as it has those components.


-One person from each team comes to the board and races to answer the question correctly before the other team.  The student who answers correctly first gets to erase one body part from the other team’s turtle (hense “Tuez”).

-Your turtle has to be fully intact before you can erase any part of the other team’s turtle.  So if on the last turn your team lost, and your turtle lost its head, but you win the next round, you have to draw your turtle’s head back on.  Then the next member has to win the following round in order to be able to start erasing the other team’s turtle.

– Help is allowed, but only after 10 seconds (I’m the counter).  The person at the board has to actually walk back to his/her team where the team members can share any information.  It is illegal for team members to shout to the person at the board (or whisper, or mouth!).

 -Once a team as fully erased the other team’s turtle, there is a Tour de Résurrection where the losing team has  a chance to win the round and start drawing back its turtle’s body parts.

-The game only ends if the losing team loses the Tour de Résurrection.  I allow the winning team to draw  a skull and crossbones where the losing team’s turtle was and draw a crown on their own triumphant turtle.

I really like this game for lots of reasons.  The students get really into it and take major ownership of their Tortues.  They’re motivated to win a round because they know that winning means getting to erase the other team’s turtle’s head or getting to draw one back that was lost the previous round.

I love reinforcing body parts and classroom vocabulary (effacez, le tableau, etc).  And for students to be able to play the game correctly after having it all explained to them en français.  

Here's what the game looks like all set up.  You can see my model turtle, the team names, and the each team's turtle ready for battle.

Here’s what the game looks like all set up. You can see my model turtle, the team names, and the each team’s turtle ready for battle.


About madamedcash

French Teacher
This entry was posted in French, Teaching and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Tuez la Tortue!

  1. oriana says:

    Merci d’avoir partager ce fantastique jeu avec nous!

  2. Pingback: Vocabulary’s CODE | Teaching French with Technology

  3. Diana says:

    This whole page is what u written ??

    • madamedcash says:

      I wrote this page yes, but I didn’t come up with the game. My friend told me about it, and she read about it somewhere online. Do you know the original source of the game?

  4. sradelzer says:

    I think I’ll try this in my Spanish class. However, we have such large classes this year … so the students stay engaged even with only 2 competing at a time?

    • madamedcash says:

      I think you could play with 3 teams! Even if you play with 2, it moves pretty fast and the team members are looking up the answer, so that helps while it isn’t their turn.

  5. Carrie says:

    I have large Spanish classes and they loved it. I used small dry erase boards and had one student from each team stand back to back. I called out a word/phrase from a list I had prepared so the material would be varied. The first student to show their board with the words written correctly won the point. Also had a clipart picture of a simple turtle on the board for the students to use as a guide to draw before we got started. I also had all of the parts of the turtle in large print on brightly colored paper at the top of the board so they would learn some of the words we haven’t gotten to yet. Had Patas (4), cabeza, cuello, concha, boca, ojo, cola. Thanks! Am sharing this game with other FL teachers in my district this week.

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