Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Introduction to France for Kids!

It's been over a decade since I was in Madame Dubois French class.  There are a few words I still remember, and a few songs too.  My French teacher sure loved her songs!  I decided I wanted to start teaching my son French, and of course they always say the younger you are the easier it is to learn.  So it was time to get working on it!  I sat down at my computer to hunt for a preschool lesson plan or some other basic introduction to French for kids.  Turns out its a lot more difficult to find a good comprehensive lesson than you might think!

French Flag craft

So I've spent the last few weeks putting together my own plan after digging through countless webpages and YouTube videos.  The next few blog posts will be detailing our "Introduction to French" week.  I wanted this week to give my son a broad overview of France, learn a few basic French words, and learn about French culture.  After this week, we'll continue with French lessons a few times a week incorporate French translations for words or themes were working on in the future.

So lets get started!

Where is France?

First off, the kids needed to know what and where France is.  We got out our handy dandy toy globe and located France.  It's hard to see in the picture but it had a cute little picture of the Eiffel tower to make it easy to spot.  If you don't have a globe, an Atlas or a map online will do just fine too!  This particular globe is great because it talks when you push on a country and can give the kids neat little facts about each one.  

I pointed out where we are in the United States and how we would have to travel across the ocean to get to France.  I talked about how France is the largest country in Europe and briefly mentioned its neighboring countries.  I also told him how Paris is the capitol of France.  If you are using a more detailed map, you can point out some of the other major cities in France and also mountains, rivers, etc.  You could also print out a map of France and label all of those things.

The French Flag

Next we created a French flag.  This turned out to be a great activity, especially since we so recently did the American flag craft for the Fourth of July.  To make one flag all you need is a glue stick, a sheet of white construction paper and third of a sheet each of blue and red construction paper.  I went ahead and made three flags, one for each kid and myself and we have them proudly hanging in our kitchen for our French week!

I did a quick Google search to find out some facts about the French flag to share with the kids.  We also compared the French flag to the American flag.  Pointing out the similarities and differences.

This flag is so easy to make that even a 2 year old can do it!  And as you can see she was pretty eager to steal the glue and do it herself!

Here you can see the flags hanging in the background around our weekly schedule board.  While we were talking about France and Paris, we also discussed some of the popular landmarks around Paris including the Eiffel tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, and the Louvre.  And to make it fun, the kids built a miniature Eiffel tower out of blocks!

If my printer was working, I'd have printed off some of the coloring/activity pages from:  http://www.coloring.ws/france.htm.  There is a flag page that kids can color in if you don't have construction paper handy.  And there's also a map of Europe and France that would be great to use.

Check out Day Two of our France week.  Learning about Colors, Art, and Food in France.

Check out Day Three of France week:  Learning about the Weather and Counting from 1-10 in French.

All of our favorite songs and videos from French week.

See how we wrapped up French week (or would have liked to) and some more tastes of French cuisine.

Au revoir!

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