To kick off the new year, upper school French teacher Denise Mihailoff and lower school teacher Helen Santoro teamed up for an opportunity to collaborate on curriculum across divisions. While upper school French students are researching the legacy of cultural heritage, Grade 5 students are learning about ancient civilizations, providing the students with a unique opportunity to make connections in one another’s learning.
The upper school students prepared a presentation on a selection of francophone countries that explored essential questions on cultural heritage – Why is cultural heritage important for a country? What role do arts and technology play in preserving and celebrating culture? How does this impact the diversity of french-speaking countries?
Some of the countries highlighted in the presentation are also countries that Grade 5 students are researching in their studies of ancient civilizations. After watching the presentation, fifth grade student Jordyn Rivera asked, “what was your favorite part about making this presentation?”
Upper school student Tucker Pedersen ’22 took the initiative to respond. “My favorite thing about this project was researching and learning about all the countries, specifically their cultures, which I thought was very interesting,” said Tucker, who proceeded to provide a definition of research for the young scholars. “Doing research means to find information on your own. A lot of us used the internet, for example, and then selected the most important facts to include in our presentation.”
French teacher Denise Mihailoff explained that the upper school students had been studying their countries in depth for months to explore the many layers of cultural heritage as it related to the essential questions.
“To do research, we did a lot of work to earn a complete understanding of the countries we studied. We listened to music, read texts, and researched the varying landscapes of the countries, to name a few of the ways we studied the cultural heritage of these places,” said Mihailoff.
“Even though the French language is the common element between all of them, it is so beautiful to celebrate their differences. We hope some of this information helped you to learn more about some of the countries you might be studying as well,” she said to the fifth grade students when concluding the presentation.
In preparing fifth grade students for their transition to Middle School, King School is committed to an intentional and incremental progression that equips its students for greater academic, social, and emotional success later in the Middle and Upper Schools. Part of this progression includes exposing the students to the content, skills, and transitional experiences that will prepare them for their future at King.