Have you heard what's been going on in French class lately? With the beginning of Trimester 3 comes a new cultural focus for each of the 3rd-6th grade classes. And, of course, the 7th and 8th graders are busy with the curriculum of their high school credit course. Take a look at what we've been doing!
3rd grade: Tour de France
After learning about the geography of France, what better way to explore the country's riches than by learning about the famous 3-week bicycle race that travels all around? Having recently learned shapes and colors, we transitioned into a cultural lesson about the Tour de France by exploring the road signs one would encounter along the streets of France. We are now discovering the many aspects of this epic race ... through videos and lots of Q&A with Madame Cosneau (who follows the race on TV each summer, and has seen it several times in person). Students are getting the chance to reflect on what they are curious about and get answers to their questions. Be sure to ask them what they're learning!
Below, Mr. Mali's class plays the popular game "Spot It" ... they had to say the numbers, shapes and colors in French. It was noisy fun for all!
4th grade: Spring in New Orleans
This year, we've been exploring French-speaking areas in North America. After summer and fall in Montreal (trimester 1) and winter in Quebec City (trimester 2), we've followed the path of the Acadians down to New Orleans, Louisiana. We've learned about farm animals, and had lots of fun with various activities and games to help us learn the French terms for the animals, as well as the sounds many of them make in French! We are now learning a bit about the city of New Orleans and its annual Mardi Gras celebrations. Next, we will begin learning about various professions and jobs. Look for more information about that in the next newsletter.
Below, Ms. Brown's class holds up their guesses in a round of "5 questions".
5th grade: French Polynesia
In fifth grade, we explore the Francophone (French-speaking) world. In third trimester, we focus on French Polynesia, a group of over a hundred islands in the South Pacific. After oohing and aahing over some videos of the beautiful flora and fauna ... and crystal blue water ... we imagined what it would be like to study there as exchange students. We learned the French terms for several school supplies and reviewed colors and numbers. Students have been finishing little books entitled "Dans mon sac à dos ...", which means "In my backpack ...".
Below, a water-color drawing by Emma about her dream spring break in French Polynesia.
6th grade: Paris and Beyond
The sixth grade class began trimester 3 by learning about several modes of transportation. Then, they took a trip around Paris on its extensive metro system. They learned about its history and how to navigate the many train lines. I think they're all ready to pack their bags for a vacation in the City of Lights!
Now, we are learning to tell time in French, in part so that we can read a train schedule to take the TGV (train à grande vitesse / high-speed train). We'll imagine leaving Paris and taking a quick train trip to the city of Angers and the beautiful castles of the Loire Valley. Madame Cosneau is very excited to share the beauty and history of her adopted hometown in France with the class!
Below, students play a version of "Simon" to review the various modes of transportation in French. It was challenging and fun!
7th grade: la Famille
The seventh grade class has begun its last unit of the year: the family. They learned lots of vocabulary (some review from last year, some new) for various family members (mother, father, sister, brother, etc.) and how to describe them (physical and personality traits). They learned and practiced adjective agreement, a concept that can be challenging for English-speakers. In French, every noun is masculine or feminine, and can be singular or plural. Depending on the number and gender of the noun, the adjectives that describe them must agree, most by changing their spelling slightly. After learning the concept, the students were given the challenge of teaching it to Madame Cosneau in a lesson that they prepared. They did a fabulous job, and really enjoyed this. And they proved that they've all mastered this concept!
Below, students teach Madame about adjective agreement in their lesson ... complete with visual aides!
8th grade: Sports and Pastimes
The 8th grade class has also begun their final unit, all about sports and pastimes. In this unit, we review several topics from previous units, and add some new vocabulary and grammar. Students love games and hands-on activities, so we continue to do lots of these. In addition to the Eggspert buzzers (the all-time favorite), students love to play Hear It, Circle It. As you might imagine, this is a listening activity in which they compete against their friends to be the first to circle a vocabulary term on the paper; the catch is that they must translate it (if they hear it in English, they find the French translation, and vice versa).
In order to review the many vocabulary terms for the sports and pastime activities, students worked in groups to sort them into categories of their choice. Then, they examined the categories of a different group and had to figure out what the categories were. In addition to reviewing the words, the students had to use critical thinking skills. They all did a great job!
Below, students play Hear It, Circle It and create their categories in the word sort.