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Tour of France

LESSON TITLE: Tour of France

AUTHOR: Carrie Lopez

SOCIAL STUDIES OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to learn about famous world landmarks and how they are expressions of culture through discussion, note taking and writing a tour guides’ presentation of a specific landmark. 

DRAMA OBJECTIVE:  Students will be able to develop characters with their bodies by creating and becoming a famous world landmark.

COMBINED OBJECTIVE:  Students will be able to better understand the culture of a country and develop character through participating in a tour guide’s presentation of France and writing a postcard of what they learned on the tour.


Objective 1--Evaluate key factors that determine how a community develops.

  1. 1-Identify the elements of culture (e.g. language, religion, customs, artistic expression, systems of exchange). 
  2. Describe how stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture. 


TH:Cr1.1.3a. Create roles, imagined worlds, and improvised stories in a drama/theatre work. 

TH:Cn10.1.3a. Use personal experiences and knowledge to make connections to community and culture in a drama/theatre work. 



    1. Review the word ‘culture’ (pattern of behavior or ‘way of life’ shared by a society or group of people) with the class and the elements of culture by asking questions of the students. “ What are some elements of culture?” (language, religion, customs, artistic expression, money, food, clothing, music, landmarks, traditions)
    1. “Today we will be learning about a particular country.  I am going to give 5 students a letter magnet. Please come up and try to figure out what the name of the country is by putting your magnets together on the board.”  The letters spell FRANCE.  Give clues as necessary. 
    2. Ask a student to find the country, FRANCE, on the globe. “What continent is it in?” (EUROPE) The students learned about continents in 2ndDisplay picture of France so the students can see it better. 
    3. “What do you know about France?”Has anyone ever been there?  What language is spoken there?  What famous landmarks are there?  Food?  Capital?
    1. Tell the students we will be taking a tour of Paris, France today! Ask a few of the students for their help in not only being tourists on the tour but also by each helping be part of the tour at a specific moment. **(with a large class the teacher would need to choose certain students to help with the tour only instead of being tourists, OR, if the teacher feels students are capable, he/she can choose those who will easily be able to move in and out of their tourist character and helping in the tour )  Pass handout w/picture to each student or group of students (based on what is required on handout.)  Each handout describes a cultural tourist stop the whole group (class) will go to; a picture of the cultural element at that stop; and a description of the role of the student when we get to that stop.
    2. Allow the students to familiarize themselves with their paper and how they are going to participate in that particular tourist stop. Assign each group a spot in the room based on the taped Xs on the floor.  Give them a few minutes and go around answering questions, etc.
    3. Tourist stops/Information on handouts.                                                                                                                 

TOURIST STOP #1:  Mona Lisa Painting at The Louvre Museum  

      1. One of the most famous paintings in the world.
      2. Was stolen in 1911 and was recovered 2 years later.
      3. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
      4. Mysteries: her smile—is she happy or sad?  What does her little smile mean? Who is she?; uncertainty--her gaze seems to follow you wherever you are

YOUR PART IN TOURIST STOP #1:  Sit motionless in a chair the way the woman in the painting sits.  Copy how she places her arms, how she holds her head, where she is looking, and the expression on her face.

TOURIST STOP #2:  Crepes

  1. A crepe is like a thin pancake that is rolled or folded and contains a variety of fillings.
  2. Crepes can be a main meal or dessert.
  3. Possible fillings:
    1. Meal fillings: cheese, ham, mushrooms, eggs
    2. Sweet: melted chocolate, Nutella, bananas, berries, nuts, whipped cream

           YOUR PART IN TOURIST STOP #2:  You are a couple people selling crepes at an outdoor booth.  Tell the tour group the variety of fillings (see above) they can choose from so they can each order their crepe.  Quickly pantomime making the crepes and giving them to the tourists.                   

TOURIST STOP #3:  Eiffel Tower

  1. The most visited monument in the world.
  2. Took over 2 years to build, 934 feet, made of iron.
  3. Was created to be the entrance to the World Fair in 1889, where inventors and artists from all over the world would come to show their newest creations.
  4. Named after engineer, Gustave Eiffel.
  5. At night, it lights up with 20,000 twinkling bulbs for 5 minutes every hour.

            YOUR PART IN TOURIST STOP #3:  Create the Eiffel Tower structure with your bodies.  Be ready to “twinkle” (see above fact about the tower lighting up at night) when the tour guide indicates.                                                                                                                                          

TOURIST STOP #4:  Disneyland Paris

  1. Entertainment resort opened in 1992.
  2. A kind of American symbol in France.
  3. The 2ndDisney park to open outside of the US and one of the biggest attractions in France and Europe.
  4. Has a Ratatouille: The Adventure ride, where riders become mice running in a kitchen.
  5. Popular rides: It’s a Small World (Has a design of the Eiffel Tower in front), Big Thunder Mountain

            YOUR PART IN TOURIST STOP #4:  A person working a ride at Disneyland Paris. Welcome our group to the ride (Thunder Mountain) and help us load into the imaginary roller coaster. (we can sit on the floor or on chairs) Make sure our seat belts are all on and we are secure.  Tell us to stay seated and to have fun!  You can choose to join us on the ride and lead us through the movements of the roller coaster if you would like.

    1. Ask the students to leave their papers at their tourist stops and to find a spot on the floor with some space. “I’d like to invite all of you to be tourists on this tour of Paris.  Who are you?  What character?  Why are you in Paris wanting to go on this tour?  Are you a photographer, a fashion model, a historian, a family member on vacation, etc.?  What might you have with you on this tour?  How do you walk, sit, hold yourself?  How do you talk?  What is your name?”  Gather the students in a half circle.
    2. Our tour guide, Renee, will be joining us shortly. When I put on this scarf and glasses, I will become Renee and I invite you to become the tourist you have imagined.
    3. Put on the scarf and glasses.“Bonjour! Bonjour mes amies! (go to each and do the French greeting of “air kissing” each side of their cheeks…cheek kissing is a customary greeting among the French, the number of cheek kisses varies depending on what city you are in).  My name is Renee and I will be your tour guide today.  We will be touring Paris, the City of Light!” (was one of the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting).  “Also known as the City of Love J“(honeymoon destination, sights, language, romantic places)
    4. Ask each student to share who they are (their tourist character)—their name and why they are in Paris and want to go on this tour.
    5. Begin the tour after placing each of the students who are helping at stops throughout in their designated spots in the room. Go from one stop to another, asking questions, giving information (see info above under each stop).  Try to interact and ask students questions pertaining to the characters they have created. Add moments of conflict/drama where applicable—choking on a crepe, fear of roller coasters, mysteries of Mona Lisa, etc.
    1. Bring the students back to the board and go out of role and invite them to do the same. They are themselves again.Ask those who helped with the tour to put their pictures up on the board with the magnets so everyone can see what the real structures/places on our tour look like.  “What did we learn today on our tour of France? What did we learn about the culture?”  Refer to the pictures as they review their learnings and observations.
    2. “How did your character respond or act differently than you would have on the tour? What objects did you have with you as your character? Did you move or talk differently than yourself when you were your character? How did you like going on a tour…what were your favorite parts about our imaginary tour?  Was it hard or easy to imagine what you were eating, seeing, experiencing?  What made it easier/harder?  What could we have done to make it more real?
    1. Give each student a postcard (5X7 cardstock rectangles). Ask them to draw a picture on one side of the postcard of something they saw on their tour and then to write, as their character, to someone on the other side about what they experienced on the tour.  (at least three things they learned, can also describe what they saw, favorite moments, etc.)