We are having a fantastique year in French class so far! Each class has come very far and learned so much! Although each grade level is learning different curriculum, all the students have been doing a variety of activities which have them translating the day’s objectives from French to English, playing games to practice the vocabulary, doing worksheets and projects and even some roll playing in French! Through it all, I’m always impressed with he students’ enthusiasm and willingness to give it their best! Here is a look at what each grade level is up to:
As we learn new French words, we also have a cultural focus in each grade level. Third Grade focuses on France. In first trimester, we explored who WE are; in second trimester, we are learning about the geography and people of France. Third Grade students can now introduce themselves, spell their name, tell their birthday, identify months and seasons and give the date, and they can talk about family members. They are now learning about the geography of France and what makes it such a beautifully diverse country. Soon, we will begin learning about colors and clothing.
In learning about summer and fall in Montréal (our cultural focus for first trimester), the Fourth Graders learned the French terms for the summer Olympic sports and how to express our opinions on sports (if we like them or not) and why (it’s exciting / it’s boring / etc.). We also explored Montréal’s Biodome, and learned about the habitats and wild animals of North America.
In second trimester, we moved on to winter in Quebec City. Brr!!! It sure is cold there, but students have loved learning about the many things tourists can experience there: the ice hotel, skiing / snowboarding / tubing, visiting historic sites and churches, and experiencing the rich history of this beautiful city! We are currently learning about the tradition of visiting a sugar shack during the surging off season; this is when sap is collected and boiled into maple syrup. Students have learned the words for many traditional foods of Quebec and will soon begin role-playing ordering in a sugar shack restaurant!
In Fifth Grade, we focus on the French-Speaking world beyond France and Quebec. We spent first trimester in Haiti and Martinique, islands in the Caribbean with ties to the French language. After reviewing colors, we learned how to express some really big numbers, as well as weather and natural disasters. Now in second trimester, we have moved on to French-speaking Africa. We are learning about the rooms in a house and the things you can find there. We will now start learning how to express what we can do in each room in a house.
In Sixth Grade, our cultural focus takes us back to France. We learned about some of the prehistoric animals represented in ancient cave drawings. As Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world, we also learned about clothing. The students did a fashion show project, which was a lot of fun to see. We have now moved on to Paris … the City of Lights! We are learning about some of the sights there, and soon will start discussing one of our favorite topics … food!
We began our year with some review and some new vocabulary. Students can introduce themselves and have a basic conversation. They can spell in French and identify some of the basics of French grammar. We are wrapping up a mini unit about the French-speaking world, including where French is spoken, why it is beneficial to study French, and some famous French-speakers from history. Students will soon be performing mini biographies of these famous people, demonstrating their ability to give and spell their name, tell their age and nationality, and talk about their job and things they like.
We are having a great time in what is usually everyone’s favorite unit of the year … the café unit! Students are expected to be fairly independent in organizing their time as they put together several components of a dossier, showing their understanding of French café culture. Of course, most classes also include “café time” … a role-play in which we transform the classroom into a French café, and students pretend to be servers or customers, ordering and discussing food and drink. It’s challenging but fun!