Saturday, October 29, 2016

Learning about France!

We just finished learning a bit about France! As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.

Our next FIAR book is Madeline. Here are the books we read:

  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (also available in Spanish)
  • Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Crictor by Tomi Ungerer
  • The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan (also available in Spanish)
  • Henri's Scissors by Jeanette Winters
  • Adèle & Simon by Barbara McClintock
  • Anatole by Eve Titus
  • Anatole and the Cat by Eve Titus

    (You may notice that the list is slightly different than the books on my plan because I wasn't able to find all my intended titles at the local library, so I subbed in some books that our library did have!)

    If you don't have time to read the entire list, we highly recommend Adèle & Simon. Not only do the pages have beautiful illustrations of real sites in Paris, but the kids loved searching the pages for Simon's lost items and got a kick out of finding Ms. Clavel and the girls from Madeline in one of the pictures!

    To go along with Madeline, I found some paper dolls! The kids really enjoyed playing with Madeline and Pepito! You can find the paper dolls here.

    We had fun finding France on the map.

    From our local library's story time, we had learned a song that is sung to the tune of Frère Jacques, so we sang it to practice some French:

    Good morning, good morning!
    How are you? How are you?
    Very well, I thank you.
    How about you? How about you?

    ¡Buenos días, buenos días!
    ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo estás?
    Muy bien, gracias. Muy bien, gracias.
    ¿Y usted? ¿Y usted?

    Bonjour, bonjour!
    Comment allez-vous? Comment allez-vous?
    Très bien, merci. Très bien, merci.
    Et vous? Et vous?

    The kids noticed that Nancy from the Fancy Nancy books uses a lot of French words, so we had to read some of those books also! (There are a lot of Fancy Nancy books also available in Spanish, where she is called Nancy la Elegante!)

    When we're able to, I like to include building with Legos or Duplos because it's the kids' favorite activity. So we made the Eiffel Tower with Duplos! We decided to use Duplos so that it would be a more accurate height for the little Lego guys. If you need some inspiration for the design, here the picture we used of the real Eiffel Tower and a Duplo Eiffel Tower. And here is our version:

    I also found a very simple clafoutis recipe to make with the kids! To make it gluten free, I used rice flour and it turned out great! And instead of strawberries and blackberries, I used frozen blueberries and canned peaches because that's what I had on hand. The kids loved making it and eating it!

    The clafoutis were such a hit, that I tried crepes! The kids really enjoyed the crepes, especially the blueberry-applesauce filling and powdered sugar on top!

    After reading The Iridescence of Birds, I showed the kids some Henri Matisse paintings (it was easy to find paintings through a quick Google images search, but just be aware that there are some nude I picked out a few ahead of time).

    Then the kids tried their hand at Matisse-style paintings!

    The morning after making our Matisse paintings, we walked in the library and saw a new book, Henri's Scissors, more about Matisse! And we learned about Matisse's paper cutting and collages, so we had to try our hand! Here are some samples of his collages, thanks to a quick Google images search:

    Juanito had a lot of fun cutting, but decided to use my cuttings for his collage instead.

    Rosie had a blast gluing!

    We did narrations for Crictor, and we looked up how to draw a green snake. Here is Juanito's:
    The bad guy broke into the apartment and Crictor for him and the police came. And the terrified screams woke the neighbors. One day the robber broke into her apartment and she was already tied and gagged in a chair when Crictor awoke and got him and the police came. And the robber screamed and woke the neighbors. The ladron was scared of snakes.

    And here is Rosie's:
    The niña is Bodot. A snake. The mami gives him a bottle of milk. He's sleeping in his bed, with his palm trees. Her got owies. The snake, he's mad, he's mad at the bad guy. He's mad. He's coming to the puerta to shut the door.

    Then we did narrations for Madeline, and we also looked up how to draw Madeline! Here is Juanito's:
    Había una vez, una casa cubierta de viñas y doce niñas en dos perfectas filas. Madeline no tiene miedo de los ratones. Madeline salta en la silla. Dios ayuda ella porque estaba enferma en el hospital. Estaba enferma en el apéndice. Las niñas visitan de dos a cuatro y todos traen una margarita en la mano. Ellos le gustan visitar Madeline porque tiene regalos de papá.

    And Rosie's:

    Madeline es una niña, not a boy. And she's sick. El doctor trae Madeline to the hospital. She's sick. She got out of her bed and she go to the hospital.

    To finish up the unit, we had our co-op! It was my chance to host again, and I had fun coming up with some activities based on our FIAR book, Madeline, and France. We started by making daisies, like the girls brought to Madeline while she was in the hospital! You can find the instructions here, and this is what ours looked like:

    Since practicing art techniques was so fun earlier after reading about Matisse, I thought we would try our hand at a technique that originated in France, , which was started by Georges Seurat. You can see a sample of his work below:

    Instead of using paint, I gave the kids markers (Crayola Color Wonder ones!) and this is what they created:

    We also had some fun snacks! First, from the Pink Tea blog, I got the idea of having snacks in the French flag's colors (blueberries, white cheese and strawberries) and lining them up for the kids to see the flag! And I got some croissants to eat with the cheese.

    And the kids were able to make little Madeline hats with vanilla wafers and icing! This idea came from the Still Playing School blog.

    We've had a great time learning about France! Next up, Colombia!

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
  • Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...