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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bonjour l'Automne!

Monday, September 23 - Sunday, October 6:  Ideas to help us all promote French language learning including local Washington, DC Metro area activities for kids and families.  Please share any other ideas by commenting below or posting to Bonjour Mama's Facebook page!  In a hurry? For Bonjour Mama Bookstore news, scroll to "New on the Bookstore". Under "French this week", for events, scroll to "Out and About"  For home activities, scroll to "At Home". Bonne Semaine!:-)

Yesterday I was at the Alliance Française for my second book sale this year. It was such a great day. In addition to selling most of my current stock, I met some fantastic people and connected with many friends I hadn't seen in awhile, including my very first customer, who came out on a cold and rainy March day to buy French books for her adorable little girl.  

Zach (and my helpful AND French-speaking husband!) came with me, and despite my mild chagrin at Zach's loud attempts to sell books to the (visibly childless) adults sitting quietly reading at the front tables--Est-ce que tu veux acheter un livre?-- I was thrilled at the unusually low nagging-to-high speaking ratio I experienced yesterday.  Hearing French all around him from so many different people equaled voluntarily speaking by my otherwise reluctant child!  Again, the importance of our being a part of the Francophone community was loud and clear and I think I'm going to have to just make the trip to the Alliance more often. 

In the meantime, we have been many playdates with the Le Petit Groupe Français on Saturdays which have been wonderful for us.  I am still trying to figure out what sorts of activities and venues work for after school as I really want to maximize language exposure during these critical hours. This is time  that I need to fill up anyway, as much as possible with physically active play, and in these beautiful fall days, outdoors, please!  If anyone out there has ideas on what/where/when how, please feel free to send ideas and/or contact me. And/or, propose meet ups on Le Petit Groupe Français and I promise to show up as often as I can if it is within a 30-minute drive of Kensington! 

Below are more ideas for how to "Frenchify" the coming weeks, including a proposed outing to Butler's Orchard for the Pumpkin festival (La fête des Citrouilles!).  Feel free to tack on suggestions in the comments section below!

Merci, bonne semaine et Joyeuse Automne! 


Out and About

Saturday, September 28
12pm-12:30pm: Storytime (l'Heure du Conte) à l'Alliance Française

Monday, September 30
4pm: After school "Gouter et Jouer" at La Madeleine, Bethesda. If there are French-speaking staff (usually, oui!), we will order our gouter in French, then play a game like Monopoly, Cards, Pokemon, etc. - tout en français!) Free. RSVP required via Le Petit Groupe Français. 

Saturday, October 5th
12pm-12:30pm: Storytime (l'Heure du Conte) à l'Alliance Française

Sunday, October 6th
2pm-4pm:  Sortie: La Fête des Citrouilles at Butler's Orchard.Free. RSVP Required via

Looking for other events en français? Take a look at the following calendars: 
Alliance Française DC
Maison de France
French American Chamber of Commerce
DC French Meetup Group

At Home

Watch Toupie et BinouLa Citrouille en Fête

Introduce harvest vegetable vocabulary through any number of resources, such as this cute little game on La Lune de Ninou: Le Jeu du Potager.

Once you know the names, do this activity posted by a teacher on Education World where you make a soup which you serve in a carved out pumpkin:

On the day of the soup-making activity, I let the students clean out a pumpkin. I make sure the hole in the top of the pumpkin is large enough to enable it to serve as a soup tureen. I have students chop up previously washed vegetables. As they cut them up they are always referring to them by their French names. As students cut the vegetables, they sing the song below to the tune of "Frere Jacques."
Pommes de te - erre, des oign - o - ons,
(Potatoes, some onions,)
Des tomates, des carottes:
(Some tomatoes, some carrots:)
Mets - les dans la sou - oupe, Mets - les dans la soupe
(Put them in the soup, Put them in the soup,)
Dans la citrouille, la citrouille.
(In the pumpkin, the pumpkin.)

Piments ve - erts, du persi - il,
(Green peppers, some parsley,)
Des courgettes, des navets:
(Some squash, some turnips:)
Mets - les dans la sou - oupe, Mets - les dans la soupe
Dans la citrouille, la citrouille.

Celeri - i, brocoli - i,
(Celery, broccoli,)
L'epinard, sel et poivre:
(Spinach, salt and pepper:)
Mets - les dans la sou - oupe, Mets - les dans la soupe
Dans la citrouille, la citrouille.

In this section I highlight new additions, picks and promotions for the Bonjour Mama bookstore. If there anything you'd like to purchase on the store but don't see, please let me know what you are looking for and I will try to find it for you! 

Title: Zizi La Chipie: La cousine d'Amérique          Barbara, la cousine américaine de Zizi, doit passer une semaine en France. Mais depuis que Barbara a quitté la France, elle a pris le mode de vie américain et elle est insupportable. D'autant plus que Zizi a dû lui laisser sa chambre. Mais comment faire pour dégoûter sa cousine à tout jamais de la France? $9.95

Barbara, Zizi's American cousin, must spend a week in France. But since Barbara left France, she follows the American way of life and it is unbearable. Especially since Zizi had to give up her room. But how to turn her cousin off to France forever? $ 9.95

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