French History: The Good and The Bad

As I have time to reflect during this Christmas break, I find myself furiously scavenging through Pinterest and coming across new, exciting and interesting topics for my students this Spring semester. One of which is French History in all its forms. Consider this picture:


What a conversation starter!

CLASS QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: "Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez?" (=What do you think?) Can you imagine if "consorting with the enemy" resulted in women being humiliated by having their heads shaved while other snapped pictures and uploaded them to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media?

Or consider this picture:


It's incredible! The BBC reports that, "It was this portrait that shocked a nation. Marie Antoinette, the queen of France in 1783, had already outraged the French with her opulence; now she managed to scandalise the nation by ditching the glitz and taking a more simple approach to her outfits. So simple, in fact, that the nation thought she had posed for the portrait in her underwear."

CLASS QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: "Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez?" (=What do you think?) Can you point to any celebrities in our culture that have been photographed looking or acting inappropriately? Was Marie Antoinette a trend-setter in your opinion? Why or why not?

I created a French: History and Beyond Pinterest Board, borne out of my fascination with the compelling images I saw connecting back to French history, culture and scandal. If you'd like to check out the board, which I have only recently created (therefore, a work in progress), I encourage you to click HERE.

Can you think of any other discussion questions relevant to the above photos?

I would be honored to hear from you! Leave your comment in the section below.

French Lesson One: Basic Greetings

French Land! France! La langue Française! Let's start with the basics.


An absolute super resource for all things FRENCH and one that I often show my students is my Pinterest Pin Page for French and Spanish Classes.

Click HERE to see the Pinterest Board populated with over 2,000+ images, inspirations and lessons on French.

The one thing I see missing is the "How to say it?" category. Often, this is the missing piece of the puzzle for people which is why, *ding!*: Your teacher has arrived! For each French word follow these three basic instructions.

1. Make two columns on a paper.

2. Title the first column: The French Word

3. Title the second column: How to Say It

From now on, every time you see a set of this --> (        ); whatever is inside the parentheses is the "how to say it" and NOT the "how to spell it," OK? For each new word I will have a separate set of parentheses.

For example:

BONJOUR                                                           (bone-zjoohr)

SALUT                                                                  (sah-lew)

AU REVOIR*                                  (oh) (ruh-vwahr)       * most people simply say (oh-vwahr) and leave out the (ruh) part. It's like, "Bye!"

BONSOIR                                        (bone-swahr)

COMMENT ÇA VA?                      (koh-maw) (sah) (vah)

COMMENT ALLEZ-VOUS?        (koh-mawnt) (ah-lay) (vooh)

ÇA VA BIEN                                   (sah) (vah) (bee-yahn)

ÇA VA MAL                                    (sah) (vah) (mahl)

COMME ÇI, COMME ÇA            (kuhm) (see) (kuhm) (sah)

JE M'APPELLE                             (zjuh) (mah) (pell)

À TOUT À L'HEURE                    (ah) (toot) (ah) (luhr)

MERCI                                            (mare-see)

JE SUIS DÉSOLÉ(E)*                 (zjuh) (swee) (day-zoh-lay)     *In writing, use two "e's" if you are female, one if you are male. They are both pronounced the same way.

EXCUSEZ-MOI                            (ex-kew-zay) (mwah)

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE        (zjoy-yuhz) (ah-nee-vare-sare)


Voilà! There it is! Your introductory lesson on basic greetings in French.



French Page Coming Soon!

This is a little filler text for a French Page I am trying to set up!


So that image doesn't have anything to do with French...but I am including it just to see if I can create a link in the top bar for navigation. And, I wanted the post to look at least marginally "dressed up".