Celebrating French Culture

La langue française was on the lips of Middle and Upper School students as they celebrated a belated National French Week, which emphasizes French language and culture and the importance of learning a second language.

Upper schoolers kicked off the week with a special assembly, featuring the story of French culinary artists Antoine and Alexandra Jacques. The couple left comfortable corporate jobs and relocated to France in order to study pastry and bakery at the age of 35. Upon their return to the U.S., they established the New York City branch of Aux Merveilleux de Fred, an artisan French pâtisserie brand with stores in New York, Tokyo, Toronto, and across Europe. Students glimpsed behind the proverbial curtain of the successful French bakery via recorded video, as Antoine walked them through the store and interviewed employees. Students then tested their French culture prowess in a Kahoot trivia game, using their knowledge of history, art, fashion, literature, athletics, geography, and more.

Crêpes were the order of the day for upper schoolers in Mmes. Pechstein and Davis classes, who learned the ingredients, quantities, and instructions in French before preparing some of their own. In Mme. Molta’s class, students celebrated the week in a variety of ways (all in French!), including baking traditional recipes, writing haiku poems, doing yoga, painting in the style of French artists, and visiting museums virtually.

Middle schoolers learned the story of Antoine and Alexandra Jacques during Friday’s assembly, and engaged in their own Kahoot competition. Students in Mme. Pechstein’s French 7 class drew presented labeled maps and accompanying dialogue directing individuals to important Parisian landmarks. On Friday, Mme. Bonnamour’s 6th graders put their culinary lexicon and skills to the test — and donned their imaginary toque hats — to prepare mousse au chocolat!

National French Week, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French, is celebrated across the country each year. The event recognizes the important role of the French language in the Francophone around the world, and brings language, culture, and history out of the classroom and into the community.

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