French Back to School Poem: “Je voulais dans mon cartable” (Video)

Author: Leyla

Learn “Je voulais dans mon cartable”, a famous French back to school poem + video of French girl Leyla. French poem + English translation

On my first day at my new school, not only did I meet my new French teacher, Monique, and all my new friends but I also learned a French poem.

I miss my summer vacations but I’m so happy to be learning new things at school…

French Back To School Poem

“Je voulais dans mon cartable” de Pierre RUAUD

Je voulais dans mon cartable
Emporter mes châteaux de sable,
Mon cerf-volant, des coquillages
Et le portique de la plage.

Maman m’a dit :”
Ce n’est pas permis
Et puis tout ça
Ça ne rentre pas !”

Alors j’ai pris un beau stylo,
Pour le goûter quelques gâteaux
Et que des choses raisonnables.
Plus trois petits grains de sable !

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French Back To School Poem Video

Here is the video my Mom made of me as I’m saying the poem in French. I’m six then.

My Mom is adding “everyday spoken French” regularly to YouTube – there are also a couple of other poems there as well.

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French Poem English Translation:

Je voulais dans mon cartable
I wanted in my schoolbag

Emporter mes châteaux de sable,
To take my sand castles,

Mon cerf-volant, des coquillages
My flying kite, some seashells,

Et le portique de la plage.
And the beach’s swing set

Maman m’a dit :
Mom told me:

“Ce n’est pas permis
“It’s not allowed

Et puis tout ça
And all this

Ça ne rentre pas !”
It won’t fit! “

Alors j’ai pris un beau stylo,
So I took a nice pen,

Pour le goûter, quelques gâteaux
For my afternoon snack, some cookies

Et que des choses raisonnables.
And only reasonable things.

Plus trois petits grains de sable !
Plus three little grains of sand! 

Bisous! :-)

More on this topic:

  1. The French School System ≠ American + Age reference
  2. – My thoughts, switching from an American to a French pre-school system

If you enjoy learning French in context, check out French Today’s downloadable French audiobooks: French Today’s bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided pronunciation. 

Author: Leyla


Hi, My name is Leyla and I'm Camille and Olivier's daughter. I'm 19 years old now, but I was born in the US and lived there till I was 4. I'm a bilingual child and I love speaking French AND English (my secret language here in France).

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