Last school year, we began our journey around the world as we learned about various countries in Asia, Australia and Africa. This school year, we are beginning in Europe. First stop: France! We started our unit on France like we start all the others: by finding it on the map and globe. We identified what continent it belonged to and which landmarks surrounded it. We love using our MAPS book for every new country we explore!
I had the kids color and label their own maps and flag to add to their social studies journals. I used our Beautiful Feet Books printable resource for this. Afterwards, we read Stone Soup.
For our next lesson, we learned all about the Eiffel Tower. After reading a book teaching us facts about it, it was time for art. We used q-tips and paint to create our background. Once it was dry, the kids used sharpies to draw their Eiffel towers. They were so fun to make!
The French animal we learned about was the Camargue Horse. It was so interesting to learn about this beautiful, ancient breed, and their home along the French coast. This was another resource from our curriculum that I printed on watercolor paper so they could paint it.
Next, we read a book on the Palace of Versailles. We learned who built this sprawling estate and how it started as a small hunting lodge and grew to the enormous palace it is today. I found a drawing of the palace on Google, turned the opacity down and printed on watercolor paper. Including art in your homeschool does not need to be complicated! It can be as simple as this, are your kids will still be learning about color mixing, water to paint ratios, what size brush works best, etc. all while expressing their creativity!
One of the most famous French artists is Claude Monet. We read about his life and his style of painting, and how it was so different than the other artists of his time. We then created our own “Monet” pieces of art with pastels and water color. I actually found a step-by-step tutorial on youtube that was perfect for the kids to follow along with to create these works of art.
We read this super cute book from our Beautiful Feet curriculum about a mouse who snuck into a cheese factory at night to fill his belly. In return for the food, Anatole left notes detailing how each cheese could taste better if certain changes were made. The factory owner was so grateful that he begged the mysterious judge to come forward for a reward. You’ll have to read it to find out how it ends. We, of course, had to have our own sampling of cheese after reading this one.
We ending our unit by learning about the Tour De France. The kids made adorable button bikes and used their 5 senses to write a journal entry as if they were a contestant in the race.
This concludes our France unit! Stay tuned for our next stop: Italy!