I have compiled all of the assignments for French here so that if you need to make up any assignments you can access, choose, and complete whichever projects you choose:
Week of March 23
Life has changed so much since we have moved our offices and classrooms into our homes. One thing that probably hasn’t changed drastically is the daily rituals we have around our meals.
Food is an important part of human life and there are thousands of words dedicated to name different foods, meals, and ways to cook. “Cuisine” is the French word for cooking; the French take great pride in their cuisine. Many of the words used to describe cooking techniques come from the French language!
We are going to continue with our exploration of French food words by taking a look at common foods and the standard meals of the day.
Today, please look over the names of the meals of the day, then look over the photos that show various food items and dishes.
Breakfast: le petit déjeuner
Lunch: le déjeuner
Dinner: le dîner
Throughout the day, write down the French names of each of the meals you enjoy and write down the French name of any foods you find on the pages I’ve posted below.
Week of March 30
Happy April Fool’s Day!
For hundreds of years, the French have celebrated the first day of April by playing jokes on one another – just like our own April Fool’s pranks! In France, the traditional prank played by school children is to tape a paper fish to their friends’ or family members’ backs without being detected. When the prank is discovered, the person who stuck the fish there exclaims “Poisson d’avril!” (pronounced: pwah-sohn dah-vreel) which translates to “April fish!” The origins of this tradition aren’t known and there are several theories about how it began. Frenchtogether.com lists a few theories on the holiday’s origin:
One theory that I’ve always heard involves a calendar change. In 1564, King Charles IX switched France from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which meant the new year started several months before it would have under the old calendar. Some people thought it would be funny to wish each other “Happy New Year” and exchange silly presents on the old New Year’s Day – April 1. As the years went by, the new calendar became the norm, but April 1 was forever associated with a sort of world-turned-upside-down quality.
Unfortunately, although this theory is widely known, it turns out that it can’t be the reason for April 1’s reputation in France and elsewhere, as this very intelligent article points out. After all, as author Alex Boese reveals, in addition to some disparities about the differences between the two calendars, April 1 as day of practical jokes and mischief seems to be a very old custom that predates the calendar change. Boese gives compelling examples of this, including a mention of the day in a 1508 poem by Eloy d’Amerval.
Okay, so what’s the deal with the fish?
Some theories say that April was a bad month for fishing, or a time (depending on the era) when fishing was forbidden, since newly spawned fish had to grow. So, to serve fish to eat in April was impossible – claiming to see or eat one could only be a joke. According to this site, some April 1 fans even took things a little bit farther, by throwing dried herrings into streams or rivers and crying out, “Poisson d’avril!”
Other historians suggest that there might be a tie with the practice of carnaval and its connections with fisherman. For example, to this day, the Dunkerque Carnaval starts with dried herrings (luckily wrapped in plastic) being thrown from the windows of City Hall into the festive crowd gathered below. Still, this theory seems off to me, since Carnaval happens in February, not April. Then again, I know many people from Dunkerque and if they could, they’d (understandably) celebrate Carnaval year-round….
Hopefully, you were able to draw and cut out several paper fish yesterday (if not just draw, color and cut out one paper fish for each person who lives at your house). Today, you get to celebrate April 1 like the French. Each person in your house should write their name on the blank side of a fish and attach a short strip of tape (as long as it’s sticky enough to stay on someone’s shirt – it doesn’t matter what kind of tape). Then, the goal is to stick your fish to someone’s back in a way that they don’t notice. Now, if anyone in your house is a particularly ambitious prankster, they can make extra paper fish and try to stick one on everyone at your house! Just make sure that every fish has a name on it to identify the prankster. Don’t forget to yell “Poisson d’avril” when your prank is discovered.
Traditional Poisson d’avril postcard – SO SILLY!
Week of April 6 (Spring Break – no assignments)
Week of April 13
This week, we will be revisiting our colors and their names in French.
First, please start by watching a classroom favorite – Arc en Ciel, a song about colors (and a crazy guy with a wooden head!):
After you’ve sung our song, look over this page of color tags:
Some of our color names in French look A LOT like our color names in English, huh? Which names look most familiar? Pronounce each color name out loud.
If you need a reminder of pronunciation, this video is helpful:
The video left out gray and violet though! In French, violet is pronounced vee-oh-leh. The French word for gray – gris – is pronounced ghree . French R sounds kind of breathy like an R and an H got mixed up in a blender; the sound is made at the back of the mouth. If you have problems with the French R, just try to pronounce it a littlesoftly, Americans pronounce our Rs almost like a growl.
If you can, print out the page of color tags (if you only have a black and white printer, it should still be fine – you could trace the color names with the correct color of marker or crayon) or write out the French color names. Cut the page so that you have eleven color tags. Add tape to the back of the tags (if you have some). Now go around your home and find colorful objects and label them with your tags. Take photos of some of your favorite finds. What is your FAVORITE color? Be sure to find at least three objects around your house that are your favorite color.
Parents/guardians: to help reinforce the French-English connection, it is helpful to leave labels around the house so that your student can see them over the course of day to day activities. Even stronger associations form with more objects labeled, so feel free to make more than one sheet of color labels and let your child(ren) label several objects around your house of each color (or just one room if you like to avoid clutter – please feel free to adjust this activity however is best for your home environment during this stay-at-home period) .
I would love to see photos of some of the objects your kids find and label! Please email any photos you’d like to share to:
Week of April 27
It’s time for number review!!!
First year French students (PreK – 1st) have learned their numbers in French from 0-20 and have been exposed to the the tens numbers up to fifty. Second year students have learned to count to fifty and have been exposed to the numbers up to 100.
First, review the numbers with your student according to their exposure level with the song videos below:
After you’ve reviewed the songs, and your student is comfortable and confident, record a video of them counting to the best of their ability. If you want to record two. Ideas and send me your child’s best “take” – that’s fine.
I am not looking for perfection. If your child counts to two – that’s fine! If your kid wants to sing their way to 100 – that’s great! Anything in between those two achievements is a wonderful achievement as well. I just want our kids to take a few minutes to remember information and vocabulary they have already learned. Repetition is one of the most important components of language retention.
Please email your child(ren)’s video(s) to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, it is very helpful to me if you include your child’s first and last name and homeroom number in the subject line of your email.
Week of May 4
Que c’est-ce que vous aimez? (What do you like?)
I like fruit! Do you?
Start our today’s French lesson watching the song “J’aime les fruits!” https://youtu.be/nJ03KjwiIVM
What is your favorite fruit (or vegetable)?
J’aime les cerises et les pommes! (I like cherries and apples!)
How about you? What fruit do you like?
To answer the question, you use the phrase “J’aime les …” then the name of the food you like.
Here are some popular fruits and veggies:
Pick two fruits and/or vegetables you like.
In case it’s hard to see the names, here is a list:
les fraises – strawberries
les oignon – onions
les poivrons – peppers
les avocats – avocados
les petits pois – peas
les tomates – tomatoes
les carottes – carrots
les pêches – peaches
les figues – figs
les citrons – lemons
les citrouilles – pumpkins
les oranges – oranges
les cerises – cherries
les pommes des terres – potatoes
les pommes – apples
les bananes – bananas
les concombres – cucumbers
le maïs – sweet corn (this one is singular)
les choux – cabbage
les pastêques – watermelon
les haricots verts – green beans
les poires – pears
Remember that when you talk about things you like you combine “J’aime” and the French name of the food – don’t forget to include the article “les” – we use the plural “les” because if you like apples, you don’t just like one apple, you like all apples, right? There are a few exceptions. In our list did you notice that corn is singular? It’s the same as in English – we don’t say “I like corns.” Right?
Pick two foods you like from the list that you like and write out the sentence “J’aime les ____.” If you have some of that food in your house, take a picture of your sentence and the food you like. If you don’t have any of that food (I love cherries; but they aren’t in season yet!!!) just draw a picture of the food you like and write out your “J’aime” sentence.
Email your food photos or drawings and sentences (two sentences, please) to me at: email@example.com please remember to your child(ren)’s first and last names and homeroom number, thank you.
Week of May 11
One of the last lessons we worked on together while we were all still together in the classroom was all about departure phrases – ways to say goodbye. I thought a fitting final lesson for the year would be a review of different ways to say “Goodbye.”
Just like in English, the French don’t always just say “goodbye.” We say things like “see you around,” and “see you soon.” It is much the same in French.
Below, I have listed some of the phrases we learned, a phonetic guide to pronunciation, and the English translation. Feel free to practice these phrases together with your child.
À bientôt – ( ahh bee-yen-toh ) – “see you soon.”
Adieu – ( ahh djhoo ) – “farewell.”
Au revoir – (oh vwah ) – “goodbye.”
À plus – ( ahh ploo ) – “later.”
À plus de tard – ( ahh ploo deh-tahr ) – “see you later.”
Salut – ( sahloo ) – “bye.”
We have learned that “salut” is a bit like the Hawai’ian “aloha” because it is used to say both “hi” and “bye” in French!
Practice these phrases several times until you feel comfortable saying them. Then please record your child reciting their favorite phrase in a quick video. Please email the video to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include your child’s homeroom number as well as their name in your subject line.
À plus de tard! – see you later!