In October, our monthly Geography Club studied the country of France! We had a great time reading books and doing projects over France. Here are the plans that I followed for this group.
Talk about France — introduction, flag (I showed a picture of the flag and talked about the colors on the flag).
Continent: Europe – find it on globe and map.
Show picture of Eiffel Tower. Talk about Eiffel Tower. (Eiffel Tower fun facts page)
Read “Tricky Vic” by Greg Pizzoli. The kids in my group really enjoyed this book and my own 6 year old asked me to check it out for him!
Have an “Eiffel Tower building contest. I split the kids into groups and gave each group a bunch of straws and duct tape. Their job was to construct the best Eiffel Tower they could with the materials they were given in the time I gave them. This resulted in some very interesting creations!
Fun expressions: (French like to express their thoughts with gestures – we had a lot of fun doing these together)
- ´very good´ (il est delicieux) : touch your fingers and thumb all together, kiss your fingertips, and then open your hand, as if tossing something in the air.
- ´Í have finished´ (c´est fini) : cross your arms in front of your body, with your palms out, then move them out, while saying, “C’est fini.”
- ´I promise it´(je le jure): place your hand on top of your head
Sing/Teach Frere Jacques:
(We tried this song several times and even tried it in a round. I was quite impressed with how well it went!)
Frère Jacques (Frère Jacques)
Dormez vous? (Dormez vous?)
Sonnez les matines, (Sonnez les matines)
Din, din, don! (Din, din, don!)
Are you sleeping,
Are you sleeping?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding ding dong,
Ding ding dong.
Read “Look What Came From France” by Miles Harvey
French Food (I printed off pictures of each of these and showed the pictures while talking about the food.)
- Baguette: long bread stick
- Croque Monsieur/Croque Madame: ham and cheese grilled sandwich while Croque Madame is the more heavy version with ham, cheese and a fried egg on top
- Escargots: snails
- Foie Gras: Goose liver pate
- Ratatouille: vegetable stew
- Pain au chocolat: similar to a croissant filled with chocolate
- Crepes: French very thin pancakes with filling
Swap by Numbers Players are seated on chairs in a circle. One player remains standing in the center. The standing player picks a seated player and begins to count off. The players must remember their numbers from that point. The standing player is blindfolded and calls out 2 numbers and those players change seats very quietly. The blindfolded player tries to get one of the seats before it is filled. If the player gets a seat, the number comes with it. The displaced player is blindfolded and the game continues. (It took a few rounds of trial and error to get this game right. My best advice for this is to make sure that your circle is large and the kids are not sitting too close to one another.)
Art is very big in France! They have the Louvre (show picture of the Louvre) which contains many famous items, including the famous painting of The Mona Lisa. (show picture)
Do a painting craft. Have the kids use watercolors to paint a famous painting. Play French music while they work.
Snack: Cheese and crackers? Quiche? Anything French . . . .
Additional Activities Kids Can Do On Their Own:
Make your own model of the Eiffel Tower using your preferred media (try legos, blocks, straws, food, etc).
Make a poster of the artists who have works in the Louvre in Paris.
Make your own flag of France.
Make chocolate Truffles. Find a recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-truffles-recipe.html
Try to make your own painting in the style of one of the famous French artists.
Research and make your own French meal. Find some recipes here: http://www.kidspot.com.au/kitchen/recipes/collection/french-recipes
Research the Tour de France! Decorate your bicycle and take it for a ride around the neighborhood.
Try to make your own cheese. Find instructions here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Basic-Steps-of-How-to-Make-Cheese/