World Travelers: France

World Travelers: France
Grades K-5

My goal with this series is to bridge cultural gaps in children's literacy. The best part about it is that I learn a lot about the countries in the process, and even the parents get involved with asking questions. Sometimes I bring in a special guest or two that has lived or visited that specific country and they tell about their experiences and share items from there. The more this program develops, the better it gets!

Each child that attends gets a passport. I created a template to save ink, then filled in the space with the airplane and the quote with stamps. The inside pages are from this template, and each time a child comes to the program, they get a special stamp on the inside. If they "travel" to so many of the locations, they get a prize!

I found this snazzy playlist of French music on YouTube. It played in the background during the program.

Foreign exchange student, Anne Sophia, was kind enough to come in and talk about life in France. She provided a power point that everyone really enjoyed. The kids were especially interested in talking about the food! Since the last program, the kids have started opening up more and becoming involved in the presentation.

Each child received a page of questions and had to find the answers hidden around the room. Here are some random facts I used:
1. The name France comes from the Latin word Francia, which means 'country of the Franks.'

2. French is the second most studied language in the world after English.

3. The capital city is Paris. Other major cities include Marseilles, Lyon, Lille, and Nice-Cannes.

4. France is the most visited country in the world, with over 80 million visitors every year.

5. The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. The famous Mona Lisa painting is on display in this museum.

6. During World War II, allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in northern France. The first day of these landings is called D-Day.

7. The famous Eiffel Tower in Paris was built as the entrance point for the 1889 World Fair. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world.

8. France was the second country to host the modern Olympic Games in 1900 in Paris. Paris also hosted the games again in 1924. Three winter Olympics have been hosted in France.

9. The most famous road bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France, zig zags through the French landscape.

10. Louis Pasteur was a French scientist who made many discoveries in the fields of chemistry and microbiology.

Each station has a description of the history and uniqueness of the specific craft they are making. I also provide examples as well.

Cave Paintings
The Chauvet Cave and Lascaux are France's hubs for some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, between 20,000-36,000 years old! I had to incorporate the awesomeness of cave painting, so I got a cardboard box, wrinkled brown paper, and some crayons. My first version of the structure lasted about 5 minutes. So I reconstructed it and this is what I ended up with (along with some cave drawings I started them out with): 

Monet's Water Lilies
This was a great way to introduce impressionist painting. It allowed the kids the opportunity for open creativity and they really enjoyed learning about Monet and his method of painting. I also covered Degas a little bit while I explained the project.

Different shades of blue construction paper
Tissue paper
Scissors (although I would recommend ripping instead, to create that blurry Monet effect)

French Knitting
This was incredibly popular! I got the idea from BuzzMills. A lot of the parents asked me to print off the instructions so they could do it at home, too. Kids were wearing their creations throughout the library, it was great!

Toilet paper roll
4 Popsicle sticks
Some nifty tape

The French version of hop scotch! I just drew the game onto bulletin board paper so it was big enough to tape onto the ground.

How to play:
1. Decide which foot you will be hopping with. If you decide on your left foot, you must hop in and out each time on that foot.
2. Hop through the snail pattern
    a. Hop only once in each space. No player may touch a line when hopping.
3. In the center “home” space you may rest on both feet.
4. After resting, turn and hop back to the beginning. Repeat the pattern 1x.
5. After you have hopped in and out twice, choose one space for your “house”. Write your initials in this space. This becomes another rest space for you. No other player may hop into your house.

The game ends when it is impossible for anyone to hop into the center space or when all of the squares have initials in them. The player who “owns” the greatest number of squares wins.

Pretty simple. Just get the pom pom in the cup. This is a versatile game that has different versions of itself all around the world.

Whatever you wish to decorate the cups with
Something to puncture a hole in bottom of cups (since I had styrofoam, I just used a paperclip)

RECEPTION: Again, a very successful program! This was probably the biggest group I've had for this series thus far. I had lots of returning kids with their passports, and they became more involved with the speaker, too. The activities at this one were also a hit. 

After the presentation, Anne Sophia said she was really grateful to come and share about her country. The night before, I was thinking about what a great opportunity this could be for people who are far away from home. This has become a chance to not only bridge cultural gaps for children and their parents, but also for foreigners to share about their homelands while they're over here.  I could tell it meant a lot to her, and that expanded my entire perspective on this program. 

Check out my list of books related to France HERE.

Follow My France Board on Pinterest.

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