Using crafts in French class helps students explore France's rich history, architecture and fashion. By creating models, dioramas or costumes, students research and explore different periods of French history and traditions. Additionally, students can create craft projects based around former French colonies, such as the North African colony of Algeria, using the same crafting ideas.
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Eiffel Tower Models
One of the most recognisable and iconic French structures is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The tallest building in Paris was built in 1889 and named for its engineer, Gustave Eiffel. French students constructing model Eiffel Towers can make these buildings out of many different materials, including paper, matchsticks or uncooked pasta. Paper Eiffel Tower templates can be downloaded from several websites, which can then be coloured or decorated, then cut out and folded to create an Eiffel Tower craft. Using an image of the Eiffel Tower, students can also construct models by gluing matchsticks or dry pasta together to represent this iconic structure.
The Eiffel Tower is not the only iconic building in France. The Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles are all buildings that can be made into small-scale models as a craft project for French students. For instance, students can create an Arc de Triomphe model by constructing an arch using chicken wire and then laying strips of newspaper coated with paper mache over the wire. Once the paper mache has dried, students can draw or paint the architectural details of the arch on to their models. Models of the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles can also be fashioned from clay.
Creating clothing worn in during different eras of French history can help students understand and interact with political and economic developments throughout France's rich history. Students should choose an era of French history, such as the French Revolution, and then research the clothing worn by different classes of people during this time. They can then create wearable costumes using fabric, sewing machines and fabric glue. Additionally, students can focus on one particular piece of French clothing throughout history -- like hats or gloves -- and create models or draw illustrations to represent the evolution and uses of this piece of clothing.
French history can also be explored through crafts by having students create dioramas of important events in French history. Students should select and research an important event or time period in the history of France or French colonies, such as the reign of King Louis XVI. Using reference images provided in books or on the Internet, students create dioramas using shoe boxes, construction paper and fabric. The interior of iconic French buildings, such as the Palace of Versailles can also be explore by creating dioramas that mimic the extravagance of these structures.
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