This is the second year that our preschool and pre-k students have partnered with the French students at Benilde-St. Margaret High School in Saint Louis Park. The high school students are in an advanced level French class lead by professor Frédérique Toft. At the beginning of the year, our preschool and pre-k students were interviewed by their main teachers about different topics: their favorite color, their favorite animal, their favorite activity, what they would like to be when they grew up, and where they would like to live. After the teachers from the French American School of Minneapolis submitted the interviews to the Benilde – St. Margaret’s students in September, the high school students broke into groups of two or three and began creating fairy tale books written in French for each French American School student, based on the answers given in the interviews. The books are about dragons, princesses, unicorns, spaceships, pirates and anything you can imagine and focus on each individual child!
On Friday, January 27th after a lengthy writing and illustration process on the part of the high school students, our students were invited at Benilde St. Margaret’s to meet with their high school author! After reading the books together in groups, our students shared our French Epiphany tradition with our special “brioche”. A “fève” (small porcelain figurine) was hidden in each brioche and students getting the “fève” became Kings and Queens of the day!
The partnership is wonderful for both age groups. The high school students are able to practice their French reading and writing skills through a live project, while simultaneously becoming a mentor for younger students. Our younger students are able to see French in action outside of their own school and get inspired by their new tall high school buddies!