Bonnes Idees!


Margaret Laboe -  December, 2009


During my three-week stage at l'Universite Laval in Quebec City this past summer, I was bombarded with loads of resources and ideas both from my surroundings as well as from my fellow French teacher colleagues who were there studying with me—sheer bliss for a French teacher, n'est-ce pas?  I couldn't get enough!  What follows is a list of my favorite discoveries from this summer.  I hope they are as inspiring for you as they are for me!


Sites web


                   ** = CHECK THIS ONE OUT FOR SURE! – advanced– explanations of idiomatic expressions with games and videos, all in context. – beginner to intermediate—short "live" comic strip stories about a little girl.    a site similar to Citypages or Citysearch—listings of what events/entertainment are going on at the moment in Quebec.   Great for practice on schedules/24-hr clock in beginning levels!  – all levels –Links to games and practice activities on different topics.


** – TONS of great info – grammar, civilization, songs, phonetics, vocabulary, etc.  from French (as a foreign language) teachers all over the world. - lots of great lessons ("fiches pedagogiques") about different topics based on a radio broadcast for youth. – actualites pour les jeunes—readings and a « mot du jour »


** – really funny clips (think youtube/Saturday Night Live) with claymation-type figures.  Make sure you preview the videos as some are not appropriate for class!!  However, please watch Le Willi Waller 2006, a hilarious spoof on the infomercial, as well as Halloween (all my beginning level kids now know, "Donne-moi des bonbons!"—definite Quebecois accent and little bit of franglais).


**Film de court metrage : La chaise bercante (CRAC!) – Frederic Back, court metrage, disponible à This short (about 20 minutes long—perfect for class) film won awards and gives a snapshot of the history of Quebec through the life of a rocking chair.  Beautiful.  There are no words, only sounds and some traditional music, so it's perfect for any level.


Legendes/contes quebecois :


-     Le diable beau-danseur (aka Le Baiser du diable ou Rose Latulipe)


-     Les trois chars


-     **La legende du canot d'ecorce (aka La chasse-galerie)


-     Le chandail  (de hockey) de Roch Carrier.




Chansons quebecoises—Top Cinq – disponibles sur Itunes ;

           cherchez les paroles avec Google !


1.     Mishapan Nitassinan- Chloe Sainte-Marie: a haunting but lovely melody, the lyrics are a list of cities/regions in North America (including the U.S.) whose names come from a Native American language.  Very à propos for us Minnesotans.


2.     **Marianne – Longue Distance -- Young, cute group who I saw in concert at the Fête du Canada le premier juillet.  Reminds me a little of Green Day—very hip.  Everyone was singing the lyrics to this one—it's very fun and energetic and you can find the video on youtube.  Pour moe (=moi), c'est la meilleure!


3.     Les aurores – Mara Tremblay – She refers to this one as "le trash-country".  Very folk/bluegrass/hip.  Listen to her beautiful Quebecois accent!  You'll hear some quebecismes such as "pis" for "puis" and "nous autres" for "nous".


4.     **Le but – Loco Locass – Funky rap song and homage to les Canadiens de Montreal, all about hockey!  It's really great, and you can't miss that accent or the common Quebecois terms such as "icitte (=ici)" and "Il fait frette (=froid)."


5.     Degeneration – Les Aieux – With a drumbeat and semi-chanted lyrics, a terrific song to play when teaching the family vocabulary.  It starts off, "Mon arriere-arriere grand-pereŠ" and is a social commentary about how our values change from generation to generation, but eventually revert back to what they used to be.



*Bonus- Gens du Pays – Gilles Vignault – L'hymne nationale du Quebec. The original version is a little demode and cheesy, but some Quebecois use the chorus to sing for people on their birthdays : The original chorus is « Gens du pays, c'est votre tour de vous laisser parler d'amour (2x) ».  The birthday song : « Ma chere Renee, c'est à ton tour de te laisser parler d'amour (2x). »



Le saviez-vous ?  Du 400e anniversaire de Quebec (2008)


-      "Le moulin à images," a 45-minute long media show depicting the history of Quebec from its founding to the present, created for the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, will continue to be shown at night for free to the public during at least the next three summers at le vieux port, projected onto the side of a mill.


-      Troops from the Cirque du Soleil, who performed free street shows for the anniversary, were hired again to perform, free to the public, in an open space underneath highway overpasses in Quebec City for the summer of 2009.  They walked and performed right next to the spectators—truly amazing!


-     The Promenade Samuel de Champlain, a beautiful paved and landscaped bike/pedestrian route along the St. Lawrence River, was commissioned for the anniversary.  It's an enjoyable short ride with a visitor's center tower along the way that you can climb for a great view down the river.  We rode all the way into la Vieille ville and back to the University—a great way to see the area!


Margaret Laboe

Richfield High School



                                  Winter 2009/10 issue of chapter newsletter REFLETS de l'etoile du nord