The curriculum developed for our students is theme-based. In 2021, we took a new direction with it--OUTDOORS! We used 2020 as an opportunity to do "Scuola all'Aperto" (Outdoor School). Our over-arching theme will be "la Natura e l'Ambiente" (Nature and the Environment) which is woven into all our monthly sub-themes. In this way, our monthly themes always have an outdoor component (all encompassing from what we see on our planet to out in the universe), all done "fuori" (outside, weather permitting throughout the year). Italian language vocabulary and numeracy are integrated within each theme so our students learn in context. In this way, students are able to start using what they learn as effectively and quickly as possible.
During our scuola year we will have 2-3 filedtrips that are tied to what we are learning so that they are tied to our learning.
Our days (AM/PM) are divided in the following manner to allow children to learn how to transition from one activity to the next and not to be overwhelmed before the end of our day.
**For the forseeable future, we will be checking in our students in order to maintain good health standards. Because this procedure will take a few extra minutes, we appreciate everyone's patience.
9:00-9:15am/1:00-1:15pm: Children will be checked in for scuola and depending on our attivitá to our "aula all'aperto" (outside classroom), a designated space or indoors, where we will start our morning
9:15-9:40(ish)/1:15-1:40(ish: We do our "Svegliamoci i Sensi" (Sensory Wake Up circle which includes:"Buongiorno, come stai?", calendar (date, days of the week, numbers on the calendar, ect.) and the weather. As well, it is in this time that the kids have singing time of familiar song(s) as well as play instruments and/or learn a new song (having to do with theme of the week)
9:45(ish)-10:30am/1:45(ish)-2:30pm: Children do activities with the letter and/or number of the week tying it our "ambiente fuori" (outdoor environment).
10:30-11:00am/2:30-3:00pm: Free play and making our way indoors to prepare for merenda (washing hands/bathroom time)
11:00am/3:00pm: Merenda (Snack time--we provide snack which includes juice, water, or milk [depending on the snack], fresh fruit, vegetables, individual yogurt and healthy snacks.
11:40-12noon/3:40-4:00pm: "Parola e/o lettera per la famiglia" e "Ciao Ciao" song for 12noon/4pm class dismissal.
Our Thursday afternoon class (from 1-4pm) is reserved for our older learners (Grades 1-6) who are more independent in their learning journey in their writing and reading abilities. In this class we adopt a specific theme (for example, the concept of Time, Italian Geography, Art [DaVinci & Michelangelo], the Regions of Italy specifically) for the whole academic year using it to deepen our learning of Italian language and culture. Using Project Based Learning, students create models, short videos, and/or poster panels of their learning and are exhibited during a special learning celebration during the school year with families and/or presented to the whole CPLI Scuola during its End of the Year Festa.
The specifics of our activities for language speaking and writing instruction include Italian language and grammar games, Italian culture trivia, Italian language board games, and using Italian language during the course of our class time to enhance our theme based curriculum.
A common question is: "Does my child have to know Italian to attend?" Absolutely not! Our program, using the Communicative Method is such that we use actions, physical objects and routines in Italian so that children can begin to learn Italian in context. We also simultaneously translate more complex statements for children to not hinder their learning and ultimately, their enjoyment in learning Italian.
Our thanks to the National Congress of Italian Canadians, Edmonton District for their grant funding to help our school continue its mandate in maintaining Italian language learning and culture in Edmonton.