Developing Language Skills in Maternelle

TRetelling the Storyhroughout the Maternelle grades, FASP students were introduced to an innovative language method to develop their French skills: Narramus or “the Art of Narrating.” This language method uses French storybooks as apparatus. It allows children to expand their vocabulary, improve comprehension, and develop their oral skills playfully and assertively.

In anticipation of the story, children first study the vocabulary associated with the narrative using image cards. Then, the beginning of the story is read. After a couple of pages, teachers pause the reading and invite students to think, make hypotheses and inferences, and imagine how the story will unfold. Then, children narrate the story they envisioned with the help of a model, practicing new vocabulary and getting more comfortable speaking French. Afterward, the teachers pick up the reading where they left off, and the children can check if the story unfolds as predicted. Once they finish the book, the students are encouraged to retell the story in the correct order with the model or embody a character with a mask and re-enact the story with their friends. Watch and listen to our Pre-K students below:

While stories vary by age level, the process is similar for all classes. Kindergarteners worked on “La sieste de Moussa,” preschoolers worked on “Un peu perdu,” and this week, Pre-K students participated in directed activities on “Le Machin.” “Le Machin” is the story of a lost object found by an elephant. A series of animals take turns guessing what this object could be and its use. The students enjoyed this humorous story, as giggles and laughter filled the classroom! At the same time, they were actively engaged in the various activities, learning new vocabulary, speaking French, and acquiring early reading strategies.