Linden Classrooms: Platforms for Conversation & Learning Across Grades
Grade 8 French students.
Grade 11/12 “Teachers” Help Grade 8 French Students Master L’Imparfait
Grade 8 French students welcomed special guest teachers on December 1st: Grade 11 and 12 French students Aisha, Clare, Seb, and Tess, who introduced them to verb tense “l’imparfait.”
French teacher Wendy Marie Jeanne described their process: “Tess, Seb, Aisha, and Clare put their excellent knowledge of French vocabulary and grammar into practice. They drafted their presentation with great care and tried to anticipate the questions that the younger students would have.”
“Tess asked questions like ‘Should we start in English?’ and ‘When should we swap between languages?’ Seb used her art skills to design a table about different groups of verbs, using different colours to gain and retain the class's attention. Seb wanted to add a challenge, so they explained all three groups of French verbs (-er, -ir, and -re) in the same lessons.” During the class, the senior students introduced the verb endings for all pronouns – including non-binary pronouns such as “iel”.
“Aisha listed keywords that will help the Grade 8s recognize when to use l’imparfait,” Wendy continued. “After a great group discussion, Aisha decided to give examples. Clare suggested ending the class with some testing questions to make sure that the students understood the lesson.”
Through excellent planning, pacing, energy, and interactivity, the senior students ensured that a potentially dry topic was anything but! “We wanted to make it pop so we could hold their attention,” said Tess. It worked! Many hands shot up during the interactive portion, and it was clear that the Grade 8s had grasped the new concept.
Grade 8s had many questions, not always related to l’imparfait! ‘How can one word have so many meanings?’, ‘Why are there so many exceptions to rules?’ ‘If an ‘h’ is silent, why do you still write it?’ These made for some amusing exchanges before the senior students skillfully returned the class to the topic at hand.
“Here at The Linden School, classrooms become platforms for conversations and learning across age divisions,” said Wendy.