Culture captions in the book are watered-down and dry. Students only begin to appreciate the culture when you show them that they CAN read in FRENCH as early as French I. I simply found a biography online from: http://www.gala.fr/stars_et_gotha/corneille#nav-bio and I had my students read it in FRENCH. These are French I students without prior exposure to French. I devised questions in English and their confidence in French really soared when they realized that they could read (silently,not out loud) and actually GET it!
This activity is enjoyable and here's how I broke it up.
I gave the students the packet. They read silently and answered the questions to the first paragraph and then "looked up." I called on students and the discussion of this admirable person emerged. My students were MOVED by this heart-wrenching story and learned about the Rwandan genocide via this positive and talented artist who survived it.
They did the same with the second set and we did the same.
But it's the last 4 questions that matter most. . . . "those answers that vary." I am teaching history, empathy and French culture all at once.