for Grade 6
Project-based learning pedagogy
Here are different projects done with grade 6 students for a period of three lessons of forty-five minutes each. These twelve years old students have experimented with different practices and materials while learning French in their third year in the program. Every week, students must respond to a new problem individually or collectively that allows them to progress in their project. A class is always formed of two phases, with fifteen minutes of language notions and art theory to half an hour of practice. In the third lesson, students are assessed with a twenty-minute written exam and they finish the unit by presenting their project orally and interacting with the rest of the class.
Most of these simple projects have been designed from scratch, by getting ideas from different sources of inspiration such as the Chinese and French programs, real-world problems, teacher's past projects and students' lives and interests among other references. Besides the challenging questions that drive these projects, topics have to be authentic and the methodology should let students enough voice and choice in creating high-quality products to be exposed. Due to their A1 french level, content complexity had to be slightly reduced. Nonetheless, most of projects have had successful processes and results while others will continue to be improved by the rookie teacher.
Project 1. My favourite animal
Students had to choose an endangered animal and draw it with a pencil, a black marker and a charcoal. Thus, they learnt how to make a poster by adding the WWF logo and a slogan to make people aware of the loss of biodiversity that has increased dramatically in the last decades. Students finally had to present their work in front of the class.
Posted: September 20th, 2018 – September 26th, 2019 – September 24th, 2020
Project 2. Pyramids
While studying the structure of different pyramids, students have started by making one with wooden sticks and rubber bands. The following week, they were inspired by this form to draw a new object, from which they could define an innovative usage function.
Posted: October 23th, 2019
Project 3. My hero
The heroes of Greek mythology, depicted on vases and statues, have allowed students to imagine their own hero and to draw it. This first step have allowed them to cut out the body parts to join them again with brass fasteners and create a moving character.
Posted: November 27th, 2019
Project 4. Astérix in Beijing
By discovering the world of French comics, students started to draw in teams the cover of a new Asterix album, imagining the main characters visiting a Beijing monument. They also had to add the title and the authors' names to present the illustration to a competition.
Posted: December 28th, 2019
Project 5. My cardboard box
Students learnt how to make a box by reusing pieces of cardboard and following the instructions of a simple box pattern. Once the box was finished, students had to embellish it by putting into practice the technique of collage, which is also an artful way to reuse materials. At last, students had to present their boxes while reflecting on how to use it.
Posted: March 12th, 2019
Project 6. Water Lilies
Students observed different opening states of water lilies and they learnt to draw them. They thus discovered Monet's waterlilies paintings in Giverny and they continued their work by drawing a water lily and painting it with watercolors, without dismissing the background.
Posted: April 2nd, 2019 – May 5th, 2020
Project 7. The roofs of Beijing
Students chose a picture of a roof in Beijing to draw on paper, paying attention to its details. They made a second negative drawing on another sheet to create the silhouette of the roof and thus, together with the work of other students, create the silhouette of the city.
Posted: April 30th, 2019
Project 8. Bike and nature
By studying biomimetics, the discipline that imitates nature to design objects, spaces and systems, students have invented a new bicycle, whose parts are inspired from the natural world, whether it is by form, function or colour. They started drawing their invention from different points of view and then focused on technical details. At last, they had to describe their drawing by explaining their idea as simply as possible.
Posted: May 21st, 2019 – March 9th, 2020
Project 9. An everyday object
How to improve an object you have at home? Students had to analyse an object and write down its technical attributes while explaining its uses. Then, they had to think and draw how it could be improved in the future.