French Culture

A picture is worth a thousand words.

This is a wonderful short film called Crac by Frederic Back. I use it to introduce French Canadian culture to students of any age. His website Caring Together is well worth a look, so are his other films. I saw them all as a child growing up in Quebec and have never forgotten them or the lessons taught by the authors and this amazing illustrator. Enjoy the film and the music too!

For fellow teachers I have included a link to the free material available in French and English designed to accompany a study of his films.

La chasse-gallerie
L'office National du Film du Canada nous raconte la légende de «La chasse-galerie»; un conte «canadien français».
La Chase-Galerie

Birthdays at school!

In Québec, a typical way of expressing affection and appreciation is to sing an adapted version of the chorus of Gilles Vigneault's "Gens du Pays,"  substituting "Ma chère ... (person's name)... for the first line of the song. In Francophone regions, this song replaces "Happy Birthday" and "For he/she's a jolly good fellow". So if you were the one being shown appreciation, the song would go...

Mon Cher (Ma chère) (your name)
C'est à ton tour
De te laisser parler d'amour.

Mon Cher (Ma chère) (your name)
C'est à ton tour
De te laisser parler d'amour.

To paraphrase the sentiment, one might translate it as      

My dear ________
It's your turn
To let us speak and express our affection for you

Here is the original song Gens du pays by Gilles Vigneault and the original lyrics are as follows:

We will also sing the familiar versions for every birthday and if you wish to you can send in a treat (the healthier the better) for your child to share with his or her classmates. I would also ask you to please help your child select a keepsake or special item to share on their birthday; a baby book, a cherished early photo, an item that has special significance or a story unique to them, almost anything will do as long as it helps he or she celebrate their day!

A link for teachers to Introducing Québécois Culture and History Through Music

Le monde de la francophonie

By deciding to enroll your child in French Immersion you have opened a door to the world! Have you ever wondered where in the world your child will be able to use the French they are learning to speak, read and write? Have a look at the map of the world below to get a general idea of all the countries where the population speaks French. 

click on the image to view a larger format

Everyone should try storybird! A collaborative story telling site. The possibilities are endless! Why not try Storybird right now! Write a story with your child and if you do I will post it here on our blog for his or her classmates to read.