On the 27th of January, Rowntree Montessori Academy celebrated Le Carnaval de Rowntree. We had a special guest for this event-Le Bonhomme de Rowntree, Rowntree’s very own snowman!!! The children were so excited to see Le Bonhomme, who welcomed all the students when they arrived in the morning. Later on, the children were very thrilled to participate with him in different activities and to know that he was there cheering them on. The smallest students in Rowntree were honoured by the visitation of our Bonhomme in their classes. He was dancing with them, and serving French croissants and hot chocolate (a child’s dream come true; wait, maybe not only a child’s!). There was so much excitement and joy to see the little ones participate and dance with Le Bonhomme de neige!
All the children enjoyed the celebration tremendously, and you could see the happy smiles fill their faces and hear their silly child-like laughs. Many activities were planned for the children to take part in and to learn, so it was not just fun and games. Our event had educational aspects as well. The whole school took the initiative to wear the accustomed French colors, and the grade 8 students were the leaders for the day. They all looked like a French delegation which just arrived from France, leading on the rest of the school. Their fascinating presentations helped the children in our school acquire many skills in the French language, as well as learn new French traditions. The children were dancing, learning the different instruments, and diverse action words that they were prompted to perform. Additionally, to forward their cultural experience, they created bracelets, drew, and made marshmallow snowmen. The most popular activity was Le café Français. “Beaucoup de (Many)” items belonging to French cuisine (or from the daily life of most Parisians) were baked and purchased for the children to enjoy and to learn to order in French. It goes without saying that all of the students were eager to participate and most definitely had so much fun eating French pastries and drinking hot chocolate!
French language is important for children to learn. Sometimes it can get quite hard to be just in the classroom doing traditional school work and tests. Rowntree provided our students with “out of the box” interactions by creating something in which the students would be eager to participate. French is a language of culture and which can open your door to art, dance, music, fashion, cinema and cuisine. Our students were true Parisians for the day, starting from how they talked, dressed, ate, behaved and participated in national French activities.
It was a fun event for both the leaders, teachers and children. But most importantly, the children were able to easily grasp new methods and ways of understanding the French language. There is nothing more rewarding for educators than to see our students having a great time while they are learning, and to know that the French language skills they acquire will support them for the rest of their academic and professional lives!