Facts For Kids- France
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France

French food, wine, culture and fashion have influenced people all over the world. Many French words have become part of the English language. Ballet, pronounced bow-lay, is one French word that English speaking people use.

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France's People
Many people who live in France have come from another country.  Most people live in a major city.

Children in France begin kindergarten classes when they are six.  Before the age of six, many children attend pre-schools.  Students start the school day around 8:30 and end at 4:30, but they have a 2 hour lunch break where they can go home.  Most students go to a university for free when they are eighteen.

All French people get 5 weeks of paid vacation every year.

France's Homes
The homes in France are found in many different styles that vary by region.   Apartments and modern homes are found in the cities.  More traditional cottages or villas are found in smaller towns.

France's Culture
The capital of France is Paris, and has been one of the important cities of the world for hundreds of years. Paris is known for its great art and has often been at the center of the art world. One of the largest art museums in the world is located in Paris. It is called the Louvre.

The Louvre museum has more than eight miles of galleries. Originally, the Louvre museum was a royal palace.

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France's Foods
Some of the finest wine is made in France. The French are also famous for their wonderful food. People all over the world try to copy the delicious menus that were first created in France.

Breakfast in France usually starts with a croissant and bread with jam and butter.  Other meals are served in courses usually beginning with a soup, then the main course, followed by cheeses, and pastries for dessert.

France's Activities
Soccer and rugby are popular sports in France. Many people especially enjoy following professional bike racing. Every July, France hosts the Tour de France. This is a 3 week bicycle race which covers more than 2,000 miles.

The French people enjoy relaxing on the coastal beaches in the Spring.   Skiing and other winter sports are enjoyed in the Winter season in the French Alps and the Pyrenees Mountains.

France's Animals
The mountains of France are home to bears, ibex, deer, wolves, beavers, and vultures.

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France's Holidays and Celebrations 
Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th in France.  The day is celebrates the storming of The Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution.

The Bastille was a prison in Paris.  Once the people conquered the prison, they felt that the King could no longer have power over them.   They went on to fight for their freedom from a Monarchy (the rule of a King) to become a Republic (ruled by the people).14th 1789

Bastille Day is celebrated with parades, fireworks, festivals, and dances.  The largest celebration is in Paris, where a parade marches past the famous Champs Elysées.

This day is special to the people of France because it symbolizes their freedom and the beginning of democracy.

France's Land
The countryside of France is very scenic.  There are many orchards, farms, and vineyards among France's peaceful villages.

The Alps are the highest mountain range in Europe.  The French Alps provide a wonderful place for skiing.

France's Cities
The Eiffel Tower is a famous landmark that people can see in Paris. It was built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel for an International Exposition. Some people climb over 1,000 steps just to reach the middle of the building. Others take the easy way and use the elevator. It is said that on a clear day, people can see for over 40 miles from the top of the tower.

Cannes is a world famous resort in France that is known for the International Film Festival that takes place there every May.

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j0189505.jpg (54496 bytes) France's Facts:
Area: 212,935 sq. miles
Capital City: Paris
Population: 59 million
Main Language: French
Currency: French Franc and euro
Industries: steel, machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics, mining, textiles, food processing, tourism




References:
All images from Microsoft Office Clip Art and Gallery licensed through Microsoft Front Page and Microsoft.
Info France, http://www.info-france-usa.org/

Graham, Leland and Brandon, Traci.  A Trip Around the World.   North Carolina: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company,  1996.
Graham, Leland and Brandon, Traci.  Another Trip Around the World.   North Carolina: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company,  1996.
Adams, Ganeri, and Kay.  The DK Geography of the World.  New York: DK Publishing,  1996.

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