Research-based project has US students imagining and constructing a life in France


Imagine strolling the beautiful streets of a quaint town in France and then returning to your home for dinner with your family. That's exactly the image US students had in their minds as research-based learning found its way into the Upper School French class in December. Denise Mihailoff, World Languages Faculty, created a project where students could conduct research and showcase and apply knowledge, understanding, and skills in a creative way.

The project focused on students 'buying' a house in France and living there with their family. They conducted research on the most beautiful towns and various homes and then picked a house they liked. The next step included construction of 3D models of houses from one of the most picturesque villages in Alsace -Riquewihr. Next, students had to write a letter to their family in America, and describe the village, the environment, and the house, and convince them that living in this French house would enhance their lives in a positive way. Finally, students presented the house in class, during a language lab.

Emily Alexander '22 participated in the project and expanded her knowledge of French culture. "The house project focused on typical French houses and how styles of houses vary in different regions of France. Our class did research on various towns from the website "Les plus beaux villages en France" (The most picturesque villages in France). As a class, we decided to mimic the charming town of Alsace -Riquewihr in a creative way. The various colors and typical French architecture that each house had to offer were a perfect fit for the vocabulary and language structures we have been learning during this unit. The artistic aspect of the project was building our own model of a house, followed by completing an essay and an oral presentation. My classmates and I all enjoyed making a real-life connection to French culture, architecture, and lifestyle."

At King, when students see learning as a personal adventure; one without a defined beginning, middle, or end, they engage deeply with the experience of education -- not just mastering material, but also inviting collaboration, applying knowledge, and making unexpected discoveries. Learn more about the Upper School program at King.