NATIONAL FRENCH WEEK

AATF

IDEAS THAT WORK

The following list represents some of the many ideas and suggestions of AATF members across the country which have arisen out of National French Week. Links have been included to lengthier descriptions and related material elsewhere on this site.

Cuisine
Arts, Arts & Crafts
Sports, Games, Traditions
Science, Technology, Careers
Music and Dance
Other Great Ideas
Contests
Promotional Ideas
Ideas for Prizes
Places to Promote
Target Audiences
Groups with whom to Collaborate

Click here for reports from National French Week Grant recipients

Click here to view reports from AATF Small Grant recipients

Click here to consult other useful articles from past issues of the National Bulletin.

CUISINE

Demonstrations

  • cooking classes and demonstrations conducted by local chefs in the school or at restaurants
  • Developing or exploring recipes with a local chef
  • Sampling French foods such as chocolate mousse, croissants, fondue, crêpes, cheeses, tourtière
  • Serve French foods in the cafeteria (see also) at breakfast or lunch with printed menus in French
  • Distribute French candy to other students in the school or to any student in the school who comes to the French classroom and says a French word or phrase
  • Field trips to cooking schools, restaurants, bakeries for cooking demonstrations or lessons
  • Serving to students and special guests
  • French dinners
  • Déjeuner sur l'herbe picnic French meal
  • Field trips to French restaurants for a meal
  • Student-prepared meals or potluck French meals prepared by parents
  • Food fairs with contributions from area businesses
  • Breakfast served to school officials and other guests
  • Croissants or other goodies served to school staff and in teacher lounge
  • Free samples of tartines to non-French students during lunch
  • Wine tasting in the community
  • Food-related contests with special guests as judges
  • Recipe contests
  • Cooking contests
  • Chocolate mousse eating contest
  • Set up a French cafe;
  • Create menus and posters for the cafeteria;
  • Organize cooking demonstrations by students;
  • Organize fairs or sales to earn money for the French Club or for charity

Arts and Crafts

Cinema and theater

Plastic Arts

  • Exhibits of French art by local museums, French language tours
  • Exhibits of drawings, photography, paintings, or other items related to France or the Francophone World
  • Presentations of French art and architecture
  • Create wire sculptures followed by a discussion of the work of Rodin and other sculptors
  • Create portraits or caricatures of students in a French background
  • Exhibit of student versions of famous paintings with prizes
  • Exhibit of student-created artwork at school, in local museums or places of business
  • Student-created murals in school or local mall
  • Make a giant jigsaw puzzle of a famous art work for display in the school or make several for a contest
  • Organize a French fashion show
  • Provide fashion makeovers by local businesses
  • Create paper flowers for a Parisian flower market
  • Demonstrate French-style arranging of dried and silk flowers
  • Magic show and juggling
  • French-related variety shows, talent shows, karaoke
  • Cultural Exhibit on Africa or specific Francophone countries
  • Create story books, coloring books and other materials for elementary school children
  • Creating French buttons, bumper stickers, bookmarks

Literature

  • French Week at a local bookstore or library with displays of French materials
  • Readings, soirée at local book stores
  • Poetry Readings & Contests
  • Reading marathon in the local library
  • English versions of French stories with questions to be completed at home by the family
  • Sponsor a bilingual story hour at a local library or bookstore with one student reading in French and another reading the English translation

Sports, Games, Traditions

Sports

Cycling

  • Screening of highlights from a past Tour de France
  • Mini Tour de France race
  • Cycle race through town
  • Soccer
  • Hold a soccer tournament
  • Pétanque tournaments or lessons
  • Play pelota
  • Organize a fencing demonstration
  • Study the history of the Olympic Games

Contests

Science, Technology, Careers (see also Careers)

  • Have students research and prepare displays on French contributions to science and technology
  • Teach the metric system
  • Build a class Web site on France and the Francophone world
  • Students dress as famous scientists and artists
  • Provide information, lesson plans, student presentations to science teachers
  • Web exchanges with paired classes
  • Schedule a teleconference with a sister school in a French-speaking country
  • Collaborate with colleagues to prepare a presentation about the work of Gustave Eiffel

Careers

  • Panel discussion of how French can enhance careers by individuals who use French in their jobs
  • Presentation of French-Related technical and international careers with guest speakers
  • Guest speakers from area French and French-related businesses to talk with students
  • Career Day or job fair
  • Bulletin board display on importance of French in careers
  • Have students interview French-speaking faculty or business people and videotape the interviews for broadcast on the school cable channel or public access TV
  • Organize visits from armed forces/FBI recruiters speaking on the importance of languages

Music and Dance

  • Create music videos about the French language and French-speaking cultures
  • Put on a café-cabaret show with students or guest artists
  • Musical and dance performances by students or guest artists
  • Francophone dance classes
  • Schedule presentations by colleagues in Music and Dance
  • Lip-sync variety show
  • Students lead sing-alongs with the public or with younger students
  • Student-created music videos
  • Student performances and sing-alongs in a local mall
  • French music over the intercom
  • French music on local radio stations

Other Great Ideas

These represent ideas that have been successfully used by AATF member teachers but which do not fit into any particular theme or can be adapted to one of several themes.

  • French Fact for the Day read over the morning announcements
  • French in English Contests
  • Poster, bulletin board, display case presentations of student trips, French in action locally, student posters, realia
  • U.S. map display with French place names highlighted
  • Displays of student research on French heritage in the U.S.
  • Form a French Parents Booster Club
  • Pen Pal Projects
  • Presentations about student exchange programs, study abroad, and student travel
  • Invite guest speakers and performers of all sorts
  • Give mini-French lessons to the public or to younger students
  • Invite teachers in other disciplines to incorporate French-related items in their lessons during the week
  • Prepare units with students' help on French contributions to distribute to teachers in other disciplines
  • Give extra credit to students who label items in French in other classrooms
  • Organize French-language tours of local places of interest or museums
  • Construct an Eiffel Tower with Coke cans at lunch
  • Ask students to find relatives or neighbors who speak French and/or have visited a French-speaking country, create a bulletin board with the results
  • Create French-related displays in the school library
  • General activities

Good Ideas with a Caution

These are all wonderful activities that many teachers organize and participate in. However, unless they target specific groups other than students and their teachers as well as the media, they do not really fit with the purpose of National French Week. Reach these target groups by inviting them to attend as judges, observers, awards presenters. Try to interest media representatives in coming to see student accomplishments. Involve parents and administrators whenever possible. Be certain that all students and the public, if possible, benefit from outside speakers and demonstrations.

  • Immersion days and language camps, but with outside participation by target groups
  • Francophone student festivals but with special invited guests as judges, award presenters (see also)
  • French assembly for all students but with presentations or demonstrations about the Francophone world, guest speakers, contests
  • Presentations by colleagues in other disciplines to the school community at large or general public, not just to French students

PR Activities

  • Get a proclamation from the mayor or governor
  • Get a French message up in lights on buildings around your community
  • Get National French Week on school marquee
  • Get messages in programs and newsletters (ie. music or art department programs, school calendars, grocery store flyers)
  • Provide a teacher/guest speaker/student for presentations to local community groups
  • Distribute posters and student artwork to local businesses
  • Distribute a student-produced newsletter or publication
  • Film events and presentations for local TV
  • Display Francophone flags and other student-created displays throughout the school and community
  • Create PowerPoint or Web presentations to provide to local civic groups and to display in public places
  • Student-created programs or mini-lessons in feeder schools
  • Have students write letters to the editor of the local newspaper
  • French word a day on local radio station
  • Appearance by French teacher and Spanish-speaking students on a local Spanish TV show
  • Involve the French Club, Pi Delta Phi, Société honoraire and other groups to get publicity
  • Distribute press releases widely

Slogans

These represent a few slogans that have been used by the AATF or by some of our teachers to promote French.

  • French is...
  • Open Your World with French
  • Le Français m'ouvre le monde
  • French: An Investment in the Future
  • French is all around us
  • Frienship Revolves Around New Cultural Experiences
  • Le Français, plus qu'une langue
  • On apprend à tout âge
  • Reach Out to the World: Learn French!
  • My child speaks French, a subject taught in the ____ schools (Great for bumper stickers!

PrizesPrizes

Students and guests are always delighted to receive door prizes or awards recognizing their work. Here are some of the items AATF members were able to obtain for previous National French Week celebrations and which you can offer as suggestions as you contact merchants and plan for the next National French Week.

  • Fragrance gift baskets
  • Free pizza
  • Gift certificates from local business and restaurants
  • Discounts on purchases of French products
  • Discounts to students who use French to ask for an item or order in a restaurant
  • Coupons from area businesses
  • Free meal coupons
  • Books, CDs, CDs, calendars, posters, T-shirts, buttons, and other items
  • French candy
  • With an area bookstore: Find any item in the bookstore with the word "French" on the face or back and receive 25% discount on that item.
  • Discounts for French students
  • Trips provided by area travel agencies
  • Certificates, plaques, medals, buttons

Target Audiences

National French Week is about more than providing enriching classroom or immersion experiences in French for students. Take French out of the classroom! Target these groups to demonstrate clearly that French is a language that should be studied, that is still useful in today's global economy, and that provides many opportunities for students to learn and achieve. Students are the best advertisement for the study of French. Offer them guidance and let their enthusiasm speak for itself.

  • Parents of current and potential students
  • Other teachers
  • Potential Students
  • Counselors
  • School administrators
  • School board members
  • Mayors and other elected officials
  • Journalists
  • General Public
  • Merchants
  • Civic groups

Take French Out of the Classroom: Places to Target

  • Other school classrooms; enlist the help of art, music, drama, home ec, physical education teachers in your projects
  • School cafeterias
  • Sporting events
  • Local museums
  • Local businesses
  • Local malls
  • Grocery stores
  • Public parks
  • Other schools
  • Feeder schools

Groups with whom to collaborate

  • Merchants
  • Local restaurants
  • Area native speakers
  • Other area schools and teachers
  • Local colleges and universities
  • Sister City Associations
  • Alliance française
  • International Student Organizations
  • Civic Groups
  • Veterans Groups
  • Music or Arts Groups
  • Area Museums and Historical societies
  • Travel companies
  • City Hall

Created: April 24, 2000
Last update: November 10, 2013