All About France – Country Study Ideas

Country studies are so much fun and give students the opportunity to explore a new culture and way of life. They can also cover a range of subjects across the curriculum and are brilliant for thematic learning. Here are nine ideas for teaching a country study all about France!

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France Facts

I love to develop my students’ map work skills during a country study. A key part of this is to identify and label the capital city Paris on a map. Looking at key locations as well as any surrounding seas is also great for developing your students’ map skills.

All about French Food

Food tasting is a great way to learn all about French culture, but make sure that you check student allergies before the food tasting with a note home to parents. Students could even make their own French recipe or dish. Play French music at the same time to enhance the experience!

French Words

Learning basic French words and phrases is another way to immerse your students in the country study. Try to use these in other contexts in the classroom, such as greeting students in the morning or when answering the register.

Sight Seeing

France has many iconic landmarks which are so much fun to learn about. Help your students to explore  France and its history by investigating some key sights. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe are all great landmarks for your students to learn about.

Festivals

A key part of exploring a country’s culture and history is through festivals. Bastille Day is a key event in the French calendar and learning about its history and how it is celebrated will give students an insight into the country and its people.

Events

The Tour de France is possibly the most well known of all cycling races and is held in France during July each year. This iconic race is great fun for your students to learn about.

Postcards

After teaching the French facts throughout the country study, I love getting students to write postcards, imagining they have been on holiday to France. They really enjoy applying what they have learned and writing about France in a postcard home.

Favorite Facts

After teaching my students about France, a fun way to reflect on the country study is for students to record their favorite facts from the study. This is great way to embed their knowledge and recall the key facts that they enjoyed learning about.

Word Search

A France word search is another way to reflect on and recall their learning. It also helps to embed key vocabulary.

 

Finding quality resources and information for a country study can be time consuming, but I have done the hard work for you with this great France country study.

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Included is Powerpoint teaching presentation all about France, no prep required and ready to go to save you time! All of the information for the activities included in the unit can be found in the Powerpoint.

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The activities included are differentiated on two levels to suit the different leaners in your class.

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As well as France, I also have a range of other country studies you may want to check out:

all-about-china-country-studyall-about-italy-country-studyall-about-japan-country-studyall-about-mexico-country-study

 

Classroom Multiplication Games

I love using classroom multiplication games to reinforce times table facts. Any way that you can find to reinforce multiplication facts in a fun way is ideal for helping your students learn their times tables. Here are four of my favorite classroom multiplication games.

classroom multiplication games pencil in front of worksheet

Around the World

One student stand up and is ‘on’. They stand behind the student next to them (who remains seated in their chair). The teacher calls out a multiplication question for the student who is on and the seated student they are standing behind. If the standing student calls the answer out correctly first, they then move to stand behind the next student’s chair for the next question and so on, working their way around the other students in the class. However, if the seated student calls the correct answer out first, they are ‘on’ and they stand up and move to stand behind the next person’s chair for the next question and the standing student takes their seat. My students get super competitive and love to see how long they can be ‘on’ for.

Fizz Buzz

A classic! Choose two times table, i.e. 3x and 5x. Students sit in a circle and take turns to count from 1 to 50 (for example). However, on every multiple of 3, the student must say ‘Fizz’ instead of the number and on every multiple of 5, the student must say ‘buzz’ instead of the number. For every number that is a multiple of both 3 and 5, the student must say ‘Fizz Buzz!’.

Times Table Scavenger Hunt

On a piece of card, write a multiplication question. On another piece of card, write the answer as well as the next multiplication question. Continue until you have around 20-25 cards. Write the answer to question on the final card on the first card, so cards form a continuous loop. Place the cards around a large area  – outside is ideal for this. Students work in small groups of around 2 or 3. They work through the cards, solving the question and searching for the card with the next answer. Students write down the answers in order on a piece of paper. Assign different groups different starting cards, to stagger the movement around the cards.

Multiplication Bingo

Choose a times table, for example, the 3x table. Students choose 5 multiples of 3 (up to 12x 3) and write them on their mini whiteboards. The teacher calls out 3x multiplication questions from 1×3 through to 12×3. Students work out the answer and if they have the answer on their card they can cover with a counter or mark off with their pen. Continue calling the questions from the cards and students continue marking off the answers they have. When a student has all five numbers marked off, they shout out ‘BINGO’. If more than one student calls BINGO, the first student to call it wins! You can grab my Multiplication Bingo Cards here to play whole class bingo with.

classroom multiplication games bingo cards

They contain bingo cards for times table from the 2x through to 12x tables and includes 40 bingo cards per set – enough for each student in the class!

 

Charlotte’s Web Activities

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White is a wonderful book to study in the classroom. The following ideas for Charlotte’s Web activities will enhance any book study and make learning fun! 

Charlotte's Web activities and book

First, let’s look at the reasons to teach novel studies:

  • Student exposure to plot structure and new vocabulary, which has an enormous impact on their own language development and writing skills
  • Novel studies also allow students to experience things they wouldn’t have done otherwise
  • They help students to see events from others’ point of view
  • They allow students to develop understanding and skills to make sense of different situations
  • And, of course, for enjoyment and to promote their love of reading

The story of Charlotte’s Web, in which a spider tries to save the life of a young pig on a farm, covers many important themes including friendship, determination, teamwork and growing up.

Some key Charlotte’s Web activities that I like to use during the novel study include:

Character Studies

Character studies are a key element of a novel study. It is through the characters that the reader experiences the events of the story. I like to get my students to complete character profiles on the key characters including details on personality, relationships with others and how they change and develop as the story progresses. In addition, character comparisons are a great way to get students thinking about how different characters react to situations in the story.

Setting Activities

I love getting my student to use their senses to describe settings within a novel. I ask my students to imagine they are on the farm in Charlotte’s Web and to describe what they see, smell and hear. Charlotte’s Web is great for evoking these senses. This a key opportunity to develop descriptive vocabulary, so I have my students work in talk partners to describe the setting verbally before beginning their writing.

Reading Strategy Activities

During the novel study, it is important to develop those key reading strategies. My students think about and make connections between the novel and themselves. the world and also other novels. Thinking about cause and effect of key events is also important during the novel study. We also work in summarizing the key events in the chapters within the novel. 

Writing Tasks

This is where the students can really show their creativity and become fully immersed in the novel and really empathise with the characters. Some writing tasks I enjoy doing with Charlotte’s Web include letter writing to key characters, writing instructions on how to make a spider web, exploring dilemmas (should Wilbur continue with his escape or should he return to the barn?), describing how the characters show they are a good friend and writing a newspaper report on the writing in the web.

Vocabulary

In Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur learns many new words from Charlotte. This is a key opportunity for students to find out the definitions of new words they may not have come across before. This includes developing dictionary skills. I also like students to think about the words Charlotte has written in her web and why she has chosen those words to describe Wilbur.

Cross Curricular Charlotte’s Web Activities

A novel study is great opportunity to learn new facts about the subject of the book. In Charlotte’s web, some of my favorite cross curricular tasks include researching the spider life cycle, creating fact files on how to look after a pet and learning about farm animals.

The above are some of the activities that I incorporate into a novel study of Charlotte’s Web. If you’d like to try the activities mentioned, I have saved you the time and effort of creating them with this useful Charlotte’s Web Novel Study Unit.

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The unit includes full teaching instructions and ideas for implementing the activities. Also included are activities on character, setting, vocabulary work, reading activities and summarizing.

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The novel study also includes Charlotte’s Web activities by chapter. There are multiple choice comprehension quizzes on all chapters in the novel with answers included for you to assess your students’ understanding.

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You can grab Charlotte’s Web Novel Study here!

Math Story Books

I really enjoy using math story books to introduce tricky concepts in my lessons. My students find them engaging and they really help to bring concepts to life and put them into context. Here are three of my favorite math story book I like to use in the classroom.

How Big is a Million?

by Anna Milbourne

Skills: Value of large numbers

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Pipkin the penguin and his quest to discover exactly how big one million is. On his way, he finds ten fish, one hundred penguins and one thousand snowflakes, each one individually illustrated to show students exactly how big these large numbers are. At the end he discovers one million stars, each one of them illustrated on a giant poster. I love using this book to help students grasp the value of large numbers and they find the poster at the end particularly fascinating.

 

One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab

by April Pulley Sayre and Jeffrey Sayre

Skills: Multiplication

Addition facts

I love using this book for investigations. One is a snail, two is a person, four is a dog… this book is all about feet! This book introduces the reader to different characters and their number of feet. It also introduces a number and the possible characters that it could be referring to, i.e. three is a snail and and a person, 20 is two crabs etc. I use this book to reinforce multiplication and addition facts. I give my students a number of feet, i.e. 18, and challenge them find all the different possible combinations of characters whose feet could total this number. Not only is this activity great for reinforcing multiplication and addition facts, it also helps student develop logical thinking and problem solving skills.

 

Spaghetti and Meatballs For All!

by Marilyn Burns

Skills: Area and Perimeter

Mr and Mrs Comfort have invited their family round for spaghetti and meatballs. All 32 of them! Mrs Comfort rents 8 tables to seat her family round, with four seats around each table. However, when the family begin to arrive they begin to push tables together to sit closer to each other, but not all the family will now fit! This book is great for using as a basis for investigating the possible arrangements of the tables, so all the family have a seat. Students can experiment with more than eight tables and find different combinations for the seating plan. It is great for demonstrating that shapes with the same area do not always have the same perimeter. I also like to use manipulatives of card squares to help students in their investigation.

Have you used Math story books in the classroom? I’d love to hear about your favorites!