If you can't take the students to Paris, bring Paris to the students. The music classes at my school are learning songs from around the world, so my little mural making class has taken the opportunity to create a backdrop for the program. We have four 8'x4' panels each with a different landmark. The pagoda for Japan and towers from Italy and France were no brainers. When it came to an edifice for various African songs, I was stumped. Lucky for me, my Art History Professor sister, Lynne, focused her dissertation on African architecture. She suggested The Great Mosque of Djenne, which is a huge, 110-year old earthen structure on the flood plain of Mali.
I projected my drawings for low vision students to trace with chalk over last year's spring sets, then we did underpainting and added the final touches. So even though we didn't explore the actual places, there's something to be said about exploring painting techniques.