January a hot bed of activity celebrating French Quebec culture

dante kids
Montreal - Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Although artistic and cultural activities take place in French all during the year across EMSB schools, several special events occurred during the  month of January.

The new year started  off with a diverse selection of artistic and cultural activities in French - from traditional Québéçois jigs to puppetry to poetry. As part of the Quebec government’s La culture à l’école program, Quebec artists, writers and cultural organizations who are part of the Répertoire culture-éducation, are invited to visit schools and provide a live cultural or artistic experience based in their genre.

Nicolas Doyon, Arts Education Consultant and Culture in School Respondent at the EMSB, works with both the specialists who teach music, art or drama, and with classroom teachers throughout the year to bring interesting artistic experiences to students. He believes that there is great success teaching French via the arts.

“Integrating cultural and artistic activities enhances motivation and engagement among learners,” he said. “It can also make language-learning more meaningful and relatable, as students connect with the artistic and cultural context of that language.”

Several schools took part in the program this year, with many happening in January.   Here is a snapshot of some of them:

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau rock band put on a special performance for Grades 5 and 6 students in the school gym, presenting  songs L’Ensemble by Coeur de Pirate; L'amérique pleure by Les Cowboys Fringants; and La vie chante by René Simard.


Five-year-old Kindergarten students at Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School in St. Leonard participated in a workshop called "Les Hurlus-Berlue," led by Le Théâtre Tortue Berlue in January. Students created their puppets, first by giving them eyes, then adding a head, hair, a mouth... and then a voice! They learned how to teach their puppets  to communicate and show different emotions, all the while having fun. 


Grade 4 students at John Caboto Academy in Ahuntsic practiced mime during a theatre workshop with Tina Milo in early January. They learned how to use facial expressions and gestures to show spectators what emotions they were trying to portray. 


Professional artist Amélie Bissonnettewas at East Hill Elementary School   in RDP   to give Cycle 1 students a workshop on modeling techniques and making "strange beasts."  In preparation, students read books and watched video clips to study the distinctive characteristics of their favorite animals. First, students learned a modeling technique using polymer clay on an aluminum foil frame. Then, discovering different painting techniques, they gave life to their "strange beasts." In the final lesson, they wrote short texts presenting their creations. 


Dunrae Gardens in TMR welcomed Daniel Prenoveau, an artist participating in Quebec's Culture à l'école program. He gave a workshop entitled Danse du monde in French to the students in all grade levels during the last week of January. 


Martin Langlais, an artist specializing in traditional Quebec dance and jig, visited Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount

Kindergarten French immersion students at Coronation Elementary School in Côte des Neiges had a good time play-acting with Valentina Milivojevic (Tina Milo) in January. During the second workshop, students decorated their masks according to the fairytale character they chose.


Grade 3 students at Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahuntsic read aloud their poems to classmates during a poetry workshop, "Mon premier poème," animated by Véronique Bachand, as part of the Culture à l'école program

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