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Native Americans : respect and tolerance and citizenship




Portrait of White Cloud 





WHITE CLOUD IS THE CHIEF OF THE IOWA TRIBE . George Catlin is a specialist of Native American painting.


B1 Ground Hog Day


Ground Hog Day


A ground hog is a small animal that digs and lives under the ground.  It is also called the woodchuck. 

Ground hogs live in many parts of America.  In the winter they hibernate like bears and some other animals.

There is a legend that says a few hundred years ago Europeans brought Ground Hog Day to America.  They said that the ground hog wakes up from his hibernation on February 2.  (February 2 is half way between winter and spring.)  If he comes up from his hole and it is sunny, he will see his shadow and be frightened.  If he sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter weather.  But if he comes up and the sky is cloudy, he will not see his shadow and will not be frightened.  Then spring weather will come very soon.

Some people believe this legend and they watch the sky on February 2.  Many people are happy if it is cloudy on that day.  They think spring will come soon.  But most people think it is just a fun legend.  What do you think?


to hibernate (verb)- to sleep through the winter

hibernation (noun)- comes from hibernate  (long sleep through the winter)

legend–  old story that is told from parents to children, and children’s children, and so on for many many years

shadow–  darkness made where the light can’t go through (when the sun shines you can see the dark outline of your body on the ground)

When not hibernating or caring for young, woodchucks spend much of their time eating and sunning.

They love to stretch out on warm ground, a smooth rock or along a low branch of a convenient tree. Their tree climbing ability is limited, however, and infrequently used.


Woodchucks prefer to eat fresh green vegetation. They eat a wide variety of wild plants, clover and alfalfa, and garden vegetables if they can get them. On rare occasions, they eat snails, insects, or young birds that they come upon by accident. Early in spring they eat bark and small branches.

Test your knowledge

  1. Another name for a groundhog is___.
    a. a woodchuck
    b. a squirrel
    c. a fox
  2. Groundhog Day is February___.
    a. 14th
    b. 2nd
    c. 22nd
  3. The groundhog pops up out of its___.
    a. hole
    b. nest
    c. lair
  4. The groundhog is looking for its___.
    a. mother b. friend c. shadow
  5. If the sun is shining, it will___ its hole.
    a. go back into
    b. stay out of
    c. run around
  6. If it doesn’t see its shadow, ___.
    a. there will be six more weeks of cold weather
    b. spring will come early this year
    c. it will rain for the next two weeks
  7. The groundhog lives in___.
    a. the ground b. a tree c. a river
  8. The groundhog spends all___ in its hole.
    a. winter
    b. spring
    c. autumn
  9. People are looking___ to spring.
    a. backward
    b. forward
  10. This kind of belief is called a___.
    a. festival
    b. superstition
    c. true story




Robert Louis Stevenson
My Shadow



I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow–
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

from Repeat after us

Gorilla Samantha

17 August 2010 Last updated at 19:54 GMT

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Gorilla Samantha, 37, dies at Toronto Zoo after stroke

Samantha the 37 year old lowland gorilla Samantha was born in Gabon, where gorillas are becoming endangered

Longtime Toronto Zoo resident Samantha, a 37-year-old western lowland gorilla, was euthanized on Tuesday after suffering a second stroke.

The 37-year-old gorilla had been a fixture at the zoo since it opened in 1974 when she was 2.

She had five offspring, two of which remain at Toronto Zoo along with her mate Charles, a silverback gorilla.

Matt Stephenson, the zoo’s gorilla keeper, said he would miss Samantha who “always brought a smile to my face”.

The zoo’s chief veterinarian decided euthanasia was the most humane option after the stroke on Monday – her second in two months – left Samantha in a critical condition.

The first stroke paralyzed the right side of the gorilla’s body.

Samantha was born in Gabon, West Africa, where gorillas have become endangered as a result of hunting and habitat destruction, including logging and mining.

She was part of a species survival plan for these western lowland gorillas.

“I will particularly miss her ‘singing’ at breakfast and dinner, and those purrs and rumbles she made that were like music to the soul, which always brought a smile to my face,” Mr Stephenson said in a statement.

A2-B1 -B2 Cree Tribe Native Americans and Thanksgiving



Joseph Boyden : We all fight our own wars…

click on the link, be patient and the video  will be there!

watch+read+ listen= restitute and progress !

My name’s D… L…, I’m from Canada,

the Plains Cree Tribe.


I talk through  the Cree Nation, that’s my reservation.


I was invited here from my buddy, Barbara Dulk.


He was asking different tribes to come and

perform their style of dancing.


I am here representing the Cree Tribe from Canada.


My first time across the ocean, first time on a plane,

I really enjoy France.


I hope, I hope by being here I can now show

the way I’ve been taught,

the way of my ancestors


and I hope that by doing that people can learn ,


they can know [repeated twice]


We are not the Indians you see

on movies and Hollywood,


We are real, you know,

we are still around (smile)

Many thanks to Dany who kindly accepted to be recorded

and  to Ornans Pow Wow 2010, Association Four Winds !




curtesy of Eliot S



details from Courbet’s paintings

Contes et rencontres autour des droits de l’ Homme

Contes et rencontres autour des droits de l’Homme


Ces écrits ont été réalisés suite au conte donné en salle polyvalente  du collège par Denis Yellow Thunder lors du premier trimestre. Les élèves ont eu plusieurs semaines pour écrire et ont eu un choix à effectuer:

1-reprendre l’intégralité du conte de Dennis Yellow Thunder, amérindien Lakota Dakota

2-créer leur propre conte

Objectifs recherchés en conformité avec le cadre européen des langues nos programmes ainsi que le projet d’établissement

Donner à l’élève l’impression d’une certaine liberté de création tout en lui imposant des contraintes respectant la trame du conte. Créer une motivation dans l’apprentissage de la langue et dans sa pratique de manière à mobiliser l’élève par rapport à son savoir faire: envie de communiquer, sens de ce qui est juste et de ce qui ne l’est pas, utilisation de sa motivation pour les nouvelles technologies.

Différents stades de la production finale: les élèves ont eu la possibilité de travailler par étape et d’envoyer par courriel des ébauches du conte, ce qui permet aussi de suivre leur progression, de donner des explications grammaticales individualisées et de se rendre compte de l’authenticité des contenus, d’ailleurs la spécificité des contes choisis est aussi le témoignage de l’authenticité et du respect du droit d’auteur

Le recours au dictionnaire était un passage obligé ainsi qu’une utilisation raisonnée des logiciels de traduction. Eurodicautom a été suggéré aux élèves.

Respect du schéma du conte:

« Once upon a time, there was… » situation de départ+ conflit

+résolution du conflit +morale transposable à différentes situations ou époques ou cultures.

Objectifs recherchés:

intégrer des éléments variés de la civilisation américaine

  • suivi de la campagne présidentielle, écriture d’une lettre au candidat Barack Obama lors de son élection à la tête du parti démocrate

  • relier des éléments du programme de l’histoire des Etats-Unis

  • en amont: les élèves devaient s’entraîner pour poser des questions

  • What is the meaning of your name? What is your language? How do you live? Where do you live? Can you talk about your way of life? Your habits? etc..nous avions déjà étudié la première unité du manuel consacrée aux Etats-Unis(musique et histoire)

  • mise en place d’une carte où les élèves pouvaient situer l’ensemble des communautés amérindiennes sur le territoire.

validation d’items de B2I pour le brevet des collèges

objectifs grammaticaux:le passé, forme simple et forme be+bv+ing: aspect et emploi

le conditionnel: I would

l’hypothèse: if I could, I would… 1/6

le passif: à cet égard, les débuts des articles 2, 4,5,7 de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme s’y prêtent:

everyone is entitled, no one shall be held in slavery, no one shall be subjected to toture, all are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination to …

théâtralisation des histoires à l’oral, notamment lors de l’accompagnement éducatif pour le conte du lac Saint Point ( récit collectif)

la syntaxe ordre des mots, des propositions principales et relatives, place des adverbes de fréquence et le vocabulaire (emploi des adjectifs à la bonne place pour ce qui est de l’adjectif épithète) -on souligne les différences entre le français et l’anglais

apports culturels supplémentaires:

Etablir du lien et du sens entre les différentes activités liées aux différentes matières.

Prise de conscience des similitudes d’une culture à une autre.

L’absence d’esprit de revanche de Dennis Yellow Thunder est évident dans la manière de raconter son conte et aussi son histoire. L’utilisation de sa langue maternelle, le lakota, est un élément qui a contribué à présenter aux élèves la richesse de sa culture.

Apprendre à vivre ensemble est l’un des axes du projet d’établissement

Deux types de communautés étant en présence: celle des communes environnantes ( très marquées par leur sens de l’appartenance à un terroir, cherchant à retrouver leurs racines, attachement au patois, mise en place d’une république du Saugeais )notamment les communes du Saugeais et la ville de Pontarlier et ses apports multi-culturels: familles de réfugiés(Bosnie, Kosovo etc), familles maghrébines et turques principalement.

En ce sens, les travaux réalisés par les élèves de 6°7 (SEGPA) sont révélateurs de ce projet.

Sortir des préjugés représentatifs de la culture amérindienne communément transportés dans les films.

Faire un constat des dégâts effectués et de l’envie de reconstruire et poursuivre l’héritage du passé dans le respect des valeurs de la culture amérindienne.

Se rendre compte que d’une culture à une autre, les peuples ont des valeurs identiques qui prennent seulement des formes d’expression différentes.

Sortir de la peur de l’autre dans ce qu’il a de différent de soi.

Echange des contes avec Dennis Yellow Thunder par courriel.

Notation des contes sur 50

15 points pour la correction grammaticale

15 points pour le registre lexical approprié + prise de risques

15 points pour le respect du schéma du conte et/ou de celui de Dennis


Intervenants et participants:

  • Association Four Winds et Mr Christian Larqué , son président ainsi que Mr Dennis Yellow Thunder, Oglala Lakota(Pine Ridge Reservation, USA) arrière petit-fils d’un guerrier qui combattit aux côtés de Sitting Bull.

  • Le personnel de la bibliothèque d’Ornans, la bibliothécaire, Me Barras pour avoir rassemblé tous les documents, livres et photos en leur possession et nous les avoir prêtés à titre gratuit pendant trois mois au collège en consultation libre par les élèves.

This is the story of two young girls whose name are Camille and Clemence. They encountered a problem when they entered the forest.

One upon a time, there were  two girls, Clémence who was 14 and Camille who was 15.

The two girls were best friends, one couldn’t see one without seeing the other.

One day they decided to go for a walk, in fact that day was Clémence’s birthday that is to say June the 11th. Clémence had always wanted to go in the forest which was standing right behind her house so she asked Camille whether she wanted to go with her or not. Camille agreed because she knew that her little sister wanted to see their mother who was buried in the middle of the forest. They walked for one hour making their way through branches and thorns until they reached Clémence’s Mum’s grave.

As the two girls were walking  in the direction  of   their mother’s location, they heard a strange sound, the two girls had understood that the earth was collapsing right above their feet, but it was too late, they were already falling into the hole.

And guess what  they found in the hole ? Strange  animals which  could easily get out of the gap but things weren’t that simple for Camille and Clémence because the hole was quite deep and it was not possible for them to climb up so they started digging.

One year later…

the two girls, covered with mud, emaciated but alive came back home and lived happily with their respective families.

Camille M

The boy and the gnome-dwarf by Adonis.

Once upon a time there was a little boy called Jack who was rather ugly. He had huge ears big eyes and a large nose and lived in a black house a few miles from the city.

At sunset as he was walking in the forest he suddenly met a little gnome who was starving and said to the boy:

-Can you give me something to eat ?

Jack gave him a piece of bread and the gnome said:

-Thank you, now you can make a wish.

So Jack said :

-I wish I were beautiful.

-Oh! bring me the witches’ broom!

Jack ran in the forest and on that same night he met one of the witches. The old woman hit the poor boy who nevertheless succeeded in stealing her long broom. At dawn the boy brought the broom to the nice gnome :the latter (ce dernier) smiled and jack felt an incredible sensation of well-being(bien-être) in his body and he became a very handsome (beautiful for ladies)boy.

The brand new car, the gentleman and the two sisters by Vildan.

Once upon a time, there were two sisters who lived in a very old apartment . They were orphans and made their most (faire de son mieux)to make a living.(gagner sa vie)

Their names were respectively: Janna and Grace

Both of them were between 16 and 147 year old. Janna was tall and of fair complexion (teint)rather thin with blue eyes. Grace was of medium height. In fact she was the smallest , brunette and had green eyes. One day, they decided to look for a job but unfortunately nobody accepted them as they had no diplomas and no degrees.

On their way home, they met = came across a man who was driving a brand new car (voiture toute neuve)and who was looking for a direction in the village… the road to their house…So guess what happened?

They both got kidnapped! No, you are wrong and mistaken!(vous vous méprenez!)

He drove both of them to their house and Janna fell in love with this kind-hearted (gentil)gentleman who was not only kind and gentle but also rich =wealthy!!!

Can you imagine anything better for our two orphans? No, you can’t!

The gentleman had also fallen in love with Janna and he often drove to her house to see her.

A year elapsed (une année s’écoula) and they got married. Janna became very rich, so rich that she could buy a house and… guess what? she lived there with her own sister!

A kingdom, a king and a wizard by Paul.

Once upon a time, there was a pretty country. In this country, there was a kingdom. The king was cool and friendly. He was very old, he was three hundred and twenty years old.

The whole (toute ) population was pleased. They did not have any problems.

One day, an enormous storm appeared. First of all people thought that was not serious.

But the storm lasted for months. Finally the king decided to speak with the gods to know was happening..

The gods said:

« -it’s the fault of Eole, the wizard. He wants to destroy the country. I don’t know why ???

The king answered:

  • What can we do ???

  • I don’t know sorry. We should kill him!

The king set out disappointed. And the gods said:

  • Good luck!»

The king decided not to return to the village, he wanted to speak with the wizard and see him personally.

The trip=journey (voyage)was very long.

He got frightened when he arrived to the wizard’s house. Because he could hear shoutings coming out of the house.

The king knocked on the wizard door.

The magician said:

« -Do not come in, my lord. Go back to your kingdom, make the most of it! (profitez-en bien!)

See you !!!

The King broke the door. And entered.

  • Leave immediately!

  • No Eole. You have killed and kill a lot of people. And I will stop you.

  • I see, you want to fight with me.

  • May be, but I want you to speak with me a little!

The wizard reflected, and said:

  • Alright, I’m listening to you .

The king spoke with the wizard during all the night

The morning, the sun appeared on the country.

The King had convinced Eole.

Conclusion and morale:

« Violence does not solve anything, does it? »

A man saved by the genie ou jinni of Barack Obama by Stéphane.

Isn’t this tale more than a tale?

Once upon a time, there was a young man whose name was David. He was rather small in size and was a regular dealer trying to make both ends meet(joindre les deux bouts) by stealing some food in order to feed his beloved family.

During his sleep, he regularly made the same dream:

He could see a very ancient spirit helping poor children.

One day, as he was walking in the woods and nearby forest, he discovered a tiny=small locker.

As he picked it up from the ground (en le ramassant), he could distinguish,guess what?!?!?!? Barack Obama’s spirit!!!!in a vision as clear as Aladin’s lamp!

The jinni or genie said to David

« You can become a good man and be dedicated to ( se consacrer à) your work and fulfill your most cherished dreams » … « You must be confident and brave »… « Just like Barack…! »

As he was walking back home, David thought of Barack Obama’s genie’s words.

He decided to work honestly and feed his family by earning money and not by stealing people.

When he was in his forties, he had saved enough money for himself and his family.

He decided to go to Africa and save children. He offered his help to humanitarian associations.

Ten years later, Barack’s Obama genie paid him a visit to CONGRATULATE him for all the the good he had achieved since their first meeting.

The jinni offered him eternal life as a grateful gift to thank him!

My friends, the/my world, the/my web, friendship and solitude or loneliness?

by Cécile

They can say that I never had had so many friends acquaintance (connaissances, desgens que l’on connaît)in my life . They are a bit disseminated everywhere in the world and guess what? Devinez quoi? I have never seen them .Yes they are virtual friends , to use an appropriate word. All these persons are contacts I have via the web .And it is strange, I tell them more about myself than my relatives.


But in the street,I keep a low profile(je me fais discret/ète)and do not look at people straight into the eye.
Can we say that we have friends when we do not know if they are truly sincere? Nothing Nothing equals an expression of respect, the intonation in the voice, to know immediately if that person is loyal, does it?
I am neither isolated nor wild with all these acquaintance, but my friends find myself
too home-based, yet I go out of my house! Only  virtually. I am all alone and isolated in the world without leaving my room. What can we deduce? Internet promotes contactsbetween people locked up in the cocoon of a fictional universe, in front of a computer screen.
the morning and in the evening, I must know if my friends have spent a pleasant day. But if by misfortune the phone begins to vibrate, and a friend who lives nearby so someone close who knows me really wants to talk to me, it basically turns me upside down, I will not be able to connect to them.

Princess Peach, the Punks and the Eurockénnes by Morgane

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girlwedged in a tower because of her parents.

Every day she was sad when she heard punks at the bottom of the tower.

Once she sang by the window, the punks discussed with her all night.

The following day a boy entered the tower to liberate a beautiful girl.

But the girl was a princess whose name wasPeach.

With her punk friend, Princess Peach created a group of heavy metal.

She loved the punk who had saved her in the tower.

The two teenagers loved each other very much.

One night in  a concert of Eurockéennesa big log (bûche de bois) fell on the head of the rescuer of Princess Peach.

Her rescuer died.

The princess was very sad.

Six months later, the princess had become again happy.

She expected a baby of him.

The memory of her lover had not died!


White lilies and black tulips by Anastasie

White lilies had been the masters of Athena’s meadows for a long time. Black slaves were their slaves and respectfully poured water to White Lilies.

But one day…one tulip’s seed landed on the filed of lilies. And this how the great adventure started…

Now, listen or read !

Once upon a time, there were -as I already told you-noble and stately white lilies who were the sole masters of Athena’s meadow in Gentian County. They were The masters whereas Black tulips were

their servants and slaves. Lilies did NOT like Tulips because they were Black and to be honest with you, lilies were racists. Black tulips lived a simple and grim life on a poor land and were striving to grow vegetables. They daily watered lilies who were larger than Tulips. In case of protest and revolt, Tulips could be run over by Lilies….

But one day, while Tulips were giving water to White Lilies, one daring and determined Tulip seed was carried away in the while lilies field. And, believe me, dear reader, this is the beginning of a new adventure!

The next day, the tulip seed developed and blossomed. In the evening, the flower was larger than Tulips and more beautiful than Lilies.

From this day onwards, lilies understood they were not invincible and apologized to Tulips for all their wrong doing over the last centuries of slavery and the pain and suffering they had to endure.

There was an inauguration ceremony for a new deal between them to be equal and live all mixed-up.

Today, white Lilies and Black Tulips live happily together.

Lakota Dakota Dennis Yellow Thunder ’s story by Camille.

Once upon a time, it was so long ago that nobody remembers the date and nobody knows exactly when it took place. The sun shone but there was not much food. The land was dry and the crops were scarce. One morning the leaders sent two of their young fighters in search of food, they walked because at this time the Lakota Dakota (called Sioux by invaders) still had no horses. They looked on all sides but in vain, then they came near a big hill they decided to climb and to try to see other countries and surroundings. As they were in the middle of this slope they saw someone coming from a distance. At the beginning they could not distinguish that it was a quite small shape and great efforts were made to see that it was a human shape so they walked closer and a very beautiful young lady, more beautiful that what they had ever seen so far appeared. She was surrounded with a halo of white light and a white buffalo!

“Don’t touch her”, said one of the men, “don’t kill her” he added. The first man was struck by the sacred appearance of the lady whereas the second one felt some desire for her, and he held out his hand to touch her. The lady was crowned and she inspired respect. All of a sudden he was struck by a flash of lightning which burned him entirely from top to bottom into a pack of bones and ashes. The young lady gave a parcel to the other young man whose behavior had been totally respectful.

The young warrior went back home among his fellow-citizens.

He opened the bundle:

“What’s inside?”

Can you guess what was inside ?

Inside the bundle there was the most beautifully decorated sacred pipe he had ever seen.

The woman who was walking within a white halo followed by a white buffalo suddenly appeared and explained to the Lakota -Dakota the words and the movements they had to learn in order to use the sacred pipe. She taught them the song devoted to the pipe and the respect they owed to their grandparents, the sky and the earth(la terre)



March 2023

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