Allons à Paris!
Learning about Paris through Mapping its treasures
Anna tilts long popsicle sticks into the shape of the Pyramide du Louvre, the large glass and metal structure in front of the Louvre Museum, in Paris’s 1st arrondissement. Luke holds an egg container, considering his next steps in creating the dome of Sacré-Cœur, a church in the 18th arrondissement. Sophie stands pieces of Styrofoam on end, mimicking the columns of the Panthéon, a former church in the 5th arrondissement, and reaches for the hot glue gun.
The seventh grade French students are working in the school’s maker space—a room full of recyclables waiting to be transformed, as well as buckets of Legos, boxes of sequins and plenty of markers and paper. Together, they are making a three-dimensional map of Paris, complete with miniatures of many of its most famous monuments.
Making the monuments
An assignment that engages students' hands and minds
Their assignment was to research one of Paris’s monuments and write a caption with important information, as well as create a 2-D or 3-D mini-rendition of the structure and place it on the class map in the correct arrondissement.
Learning that informs other disciplines
“They are learning so much about French history and culture,” said French teacher Lauren Mulvihill. “We studied the arrondissements, or districts, of Paris and their history. Part of the project is learning the connection between the structures and the story of Paris.”
From the guillotine, which stood in the Place de la Concorde during the French Revolution to the Conciergerie, a royal palace turned prison, Sainte-Chapelle in the Palais de la Cité and more, more than a dozen monuments are represented.
While the completed map will hang outside the French classroom, the students will take their knowledge about Paris with them to inform future connections in the fields of world history, art and politics.