Learning Goals and
Objectives--Grades 3 - 5
Voices and Choices--Antoine Bienvenue
Note: It is a good idea to print
Level One for easy reference.
Antoine Bienvenue is now 12 years old and needs
to decide if he will participate in the New Year's celebration like
a man or pursue more "boyish" pursuits.
These themes can be explored with either a social studies or
language arts curriculum. Use these themes to tie in other
resources to your class discussion, i.e., other books, other
cultures, students' own lives.
- Growing up and taking on new roles and responsibilities
in the family and community
- Festivities during the French Period
These questions which come at the end of each story, minus "the
answer", can be used to start class discussions or be assigned as
Have you taken on new responsibilities in your family since
your last birthday?
Explore the idea of family responsibilities with your students.
Does each birthday bring new jobs within the family? How do
different cultures view the roles and responsibilities of children
within the family?
What new responsibilities does Antoine have now that he is 12?
How are they the same or different from yours?
At the age of 12, Antoine was growing up. He was now considered
man enough to carry a gun and protect the village. His sisters
expected him to join in the festivities surrounding New Year's
Why did Antoine ask St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) for a gun?
As much as he feels himself a child, Antoine wants to become a
man. A gun was a symbol of manhood in French colonial society, plus
he will be able to show it off to his Indian friends.
What do you look forward to doing when you turn 12?
Find out if your students regard the age of 12 as a time of
coming of age. Will they be able to do "adult" things like having
their ears pierced or being able to go places by themselves?
Do you and your family celebrate New Year's Eve in the same way
that Antoine and his family did?
The French celebrated New Year's Eve by going to church for a
midnight mass and preparing for the Twelfth Night Ball held on
January 5th. Everyone in the community would have participated.
Before the ball, young men dressed in costume would go from door to
door begging food for the ball and entertaining each household by
singing the Guignolee and dancing the rag dance.
Why are Antoine's Indian friends important to him? In what ways
are your friends important to you?
His Indian friends have taught him to hunt with a bow and arrow.
Explore the idea of friendship with your students. What do we do
with our friends that we don't do with members of our family?
These are suggested classroom activities and student projects
that you may want to use with your students or as models to create
1. Diary Writing
Pretend to be Antoine or one of his sisters and write a diary
entry about what took place New Year's Eve. Begin your diary like
January 1, 1743, Kaskaskia
2. Map Drawing
On a piece of paper, draw a map of your neighborhood. You might
want to show where you live, where your friends live, where your
school is located, where your family buys their groceries.
How does your neighborhood compare with a French village in the
Go to Maps and find out
3. Creating a mask for New Year's Eve
You can design your own mask out of thick paper or cardboard or
buy premade paper masks at the store. Use scraps of construction
paper, fabric, tinfoil, tissue paper, and bits of string or tinsel
to glue onto your mask as decoration.
- How might your mask differ from a Halloween mask?
- How might masks made in the 1700s differ from masks made today?
- the materials used to make masks
- the purpose of/or ideas expressed by masks
- the cultural influences upon masks
- Make a diagram comparing life in French colonial Kaskaskia to
life in British colonial Williamsburg.
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