The Arts

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The Arts represent a very broad range of humanistic and artistic endeavors which are comprised of many categories, art, music, dance, poetry, literature, visual arts, film, theater, mime, and others. This theme was also chosen for National French Week, since may of the interdisciplinary aspects of the teaching of French and French culture(s) include the Arts. Needless to say, it will be impossible to cover all aspects of the Arts. We can suggest a number of directions which might apply to one or more of the themes or which could be adapted for many of the categories in the Arts. Some teachers of French deal with the Arts from a point of view of appreciation and understanding; others deal with the Arts from a student performance point of view; still others use both approaches. Music and Dance suggestions can be found separately.

Below are numerous ways in which teachers and students can use cross-disciplinary activities related to the Arts. Students can:

  • create commemorative bulletin boards and booklets about famous people in the Arts (see the AATF Calendrier perpétuel for names of famous Francophones);
  • plan a trivia contest on the Arts between classes;
  • invite local French-speaking artists to speak at a school assembly;
  • make tee-shirt designs, incorporating the contributions of famous French or Francophone artists;
  • have a competition for the best costumes representing famous people in the Arts;
  • create a mural depicting many of the French or Francophone celebrities in the Arts;
  • find information on the Internet; one address with links to Art, Music, Film, and general Culture is;
  • visit, via the Internet, various museums in la Francophonie such as le Louvre at;
  • write poetry while listening to French music or in the style of a particular author and display it in the school;
  • visit museums on a field trip and invite parents or school board members as guests;
  • ask faculty at a university to plan a French film series;
  • plan a photography exhibit at the local library commemorating the Lumière brothers;
  • plan a commemorative stamp exhibit at the local post office with student drawings of famous French or Francophone artists and their work or using real French postage stamps for which the students have prepared background information and historical context;
  • read French poetry or perform a skit from a famous play in a public forum;
  • perform parts of famous Broadway plays with a French theme such as Les Misérables;
  • plan a film festival of American films which take place in French-speaking places;
  • create a living time line of the Arts illustrating how poets, writers, painters, actors and actresses of different time periods might interact as they speak with one another (such as François Villon with George Sand and Maurice Chevalier).

Thomas Field (MD)
Gladys Lipton (MD)
Robert Peckham (TN)
Davara Potel (OH)
Harriet Saxon (NJ)

Reprinted and adapted from the AATF National Bulletin, Special Issue, Vol. 24 No. 5 (May 1999)

Created: April 25, 1999
Last update: July 31, 2015