This week, French 300 Honors students presented “Chez Soi,” the culmination of a unit combining their love for language with artistic expression as they explored what life would be like living in a French community. The cross-disciplinary project brought together language, art, and innovation.
Honoring the name of the project, “Chez Soi,” which translates into “At home,” students chose homes in francophone countries, comparing French and American life, and created models showcasing their cultural insights and artistic skills.
Over the course of the study, World Languages teacher Denise Mihailoff led students through discussions and activities addressing four core questions:
- Where do the francophone people live?
- How are francophone houses different from the houses where we live?
- How does one’s house influence one’s mode of living?
- How can we help the less fortunate people in our societies?
Equipped with newfound vocabulary and cultural knowledge, students chose a house in a francophone country to research. They detailed their findings in letters written in French to their parents, highlighting their French home’s cultural advantages and comparing the cuisine, hobbies, pastimes, and modes of transportation. They built three-dimensional models of the houses, demonstrating their artistic talents.
“While I thoroughly enjoyed the writing piece and being able to learn more about Southern France houses and their structure, I loved it even more to have the opportunity to add artistic elements to this project,” said Hathaway Liparidis ’26.
Steven Blanco echoed Hathaway’s comments, saying, “I found so much joy in being able to apply other aspects of what I’ve learned at King to my French class. I really enjoyed designing the project and seeing it come to life.”
Innovation Lab Coordinator Mike Fischtal and art teachers David Hughes and Corina Alvarezdelugo assisted the students in King’s Innovation Lab and art studios in building their models. With materials such as plaster, wood, foamboard, paint, and artificial flowers, students crafted picturesque French villas, cottages, châteaus, and exotic chalets. Once completed, students presented their work to the class in French, showcasing their mastery of the language while describing their houses in detail and providing a brief overview of the region and villages where they would be found.
“I enjoyed this project because it allowed me to connect and understand French culture and architecture and to realize the impact it had on one’s living situation entirely,” noted Gregory Martin ’26.