ARCHIVES: CLASSROOM NOTES: Fall 2009
Les Coquelicots, these lovely bright red poppies which dot the French countryside in the spring and summer, are the name of this year's pre-kindergarten French Immersion class.
Naturally, we looked at many lovely pictures of Coquelicots, studied in details how this wild flower reproduces itself and we just had to make one. Using recycled egg cartons, pipe cleaners, straws and red crepe paper, we were all amazed how beautiful these Coquelicots were. All directions were given in French, in a total immersion fashion.
The children then met Claude Monet with his chapeau de paille, his palette, paint brushes and easel going out to paint les coquelicots growing in the middle of green fields or at the edge of a wheat field.
Each child chose to paint like Claude Monet un pré or un champ de blé and the teachers attached the coquelicot to the finished painting. All posters are now hung above the entrance of our classroom.
Sunday October 4th was La Saint François d'Assise, the patron saint of the animals, so the Coquelicots had many special events the Friday before. Some children came in animal costumes, some wore masks, we sung our favorite animal songs, went to a local thrift store to buy a few more stuffed animals missing to our collection and visited the pet store close to French For Fun and saw des poissons, deux chats, des petites souris et des cochons d'Inde. Quelle bonne fête!
Les Coccinelles are our cute 3 and 4 year old "ladybugs" who, like Calinours, are excited about school. Their first unit was Calinours va à l'école, a French classic. (author: Alain Broutin, and Frédéric Stehr - from l'école des loisirs).
Les Petits Chats are our frisky little 2 and 3 year old "kittens." Their teacher Madame Isabelle, being a singer and a musician, started the new year with a song called Le Chat Chocolat by Elysa Lemaire. Not only do the children love this song, but it allowed them to taste Nutella and other French chocolates.
The chorus goes as follows:
Dès que je me mets au lit
Dans mon cou il se blottit
Il fait des miaous, miaous!
Et moi des bisous, bisous!
To practice parts of the body, the children participated in sensory activities, including making their very own kitty face, using hand-made dough and cocoa powder.
That's French For Fun!
PM Immersion II
Immersion deux, c'est encore mieux!
To date, this is the strongest group of first graders I have worked with in 32 years of teaching! So why are we called Les Tortues, not known for their speed? Simply because, I finally have a group of children who can really appreciate and benefit from using L'Opéra des Tortues de Mag Senn.
Prior to embarking on the magical journey to the planets of sounds, we are learning a lot about turtles. Be sure to click on the videos taken during class. Besides our lessons in natural science, reading, grammar, vocabulary… we always incorporate an art project. Using grocery bags, sand, paint, etc. the children made two carapaces to wear for our relay race. That's French for Fun!
PM Immersion V
Immersion V, la classe des artistes!
Many events happened in France in autumn, but one of our favorite to commemorate with our 5th graders is the discovery of the Lascaux caves. After spending a couple of weeks talking about L'Aquitaine, La Dordogne in particular where we had to enjoy a roasted duck (la semaine du goût) we arrived in Montignac.
It was there that a group of young boys and their dog Robot found the caves and the incredible murals of prehistoric art.
Step one: the kids learned how to mix ochre powder, flour and water to paint the walls of the caves.
Step two: learning how to draw prehistoric animals. The mess began… welcome to the caves!
Step three: blowing prints! That's French for Fun! Naturally before working on the art project itself, we studied the events, and wrote a play which we will perform in a few weeks.
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