“What is a formal portrait,” “If we only had one opportunity to put our image out there in the world, what would we want this image to say about ourselves?” These were the questions NSCD upper school French 3 students explored in a recent assignment. They began by studying portraits of famous historical people such as the one of La Marquise de Pompadour, which resides in the Louvre museum.

The process enabled students to discover how she wanted to be portrayed—not as the commoner she was at birth, and not as a queen that she was not (she was however King Louis XV’s favorite mistress) but as a learned and influential woman. 

The students used similar techniques and modern-day photography to create their own portraits. Then classmates wrote about each other's portraits in French—what they meant and how they controlled their image.

French Teacher Beatrice McKenna came up with the idea when she was awarded an NSCD professional development grant to study at Le Louvre as part of a program to help teachers use art to teach languages. Creating a new project was one of the culminating elements of the program.

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Take 10 Play Festival

North Shore Country Day’s annual 10-minute play festival “Take 10” returned to the stage on April 13. For the first time in three years, students performed their original plays in front of a live audience with performances in the NSCD Auditorium.

All seven plays were written, produced and directed by students in the upper school directing class. Some were based on personal experience, observations and media events, while others stemmed from pure creativity. Once the scripts were finalized, the student directors held auditions, cast the roles and ran their own rehearsals.

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