Conflict and discrimination

The corridors have recently been buzzing with passionate chatter and a roller-coaster of emotions from Grade 5 students who are studying a unit on discrimination and conflicts within society. In French class, we touched on these topics by looking at poems written by the Camerounian author René Philombe and Senegalese former president Leopold Sédar Senghor.

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After reading and understanding the poem ‘L’homme qui te ressemble’ by René Philombe, students got together in pairs and wrote their own ending to the poem in the same style. Here are some examples of their verses – it was impressive!

“Ça ne fait rien comment je suis

Je suis une personne dans le monde

Le monde est uni, ensemble.

Si nous travaillons ensemble, nous pouvons le faire.

Maintenant, vas-tu ouvrir la porte?”

“Pourquoi me demander -tu as des amis?

tu as les cheveux bruns?

tu as les yeux verts?

Je ne comprends pas

Ouvre-moi mon frère”

They also prepared a short presentation to show their understanding and response to the poem; watch the short video clip below to see Bjorn and Vicente’s interpretation of the poem:

IMG_0566 from Soukeina Tharoo on Vimeo.

Giving directions

In Grade 4, we have been learning about places around town and giving directions. One exercise we did involved blindfolding a partner and giving them directions in French so that they could navigate around the classroom and find their way back to a given spot. It was a great way to test our listening skills!





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Making our learning audible

As mentioned in a previous post, Grade 5 were recently studying about the developing world under the central idea “Economic globalisation connects us to millions of children worldwide.” In French class, the children took a virtual trip to Haiti and Cameroon – they learnt about the effects of the ‘séisme’ or ‘tremblement de terre’ that affected thousands of Haitians and had a visiting expert – Madame Hughes, who prepared a fantastic presentation in French explaining about all the different aspects of life in Cameroon and how it differs from our lives here. In addition to that, the PYP French learners performed a song in assembly and Emily spent a lot of time preparing a video story showing all the countries they had visited in France. Watch below and I’m sure you will agree that it was a fantastic audio-visual display of what we learnt during this unit.

La fête des rois!

Today is le six janvier and we learnt about ‘la fête des rois’ or l’Épiphanie’ as it is celebrated in France. We talked about the historical and religious significance of the festival, of the arrival of the three kings in Bethlehem and the ways that this holiday is celebrated in France. We learnt how to make a galette des rois, how to eat one the French way, and finally we tried it for ourselves, following all the customs of having the youngest child hide under the table and randomly directing who gets each piece. The person who gets the ‘fève’ in their slice of galette gets to be crowned King for the day. This tied well with the current Grade unit of Inquiry about the Romans, as the custom of crowning a king dates back to Roman times when masters and slaves would share a meal together and if a slave received the ‘fève’ or the charm, they were crowned King for the day.



C’est ma vie!

Grade 3 recently completed a unit under the transdisciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves with the central idea that people can express their uniqueness as human beings through the arts. In French, we thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to use the vocabulary that we have learnt to talk about ourselves, where we come from, what we like to do, what languages we speak and so on. To integrate the idea of expressing ourselves through the arts, we used a program called Videoscribe to ‘draw our lives’. It was a fun project and the results were outstanding! Have a look at Alicia’s video project below…

C'est ma vie! from Soukeina Tharoo on Vimeo.

Paille, bois ou briques?

Grade 2 students were recently inquiring about materials and their properties, asking important questions such as how materials behave and interact in different ways, and how materials are used based on their properties. Following from these conversations, we learnt some simple words in French to describe materials and their properties and this led us to the story of the three little pigs. We discussed why the pigs’ houses were made of straw, wood and brick (paille, bois et briques), and why brick turned out to be the best choice of material for building a house.

Watch the performance below to see what a great job they did acting out the story of les trois petits cochons!

Celebrating Saint Nicolas

Last week we learnt about how on 6th December, children in France, Switzerland, Germany and other countries await the arrival of Saint Nicolas. We learnt about the legend of Saint Nicolas and how he rewards good children with sweets and treats. The day ended with a fantastic performance by children in the francophone class depicting the story of Saint Nicolas.

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A trip to Haïti and Cameroon

Grade 5 students are currently in the middle of one their most exciting units of inquiry – one that involves travelling (virtually) to a number of different countries in the developing world on a fact-finding mission to explore what is being done and what still needs to be done to help people in need. A couple of the countries they visit are francophone (french-speaking) so we will be escorting them so that we can explore our findings in French, and write about our observations and experiences in these countries also in French.

Here is a song that we listened to ‘tune in’ to the topic of development and inequality in the world around us.

Advertising our school

Grade 4 have been learning about ‘How we Express Ourselves’ through persuasive language and how different types of messages influence our behaviour. Having recently completed a short unit about naming places around the school and talking about what we do in each of those areas, the class decided that it would be a good idea to use that vocabulary and make a persuasive ad about the school. Watch some of the videos below to show how well Grade 4 students transferred their knowledge and used it to create ads of their school.

Gems ad – Griffin from Soukeina Tharoo on Vimeo.

Gems Ad – Jensen from Soukeina Tharoo on Vimeo.

Gems ad – Grant from Soukeina Tharoo on Vimeo.

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