France: Eiffel Tower, Quiche, & Puss in Boots
Do you want to know more about France? Are you a lover of travel, geography teacher, homeschooling or involved parent, student, or life-long learner? In an effort to make world geography more meaningful and memorable, I've compiled all you will need to locate France on a map, cook a French meal, watch YouTube clips on France, color the flag, create a French craft, read a great book about France, and more! This is part of a series of lessons I did with my family while studying various countries from around the world. You can see them all at Around the World in 26 Letters .
Where is France?
Locate France on this map of Europe. Use this map of France to label the capitol, Paris. Mark other relevant features (rivers, mountains, famous locations, etc.) if desired. If you'd like to spend a bit more time researching the country, you can add the language, currency, type of government, religion, and/or famous landmarks. Write them on the back of the map. You can easily find all this information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France.
Fun facts about France
France is said to have been the birthplace of Gothic art as well as Baroque architectural style. Gothic art was previously known as French Art. One of the most beautiful churches in France, the Cathedral of Notre Dame is a classic example of a church built in the ancient Gothic style.
One of the most famous symbols of France, the Eiffel Tower stands at a staggering height of 984 feet, almost the height of a 70 storey building. Today, the tower has 2 restaurants, observing desk, a post office, etc and has elevators that take people up on the first three platforms.
One of the largest art museums in the world, the Louvre, boasts of having some of the most prized artifacts. This includes Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and also the works of French artists like Monet, Cezanne, and Renoir.
(Of all the meals we prepared and ate during our "visits" to over 26 countries and cultures, this meal was rated one of the top meals by my children.)
Prepare and eat quiche, a lettuce salad, french bread, apple clafouti (an apple tart), and mineral water.
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 45 min
- Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
- Yields: 6-8
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup cooked and cubed chicken meat or 1/2 cup ham or 1/2 cup bacon
- 1/2 cup frozen zucchini or 1/2 cup cooked spinach or 1/2 cup cooked broccoli
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray non-stick cooking spray on a 9 inch pie pan. Spread shredded cheese across the bottom of pie pan. Cover the cheese with meat and vegetables. In a blender or with a whisk, combine eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onions, parsley, and milk. Blend ingredients until smooth, and then add the olive oil, mixing until combined. Pour the egg mixture over the meat and vegetable layer. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving. (This recipe came from food.com.)
- Prep time: 40 min
- Cook time: 1 hour 20 min
- Ready in: 2 hours
- Yields: 2-3 loaves
Crusty French Bread
- 2 1/2 cups hot water
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Place hot water in large bowl. Add the shortening, salt and sugar. Stir and let stand until lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over all and beat until smooth. Add 3 cups flour and beat until everything is mixed in. Work in 2 cups flour with a wooden spoon. Gradually knead the last 1-1/2 cups flour in until no longer sticky-about 3 minutes. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Punch down and place on floured board. Roll out to a rectangle. Cut lengthwise in half. With each strip, roll up lengthwise and pinch seams. Roll gently back and forth with hands to desired length and to smooth loaf out. Lightly grease cookie sheet or use French loaf bread pans. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes. Cut diagonal slashes across bread about 1/4" deep.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Pour boiling water on a large cookie sheet to fill it. Place the cookie sheet on bottom rack in oven. (The steam will help the loaves have a crispy crust.) Brush the loaves with warm water and place bread on higher rack in the oven on a rack above the water. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. (This recipe came from food.com.)
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 30 min
- Ready in: 1 hour
- Yields: 6-8
Apple or Pear Clafouti
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 lbs chopped apples or 2 lbs chopped pears (peeled and seeded)
- powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Make a well in the center of mixture and add the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Mix in well to form a smooth batter. Add 4 Tbsp. of the melted butter. Let the batter stand for 30 minutes while preparing the fruit. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Stir the fruit into the batter and pour into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack. This can be served warm or cold. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top before serving if desired. (This recipe came from food.com.)
Our Favorite Picture Books About France
This delightful 40 page picture book follows a cat as it walks across France. It does a good job of highlighting many of the places you might visit if you traveled to France.
This does a wonderful job of giving an overview of France (not just Paris). It has a short rhyme for each letter (perfect for younger listeners) and then a small section explaining the event, person, aspect, etc. in more detail (which is great for my older children). It also has nice illustrations.
This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek was written decades ago, so it includes what is stereotypical of the country -- which is great when you are looking for a book to give a quick overview of Paris. This reprint includes what has changed since the book was published. I love including folktales because they bring a whole new dimension to the study of a country and show what is important to that group of people. We enjoyed reading Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault and illustrated by Fred Marcellino, which is a classic French tale (originally written in 1697). This particular version includes our favorite illustrations. A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino follows a grandfather and his granddaughter as they tour the main sites of Paris. It has beautiful illustrations and does a good job of highlighting some of the more famous sites of the city.
Pray for the people of France
To find out about the religious nature of France and specific ways you can pray for the country, go to operationworld.org.
Visiting France on YouTube
Have you ever been to France?
Where is Paris, the capital of France?
Other countries starting with the letter F
Would you prefer to study a different country? Try one of these.
Ready to visit other countries?
Go to Around the World in 26 Letters to find links to all the countries we "visited." Each webpage features a menu, craft, books, video clips, worksheets, and more!