A-Z French literature-resources and bookshop

un sac  de billes, joffo

Purchase the resources described on the right and the webinar with booklet below

Sample material pdf available to the right

French literature, essays, summary

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Un sac de billes webinar and original resources

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About the novel

French literature, resources, essays,summary

Resources have been written with the needs of busy teachers in mind. They are available:

  • to download (online version)
  • to receive on CD with access to the online version also
  • to receive as a VLE version (moodle, firefox etc) with access to the online version also


View our pdf describing the contents of the new EXTRA version of the resources.

Download sample pdf

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Joseph Joffo decided to write this engaging story of  his wartime experiences as his children were growing up inorder to make them aware of the dangers they could conceivably face at some time in the future.  Looking over the shoulder of his young self, Jo, and brother Maurice the author combines engaging, amusing sequences of dialogue between the boys demonstrating their innoncent view of occurences with comment from the point of view of the wiser adult.

We share with Jo and Maurice the period in history between the imposition of the yellow star and the liberation.  Through the boys' experience we learn how a range of colourful people feel about the defeat of France, from the old royalist the comte de V. who drives them to the station in his carriage to a rabid right winger monsieur Mancelier who unwittingly shelters Jo.  What really shines through the whole account of the period is the primal urge for survival within the family;   the Joffo family has graduated from Russian persecution to being hunted down by French collaborationists and Nazis.

The fact that Joffo manages to make this book so human and so funny is what makes it stand out from the crowd:  there are plentiful books and films out there about the occupation but Un sac de billes has lessons to impart beyond encouraging people to be on the look out for persecution.

The novel is fairly long compared to other titles on the list but our resources including the full page by page vocabulary list and the complete summary mean that you don't necessarily have to cover every word in class.   Read the sample pdf for details of how all the resources fit together to make your teaching easier.   

French literature, summary, essays

French literature, resources, essays,summary

  • Full page by page vocabulary list (can be used on phone, tablet)
  • Detailed summary of text with verbs gapped (infinitives given)
  • Comprehensive questions on each chapter/scene
  • PowerPoint with visuals and sentence starters (not all texts)
  • Character study guide with wide range of adjectives

French literature, resources, essays,summary

  • Multi-tense practice tool
  • A-factor builds in practice of more complex structures
  • Direct-indirect speech exercise encourages reported speech

  • Matching quotations to themes to prepare for paragraphing
  • Essay planning guide including template
  • Essay plan and sample essay

French literature, essays, summary

Mark schemes are provided for:

  • the gapped summary
  • character guide
  • multi-tense exercise
  • A-factor
  • direct-indirect speech exercise
  • themes exercise

Answers are NOT given for the questions which are intended to elicit an individual response.

French literature, essays, summary                             

French literature, essays, summary

French literature, essays, summary

   Hodder A level study guide

French literature, summary, essays

BD version of the novel in 2 parts-2nd is considerably shortened