Minnesota Chapter AATF

Reports on French Week 2001


As promised, here are the reports that members have sent in to our electronic message service -MnAATFNet- regarding their schools'

National  French Week 2001 observances



----------------French Week - MN 2001  Report # 1-------------


Minnesota State University -  Mankato


From:  IN%"john.janc@Mankato.MSUS.EDU" 

Sent:   5-NOV-2001 17:56:30.78

To:       IN%"MNAATF@stthomas.edu"  "Am.Assoc.Teach.French-MN"

Subj:    RE: National French week Nov 7 to 13 2001


We are inaugurating our chapter of Pi Delta Phi [National French Honor Society]  and initiating the first eleven members.


John Janc

Mankato - MN State Univ.


----------------French Week - MN 2001  Report # 2-------------------


Hill-Murray School - Maplewood


Sent:   8-NOV-2001 08:39:19.42                                

From: “emarin@hill-murray.org"  "Elizabeth Marin"

To:     "MNAATF@stthomas.edu"  "'MNAATF@stthomas.edu'"

Subj:   idea for French Language Week




One of our events to promote the language to all students, is to read 3 trivia questions each day of the week over the morning announcements. Homerooms try to answer the questions correctly.  Their homeroom teacher then emails their responses to one member of our dept, who keeps track of the tallies for the week.  At the end of the week, the top 2 homerooms with the most correct answers win donuts and juice for their homeroom! 


The questions are in English, but ask about French language/history/art/culture. Many are taken from the "Teacher's Discovery" trivia box.  Here are 3 we've used in the past:


1.  Which famous French impressionist is known for his  paintings of ballet dancers?

2.  France is located in how many time zones?

3.  Who is known as the patron saint of France?


Liz Marin

Hill-Murray School



----------------French Week - MN 2001  Report # 3-------------------------


Mounds Park Academy - Maplewood


From:  “Kristin.Ruud@mpa.pvt.k12.mn.us"  "Kristin Ruud"

Sent:   12-NOV-2001 20:17:04.79

To:       "MNAATF@stthomas.edu"  "Am.Assoc.Teach.French-MN"

Subj:    RE: National French week Nov 7 to 13 2001


Mounds Park Academy FLES French Students in third and fourth grade participated in the National French Week Poster and Essay Contest with the theme LEARNING FRENCH OPENS NEW DOORS.  Students sent in entries in October and we are awaiting the results.


At the beginning of the year we (grades 1-4) took the theme of a past contest "le français: la clé au monde francophone" and did a beginning of the year ceremony... with a large golden key and students standing in a circle, each student took the key and turned around as the class chanted  "le français: la clé au monde francophone.  Le français (clap, clap)! 


La clé (put hand out and act as turning a key and make an unlocking  sound with mouth or tongue)!  Then that student put his or her imaginary  key in his or her head, pocket, or heart. This large key is up in front  as a visual reminder to the students about their goals for the year and  the possibilities they will have with French.


We then colored French flags with a key on it.  Next to the flag on the paper was a large bubble where the students wrote  what learning French meant to them, how it made them feel, or anything they'd like others to  know about learning French (first grade students drew pictures of hearts, baguettes, another flag of a French speaking country, the Eiffel Tower or

copied French words like Bonjour or Ca va?) and their photo was glued next to the bubble and flag.


These are all up outside the classroom on the wall for parents, students, prospective families, and other visitors to the school to see and read.


My goal was to have the students reflect about learning French, to feel proud, and to be more invested in their own learning and of course to publicize French although we are very lucky at MPA to have such strong support of daily K-12 French and Spanish.


Kristin Ruud

K-4 French Teacher

Mounds Park Academy




-------------------French Week - MN 2001  Report # 4-------------------------


Century Junior High School - Forest Lake


From:  "kslewis@qwest.net"  "Karen Lewis"

Sent#   13-NOV-2001 19:41:48.31

To:       "MNAATF@stthomas.edu"  "Am.Assoc.Teach.French-MN"

Subj:    French week activity


Nov. 9 was a special French day at Century Junior High School in Forest Lake. We had a "Rendezvous" with special activities from 9-10:00 a.m. and then a fur trade program from 10-11:00 a.m.


For the Rendezvous, we held "voyageur olympics" in the gym:  2-man canoe races using low-to-the-floor phy. ed. scooters propelled by hand (we tried bathroom plungers as canoe paddles, but they really didn't work very well); archery demonstrations; and tug-of-war with two opponents standing on sawed-off tree stumps (cat & mouse).  Then eight students played French Canadian fiddle music for the crowd.  Meanwhile, at the concession stand, students could buy strawberry bonbons, chocolate advent calendars (both from Foreign Candy Company), chocolate truffles, and madeleines.


At 10:00 Guillaume Le Becque began his program on the fur trade.  He has pelts, costumes, trade goods, canoe paddles, etc. and relates the history of the fur trade with lots of audience participation.  Evaluations provided by students afterwards were very enthusiastic.  A grant from the Minnesota Humanities Commission helped make this program possible.


In addition, the grant made it possible for Guillaume to repeat his program in the afternoon at Forest Lake's Senior Center.  That session was attended by both seniors and members of the community at large, who were unanimously appreciative.


The day was an end-of-quarter teacher work day in Forest Lake, which meant that the gym and cafeteria were available for the event.  It also meant a no-school day for our kids, so I was pleased that about forty came on their own initiative for the event.  It was a fun time!


--------------------French Week - MN Report # 5------------------------


Anwatin Middle School -  Minneapolis


Sent:   13-NOV-2001 20:18:23.77

From:   "Zakiya1123@aol.com"

To:     "MNAATF@stthomas.edu"

Subj:   A French week report from Anwatin Middle School



At Anwatin this year we focused on the French history in Minnesota.  The first year students, grade 6,  all read about and made posters of the famous French people in MN, such as Champlain, Duluth, Hennepin, La Salle, Nicolet, Radisson & Grossiellers, etc.  The second year students, grade 7, made a huge time line of the "French Period" in Minnesota and hung it in our hallways and another second year class read French history in Minnesota with the Dakota and Ojibwe facts and recorded these on tape and we played it over the intercom on Monday morning, Nov.12.  The third year students are still finishing their project of labeling the whole school, all classrooms, places, and offices, in French.   We enjoyed focusing on the fun parts of learning French and the students liked learning more about their own city and its French history!


Anwatin is one of the only Minneapolis public middle schools with a 3 year, strong French program, that includes a 6th grade program that is every day for 46 min. and all year long, and the same for 7th and 8th.  I just had to brag because this is the main reason that I transfered this year from Franklin to Anwatin, (not knowing that Franklin would cancel its French program) when Anwatin's French teacher, Pat Moen, retired.


Merci beaucoup for all of the updates!


Katy Lynch

Anwatin Middle School

Minneapolis, MN



--------------------French Week - MN Report # 6------------------------


Northfield High School - Northfield


From:  “Denise.Halvorson@nfld.k12.mn.us"  "Denise Halvorson"

Sent:    14-NOV-2001 13:08:42.75

To:       “MNAATF@stthomas.edu"  "Am.Assoc.Teach.French-MN"

Subj:    RE:  French Week MN reports


In Northfield we celebrated National French Week by making two big posters and putting them outside the two French classrooms.  The posters were filled with students' pictures and their answers to the following:  Why are you taking French?, What is your best memory of French class?, or  How will studying French benefit you in the future?


Earlier we took pictures of the students and had them write an answer to one of the questions on a piece of paper.  We then put them all together and hung the posters outside our rooms. They look really neat and should impress those who see them.


The students enjoyed participating in the activity and it's an appropriate way to brag about the great kids taking French at NHS.


Denise Halvorson

Northfield High School



--------------------French Week - MN Report # 7------------------------


Breck Middle School – Golden Valley


From:  IN%"pam.wesely@breckschool.org"  "Pam Wesely"

Sent:   14-NOV-2001 17:13:26.01

To:       IN%"MNAATF@stthomas.edu"

Subj:    Breck School French week report


The Middle School at Breck celebrated National French week for the third year in a row on Monday, November 12.  This year, we had a "wine-tasting" in each class (40 minutes).  We first looked over some worksheets that featured vocabulary that was used to describe wine (bouquet, arome, effervescent, doux, etc) and figured out from cognates & French definitions what they were in English.  After that, the students divided into groups of 3 or 4 to make their own "wine" by combining apple cider, white grape juice, purple grape juice, V8 ("ewwww!"), club soda, and cinnamon.  Each group had five cups with these liquids labeled in French at their stations and one mixture cup.


Then, the groups came together and I poured each "wine" into small glasses for a tasting, also instructing them with some common wine-tasting techniques (gromage, checking for the five S's, etc).  The tasters had little forms featuring the previously-covered vocabulary words with which they could rate and give reactions to each wine.


It went over quite well (but not quite as well as the crepe-making last year :)).  I *did* make sure that my supervisors were okay with the "wine" thing beforehand, and they definitely were (I haven't had any parent complaints yet).  I also made it clear to the students that pretending to be drunk was not okay.


Looking forward to seeing more reports!


Pam Wesely


Pamela M. Wesely

French Instructor, Breck School


voicemail: (763) 381-8151



--------------------French Week - MN Report # 8------------------------


Stillwater Junior High School - Stillwater


From:  IN%"wolffa@stillwater.k12.mn.us"  "Ann Wolff"

Sent:   16-NOV-2001 14:09:49.55

To:       IN%"MNAATF@stthomas.edu"

Subj:    RE: Keep those French week reports rolling in!


French Week at Stillwater Junior High School:


- all week: video announcement with some facts about French/France that

I picked up at MCTFL


- Wed: petit dejeuner in the cafeteria for all French students  during our 20

minute advisory at the beginning of the day.  I delivered the leftovers and

the bleu, blanc and rouge  flowers to everyone in the office--secretaries,

principals,  counselors.


- Thurs: Career Day for French I, Spanish I, German I students to  kick off

Career Exploration middle level grad standard. Students  chose 4 of 7 speakers

who use other languages in their careers.  It just so happened that this was

during La Semaine du Francais, and it was perfect.


- Fri: no school


- Mon: competition culinaire--each class had a contest in which anyone who

wanted could bring a French dessert. Staff members who were  free were

invited to be the judges. Every student got to taste,  actually have as much

as he/she wanted, every dessert. There were about 15 desserts every hour.

Widely successful.


- Tues. Cabaret at Stillwater High School for all secondary French  students.

5:30-6:30 desserts were served by Savories (great  Stillwater restaurant if you

haven't ever tried it), live music by Marc Stillman and "entertainment" by some

junior high mimes  and "statues." 7:30-8:45 was junior high and senior high

student  performances--French songs, instrumentals, dances to French music,

poems--absolutely incredible talent. There were about 150 students  and

parents in attendance. The setting was perfect with  small  tables with fresh

flowers of course and chairs set up in the back.


Everyone was required to do something for La Semaine. Three girls made a  poster of ballet terms and demonstrated them to their class. Students could  also watch a French movie, check out a French children's book to read it to a little brother or sister, cook a French meal for family, etc.  Things not done at school had to be signed by a parent.


We also had Vive le Francais stickers leftover from the 1st annual Semaine, that a student had designed. Students received these at breakfast  first day and upon entering class the last day, so they were very  noticeable in the school. Office staff also wore them the first day and  dessert judges received and wore them.




--------------------French Week - MN Report # 9------------------------




From:  IN%"Sharon.Nichols@roch.edu"  "Sharon Nichols"

Sent:   20-NOV-2001 07:43:20.66

To:       IN%"MNAATF@stthomas.edu"

Subj:    RE: Bravo to Stillwater Jr HS - latest NFW report


Can we please have more feedback from Stillwater about who specifically is employing the FL-in-my-career speakers? 





--------------------French Week - MN Report # 10------------------------


Stillwater Junior High School – Stillwater BIS


From:  IN%"wolffa@stillwater.k12.mn.us"  "Ann Wolff"

Sent:   20-NOV-2001 18:50:37.37

To:       IN%"MNAATF@stthomas.edu"

Subj:    RE: two items FYI


Salut! Regarding our career day:


There is a middle level grad standard called Career Exploration. We did that grad standard in all level I language classes--French I, German I, Spanish I. We wrote a local business partnership grant for funding so that we could pay each speaker $50, although every speaker was surprized and not expecting to be paid. We found the speakers through connections at school and through our professional contacts. There were 7 speakers and they each gave 4 twenty minute presentations in which they discussed some of the points required in the grad standard. The students were each able to choose 4 of the 7. It was great. We told the students that at this point in their lives, they are exploring careers so they should choose anything that seemed interesting, regardless of the languages that the speaker represented. In every presentation, the students were able to get useful information that could be applied to other careers as well. All of the speakers spoke at least 2 foreign languages. The most profond comment came from a girl who said, "I just thought you needed languages for college. I didn't know you needed it for jobs." Wow.


I guess we'll try to do this every year.


I hope that answers any questions.  --Ann Wolff


--------------------French Week - MN Report # 11------------------------


From:  IN%"wolffa@stillwater.k12.mn.us"  "Ann Wolff"

Sent:   26-NOV-2001 18:24:39.10

To:       IN%"MNAATF@stthomas.edu"

Subj:    RE: another question


[ Addendum regarding the nature of the jobs of 'speakers who use other languages’ at Stillwater Jr. H.S. Career Day/Nat. French Week:]


 They're people connected to our community or to our teachers. I think that any school could come up with their own resources if they send out an inquiry that will reach all parents, i.e. school newsletter, form to sign at conference time or open house, etc.


We just asked our parents at back to school night in Sept. to give us their names and phone numbers if they use another language in their job or if they know anyone who does.


We had a translator/interpreter, hockey player, attorney, missionary, restaurant owner and a two from 3M.  --Ann




--------------------French Week - MN Report # 12------------------------


Rochester –bis


From:   IN%"Sharon.Nichols@roch.edu"  "Sharon Nichols"

Sent:   27-NOV-2001 13:59:10.86

To:     IN%"MNAATF@stthomas.edu"

Subj:   RE: Types of 2nd language-using jobs Stillwater Jr. HS NFW addenda




Those of us at the university & CC level don't have the same  contact w. parents & community, so the concrete examples of professions are a big help.




Web page created 13 November 2001           

URL: http://webcampus3.stthomas.edu/mlwolsey/MnAATF/9.htm 

Last updated:  27  Nov. 01