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St. Lawrence Central students celebrate French week by building Paris landmarks

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BRASHER FALLS - An attempt by Jewell Watkins and Jacob Mathous this week to create an Eiffel Tower using toothpicks and marshmallows didn’t work too well.

The marshmallows were just too good to pass up for the St. Lawrence Central School eighth-grade students who were taking part in a competition for French Week - creating landmarks found in Paris.

“It’s a little hard, but we’re getting it together. We’re going to eat it after,” Mr. Watkins said as they assembled their marshmallow and toothpick creation.

“I thought it would be perfect. In seventh grade we had to make a pyramid with toothpicks and marshmallows,” Mr. Mathous said.

“We want to win and eat it,” he added.

But, as it turned out, their project became more like a leaning Eiffel Tower and they didn’t wait until the competition was over to start munching on the marshmallows.

But they didn’t give up. With time to spare in the 45-minute limit, they moved on to create another Paris landmark, the Louvre Pyramid, using all new ingredients.

And there were ingredients galore for the students who were participating in the competition. In addition to the toothpicks and marshmallows, they could use Legos, pipe cleaners, Play-Doh, colored Popsicle sticks and more, as well as a hot glue gun to keep everything together.

Sophomore Damien Razis was using Play-Doh and pipe cleaners as part of his arsenal in building the Arc de Triomphe.

“It’s kind of easy to build,” he said, noting he had built the same landmark last year using pipe cleaners, cups and Popsicle sticks.

Some students created their own version of the Eiffel Tower, as well as the Arc de Triomphe and other landmarks as they competed for the top spot in the competition - though there wasn’t really a top spot since every landmark earned the students a prize.

“This is just demonstrating different places you can go,” senior Jenna Quinell said as she and senior Camren Campeau created their own version of the Eiffel Tower.

“We chose the Eiffel Tower. We’re just going with the flow and hope it turns out,” she said.

For the students, it was the last after-school activity of French Week, although they would have some in-class activities the following day.

Earlier in the week, they had participated in other activities that included a French Scavenger Hunt.

“They had to find 20 items in French and whoever came in the quickest received a prize, a bar of French chocolate,” French teacher David DeRushia said.

They also created posters on famous people and places from Paris and took part in what students say was their favorite activity of the week - the annual Chocolate Mousse Eating Contest, where the students being fed had their hands behind their backs as their blindfolded partner tried to find their mouth to feed them chocolate mousse.

“I had it all over my face. I had it down my back,” Mr. Campeau said.

A French song was also played each day before homeroom, and a “French Fact of the Day” was read on the daily morning announcements. The students also learned about Paris landmarks and the history of Paris, participated in Game Day, and learned about French dances and danced together in class.

They can expect different activities every time French Week rolls around, according to Mr. DeRushia.

“We have a different theme each year. This year it was Paris,” he said.

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