Summer Practicum- Day Three- July 11th, 2007

“The work can wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.” ~ Patricia Clafford

We learned about ‘le crayon’, how the French created the modern pencil. It was because Napoleon did not want France to depend on England for graphite, so Nicholas Conte ground up graphite into a powder, mixed it with clay, and inserted it into wooden holders. This way they did not use nearly as much graphite; this was also the start of the modern pencil.

We put up a picture of a pencil along with the date on the Invention Timeline. I also had them draw one on their map of France so they can get an idea of some of the important cities in France.

I feel that my methods are a little random. Having the “Invention” theme is good, because they are interested in knowing how things work. But it may have been simpler just to have a theme like “A Star Voyage Around France”. I have “star inventors and inventions” as my connection to the theme of “Reach for the Stars”.

Again things were taking much longer than I had expected. We filled out a graphic organizer answering the question words in French.

Then I connected pencils to colors and we moved on to Hot Air Balloons, les Montgolfieres, also created by the French. We learned the colors in French and made hot air balloons with various colors.


Next, I used a classic teacher secret weapon for learning- candy! I had Starburst and lollipops and made them say what color they wanted. This worked very well, of course everyone started raising their hand, and many of them more than once.

And next thing I new it, class was over. I introduced them to ‘goodbye’ vocabulary and will have to review it again for day 4 and the rest of the days.

The best part of it was that they learned some good information and French vocabulary, and they had fun. There was hands-on, multisensory learning. There is still way too much room for improvement on my part, but I felt better about today than I did about the other days.

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