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Our L'élémentaire Program for Ages 6-9

The Les Lilas Cycle 2 program, L'élémentaire, is a mixed-age classroom consisting of 10 children ages 6-9, one lead teacher certified in both French and Montessori education, and one assistant teacher. The Cycle 2 program includes the following sections:

  • Cours Préparatoires (CP) = 1st Grade
  • Cours Élémentaires 1 (CE1) = 2nd Grade
  • Cours Élémentaires 2 (CE2) = 3rd Grade

Like in Cycle 1, children in Cycle 2 continue to receive French immersion education through the Montessori approach. However, to facilitate the transition into a more “traditional” educational system, other complementary educational tools and methods are used, including worksheets, lessons in small groups, and regular validation of skills acquired in the core subjects. Rest assured that Montessori materials are still incorporated, and the atmosphere continues to be one that fosters independence and respects the rhythm of each child.

In Cycle 2, we emphasize cultural and artistic awakening and discovery of the world through subjects like history, geography, science. We also focus on civic education, including lessons in tolerance and cooperation, nonviolent conflict management, and awareness of responsible citizenship.

What will your child learn?

Reading, Writing & Oral Language

In Cycle 2, students build on the reading and writing skills they acquired in Cycle 1, La Maternelle. Phonic skills are improved and reinforced by reading a variety of texts for longer periods of time. Students are also exposed to a wide variety of children's literature to promote a love of books and reading for pleasure. To keep honing writing skills, students start constructing more complex sentences and learn to identify subjects and verbs. Students also start practicing sentence organization so they can gradually learn to write paragraphs with careful focus on spelling and vocabulary, and they learn conjugation. As they learn to read and write, repetition reinforces students’ vocabulary. They practice their oral skills in the context of reciting rhymes, texts in prose, and poems from memory, with the appropriate rhythm and intonation.

Reading, Writing & Oral Language Con't

In addition, students verbally exchange ideas in small groups, and they learn how to address others properly in both formal and informal settings. Cycle 2 also incorporates the English curriculum through a variety of children’s literature including fiction, nonfiction, and chapter books. Students use Writer’s Workshop time for creative writing and learn the processes of rough drafts, editing, and final drafts. They learn phonics, rules of grammar, punctuation, and comprehension strategies, as well as songs that reinforce social skills. For homework, students have weekly spelling words, dictation sentences, and a creative writing assignment.


Cycle 2 focuses on proficiency in arithmetic. Students learn techniques for addition, subtraction, and multiplication, and they learn how to solve problems using these operations. Students also build on the basic geometry skills introduced in Cycle 1. They learn how to plot complex shapes on a grid, recognize and describe planes and solids, and use instruments and techniques to reproduce figures. The associated vocabulary becomes familiar with repetition. 
 Students also learn about and compare common units of length, weight, capacity, time, and money. They gradually learn how to organize data for presentation of a conclusion, and they are introduced to charts, tables, and graphs. Later in Cycle 2, students work on simple word problems applying the math concepts they have learned.


In Cycle 2, students re-familiarize themselves with the progression and cyclical aspects of time using the calendar and clock, and they learn that time is different depending on geography. Students identify characteristics of living things and build upon their learning of the life cycle: birth, growth, reproduction, and death. They also study the nutrition and dietary habits of animals and how animals relate within a given habitat and with a changing environment. Students distinguish between solids and liquids and observe the changing states of matter through experiments. They also create basic models and simple electric circuits to understand how an electrical device works, and they study temperature and the effects of temperature on a changing environment.


Les Lilas Cycle 2 students broaden their basic knowledge of familiar surroundings, like the classroom, school, neighborhood, village, and town. They compare these familiar settings with other settings and more distant places, and they study how their world is portrayed through common forms like photographs, maps, and a globe. 

Students exchange videos of their classroom work with fellow students in France, and they use a map to learn about where those students live.


Students in Cycle 2 enjoy a variety of musical activities, including listening to music, singing songs, and moving to music. They imitate rhythm patterns using instruments and learn to keep a steady beat, and they learn to recognize upward/downward movement of pitch and differences in tempo. Dedicated music instruction takes place once a week in French.


Les Lilas Cycle 2 students explore different techniques like collage, pastel, gouache/acrylic and clay. They also work on artistic gestures and the development of the sleight of hand through the study of famous artists as examples and sources of inspiration. The basics of geometry are applied through 3D projects where the students understand the importance of distance, proportion, and symmetry. Field trips to museums reinforce classroom instruction.


Students learn about significant events and influential contributors leading to the founding of the French Republic.

Physical Education

Cycle 2 students participate in individual and group activities that promote locomotor skills, team-building, and social interaction, and they are taught to adapt sequences and patterns to their movement, depending on the activity.

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.”

- Maria Montessori