Je souffle, je souffle tellement fort…

Under the transdisciplinary theme of ‘How the World Works’, Grade 2 students have been studying about materials and their properties. The central idea for this Unit of Inquiry is: ‘Materials behave and interact in certain ways for different reasons.’ Can you guess which story we read and acted out in French to link with this unit? It involved ‘une maison de paille, une maison de bois and une maison de briques’…

You are invited to come and watch a performance of the play on Wednesday 2nd December at 8:45am or stay tuned for a video link that will be uploaded on this site shortly.

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La chenille qui fait des trous

Grade 2 had a wonderful time reading Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ in French. They used their knowledge of the days of the week, numbers and food items to retell their own version of the story. They added even more flair and creativity to their stories by making them on Puppetpals and using scenes from around the school to personalise them. Bon travail, Grade 2!


Students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 are very excited to announce that we now have penpals in England who we will be communicating with through letters and possibly later by other means such as postcards, email and Skype. They are learning French like us and we are looking forward to writing to them and sharing our learning with them in French. Here is a picture of some of the students from Grendon Primary School who have sent us letters. We can’t wait to receive them!

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What is differentiation?

Parents often wonder how their child who has been learning French for the last two or three years can be in the same class as a complete beginner, and still continue to learn! The educational term that addresses this is differentiation. It refers to the idea that the discerning teacher will tailor his or her instruction to meet the diverse needs of every individual child.

My goal is to craft lessons that will reach every audience in my class; I may achieve this by varying the content, the process or the product. In addition to this, I adapt my instruction and assessment to recognise that every child has different learning styles, interests, abilities and level of readiness.

Here is a image that shows how inequitable and cruel our classrooms would be if we didn’t differentiate:


In French class, we brainstormed some ideas using some visible thinking routines, and discussed how we may best achieve our goals in French language learning, given that there is such a wide range of abilities in the class.

We used the analogy of a ski slope, that if we went skiing with a group of people of varying ability levels, would we expect them all to go down the same slope? The objective of skiing is to get down the mountain safely while having fun. But in order to do that, every individual must go down their own path according to their ability level.

Using this analogy, I explained to the students that they could pick their own routes, whether it is ‘le cercle vert’ for a complete beginner or le diamant noir’ for the more advanced learners, but each will achieve their goal of successfully accessing the curriculum. So the next time your child comes home talking about how they stepped out of their comfort zone and challenged themselves with a ‘diamant noir’ activity, you’ll know why!


La Petite Poule Rouge – published!

After just a couple of takes in front of the green screen, amidst the sounds of ‘Lumière, Moteur, Action’ from our réalisatrice Emma, ‘La Petite Poule Rouge’ came to life. Under the very skilled and able guidance of Monsieur Pardo, Grade 4 French students designed a background on Minecraft for their performance, and Kate created some accompanying music for it on Garageband. A combined ‘community’ effort and voilà! For more information about the benefits of using Minecraft in the classroom, read this article.

Interviews with characters from days of yore

As part of their Unit of Inquiry, Grade 5 are learning about the impact that scientific discoveries had on the health of individuals and societies, particularly during times when there were outbreaks of disease and infection. Each student was given information about a character who lived through this era, and so in French class, we conducted interviews to get to know more about each character. It was a great way to review previous vocabulary and phrases that the students were familiar with, but also gave us the opportunity to explore new vocabulary related to health and disease. Pop by the French classroom (Room 123) to have a look at some of their posters.

Bon travail, Grade 5!

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La Petite Poule Rouge

Grade 4 have been reading a story called ‘La Petite Poule Rouge’ to go with their Unit of Inquiry about roles in a community. The stages of producing the story have included learning the new vocabulary in French and perfecting pronunciation, acting out the scenes on the green screen and designing a suitable background on Minecraft. We can’t wait for you to see the finished product soon. Restez à l’écoute! 🙂



C’est quelle partie du corps?

Grade 3 students have been learning about body systems during their unit of inquiry. Have a look below to see some of the ways we have been integrating in French class. Beginner students learnt names for parts of the body whereas more advanced French learners looked at the journey taken by a morsel food as it goes through the digestive system, and what happens when air is inhaled into the lungs and how oxygen then travels through your bloodstream.

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What happens to my brain when I learn a new language?

There have been lots of studies to show the positive effects of learning a new language: better job prospects, easier international travel, more friends, etc… But did you know that your brain actually undergoes some changes when you speak more than one language?

Watch the video below to find out more:

Using student interest to provoke learning

When teaching language, I think a lot of our content can be enhanced by adding elements of what the students love into it, even when the topic itself isn’t that engaging. For example, we have recently been learning vocabulary about the house and furniture or items that are found in rooms in the house. Harry Potter has recently piqued the interest and enthusiasm of my 3rd Grade class, so I thought this would be a great way to teach key vocabulary under the ruse of exploring their passion for Harry Potter. We collectively described what we think Harry’s room looks like, pointing out important French words related to the topic and then the students drew and labelled pictures of Harry’s room. This led on nicely for students to write a description of their own room.



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