Sunday, January 10, 2016

Our Unit on France!

We have officially completed our study of France! I have to say this was one of my favorite units. I have always been drawn to France and the romanticized culture. We may have went a bit overboard with this two week unit!

We began by collecting our read alouds. We chose a historical fiction, 2 biographies, and a classic children's book. 

The Lacemaker and the Princess is a historical fiction set during the French Revolution.
Who was Marie Antoinette? Was a wonderful biography to read along with the Lacemaker. It covers the Queens life from birth through her death during the French Revolution.
Who was Claude Monet? Again I love this series! This was a well done biography of his life.
Madeline. Come on! A study of France with such young children would not be complete without this classic children's story!

I encourage our children to draw or color while listening to the read alouds. I have found it helps to keep them focused on what we are reading.  I have to say I love this portrait of Marie Antoinette.

While reading the the biography of Monet the girls attempted to recreate some of his master pieces. I cut apart a small calendar filled with prints made from his artwork.  The girls chose which paintings they wanted to recreate and went to work. I wasn't brave enough to bring out the paints so we worked with chalk pastels.

After we finished trying to recreate his work we put together an art wall in the school room. I have to say I could get used to having this type of artwork around each day!

What is a unit on France without the Eiffel tower?  We attempted to make the Eiffel tower out of pretzel sticks and marshmallows. I say "attempted" because we were VERY bad at this. None of us actually managed to get even the base up. I am not sure how people do this on pinterest. It takes some serious patience!

While we are on the subject of food lets talk about our themed meal for this unit. I was not quite up to a giant French feast. After spending some time researching French recipes I decided I needed an easy out on this one. I thought a European cheese tasting would be a great idea. It turns out I was right! The kids (and adults) really liked this project. We chose cheeses from throughout Europe while making sure to chose items from our family heritage as well. The girls drew and colored the flags for each country.

One of the benefits of studying European countries during the Christmas season would have to be all of the shipping boxes that find their way into our home. Our children received gifts from several family members which meant LOTS of boxes. We cut apart the boxes and turned them into a pint sized castle!

Lastly, my husband collects currency from each of the countries he visits. We were able to find quite the stash of Euro's to investigate and go pretend shopping with.

Overall I would have to say we had a great two weeks studying France! I am looking forward to moving on to Germany however. I have big plans for our new unit of study!

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