French activities to learn about the Arctic (activités Arctique)

French activities on the ArcticWe recently completed a unit study on the Arctic.  We did a lot of fun stuff in English at our homeschool co-op but added these French activities to complement the topic.



Books with accompanying lesson ideas:

Etuk et Piqati by Marie Rocque – a short chapter book about a boy who wants to go hunting on his own. An Inuksuk guides him in the Tundra and teaches him how to navigate using the different types of Inuksuk.   After reading it, we know how to do this, too.   Great read! Free lesson guide/worksheets with it here: Also included in the worksheet bundle is a sheet of research questions on the Inuit. We were able to answer most of these from this next book on my list:

Les Inuits by Erinn Banting – a 23-page picture book giving an overview of the Inuit culture in a kid-friendly manner. We used it to answer our research questions (see above).

Gentil Nanuk by Caroline Castle – a young girl takes her baby brother ice fishing. A polar bear sneaks up behind them and the baby feeds him all their fish. The polar bear rescues them from a storm and carries them home. This book has amazing illustrations! We used them as inspiration for our own drawings of an Arctic scene.



Autobus Magique – Magic School Bus translated into French.  This series is a favourite with my kids, especially my 7 year old son.  I found an experiment to go with the book.  The instructions are in English, but you can find that link here:

I’d planned to speak French with the kids while doing the experiment but to be completely honest by the time we got this far in the unit, we were all so sick of talking about the Arctic that we skipped the experiment and called it a day!


Animal reports:

I had the kids choose an animal from the Arctic to research and write a brief report.  My 7 year old answered some questions with my help.  For the research, the kids used a bunch of library books in French on the chosen animals and also this web site:

I made an outline for the report that the kids used.  It’s amazing how much difference it makes when the sheet has fun borders and clip-art.  They actually wanted to fill it in.  It took me forever to make it, so I’ve made it available for my e-mail subscribers.  If you’re getting this post in your e-mail, the link should be at the bottom.  🙂

Our favourites from the books we read that don’t have accompanying lesson guides:

Petit Inuit by Patricia Geis – A fun story about 2 brothers going fishing and exaggerating the size of the fish they caught.

Le petit ballon de la lune by Carl Norac and Émile Jadoul – A soccer ball travels around the world to an Inuit village. A cute picture book.

Missuk et les oies des neiges by Anne Renaud – A young girl makes geese shapes in the snow (like snow angels) which help her father find his way home in a snowstorm. A longer picture book with more involved text.



Anoki by Jean Leroy and Emmanuelle Eeckhout – A very simple story about eating fish for dinner (again). I had my 7 year old read this one aloud to the rest of us.

Albin retourne au Nunavik by Julie Rémillard-Bélanger – A simple story with text written in French and Inuktitut.

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