Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Cardigan's World Language Students Visit Local Elementary School

World Language Students Visit Local Elementary School
 

Friday, February 17, began with unusual weather for New England. Students were just arriving in their first class of the day when lightning and thunder barreled through campus, flooding the paths and turning the snowbanks to slush. Students, faculty, and staff sought shelter, waiting for the storm to pass. 

Fortunately, not everyone got stuck inside. A small group of our sixth, seventh and eighth graders were already headed off campus to Canaan Elementary School for Language Day.

“We just missed the storm!” says World Languages Chair Dan Perricone. “Which is good because there were 71 first and second graders eagerly awaiting our arrival!”

During the short morning activity, Cardigan’s World Language students were asked to teach Canaan Elementary students something they had learned in their own classes or something about their own home culture. “I put the ownership of the lesson into the hands of the students,” says Mr. Perricone, “and the kids did a great job. Even the ones who were nervous at first got into it.” Students designed lessons in French, Spanish, and Latin as well as Greek and Russian, teaching everything from counting and naming family members to reciting the letters of the Greek alphabet and learning about Mexican culture.

World Language Students Visit Local Elementary School

Students designed lessons in French, Spanish, and Latin as well as Greek and Russian, teaching everything from counting and naming family members to reciting the letters of the Greek alphabet and learning about Mexican culture.
 

While it was not the first Language Day at Canaan Elementary School, it was the first time Mr. Perricone remembers visiting the school in eight years. During a department meeting with his team he said they were discussing ways to make the year more memorable and punctuate the academic year with experiential learning opportunities. “I contacted the teachers at Canaan Elementary School, and they were happy to have us,” he says.

In its newest format, Language Day allowed each Cardigan student to work with 4-5 small groups of first and second graders for 5-10 minutes each. “I was really nervous about how it would go,” says Mr. Perricone. “But the boys loved it. Many of them are the youngest members of our community, and it gave them a chance to be the oldest ones and share what they have learned. All the students were engaged!” 

The day was so successful, Mr. Perricone says he is already planning another Language Day for the fall, and is hoping they’ll be able to visit twice next year. It’s the kind of memorable, hands-on learning opportunity he was hoping for, but perhaps without the thunder storms!
 

 

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