In this post, I link to a video explanation of how to create a simple macro that will enable you or your pupils to play around with parallel texts to practise translating to and from English. Although the example worked through below uses A-level Standard text, you can adapt the idea to any other much simpler text for younger pupils.
Having read some posts about using parallel / bilingual texts on the MFL Resources forum (Yahoo), I found this site http://www.bilingual-texts.com/library/. There are a number of bilingual texts in numerous languages taken from well known novels.
To make working with this into more of an interactive exercise, I placed a selection of the text into Word.
I then recorded a macro that would enable me to remove all of the vowels in turn in either the French or the English part of the text.
The video of how to do this is here. Right click on the link and open in a new browser window or right click and choose 'Save as' to download to your computer.
You can then add any macro you have created to your toolbar to make running the macro a quick and easy task to do. This video shows you how.
The beauty of this idea in class is that by using the ctrl+z and ctrly+y keys you can instantly toggle between putting the letters back in or removing them again.You can apply the macro to small sections of the text at a time as well, rather than to the whole text.
You could ask pupils to work in pairs/groups to try and read out the correct English or French version using the skeleton as a prompt.
A variant would be to use a video/sound file as a prompt (say in French) and the English version of the translation as a skeleton text.
Another idea might be to use a text that has a lot of connectives in it. Run your macro to find/replace all the connectives and ask pupils to suggest what connectives might be missing. A simple use of the ctrl+z key would then gradually reveal those connectives.
If you are interested in working with Macros and Word yourself you might also be interested in some software I have mentioned before called Teacher's Pet. This plug in for Word enables you to select from a huge range of pre-recorded Macros. I posted an article on this site some while back that you can access here. There is a code on the page which will get you 10% off the asking price should you wish to use it.