Teacher Notes

Sous les Tropiques: Fun in the sun...

Your dream is about to come true. Thanks to radio station C-FRAN 2000, you will be traveling to the Caribbean during the summer of 2000. The station has selected your prize winning essay about the Caribbean, and C-FRAN is rewarding you with an all-expense paid trip to the Caribbean with your school's French Club.

The Task
Mardi Gras

The trip begins with your arrival to New Orleans. After New Orleans, you will be touring several islands. The other islands to be visited are going to be determined by you. Why? The radio station was so impressed with your knowledge of the Carribbean that your project for the radio station will be to produce a brochure of the trip for your fellow participants. The radio station is being generous enought to pay for your trip so they are asking that you complete this project in return for your trip.

Select the tour :
 Islands:  French Guiana  Guadeloupe  Haiti  Martinique

 The Product

Your project will need to be in the form of a written brochure or video travel journal . Be sure to include:

  • Map of the Carribbean on the cover with the islands visited labeled
  • Brief historical comment for each island
  • Two places of interest for each island. Be sure to inlcude a comment about why someone would visit the site.
  • Bibliography. (Bibliographic form sheets are on top of the card catalog in the Library)

Optional items for your project:

  • Maps or directions to places
  • Pictures of places on your visit
  • Calculate how much money you will need for admission charges for the places you will visit
  • Type of currency needed for each country visited


 Daily (Formative)

 Group Work

 Research Process-

 Items Used in the
Research Process

(notes, outline, drafts, works
cited, etc.)


 Reflection (Summative)

 Step 1: Questioning and Planning





As you look at the task above, list as many questions as you can that will help you to understand and investigage this topic. Consider the following factors:

Several things to consider:

  • A map of the Carribbean with the islands to be visited should be on the front of your brochure since not everyone knows where the islands are located. Consider the location of each island to determine how to plan the trip.
  • You should write a brief statement about the history of each island visited. Also consider how the history has influenced the culture and landmarks of the island.
  • Plan to visit Martinique and at least two other islands. You will be visiting at least three islands. Transportation will be provided but you must determine which islands best fit your plans.
  • After locating each island, find at least two sites/places of interest for your group to visit. Don't forget to find out the entrance price and be sure to include a comment about why the group should visit. Be sure include why is it important to visit each selection.

What do you already know about the the Carribbean?
What do you need to know to begin your research?

Examples of questions:

  • How have the French influenced the culture of New Orleans?
  • Which monuments are you going to visit and why?
  • Which peoples influenced Carribbean?
  • Why would you go to New Orleans?
  • How much money will you need?



You should use a graphic organizer to record your information and to keep track of your bibliographic sources.

 Step 2: Gathering, Sorting, and Sifting
 In this step you will be using a variety of library resources to find answers to your questions.
 Tip:If you did not formulate questions in Step 1, go back and do it now. A topic is not a question.
Gather answers from a variety of sources. Your school library media center may have some of the following:

Print Resources


 Culturgrams  U.S. State Department Background Notes

Subject Encyclopedias
Lands and Peoples (Grolier) Encyclopedia of the First World (Facts on File)
Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations (Gale) Encyclopedia of the Second World (Facts on File)
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Culture and Daily Life (Gale) Encyclopedia of the Third World (Facts on File)
Peoples of the World (Gale) People and Places (World Book)
Cultures of the World (Marshall Cavendish) Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures & Daily Life (Gale)

General Encylcopedias
Academic American Britannica
Collier's Encyclopedia Compton's Encyclopedia
Encyclopedia Americana World Book Encyclopedia
Statesman's Yearbook The Europa World Year Book
Almanacs (Note: The index to an almanac is in the front of the book.)  
Nonfiction Books
Check the library catalog for books about specific countries.

CD-ROM Resources 

World Factbook
Discovering Nations, States, and Cultures
Junior Worldmark: All About Nations, States & Provinces (Gale)
World Atlas (Mindscape, Microsoft)
Let's Visit France (Queue)
Let's Visit South America (Queue)
General electronic encyclopedias

Internet Resources 

Caribbean Explorer
Caribbean Travel
New Orleans Convention & Visitor's Bureau
Fun Caribbean
LANIC: The Caribbean
Lonely Planet: Destination Caribbean
Party Guide New Orleans
Planet Rider: Caribbean
Travel Caribbean
U.S. State Department: Background Notes
U.S. State Department: Travel Warnings
Altapedia Online
CIA World Factbook
Flags of the World
Health Information for the Caribbean
Languages for Travelers
Library of Congress - Country Studies
Map Collection
Currency Calculator
The Weather Channel
Web of Online Dictionaries

Doing Research in French

Remember to cite your references. Check the MLA guidelines and examples for citing resources; however, your school may use a different format.
Sort your research findings by using note cards or a graphic organizer.
Sift through the resources, eliminating those that do not answer your questions.

 Step 3: Synthesis and Evaluation

Check point! It is time to assess your progress.

Now that you have gathered information, stop to evaluate your findings.

  • Have you found sufficient details to answer all your questions?
  • Can you throw away material which is not useful or does not answer your questions?
  • Do you need to rearrange the information in different categories?
  • Can you condense or combine the information?
  • Do you need to develop new questions to adequately cover your topic?

 Figure out how much you have learned.

  • Is the puzzle beginning to take shape?
  • Are you able to make out any patterns?
  • Try moving your information pieces around until some kind of picture emerges.

You are looking for insight.

  • What have you learned so far?
  • What more do you need?

You are trying to "tease" meaning out of fragments. Synthesis requires rearranging pieces of information until a new version emerges.

 Step 4: Gathering/Sorting/Sifting 2

  Task/Product | Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Step 5 | Step 6

Now that you have synthesized your information and evaluated your progress, you are ready to locate additional information to answer your questions and further develop your topic. Return to any of the resources mentioned earlier in Step Two.

 Step 5: Final Synthesis and Evaluation

Synthesis is the act of pulling your research and ideas together to form a new whole.

Before you begin, recall the items you were asked to consider in your research. They were listed in Step 1.




 1.  1.
 2.  2.
 3.  3.

 Step 6: Presentation

 Are you ready to prepare your presentation?


Recall your task and product.

Review all of your materials to prepare for your final product. Your product should reflect your efforts during the past steps in the research process.

    Questioning and Planning
Gathering, Sorting, and Sifting
Synthesis and Evaluation


  • Do you have enough to say?
  • Are you able to explain your findings as well as your suggestions clearly?
  • Are you able to cite the references from which you obtained your facts?