Designed by the French Ministry of Culture, the website « La grotte de Lascaux » presents the most renowned Paleolithic sanctuary. You can consult it in English, French, German and Spanish. The website proposes all sorts of explanations on the history of these amazing drawings done 17,000 years before today. Moreover it offers a virtual tour of the cave and explains the discovery, the closing and the building of a perfect copy opened to visitors. Each section offers great pictures and educational comments. Different analytic sections are available from identification of figures to dating methods. It is a great tool to build a perspective on art and history. This site initiates the learners to the different techniques used by the artists but also provides tools for learning searchers. And after the tour, one can test his/her knowledge.
The bibliography can be a useful tool for students.The Lascaux website dates back to 1998 and it won a Webby Award for its execellence in 2000. The responsible party is Norbert Aujoulat, French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Director, Architecture and National Heritage Division, Assistant Director, Department of Archaeology National Centre of Prehistory. The website is available in French, English, Spanish and German.
Type of Material:
Resources for teachers and online exhibit. Reference material with educational explanation, vocabulary and analysis. Test (puzzles, knowledge of the cave, animals, prehistorical arts).
- This material can be used for assignments to be done at home and debated on in the classroom. It could also be a good tool for students learning archeology as independent study.The Cave of Lascaux can be used in a variety of disciplines such as science, history and culture courses. One can use it to demonstrate the features of this world-famous archeological site.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will learn about French geography, history and culture.
Language students will learn French historical, geographic and cultural terminology in the target language.This site encourages the learning of Paleolithic art and resources. It is an engaging resource for a French class project as well as a resource for advanced students in archeology. Even if it has not been designed for the teaching of French, it can definitely be used in a language class.
Target Student Population:
- The site offers different language and since the subject can interest learners from young age to university students, the target audience is wide. Teachers can also pick and choose ideas and resources on which to focus.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None necessary if the student studies in his own native language. The French version can be used at the intermediate language level and above.
The French version of the site begins with a geographic exploration of the region where the Lascaux caves are found. The "L'Espace et le Temps" section has the same linear progression of slides as the sites in other languages. One can go backward and forward with the informative slides. Some of the caves have external links to which one can link directly from this intial part of the site.
The Visite virtuelle dates back to the early days of the Internet and takes the user through an examination of the original caves that can no longer be physically visited.
The site has added information about Lascaux II, the facsimile that has been constructed in Montignac for the visitors to the region.
The S'Initier section includes games, puzzles and activities for learners with correction on the site.
"1940 La Decouverte" takes the user through the history of the four French teenagers who found the famous cave paintings and also the events that ensued leading up to the cave closing in 1963.
The content has a clear purpose, adequate depth, and it is current and relevant. It shows language in context (with the French version) and has relevant external links. The technical vocabulary points are explained. The site has not been designed from a language perspective, yet it remains an excellent tool to build a thematic French class. The quality of content is very high.
With 21st century technologies, this site could include videos, dramatic recreations and animations to make the site more appealing to users. It is still heavily text-based and could make greater use of available media. Still, it has had great longevity on the web.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The learning objectives are identified. Can be very useful as a teacher resource for assignments, to open debate and to generate discussion. The numerous pictures can be taken as a dialogue object.
Advanced learners could easily write a composition on subjects inspired from the tour (about preservation of sites, art and history, relevance of certain analysis).
Students will be able to find all the material they need to report on the Grotte de Lascaux from this site and the links to external sites will also help. It would be very easy to take an interdisciplinary approach by combining language, science and art. The target language versions lend themselves to content-based learning. The puzzles and quizzes on the site are good for review.
The instructional resources for this site could definitely be expanded.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
It is very easy to use and the architecture is circular. It is clearly engaging. All the links to other governmental modules are working perfectly. The learner can also visit other sites like expositions virtuelles, regions. The site is designed like a museum and it can be visited in any order. The map of the cave is engaging. Any French teacher will find fun, practical activities to build around it.
It is easy enough to use, links work and the cave-like design is interesting. Once inside the site though, the design seems dated in someplaces. The navigation is clear,although the linear orientation prescribes a certain direction which might inhibit pure discovery.
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