Mardi Gras 2021 in French Class (UPDATED 2/11/21)



NOTE:  I'm reposting this, as I added some additional resources.


Like just about everything we normally do in our classrooms, Mardi Gras is another celebration that will look quite different in my classroom this year.  In the past, I blogged here sharing how I normally celebrate in my class.  This year I will be incorporating a lot of those resources, but I have modified them and added some new ones.

First, we will watch the video below, as we always do (email subscribers will need to view this on the blog, as always).  It is in English and it is dated, but it really gives a great overview of the history of Mardi Gras and Carnaval.  I have put it into an EdPuzzle because there is a short segment featuring some rather risqué costumes that I don't feel overly comfortable showing middle schoolers, so EdPuzzle allowed me to crop it out:


Then, we will talk a little bit about the difference between Mardi Gras and Carnaval and look at a few photos of how it is celebrated around the world, and not just in the francophone world.  I show photos from this gallery.  Be aware that some of the photos in the gallery may not be school appropriate.  I have selected which photos to show beforehand.

The following day, students will learn a little more about three locations where Carnaval and Mardi Gras are heavily celebrated:  Martinique, Nice, and New Orleans.  In the Nearpod below, students will watch snippets of videos showcasing Carnaval in Martinique and Nice, and then I will share my own photos of New Orleans, with narration in French.  Students will have an opportunity to review some of what they learned the following day.  Don't mind the little French Club reminder at the beginning!

Update 2/11/21:  A reader just informed me that the YouTube videos in my Nearpods come up as 404 errors!  This is so frustrating, as I had no idea!  The videos work fine when I present the lesson.  I have reached out to Nearpod for assistance and they are looking into the issue, but in the meantime, please click here or scroll to the bottom of the post for a playlist of videos included in the Nearpods in this post.


Normally my students make masks ahead of Mardi Gras to wear in class the day we are celebrating it, but with so many students learning from home, it is difficult to get the templates to them, so I am changing things up a bit.  Students will be given this document (see below) with two choices for our Wednesday virtual day just prior to Mardi Gras:  they can either dress up (or dress up a pet or stuffed animal) in some type of Mardi Gras-related costume, or they can prepare a dish for Mardi Gras to show the class.


On Wednesday, students will get into breakout rooms on Zoom to show off what they prepared.  When we come back to the main session, some students will be able to share with the entire class if they choose to.  Then, if time allows, I have created this Quizizz to review what they have learned.  As a follow up, students will be asked to submit answers to the following three questions:

1.  What did you prepare for today's class?  Please describe the dish or costume.
2.  Name one dish that someone else prepared that you thought looked delicious.
3.  Describe one costume that another student was wearing that you thought was near.
4.  Name one fact you recently learned about Mardi Gras and/or Carnaval.

Finally, on Thursday and Friday before break, students will learn more about Black History in New Orleans via the Nearpod I made below featuring more of my photography.  Then students will learn about how New Orleans is handling Mardi Gras this year (thanks to my friend and colleague Meg Chance who shared these awesome videos of Yardi Gras house floats!).  Finally, students will learn about the song "Au bal masqué" by La Compagnie Créole and the updated version of the song they made in 2020 to promote mask usage.  As I mentioned above, the YouTube videos aren't playing properly, so please click here or see the bottom of the post for a playlist of all the videos included in the Nearpods in this post.


Here is a playlist of all the videos embedded in the Nearpods in this post, since they don't seem to be working properly in the Nearpod.  I also included a longer house tour video, which I did not show in class, but I posted it on my Canvas page for students to explore at their leisure.


The Princess and the Frog © Disney.  The use of low-resolution copyrighted images from the movie in this post is thought to be permissible as non-commercial educational use under the Fair Use Exception to the U.S. Copyright Act.

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