Kindergarten students are very excited about using the French that they have been learning in class. They always greet their French teacher with an enthusiastic, “Bonjour!” They wish her a good day after every class by saying, “Bonne journée!” and a good weekend at the end of every week, saying, “Bon weekend!” Kindergarteners know how to greet one another, introduce themselves, talk about things that they like, and use common courtesies such as “Merci!” They can tell you how they are feeling, describe what the French flag looks like, sing the alphabet from “A” to “Z,” count from 1-10, identify colors in French, and discuss the weather. Bon travail, Kindergarten! Keep up the great work!
First graders started off the year in French class with a review of some of the concepts they learned in Kindergarten. As early as the second week of school, they worked in partner groups to put together a brief dialogue that they all presented in front of their class. First graders were excited about learning the months in French for the first time, studying how to say the date, and especially excited about sharing their anniversaire (birthday) with the class in French. They enjoy all of the songs in French that help them practice their vocabulary, including the alphabet, days of the week, numbers, and colors. Bonne continuation, First Grade!
Second-grade French is off to a great start. Students have reviewed a range of topics from earlier years of French study, this time including a greater written component. Students are becoming familiar with the spellings of their vocabulary words, and they are getting used to keeping an organized French notebook for the first time. When second graders studied the days of the week in French, they created a weekly schedule for an imaginary French boy named Nicolas. They all got to present these weekly schedules in class, and they compared and contrasted the activities that the various members of the class chose to do with Nicolas. Songs, games, and dialogues have been highlights in the second-grade French classroom, and students are thoroughly enjoying these different activities.
Third graders have been enjoying a cross-cultural study of French around the world! With the Language Weeks theme of La Francophonie, students have explored how the French language is spoken in five of the seven continents! They have used their knowledge of French colors to design the flags from various countries, used their knowledge of higher numbers in French to discuss populations, and they have used their geography map skills to locate twenty-six different countries, regions, and territories that speak French around the world. It has been such an enlightening experience!
The fourth-grade French class started the year with a review of basic French, including greetings and the objects in the classroom. The class then moved on to learning the vocabulary associated with leisure activities. The students can now express which activities they enjoy, such as reading, playing soccer, or even singing! In grammar, the class focused on possessive adjectives and the verb être.
The fourth graders traveled to the Fairfax Wegman’s on Nov. 5, where they learned that discussing cooking and fine food is a typical conversation for a Frenchman. The staff of Wegman’s gave the children good rules for eating healthy foods. The class will also learn to make a popular soup called soupe poireaux pommes de terre, or potato leek soup, in preparation for the November cooking project.
The Fifth Grade is practicing greetings and learning about the Paris region. The students have learned some interesting cultural facts about the French: The thumb is used to indicate “one” when counting; the millefeuille pastry doesn’t really have a thousand layers; and one can visit the magical kingdom near Paris at EuroDisneyland!
What did the Greeks do for the French? The sixth graders learned that among the great contributions of the Greeks, viticulture has had a major impact on France. Indeed, France is the number one producer of wine in the world! The sixth graders’ field trip to the Willowcroft Winery in Leesburg helped the children learn about the wine-making process up close. The class even learned about the difference between making white and red wines!
Seventh Grade visited the Phillips Collection and saw Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir and other French paintings. On the “observation and imagination tour,” students analyzed the artistic techniques used in the paintings and deduced what the artists wanted to represent. Students also discussed the social and cultural context in which the artists painted.
Eighth graders took a tour of the French Embassy with two members of the press and communications department. They saw different areas of the building, learned about the history of the Embassy, and opportunities to study and travel in France. They also had a question-and-answer session with a French diplomat from the education department and learned what it is like to be a student in France.
Seventh and eighth graders are enjoying their new textbooks, Bien Dit, which has an online component. Students are getting excited about French Week, for which the theme is La Francophonie, or French speakers around the world.
Seventh Grade has been introduced to Latin, and, through a lesson entirely in Latin, found they could make their way through a reading without any vocabulary assistance by using common sense and their knowledge of English and French.
Eighth Grade took a break from their Roman text and read the Aesop fable of “The Stag and the Huntsmen” in a Latin version that highlighted the use of cases to convey ideas succinctly. They particularly appreciated the accompanying woodcut illustration.