A Day in Paris (without leaving home!)

Day in ParisThis past week we took a “Fall Break” to celebrate finishing our first 12-week term, but we did have some learning fun one day.  Out of the blue, Arianna asked to watch Madeline, and I told her I would only put on the video if we could read the book first.

So began our “day in Paris.”  The illustrations in Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans show many wonderful landmarks of the city, and I wanted my children to be able to recognize them as real places rather than just pictures in books, so I set out to see how many ways I could expose them to Paris in one day.  Since it was a spur of the moment decision, I was limited to what we already had (or could access from home).

After reading Madeline I made the boys find Paris on the globe and drilled them on the country and continent in which they’d find it.  Then while they all watched the original “Madeline Special,” I printed out Paper City Paris on cardstock and started cutting out the pieces.  I wanted to keep the little blurbs about each piece, so I cut those out as well and glued them to the back of each one.

They were fascinated by something new to play with and enjoyed “driving” the little paper car through the Arc de Triomphe and under the Eiffel Tower.  The three older kids played with the set as we watched Travel With Kids: Paris.

Then at lunch we practiced using “S’il vous plaît” and “merci,” and watched Ben and Jessa’s “European Honeymoon” on 19 Kids and Counting.  (The BBC has a fun site to help them explore the language a little more.)

After naps, the kids flipped through other books we have about Paris, including more books about Madeline, another Five in a Row book, The Giraffe That Walked to Paris, and a book about Notre-Dame de Paris (good for the pictures).

Ian’s been begging me to to take him to Paris ever since we first “rowed” Madeline years ago.  I’m afraid our day didn’t lessen his desire, especially when he heard about the sewers.  Someday I’ll have to have him read Les Miserables. Then he’ll really be itching to go!

Resource Links At a Glance


Madeline   Madeline's Rescue   Madeline and the Bad Hat   Product DetailsProduct Details


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DSCN0363x  BBC Primary French