One way to keep your students interested and excited about learning a language is to celebrate various holidays important to that culture in your classroom. Not only that, but students do learn important cultural information as a result of doing this. I typically celebrate different holidays in different levels of French in order to spread it out and to give students something to look forward to in each level. I usually celebrate Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) in French II. This year I explained a little bit of the history behind the holiday, showed a video of some of the parades in New Orleans, had students complete a Mardi Gras Maze and gave away beads to the winner, decorated the classroom, and made a traditional King Cake. Here are some photos.
The King Cake takes a while to make and is not a simple process, but any doubt about whether or not it was worth the effort was removed when I saw this:
Translation for non-French speakers: I love you Madame. Thanks.
What teacher doesn't want to hear that? :)