Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Pétanque: A Lawn Game

Susan Johansen


This is a fun way for students to incorporate technology and outdoor activities to learn about an age-appropriate cultural activity. Students locate information about the origins and rules of play of the game "Pétanque" on the Internet. They then apply this information about a popular French game so that they can participate, for enjoyment, in a French leisure time activity.


The student participates in age-appropriate cultural activities (e.g., sports-related activities, music, television, and games).


-Enough Pétanque sets so that each student has 2 "boules." These game sets are also known as Bocci and Boules. See the Weblink-Pétanque America-for ordering and other information.
-A copy of the information sheet for each student. (See Associated File.)
-A copy of the activity log for each student. (See Associated File.)
-Computer access so that there is at least one computer for two students.
-Pencils or Pens


1. Run off enough copies of the Information Sheet and the Activity Log for each student in the class.
2. Reserve space in the computer lab.
3. Check to be sure that all of your students are cleared to use the Internet according to your school district’s policy.
4. Have enough of the Pétanque games available. In the “Links” section, you can find a place to purchase the game.
5. Reserve an outdoor location large enough for the students to play. We use the soccer practice field at our school.
6. Let the attendance office know where you are and leave a note on your classroom door as to your location.


1. Ask students if anyone in the class is athletic.

2. Hold up a “boule” (or one of the large balls) from the Pétanque game and ask if they know what it is. Let several of the students hold it and react to the unexpected weight of the "boule."

3. Tell the students they are going to learn about a very popular leisure time activity enjoyed by French people.

4. Tell the students they will use a worksheet to show the information they have found and understood from the Internet. (Be sure that the students are cleared for Internet access according to your school district’s policy.)

5. Tell the students that the completed information sheet is part of the assessment criteria and discuss it at this point.

6. Take the students to the computer lab.

7. Distribute blank information sheets to each student. Ask them to use the Internet to search for the information requested about the game of Pétanque. Remind them to give credit to their sources of information by listing each article’s author, title, web site and date. Suggest that they begin their search at:

8. Tell the students that they may play the virtual game of Pétanque when they complete the information sheet. It is located at Be advised that this site requires Shockwave.

9. Continue until all are satisfied with their Information Sheets.

10. Go over the information sheets and have the students self-correct as a large group activity.

11. Day 2: Outside! Divide the students into teams of 3 players. Students must choose a name for their team. Give each student 2 of the large, heavy "boules" which are thrown or rolled at the target.

12. Put two teams together to compete against each other. (There are 4 different games going on at one time in a class of 24.)

13. Each game has one of the smaller “cochonette” (means little pig in English!) playing pieces. This is about the size of a golf ball and is thrown first to become the target.

14. Students play the game according to the rules they researched and keep score on the game log.


Use the completed Information Sheet to formatively assess the student’s ability to locate information from the Internet and apply the concepts to the game of Pétanque. Circulate to offer assistance and corrective/positive feedback so that students are satisfied with their Activity Logs. (See Associated Files.)
The activity log will be used to assess participation in playing the game. It may also be used in an extension activity to make a chart or graph of score outcomes for each team. (See Associated File.)


Students make a chart or graph showing how the teams compare in their success or loss.
Students write an essay comparing and/or contrasting "Pétanque" to an American game.
The teacher, or students make simple drawings of the different steps of play. If the teacher puts these illustrations on overhead transparencies, essential vocabulary and the language necessary to play the game are easy to present to ESE and/or ESOL students. Laminate these illustrations on card tag paper and have ESE or ESOL students practice putting them in the correct sequence of play before actually playing the game.

Web Links

Requires Shockwave plug-in. Play Pétanque against Pierre in the garden of a French café!
Virtual Pétanque

Made in France, delivered throughout the Americas.

Students type questions in a blank to receive sites which might have an answer for them. To ensure that users only receive sexually explicit content when they ask for it and when they are 18 years of age or older, Ask Jeeves displays a warning page before presenting sexually explicit search results. In addition to alerting the user about the nature of the content, the warning also offers options for handling sexually explicit search results in the future.

Attached Files

INFORMATION SHEET     File Extension: pdf

INFORMATION SHEET KEY     File Extension: pdf

GAME LOG     File Extension: pdf

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