Le Tour de France

Activity Overview: 

The project is entitled, "Le Tour de France." The French IV students follow the route of the current years' “Tour de France” bicycle race. They search for information about the cities along the course. Specifically, they need to know tourism information and the history of each area. The students imagine that they are a tour company that is trying to promote the trip to prospective customers. They are asked to make a travel brochure and a PowerPoint presentation in French. They gather information by contacting tourism offices (via e-mail) in France, by using the Internet to search sites, and by using other printed and on-line materials.

1.  To learn French geography, history and culture.
2.  To learn how to make travel arrangements in France.
3.  To learn and/or practice computer skills.
4.  To present information orally and in writing.

The project is entitled, "Le Tour de France." Students follow the route of the current years' “Tour de France” bicycle race. They search for information about the cities along the course. Specifically, they need to know tourism information and the history of each area. The students imagine that they are a tour company that is trying to promote the trip to prospective customers. They are asked to make a travel brochure and a PowerPoint presentation. They gather information by contacting tourism offices (via e-mail) in France, by using the Internet to search sites, and by using other printed and on-line materials.

(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks. Not all of the following activities/standards will appear in the video clips used.)


Curriculum Standards 
from http://www.intime.uni.edu/model/content/cont.html


National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Performance Indicators from http://cnets.iste.org/sfors.htm

Introduce the project. The students will discuss and divide the tasks.


Grades 9 - 12: 5, 10

The students e-mail tourism offices in France.

Foreign Language 5.1

Grades 9-12: 5

Students gather information in the library, on the Internet, and in travel brochures.

Foreign Language 1.2, 3.1

Grades 9-12: 7, 8


Groups organize and synthesize their information.

Foreign Language 3.1, 3.2

Grades 9-12: 1, 2, 7, 10

Students make PowerPoint slide shows and brochures. Each student makes six PowerPoint slides and one page of the brochure. Foreign Language 5.1 Grades 9-12: 5, 7
Students present their PowerPoint slides. Foreign Language 3.1, 5.1 Grades 9-12: 5

Web sites:
Agile Internet Design and Management. (2000). The southern France guide. [On-line]. Available: http://www.le-guide.com/index.html. [May 18, 2001]. 

Air France. (2000).  Air France. [On-line]. Available: http://www.airfrance.fr/. [May 18, 2001]. 

BBC Sport. (2000). In Depth: Tour de france. [On-line]. Available: http://news6.thdo.bbc.co.uk/sport/hi/english/in_depth/2000/tour_de_france/default.stm [March 27, 2001]. 

Buttenworth, A. (2000). Tour de France. Knapp Communications. [On-line]. Available: http://www.cyclingnews.com/results/2000/jul00/tdfrance00/tdfrance00main.shtml [May 18, 2001].

Buttenworth. A. (2000). Cycling videos. Knapp Communications. [On-line]. Available: http://www.cyclingnews.com/video/2000/video00.shtml#jul [May 18, 2001].

CNN/ Sports Illustrated. (2000). 2000 Tour de France. [On-line]. Available: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/cycling/2000/tour_de_france/ [May 18, 2001].  

Dodge, Bernie (2000). The WebQuest page. [On-line]. Available: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/webquest.html. [May 18, 2001].   

Doppeler, D., Gago, F., & Bellas, J. (2000). Paris Tourisme.[On-line]. Available: http://www.visit-paris.com/index.html. [May 18, 2001].  

ESPN.Com, (2000). Cycling. [On-line]. Available: http://espn.go.com/moresports/tdf00/index.html [Oct. 25, 2000].

France.com, Inc. (2000). France.Com. [On-line]. Available: http://www.france.com. [May 18, 2001].  

Franceway: Voilà la France. (2000).  Voilà la France. [On-line]. Available: http://www.franceway.com/. [May 18, 2001].  

MediaLine Producation. (2000). Tourism in France. [On-line]. Available: http://www.tourisme.fr/us/index.htm. [May 18, 2001]. 

Netscape (2000). Netscape Store. [On-line]. Available: http://webcenter.travel.netscape.com/travel/index.jsp [May 18, 2001].  

Peckham, B.  (2000). Tennessee Bob's Famous French Links. Globe-Gate Project. [On-line]. Available: http://www.utm.edu/departments/french/french.html.  [May 18, 2001].  

Rodale, Inc. (2000). Tour de France. [On-line]. Available: (2000). http://www.bicycling.com/tdf2000 [May 18, 2001].  

Sncf.com. (2000). Sncf.com. [On-line]. Available: http://www.sncf.fr.  [May 18, 2001].  

Société du Tour de France. (2000). Le Tour de France. [On-line]. Available: http://www.letour.com [May 18, 2001].  

Toutela.com. (2000). Toutela.com. [On-line]. Available: http://www.w3i.com/. [May 18, 2001].  

VeloNews. Inside Communication, Inc. (2000). The Journal of Competitive Cycling. [On-line]. Available: http://www.greatoutdoors.com/velonews/race [May 18, 2001].  

Inspiration Software. Inspiration, Inc. Available: http://www.inspiration.com

Microsoft PowerPoint. Microsoft. Available: http://www.microsoft.com

Microsoft Word. Microsoft. Available: http://www.microsoft.com

Compaq Deskpro. Compaq. Available: http://www.compaq.com

Iowa Communications Network. Available: http://www.icn.state.ia.us/

Microtek ScanMaker. Microtek. Available: http://www.microtekusa.com/list.zhtml?cid=3

Sharp Projector. Sharp. Available: http://www.sharp-usa.com

SMART Board. SMART Technologies Incorporated.
Available: http://www.smarttech.com/

Teacher Created Materials: 
Le Tour de France WebQuest



The following are the standards I will use in the evaluation of the final project:

5 = Excellent 4 = Good 3 = Adequate
2 = Poor 1 = Very Poor 0 = Missing  

The teacher, the student, and the other 3 members of the group will do the evaluation. The scores will be averaged to determine the final grade.  

Oral Presentation:  

1. Facts are accurate and relevant                                 0 1 2 3 4 5
2. Clear presentation of ideas                                        0 1 2 3 4 5
3. Speaks without depending on note card                     0 1 2 3 4 5
4. Enthusiasm, voice quality, articulation                         0 1 2 3 4 5
5. Professionally presented in the "role"                          0 1 2 3 4 5
6. Attire neat and presentable                                        0 1 2 3 4 5 
7. Positive humor is used appropriately                          0 1 2 3 4 5  

PowerPoint Presentation:  

1. Main ideas are included in presentation                       0 1 2 3 4 5
2. Follows the PowerPoint format given in class              0 1 2 3 4 5
3. Graphics are creative, appropriate, and interesting       0 1 2 3 4 5 
4. Presentation is attractive                                              0 1 2 3 4 5
5. PowerPoint enhances the oral presentation                  0 1 2 3 4 5 


1. The main theme is clear                                               0 1 2 3 4 5
2. The information is accurate and complete                     0 1 2 3 4 5
3. Graphics add to the brochure's overall effectiveness     0 1 2 3 4 5
4. Accomplishes its purpose with the intended audience   0 1 2 3 4 5
5. Brochure is neat and presentable                                 0 1 2 3 4 5
6. Brochure is creative and interesting                              0 1 2 3 4 5  

1. Formatted properly                                                     0 1 2 3 4 5
2. Variety of sources used                                               0 1 2 3 4 5

Group work:

The teacher, the student, and the other 3 members of the group will do this evaluation. The scores will be averaged to determine the final total.








Completes all individual task







Participates constructively







Shares responsibilities







Uses class time effectively














Barb Anderson, Dubuque Senior High School, Dubuque, Iowabanderson@dubuque.k12.ia.us 

Marvell Eagleson, Dubuque Senior High School, Dubuque, Iowameagleson@dubuque.k12.ia.us

TIMELINE & COURSE OUTLINE:                                            
I introduce culture projects at a time when we are learning a lot of vocabulary. This arrangement allows me to do short vocabulary practice activities and still have the time to work on projects.  

My students are reenacting this activity in the video. I introduced each of the steps given below. The students reenacted their work on each of the steps. The length of time suggested to complete each of the tasks is given in parentheses following each of the tasks. 

1.  Introduce the project.  Students divide tasks.  (25 minutes) 

2.  Students write tourism bureaus (Not given as homework; e-mail finished in class.  10 minutes) 

3.  Students gather information via: library, World Wide Web and brochures (3-4 class periods) 

4.  Students work in groups, using Inspiration Software, to sort and sift information (20 minutes) 

5.  Work on slides (2-3 class periods) 

6.  Work on brochure (1-2 class periods) 

7.  Put slides together (half of a class period) 

8.  Put brochure pages together (half of a class period) 

9.  Edit slides and brochures (half of a class period) 

10. Prepare oral presentation (half of a class period) 

11. Practice oral presentation with teacher (5 minutes) 

12. Give oral presentations (15-20 minutes each) 

13. Best presentation presents over ICN (15 to 20 minutes)

This was my first time teaching this learning activity. It was my first big technology project. I learned many things that should be done differently. First, you must be very specific on the amount of time you give the students to do an activity. They will take more time than they need unless they are monitored.  

Second, students must be held accountable for their part of the project. Otherwise, some students will do all the work. Also, each student must be made to feel responsible to contribute to the group.  

Third, the students must learn how to help each other. The teacher cannot possibly be the only person to answer questions and help all the students. I learned a very important saying at a Connected Classroom Conference. They said that you should have a rule saying the students must ask three other students before asking the teacher.

Technology Resources:
I used the software that was available at my school. We are fortunate to have a computer lab in our department. There are 15 computers in the lab.  My 4th-year French class had 15 students. I know the project can be done with two students working on each computer. A greater computer-to-student ratio would not work very well.  

The technology was necessary for this project. In the past, I have tried a similar project. We wrote tourism offices. We either received no response or we heard from them a month later. In this project, we had a 100% response rate and we started receiving information within a week.    

The information obtained through the Web was invaluable to the project. My students would not otherwise have been able to find current information about the “Tour de France.” They also could not have found information about the small French towns.

School Background Information:
The population of Dubuque is 60,000 people. The majority are blue-collar workers. The school enrollment is 1456 students. The percentage of students who have limited English fluency is only 2%. Our enrollment is 94% white and 6% other.

Teaching Strategy:
I have done similar cultural units over the past several years. The difference is that I used the computer and the Internet for this project. The technology allows my students to have access to information that they would not be able to find otherwise. They can also produce brochures and presentations that look very professional.

Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model Components Highlighted in This Activity http://www.intime.uni.edu/modelimage.html
(Note:  This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks. Not all of the elements from the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model that are described below will appear in the video clips used.)

There are many components of the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model that have been highlighted in the video.The most obvious would be the use of Technology. The video shows students Operating Computers and using appropriate computer Terminology. They are accessing the WWW Information Sources and using Internet Communications to e-mail tourism offices in France. The video also shows groups using Multimedia Presentation Software in the classroom and on the Iowa Communications Network.

In the area of Principles of Learning, one will observe the students working with each other and the teacher. They are giving and receiving feedback. The setting is in groups as well as individual work time at the computer. There is Active Involvement by each student. 

When examining the Information Processing element, you can see everything except the Presearch component. Students use books, travel brochures and sources from the World Wide Web. They Search the sources to gather information. In their groups, they organize, analyze, apply and, finally, present their findings.  

I can only hope that you will see that my students exhibited the behaviors represented in the Tenets of Democracy. I try to make sure that all of my students have an opportunity to express themselves. Working in small groups gives students more chances to speak. The students were required to work together to make decisions about which information to include and how the group would organize and present their materials. 

Student Characteristics:
The students in this class have worked together for four years. They are comfortable with each other. I try to group them so that they will be productive. Each group has at least one student that has some technology knowledge and one student that is particularly strong in French. They all want to succeed in the French class, so they worked hard to accomplish every task.

There are many different ability levels and learning styles within this classroom. The structure of this project allows students to use different approaches to accomplish the task and to work at their own pace.  Students are able to work individually and to get help if needed.  

Evolution of the Activity:
This project has not evolved over time. This was the first time my classes have done the “Tour de France” activity. I know that next year I will limit the amount of time I give my students to research and to do the slides and brochures.  When given too much time, the students tend to waste it. They need to learn more efficient ways to organize and finish their projects. My biggest problem was the amount of canceled classes due to weather. Our lab is heavily used and it is difficult to find enough time if a lab day is missed.

(Learning activity format adapted from National Educational Technology Standards for Students Connecting Curriculum & Technology