Inside the Pre primary classroom – January

Bonjour and welcome to all things French!

From the French flag and French cheeses to the Eiffel Tower, it was an exciting month of learning all about France. We brought in France through books, art, pictures, video clips, science experiments, music and many chat sessions with our children.

Children listened attentively when we spoke about the iconic structure of France – The Eiffel Tower. Children asked questions like – How tall it is? Is someone living there? Is it taller than the building they live in? We also talked about the famous cathedral of Notre Dame, the world’s largest museum Louvre, Arc De Triomphe, Monte St. Michelle and the Versaille palace.

Ashani also brought in her personal touch by showing photos of a French wedding she attended with her family at a chateau in France. Tina shared pictures of her trip with stories of her French experiences.

The children were delighted to learn about the exciting Tour de France through pictures. They were interested to know that the participants cycled extensively through the cities and mountains of France and also some neighboring countries and how it culminated at the Champs Elysees at Paris. The cycling gear worn by the cyclists was also observed and discussed by them. It inspired Shaurya to dress up as one of them on the France dress up day wearing cycling shorts and helmet.

While seeing snapshots of the FIFA playoff matches, they were enthused to see spectators dressed in blue jerseys identical to the players waving a sea of French flags. Quite like how Ahaan was dressed with a French flag pinned to her chest. They got familiar with a couple of French footballers :  Benzema and Franck Ribery.

Showcasing France provided an opportunity to introduce some professions that are mostly unique to France. They got familiar with the workday of a cheese maker, a wine maker, a vineyard farmhand and a Boulanger. They were shown videos on cheese making, grape farming and the traditional and modern methods of wine making. Children saw the insides of French cheese making factories and learnt about the different types of French cheeses from Brie, Emmantel and Babybel – that school children often carry along for a snack.

Children made cheese in class from milk and also experienced crushing grapes to create grape juice. We brought in a wine bottle into class and different kinds of wine glasses for the children to see.

Children participated enthusiastically in our food preparation sessions. French food like baguettes, croissants, crudités were welcomed by the children. On the ‘French dressup day’ we set up a French café by laying tables and chairs out on the terrace under an awning for snack time.

It was great to see children’s spontaneous interest in the art and craft activities related to France that were laid out this month. Painting Eiffel Towers in gold, was one of the most popular art activities. French flags were made everyday and put up proudly on our boards. When we learnt about French cheeses, our children did ‘magic painting’ to recreate blocks of cheese. The replica of a vineyard was set up in the classroom; children made bunches of grapes with green and purple crepe paper and stuck them to the vines. Children enjoyed colouring pictures of different French breads and cheeses, French painters and artists as well as French monuments.

We had two guests this month. Meera – a fluent French speaker, read one our the children’s favourite books in French. She also sang a few French songs with the children and taught them some French phrases.

Our month’s learning about France culminated with dress up day where children picked a variety of professions to dress up in. We had French ballerinas, chic French ladies, handsome French men, Boulangers, soccer players, a cyclist, tennis players and a French flag too. Quite a few children dressed up as artists perhaps inspired by pictures of Claude Monet’s landscapes that children saw in class.

It was an action packed month as children participated enthusiastically on Sports Day. The heats and practice session on the terrace were as much fun. Our guest – Lavanya, gave a beautiful demonstration of Carnatic Classical Music that children listened to with rapt attention. Vicky sir carried on his regular gym session including one at Todi garden with his usual energetic style. Wendy aunty’s music time and singing with Roxanne aunty was as always enjoyed by the children.

So lets say ‘au revoir’ to another busy month at school. Do check in next month to get a peek inside our classroom.