Fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral


Yesterday evening, at 18:50, the French capital of Paris became a scene to a very unfortunate event. The roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the landmarks of not only Paris and France, but of  Europe, collapsed completely with its tallest tower destroyed by fire. Renovation and repair work was indicated as the reason for the fire. The fire could only be extinguished after eight and a half hours. It was a source of grief for not only French people, but the Europeans and the world.


As the Second Foreign Language Department of Tarsus American College, we in the French Department were deeply affected by this incident that shook the whole world. Not only because of the expectations or the considerations of the IB education program or the school’s goals, mission and vision statement, but also because of the fact that the cathedral is part of a global heritage and of universal cultural history and because of our being human, the next day’s French lesson covered this tragic event. Aside from the physical structures, the fire also destroyed much of what we associate with the historic cathedral; Quasimodo, Esmeralda, romanticism as we all use in daily life, the industrious author Victor Hugo, and all its reflection in novels and songs.


In order to gather general information about the event, our students were asked to do research in Korkut Beriker Library. Students learned about the details of the incident and as they read, they raised awareness. They were then asked to prepare banners with striking visuals, all of which made free use of various technological platform and applications.


They were also asked to produce slogans, emotional yet raising awareness. Our ninth grade students presented very impressive examples. Of the programs they used, students gave high marks to the Canvas program.


With this activity, our students reacted to an incident that had an impact on a global scale. They became a part of the day’s agenda. They had the opportunity to represent themselves not only as students, but also as individuals involved in social and cultural life. The fact that the incident took place in the country which is home of the second foreign language they are learning contributed to the students' involvement in the project. The students grew out of the target group or potential source status and they became dynamic sources themselves who act, make research, inquire and contribute.



French Teacher

Volkan Doğu Dağtekin