Reprinted from AATF National Bulletin, Special Issue, Vol. 24 No. 5 (May 1999)

Invite a professional chef to the school. For the past four years, we have combined the French and Home Economics classes on the day we get a professional chef to come in the high school and demonstrate how to make a dish for the students. We work with him ahead of time to talk about what he will be demonstrating and what the students will taste. He spends the entire day in the school and repeats his demonstration six times for the double classes. We prepare recipe note sheets ahead of time, and while he is demonstrating, students take notes on the process. If he has some waiting time while something is cooking, he creates amazing garnishes so that the students can see how to make a dish more attractive. They taste what they have seen prepared before the end of the class. The chef we work with makes extra portions ahead ot time so that there is enough for all students to taste it. The local press enjoys covering it, and it provides good publicity for both the school and the chef.

Davara Potel (OH)

Extra Credit for French Students

10 points added to any test/quiz grade chosen by the student...for Getting Permission and Posting a Poster Commemorating National French Week, November 4-10

The student must go to local shops and boutiques telling the owner/manager that our mayor ___ has proclaimed the week of November 4-10 to be "National French Week" (The official proclamation is on display ____)... The poster should be displayed in a prominent place by the end of October through at least November 10. Student must first get permission from the owner, pick up their poster and have it placed, then notify their teacher of French that the poster is in place. Once verified, the student will receive 10 points extra credit.
Help us celebrate National French Week, and help yourself to at least one higher grade! One poster per student.

Name and location of business: ______
Manager/owner's signature ______

Allen R. Remaley

Poster Display of Where in the World French is Spoken

Directions: Make a poster about the country you have been assigned. Prepare the following three portions of this project and place them neatly in your own creative and artistic way on the card provided.


  • indicate clearly where in the world the country is located;
  • include the boundaries;
  • the map can be photocopied and colored, drawn by hand, or it can be a computer printout.

Picture (do at least one of the following)

  • find a picture having something to do with the country and print it off the Web;
  • make a drawing;
  • find the flag of the country;
  • find a picture of a famous place in the country;
  • find the products of the country on clip art;
  • any other illustration or colorful picture you can find.


Find 5 simple but interesting facts about the country.
Look especially for facts pertaining to the French heritage and the French language.
Type or write these facts neatly on the card.

French Connections

French students worked in pairs to research the connection between French and each of the other high school subjects. Each pair then produced an attractive poster. There was an appropriate poster hung in every classroom in the school. For example, a poster about French scientists was displayed in the science department; a poster featuring pictures and captions of French wedding customs (with a statistical comparison of French and American families) was displayed in the Family and Consumer Science Department, etc. The students did a good job of connecting French to every department, and this attracted the attention of the entire student body and faculty. We even had a math teacher who did a mini-lesson on French mathematicians and an English teacher who did an activity with French words!
After National French Week we got double use out of the "French Connections" posters by displaying them all in the French classroom, then inviting the junior high language exploratory classes to visit. We showed the AATF promotional video, then passed out a 20-question French trivia questionnaire to each student. They browsed around the room to find the answers to the questions on the displayed posters. Following the trivia hunt, some of the French students presented skits. Then we served the famous mini cream puffs to them!

The posters could also be displayed in local businesses.

Jerri Lynn Baxstrom

Grocery Field Trip

Upper-level French students took a field trip to a cooking school at a local grocery store whose home economist designed a lesson on French cuisine. Students were involved in making crêpes, sampling mousse, and much more!

Jerri Lynn Baxstrom

Chocolate Mousse Eating Contest

Over the lunch periods in the cafeteria, French students competed against other high school students in a chocolate mousse eating contest. The gourmands wore garbage bag bibs and had their hands tied behind their backs as their partners fed them while standing behind. What a hilarious mess!

Jerri Lynn Baxstrom

French in the Cafeteria

We worked with the cafeteria to serve a French lunch one day. The cooks made a ham and potato casserole au gratin with green beans almondine and French bread. The two French teachers stood at the end of the line with their French aprons and served two mini cream puffs and a chocolate mint to each student as they wished them Bon appétit. (The cream puffs were the froze, prepared variety--just thaw and serve! The cost was shared by the Foreign Language Club and the principal's fund.) Also, the menu for the day was printed in French for the entire school.

Jerri Lynn Baxstrom

School Showcase Display

We made a display in the glass showcase inside the front entrance of the school. On a tri-fold display board, we mounted pictures of past student trips to France. We left open some spaces and up-dated the poster during the week with digital camera shots of French students in action locally (baking cream puffs, participating at the cooking schools--anything that conveyed the message that "French is fun!"). Of course, we augmented the display with flags, other Francophone realia, and a list of the weeks' activities.

Jerri Lynn Baxstrom

Trivia Contest

We had a French trivia contest in the school library. Some of the French IV students designed the contest. Many of the questions listed a Web site where the answer could be found. The names of the students who got at least 80% of the questions right were placed in a drawing. At the end of the day, we held a drawing during study hall (in front of a large number of students to attract attention). Winners received French prizes.

Jerri Lynn Baxstrom

Contests and Competitions

These ideas were used for a language festival in which several schools participated. They can easily be adapted for in-class or in-school as well as community-wide competitions.


Each school must bring one dessert from a French-speaking country for every five students coming to the Fête du Français. The competitive categories this year are: 1) tarte aux pommes; 2) tarte tatin; 3) baba au rhum; 4) mousse au chocolat.

A copy of the recipe must be brought for the item to be eligible for the competition. The number of entires each school has in this competition is equal to the number of desserts brought.

Culture Bowl

Each school may enter one team of four students in this competition. Each school will receive a copy of the questions to be asked along with answers. The 7-8th grade competition will be held in English; the 9-12th grade competition will be held in French. There will be a round-robin play-off in the the morning. The teams with the highest scores will compete in the final round in the afternoon.

Folk Dancing

One group per school/per level may be entered. Maximum time allows is five minutes. Dances must originate from a French-speaking country.

Geography Bee

An oral competition on geography will be held with four levels of competition. Levels I & II will be held in English and Levels III-IV in French. Each school may enter up to four students on each level. Each school will receive a copy of the questions to be asked along with the answers.

Music Performance

One or more students perform instrumental or vocal works (sepaarate categories) works from a French-speaking composer or performer. Selections may be folk, rock, or classical. Maximum time is four minutes. Each school may enter a maximum of two numbers per level (7-8, 9-10, 11-12). Judging will take overall showmanship into consideration. This category is not judged solely on the basis of musical expertise.

Poetry Reading

This year students will choose a poem from those available for each level of study. Poems need not necessarily be memorized. No props or costumes may be used in the interpretation. There is a maximum of four students per level/per school (7-8, 9-10, 11-12).

Poster Contest

Design a poster on an 18 x 24 inch piece of poster board which illustrates a proverb. The poster may be drawn either vertically or horizontally on the poster board. A misspelling of any word will result in disqualification. Name, grade, and school must be written on the back of the poster. Proverbs to be illustrated will be sent to the schools before the competition.


Maximum time is five minutes. Three clear copies of the script must be brought to the competition (live performances only). One skit per school.

Spelling Bee

There will be four levels of competition. Levels I-II will use the English alphabet to spell French words. Levels III-IV will use the French alphabet. Maximum of four students per level/per school.

T-Shirt Design Contest

Design a t-shirt (no store-bought decals). The design should be drawn on an 18 x 24 inch poster board cut in the shape of a t-shirt. The t-shirt must contain only French words. The simpler the design, the better. Colors to be used: red and blue on white background.

Vocabulary Bee

This is an oral test of vocabulary comprehension on four levels. Levels I-II will be from French to English. Levels III-IV from English to French. The lists used for the Spelling Bee will be used for the Vocabulary Bee. A maximum of four students per level/per school.

Promoting Faculty Good Will

I bought several dozen croissants from a local bakery for the school staff and placed them in the faculty lounge with the message, "It's National French Week, so have a croissant and enjoy!"

Reading in the Local Library

Students at all levels can participate in a reading marathon. Students prepare excerpts from French stories, poems, and plays to read during an all-day marathon. Donations can be solicited for charity.

Students can also participate in a bilingual reading event. Pairs of students prepare French stories, poems, fables, or fairy tales in French and English. One student reads the French version; the other follows up with the English translation.

Students Promoting French

Have students write letters to the editors of the local newspapers with information about National French Week, the importance of French, and local NFW activities that are planned for the public. Students can also write letters to mayors and the governor to ask for a proclamation. My student who wrote to the mayor was invited to the city council meeting to accept the proclamation.

Greg Barfield

Note: Be sure to coordinate your requests for proclamations through your local chapter (for governors' proclamations) or with your colleagues locally (for mayoral proclamations) so that they do not receive multiple requests for the same thing. If you obtain a proclamation, be sure to share it with your colleagues.

Video Interviews

Students in the intermediate class interviewed five French-speaking faculty at the college and asked about the usefulness of French in their particular field. The interviews were videotaped and aired on the campus cable channel.


Last update: July 31, 2015