Grade 8s Grace the Catwalk… en Français

French and ELL Fashion Show

The Grade 8 French and ELL students have been studying vocabulary to describe clothing, fabrics, patterns and to offer their opinions on clothing styles. Guest speakers, such as our Director of Learning, Mr. Adrian French, taught the students about “the real cost of a T-shirt” and Erica Van Briel spoke about her experiences as an international model and showed the students how to walk with confidence, good posture and poise.

The culminating activity involved students proposing team themes and working collaboratively in groups of 4-6 to prepare and present – via a French Fashion Show – detailed descriptions of individual outfits. The entire activity was a wonderful leadership opportunity as the students were the MCs, stage managers and the photo and video booth coordinators.

“In preparing for the fashion show, we spoke to the students about stepping up as leaders,” says Middle School French teacher Ms. Valerie Pike. “If problems arose, we asked them to practice problem-solving skills as a team. Opportunities presented themselves when props were forgotten, scripts were lost and there were absentees on the day. The students remained calm and worked together to resolve the issues on their own. We are very proud of the maturity, creativity, and resilience they showed under pressure. Clearly, our Grade 8s are becoming more independent.”

The students decided to add a service component to the event by collecting donations to support a student who is currently in BC Children’s Hospital and to support research into finding a cure for leukemia.

Student Reflection

by Nevaeh M.

The Grade 8 French Fashion Show that all French 8 and ELL students took part in, was a very memorable experience. It was an assignment like none other that I have participated in. It truly was both a fun and nerve-wracking experience. We started off with brainstorming ideas for themes of each group, then we put our names under the themes that we wanted to pursue which led to groups being made. Each group had a different specific theme and they had to come up with a costume according to that theme. The themes ranged from les années 60 (the 60s), les athlètes (athletes), les éléments (the elements), Les Choses Étranges (Stranger Things) and many more. Before the event, we had a professional model, Erica Van Briel, demonstrate how to model clothing. She had beautiful posture and was so graceful. 

For the Fashion Show, everyone had to describe an outfit in French. People described things like colour, fabric, style, length and purpose. After the description was written, it was then passed on to a group member who would read it out aloud on the day.

On the day of Le Défilé de Mode, everyone would watch as each person would do a model walk as their partner read out the script. Even though it was a little terrifying at first to get in front of all of those people, in the end it was worth it. Each group then had their photo taken in a student-run photo booth, and it was fun to model for the camera, too. 

The Fashion Show was a terrific experience and a great way to end our unit on “La Mode.” I hope that every Grade 8 in the future will enjoy it as much as I did.

Photos by David B. and Owen V. See more on the SMUS Photo Gallery.


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