I bought this book back in 2014 when one of my schools asked me to spend half-a term on a French-speaking country, which I thought was going to be challenging... with this book is was not! I cannot exactly remember why I chose this one... but am so glad I did. Unfortunately I lost all my resources in a memory stick incident...
Language of text: English, about a French-speaking country
Author or source: Raintree Publishers
Intended age of students: Key Stage 2/3
Source reference: 9781406228182
This is a book about a fascinating French-speaking country, Haiti.
I use it as the basis for a project on Haiti as an example of a French-speaking country which does not have very much in common with France.
We start by discussing where France is spoken; I show to the children laminated maps of "les pays francophones" and they have to sort them by continents. We talk about why so many countries in West Africa have French as an official language, then we focus on Haiti, where it is and its history (with the book: it was the first black republic!).
I set to the children the task of researching Haiti (with PCs or tablets which they can share) with very specific compulsory headings from the "fact file" page of the book, but they also need to research things of interest to them (eg what sports the children play) and the lives of the children in Haiti. We do this over several lessons with very specific research areas given in each lesson. The children also need to find out about nice places (and save pictures), popular food etc. Lastly, they need to find out an unusual fact (the most unusual one gets a prize) and possibly a joke. With guidance, children do love to find out about other countries and ways of living. They then can present their work, in small groups, including some French if deemed appropriate. By the end of the presentations, all your children will be experts on Haiti! Some display work can then be done on the country. You will be amazed by what the children will find!
I want to use this book to open the children's eyes about the fact that French is not just spoken in France, or even in some European countries, but it is spoken all around the world. I also want them to know that it is spoken in countries that are very different from France: it will raise their awareness of how different life is in other parts of the world, especially in poorer areas. I hope this will help improve the children's openness and their empathy towards the rest of the world.
The book is written for children, with a glossary at the end. You can therefore read passages from the book to the children and/or let them read it themselves.
The children will learn about an unusual country, one they may otherwise not come across, and realise how different 2 countries can be, even they both speak the same language. They will gain awareness of important historical and geographical knowledge.
Topics or themes:
Francophonie; could be an end of term (or any time of year) project
How much time required:
Which is YOUR French-speaking country of choice when you want your children to learn about one other than France? Please do share in the comments below! Merci!
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