Fun French Study for the Young Family

Eat, listen, and read your way through France. Reading about people living in France or from France will also teach your young ones about the geography, economy, and culture of the land and people of France.


Audio Language and Music
1. Beth Manner’s Fun French for Kids (stories , games, songs: a perfect accent at the perfect age) [Juv CD 448.3441 at local library]. Along with listening, pepper your familiy’s vocabulary with French words and write them on post-it notes labeling the household.
2. French Orchestral Masterpieces [CD 784.2 French 2000 v. 1, v. 2 at local library]. This includes composers Ravel, Debussy, Bizet, and Sainte-Saens.
3. Listen to music online from Debussy, Chopin, Ravel,

Activities
1. 3-D Eiffel tower paper construction from http://papertoys.com/eiffel.htm
2. Art with pastels (while looking at books of French artists, like Monet, working in pastels)
3. Look at art online and read biographies of people living in France, from Renoir, Monet, Mary Cassat (American in France), Manet (be guarded), Degas, Augustus Saint Gaudens (Irish-American sculptor in France), Van Gogh (Dutch artist in France), Audubon was born in France but spent his adult life in America.

Food
1. Crepes filled with Nutella or peach preserves or topped with fresh raspberries (recipe from chidren’s book is reliable).
2. Omelets
3. Barefoot in Paris: easy French food you can make at home by Ina Garten (reliable recipes such as beef Bourguigonon Stew, Croque monsieur sandwiches, spinach pie, Crème Brulee, Chicken herbs de province, roasted herbed new potatoes, haricot verts)

Books & Video
Crepes by Suzette by Monica Wellignton, 2004
Edgar Degas: Paintings that Dance by Kristin Cole (Smart about Art series), 2001
Frederic Chopin by Mike Venezia (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers series), 2000 (also Chopin by Ann Rachlin (Famous Children series), doesn’t cover his adult life in France)
Hot Air: The (mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride by Marjoirie Priceman, 2005
Look what Came from France by Miles Harvey, 1999
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, 1939
Mary Cassat by Mike Venezia (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series), 1991
Monet by Mike Venezia (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series), 1990
Pierre August Renoir by Mike Venezia (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series), 1996
Postmark Paris by Leslie Jonath
Renoir and the the boy with the long hair by Wndy Wax, 2007
Rick Steves’ Europe. France & Benelux [videorecording]
Suzette and the Puppy by Joan Sweeney, 2000 (may need one line edited)
The Glorious Flight: across the Channel with Louis Bleriot by Alice and Martin Provensen (sotry also told as a NOVA video available from Netflix and suitable for the whole family.)
The Journey that saved curious George: The True Wartime escape of Margaret and H. A. Rey by Louise Borden, 2010
The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II by Louise Borden, 1997
This is Paris by M. Saskek, 1959
Where’s Our Mama by Diane Goode, 1995

A dozen books that fictionalize stories based on Mary Cassat, Thomas Jefferson, Degas, Van Gogh and others were published in the late 1990s through mid 2000s. They are cute and might feed your family’s interest, but they may have something inappropriate for sensitive children or be too fictionalized for what you are trying to accomplish. The public library has many of these to borrow.

More people to study: Pasteur (Sower Series), Marie Curie, Lafayette and the American Revolution.

Search the internet for current Christian missionaries to France.

This is not exhaustive, but it is part of what we have done and enjoyed.

Image source: artgalleryabc.com