Minnesota Chapter - AATF
La Semaine du Français - novembre 1999

Reported by Molly Wieland, Past-President, MN-AATF

[Article, extracted from Winter, 2000 - Reflets de l'étoile du nord, page 2]

The first Semaine Nationale du Français was a great success. Bravo and thanks to all of you who worked so hard to promote French and Francophone cultures in our Minnesota schools and communities during French Week in November. Every single activity that you did contributed to the festivities--from the crêpes you and your students made in class to the big events some of you organized in your communities.

Would you like some great ideas for next year's French Week celebration? Here are just a few of the many activities that teachers and students around the state enjoyed this year. Why not jot down a few to add to your repertoire for next year!

Note: Most of the items summarized in this article were originally sollicited for and published via the MnAATFNet electronic messaging service au fur et à mesure during Fall 1999. Current members of the AATF (Minnesota Chapter)
may send an E-Mail address to have access to this service to: MnAATFNet

--Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis: L'étoile du Nord--A Celebration of French in the Historic Heritage of Minneapolis. Students led a mini-tour of St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge and Nicollet Island focusing on French people who played important roles in shaping the history of our city and state. The tour was followed by a visit to Our Lady of Lourdes French Catholic Church, complete with tourtières, and a voyageur songfest at Marcy Open School.

--Duluth Public Schools, Duluth: La Fête du Fromage with students, parents, school board members and members of the community--including cheese tasting, waiter/waitress races, Trivial Pursuit based on the Francophone world (questions in English and French); folk dancing; viewing of French IV video computer dating service projects; Francophone music and student performances. Many thanks to Cherie Pettersen who worked so hard to get an official French Week proclamation from Gary Doty, Mayor of Duluth!
The proclamation linked French Week to Duluth's French cultural heritage and was presented in a blue, leather-bound frame with a gold seal.

--Stillwater Public Schools, Stillwater: A special art project with a French theme, music with Francine Roche, and dance with Tapestry Folklore;
a French dinner at the Lake Elmo Inn for students, parents, and community members; a cabaret featuring the Valley Chamber Chorale, Francine Roche, and student performances.

--Northfield High School, Northfield: Une Soirée Française featuring French food and music performed by students, followed by the film "Les Misérables". French IV students also taught mini-lessons in French at the elementary school.

--Mankato State University: Hosted a concert by the French singer and composer Eric Vincent for area schools.

--Hopkins Public Schools, Hopkins: A cabaret français featuring Francine Roche and student performances at the Depot Coffee House; "French Spirit Day" at the high school and junior highs--students came to school dressed in French- or Francophone-themed clothing [an activity that required no funding or advance preparation other than a little promotion among students]; the junior high students made crepes, researched and presented famous French and Francophone figures from history, studied a variety of French and Francophone music, among many other activities.

--Normandale Community College, Bloomington: A concert and impressionist slide presentation by the Ariel Trio.

--Central Jr. High, Forest Lake: A school-wide contest to identify common French phrases [with t-shirts for prizes]; students researched and presented reports on "all things French"; a parent guest presenter played guitar and taught students French folk songs; put croissants in the faculty lounge with the message "It's National French Week...Have a croissant and enjoy!". Karen Lewis tells us that this last activity went a long way in promoting good will in her building!

--Lake Country Day School, Minneapolis: The cafeteria lunch menu was written in French for French Week, and French baguettes were served with lunch every day; French Club made flags from Francophone countries to decorate the lunchroom tables; the Montgolfière created by the students the previous year was launched in honor of French contributions to science and technology; students researched French inventors; the junior high students performed a "Soirée de Variétés" for parents; students tasted food from all over the French-speaking world; and P.E. classes focused on soccer that week.

-- The Alliance Française des Villes Jumelles sponsored a French meal at Café Un Deux Trois in Minneapolis and a special event connected to the November, 1999 Ballet de Lyon performance at Northrop Auditorium.

--The U Film Society [based near the U of MN - Twin Cities] offered a French film festival during French Week.

--Send ideas for Minnesota activities in honor of La Semaine Nationale du français - novembre 2000: to M.Wieland

                 Click to see the Text of the Semaine du français Mayor of Duluth Proclamation - 1999

Click here to go to the University of St. Thomas website home page.

Send comments to the AATF-MN Web Site Coordinator.

- - Created 15 August, 2000 - - last updated 21 August 2000 - -