Connecting Language and Culture
The whole idea of cultural knowledge is so complex it can be easy to be overwhelmed by how to approach it. For kindergarten, our new curriculum literally says « cultural elements » under content, and that’s it! No elaborations! Nothing. We used to get a bit more guidance in this area, but now teachers are left to their own devices to sort out what this means and how to best help our learners make cultural connections.
Dance teaches so many important skills, plus it is so joyful! Here is where we can get serious about learning gauche from droite.
I love to connect to French Canadian culture through dance. There are a few traditional dances which are fun for me (I have a background in dance as a child) and which are engaging for kids. Dance teaches so many important skills, plus it is so joyful! Here is where we can get serious about learning gauche from droite.
My personal favourite is when the school invites Les Cornouillers, a local French Canadian dance troupe, to come for a Family Dance event. Two of their dancers are retired teachers, so they can be hired to come and teach lessons in the school. The learners get a chance to become familiar with the music and learn at least two of the dances in their lessons. The evening event is exceedingly fun because kids and adults alike are dancing and having fun together! Families with French heritage will be all smiles at this event; it is full of the sounds of their childhood too.
My favourites for kindergarten:
« Que sais-tu bien faire? »
« Jean Petit qui danse »