My daughter and I were out to lunch when the news broke about Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris. We watched in horror and sadness on the television at the restaurant. We’ve never visited, so I was trying to explain the significance of the building to my daughter when I realized that this is a perfect opportunity for Notre Dame Cathedral lesson plans and activities for a unit study.
I mean, we were witnessing a historical catastrophe of a historical building.
If that’s not the kind of the thing that we should be studying in homeschooling, then I don’t know what is . . . right?
So I decided to create a learning unit that studies the many different aspects of the cathedral and its history and to celebrate the monument.
Here’s what I came up with so that you can share it during your studies, too!
But, before we get to the Notre Dame lesson plans and activities, let’s start at the beginning . . .
What Is Notre Dame Cathedral?
Notre-Dame de Paris, known as Notre Dame Cathedral (or simply as Notre-Dame), is a cathedral church in Paris, France, that is over 850 years old. It is considered one of the most famous Gothic Churches of the Middles Ages. It is the official seat of the Archbishop of Paris. The cathedral is known worldwide for its architecture and stained glass windows. It is still an active place of Christian worship.
Notre Dame Cathedral Facts
- Notre-Dame de Paris means “our lady of France” in French.
- It is the most visited monument in Paris.
- Notre-Dame was built on the ruins of two earlier churches.
- The foundation of the church was laid in 1163.
- The spire, that fell during the fire on April 15, 2019, was constructed during a 19th century renovation.
- The Gothic Towers (Western side) are adorned by statues of Old Testament Kings. The statutes had been removed just a few days before the fire for the renovation and were therefore safe from the fire.
- Napoleon rescued the cathedral after the French Revolution.
- There are five famous bells in the cathedral. The largest one, the Emmanuel Bell, weighs over 13 tons.
- Author Victor Hugo wrote a book named after the cathedral, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
History of Notre Dame Cathedral [VIDEO]
This video not only gives you a tour of Notre Dame, but also takes you through the interesting history of the monument.
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23 Notre Dame Lesson Plans, Activities, and Crafts
Ready to learn more about Notre Dame and related activities?
We’ve put together this amazing list of Notre Dame lesson plans and related activities and crafts so you can pick and choose different areas of to include in your studies!
- Take a virtual video tour of Notre Dame Cathedral (pre fire)
- “Walk around” the Cathedral with a 3D tour
- See the damage of the Cathedral after the 2019 fire
- Watch a video of the fire and get discussion questions and activities
- Learn about the gargoyles of Notre Dame
- Make a Notre Dame de Paris model
- Learn about the stained glass in the cathedral
- See the paintings in the cathedral
- Learn about the statutes in the cathedral
- Learn about the organs in the cathedral
- Read The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame animated movie
- Get lesson plans for the book
- Get a free Notre Dame de Paris activity page
- Download a Notre Dame coloring page
- Download Notre Dame de Paris: Comprehensible Reading for French Studies
- Learn about the the Cathedral architecture
- Take an introduction to Gothic architecture class
- Get an Understanding Geometry and Cathedral Design Through Experiential Learning lesson
- Do a fine arts lesson on Gothic Cathedrals
- Get a lesson plan on stained glass windows
- Make a stained glass window craft
- Do a lesson plan on France