The materials here are intended to assist teachers of French who wish to help their students learn about the heritage of the regions that were known in the era of La Nouvelle France as le pays d’en haut and le pays des Illinois. They may also be used by anyone who wishes to read about this history and culture in French, however, as the informational texts are written in relatively simple French that is accessible to learners of the language.
The texts address the origins of the French presence in North America, the workings of the fur trade–principal economic engine of La Nouvelle France–and introduce the account books of one Quebec trader, Joseph Bailly. They give some information on the important interrelationship between the Native people who lived in this region and the French who came to trade and then live here.
Additionally, this page includes pedagogical materials which suggest activities that French teachers or others can adapt for their own students and situations. For each of the five informational texts, there is a sheet with activities in three categories: one aimed at verifying and reinforcing French language comprehension, one whose goal is to generate reflection and discussion of concepts that grow from the historical and cultural texts, and one that suggests project-based learning activities that teachers may use as inspiration.
For each set of activities, a list of suggested goals and ways in which the activities address the “Standards for Learning French” (the “Five Cs” familiar to all French teachers) is provided.