It’s not every day you hear fourth graders exclaim, “Play the dancing worms!” but that’s what went down when upcoming middle schoolers got a sample of French language and culture this month.
The dancing worms, characters in an animated video, helped teach numbers 1-20 as students prepare to make an informed decision about which language study in middle school -- French or Spanish. Through songs, games and lots of repetition, French teachers Marielle Carlson and Katie Cohen taught fourth graders les numéros, greetings, alphabet, colors, and a bit about French culture over a three-week introduction.
“I also like to talk about the benefits of learning another language, and why learn French in particular,” said Madame Carlson. “We talk about the similarities between French and English, words like lion, train, crocodile, rose.”
Fourth-grade classroom teachers report that students are having fun greeting each other in French during morning meetings and finding more connections to the language. “One of the characters in Aristocats is named Roquefort, which they learned means ‘stinky cheese’ in French,” said Courtney Menk. Fourth-grade students are performing Aristocats on January 15 at Graland.
Soon, fourth graders will begin their transition to middle school with new learning options like studying French after several years of Spanish lessons. Trés bien!
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.