Wednesday, July 20, 2011

La Belle France

Bonjour! Today we visited France, home of some of children's literature's best-loved characters, like Babar the elephant and Madeline. France is also the country that gave us Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, and many other favorite fairy tales, including Puss in Boots.

I didn't read Madeline, since it is rather a long book, but I did read Fred Marcellino's version of Puss in Boots. This book has one of my all-time favorite covers. No text on the front cover, just a close-up of that confident, unflappable cat, stylishly dressed as an 17th-century French gentleman. He could be one of the Three Musketeers.

We also read Fancy Nancy, which is hardly a French book, but she does like to use French words, because, as she says, "Everything in French sounds fancy." So she throws in a few French words, like merci, parfait, and chauffeur. 

We threw a little French into our songs too. "If you're happy and you know it, frappe des mains!" (clap your hands.)  We sang Frere Jacques and danced to a recording of Sur le pont d'Avignon. (Those are the only two French songs I know, thanks to high school French class.)

We also sang (to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star):

Strawberries, peaches, watermelon too
Good for me and good for you.
They are yummy, they are sweet,
They are such a tasty treat.
Strawberries, peaches, watermelon too
Good for me and good for you.

I have felt pictures of the fruit to put up on the flannelboard. If you also have some felt apples, bananas, or other fruit, you can change the words around and sing about any combination of yummy fruit.

For our craft, we got fancy. I found a pack of "collage cards" from Oriental Trading Co. in the cupboard. These are sticky on one side---though, unfortunately, not sticky enough, because some of the stuff fell off in the process. But it was easy! I gave the children a variety of items to stick on their cards---foam letters and insects, iridescent butterflies and hearts, sequins and feathers. After they had thoroughly decorated the cards, we dusted them with glitter for a fancy glittery one-of-a-kind thingamabob.

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