Story Listening: Klingelingeling

I was back in the 1st/2nd grade today! So it was time to tell another story. I selected one of my favorite read-aloud children’s books: Klingelingeling by Nicola Smee (arsEdition, 2010; original English title: Jingle-Jingle).

klingelingeling

Of course, I didn’t actually read the book. I told it as a story, which meant I had to add some description. Since the book is copyrighted, I can’t post my version of it here. But it wasn’t too hard to work out!

For today’s lesson, I wanted to add a brief discussion about the weather. So after our hello song, I asked the children about the weather for today. I told them the words in German and wrote them on the board: es regnet, regnerisch, warm, leichter Wind. I’d like to start each lesson with the weather in the future.

From there, we went right into our story. I was really pleased with how it went! It’s such a fun little story, especially when the horse climbs into the sleigh, so he can ride down the hill with the other animals! I did have to figure out how to draw all those animals, though! I used a book called The Usborne Step-By-Step Drawing Book (Usborne, 2014):

Usborne drawing book

(They didn’t have a duck, so I looked up some ideas online.) When I drew the horse, I warned the children not to laugh at my drawings. They actually clapped! They could all tell it was a horse. Success! Here is a look at my finished story board:

2018-01-12 11.16.40

When I finished the story, they asked where it was from. So I told them about the book. I happened to have it with me, so I showed it to them. Most of them wanted to hear it, so I read it aloud to them. I think it was actually a great way to reinforce the story and repeat the vocabulary!

I made up some worksheets for them to practice the main words: die Katze, der Hund, das Schwein, die Ente, das Pferd, der Schlitten. I thought about Schnee, too but decided to keep it to 6 words (I like even numbers!). The tasks included:

  • matching picture to word
  • tracing the word under the corresponding picture
  • writing the word under the corresponding picture (I left this one out today and just used the tracing words)
  • a word search
  • cut out 4 images and paste them in the correct order on the next page

They did great with the first pages. Some of them had trouble with putting the images in order. It helped if they started with the last one first, since it’s obvious (they flew out of the sled when they reached the bottom of the hill). I did not expect them to be able to read the text under the pictures, but it’s there for exposure.

You can download the worksheets as a PDF file here: Klingelingeling Arbeitsblätter, 2018 GitA

Before I sent them off to work on the assignment, though, I had one more bit of fun with them. I decided to try a tongue twister! I do love a good tongue twister! I was surprised to find that I had to explain what it was for some of the children. But then I also got to show off my “Peter Piper” 😉

For our German tongue twister – or Zungenbrecher (literally: tongue breaker), I chose:

In Ulm und um Ulm und um Ulm herum

I started by teaching them how to pronounce Ulm. Oooooooo. Then add the L, then the M. Then make it short. Then we started very slowly. And we worked up our speed. Some of them got quite good at it!

After they completed their worksheets, I had one more surprise for them. They had been begging me to read an Elephant & Piggie book by Mo Willems. A few of them have been translated into German, and I just happen to have one: Das Buch über uns (Klett Kinderbuch, 2015; original English title We are in a Book).

Buch über uns

For the most part, they really enjoyed it. And some of them knew it well enough in English to translate as we went along. That was fine. It was the end of a very long lesson (I ended up being in the class for an hour and a half!) at the end of a Friday half-day. So it would have been a lot to expect them to sit still and just listen!

Overall, I’d say it was a very successful lesson! I was exhausted, but then I usually am! And it’s so worth it! Even Froggy said he enjoys the lessons, even though he isn’t really learning anything new 🙂

Winter Activities

Here on the east coast, winter has made a very loud arrival! Two days with no school – and this the first week back after a long break! Then I realized I’ve never posted any winter activities! So here are a number of random worksheets and craft ideas you can do in German 🙂

Schneemann malen nach Zahlen

This simple color by number is great for the little ones just learning their numbers and colors. The color words are written in the corresponding color, making it easier for them to do on their own. Download the PDF here: Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA

Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA-page-001

Tierspuren

Here are two simple worksheets to talk about the tracks that different animals leave in the snow. There is a black and white version. And if a little extra help is needed, there is a colored outline version. Then the colors can be easily paired up.

Tierspuren GitA-page-001

Download the worksheets as PDF files here:

For a follow-up activity, see if you have any little animal figures. Winter animals would be best, but whatever you’ve got! Then get out the play-doh and roll it out. Let your child walk the animals through the play-doh to make tracks. Then compare them. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about animals in German!

If you have snow and it isn’t brutally cold, go for a walk and see if you see any tracks. Before you go, talk about the kinds of animals that live in your area. Maybe look up what their prints look like, so you can identify them when you see them.

Winter Wortschatz

Here are five winter word posters you can print out full-sized or print 6-to-a-page to make flashcards. Print two sets to make a game of memory!

Download the PDF file here: Winter Wortschatz GitA

There is also a coloring page of all five words to go with them.

Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA-page-001

Download the PDF here: Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA

Winter Labyrinthe

I just put up a post with 10 easy German winter mazes! You can find them here 🙂 Here is an example:

Schneeflocken fangen GitA-page-001

Other ideas

There are tons of great craft ideas out there! I’ve been collecting them on a Pinterest board for years. Check it out here!

I also saw a list of 40 snow day boredom busters on Mommy Poppins. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration there?!

Viel Spaß!

Kling, Glöckchen!

I’m teaching a Christmas lesson in Pre-K/Kindergarten tomorrow morning. I like to bring in some of my favorite German Christmas things. This year I’m keeping it simple. So I’ll bring in just a few things:

  • der Nussknacker (nutcracker)
  • der Hampelmann (jumping jack)
  • das Lebkuchenherz (gingerbread heart)
  • der Räuchermann (smoker)
  • das Adventskalender (advent calendar)

Last year we received a musical advent calendar from our Swiss au pair’s family. You open a little door and press the button and get a song! And there is a switch on the back, so you can choose between German and English carols. It’s called Der klingende Adventskalender.

I’m going to read a sweet book about being together to celebrate. It’s called Frohe Weihnachten, kleiner Elch by Anne-Kristin zur Brügge (Oetinger, 2016).

Frohe Weihnachten, kleiner Elch

Then I’m going to teach them the song “Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling”. I thought I would teach them just that much to begin. We’ll see if they can catch on to the rest!

We’ll craft some jingle bells, because you can’t sing that song without some jingle bells!

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You can find the simple instructions in this post.

I’ll send them home with a coloring page that has the words to the song.

Kling Glöckchen coloring page-GitA

You can download the PDF here: Kling Glöckchen coloring page GitA

 

Sinterklaas or Nikolaus?

In our family, we celebrate both Sinterklaas and Nikolaus. But what’s the difference? Well, I did not grow up with either one, so I’ve been learning about them both since my kids were born 🙂  Here’s what I understand….

Sinterklaas is Dutch. He lives in Spain with his many helpers, the zwarte pieten. They help him with all the preparations, and each one has a specific job. They do not make the toys, as Santa’s elves do. I understand that there has been controversy over the “black Petes” because they wear blackface when they dress up. One solution has been to change it to colored Petes, so now they have vibrant faces in all colors.

In mid-November, Sinterklaas travels by boat with many Petes to the Netherlands. You can always see his arrival on the news that night! He docks in a different port each year. He visits children in the schools. And any time after he arrives, children may put out a shoe (just one! you don’t want to look greedy!) and some carrots for his horse. In the morning they will find it filled with treats.

Some time on December 5th, the presents arrive. The Petes help with the deliveries, and often they have a lot of fun being sneaky with their deliveries. And of course, they are never seen! Perhaps a doorbell rings, and when the children open the door, there are the presents! Or if you live in an apartment building, maybe they will be left on a deck! This is the day when children get their presents, as there is not delivery on the 25th.

In our house, the Petes always prepare a scavenger hunt for the kids to find their gift. This year, they were super sneaky! They even used my wrapping paper to wrap one of the gifts! And since they know we get a visit from Santa, too, they only bring something small – usually an ornament.

Here are some toys of Sinterklaas that we have:

On the left is a Pakjesboot with Sinterklaas in it. On the right is the Playmobil toy. You can see that the boat is a steam boat. And Sinterklaas rides a white horse. Can you see the zwarte piet in the back of the boat on the left?

Now if you buy a Playmobil Nikolaus toy, you will get the same figure on a horse! But no boat. So I guess they do look alike!

As far as I know, there isn’t quite as much to the German story of Nikolaus. On the evening of the 5th, children clean their boots and put one out. When they wake up in the morning, there are treats (nuts, mandarines, chocolates) and maybe a small present.

Some families tell of how Nikolaus travels with Knecht Ruprecht, who is responsible for the naughty children. He might leave a switch or lumps of coal in their shoes instead of sweets. In other traditions, they are accompanied by Krampus, a horned, goat-like creature who terrorizes the naughty children or might carry them away in his sack. (They are not, however, to be confused with the Dutch zwarte piet. The Petes are friendly and mischievous.) We don’t talk about Ruprecht or Krampus in our house 🙂

In our house Sinterklaas and Nikolaus must communicate in some way. Because one of them brings an ornament and the other brings holiday pajamas. But you never know who will bring which one! Sinterklaas usually brings a little toy (like a small box of Legos) and some Dutch treats, like stroopwafel and peppernote. Nikolaus just brings sweets – like lollipops (since Froggy isn’t too fond of chocolate) – and the ornament or pajamas.

How do you celebrate Sinterklaas or Nikolaus??

Nikolaus und die drei Töchter (eine Legende)

Today I was finally back in 1st & 2nd grade. We’re a few days late for Nikolaus, but that’s okay. I started the lesson off with a story, of course! This time, it was the story of Nikolaus and the three daughters and how he helped them by throwing sacks of gold through their window, so that they could be married. Here is the story I told:

Nikolaus und die drei Töchter: eine Legende

Vor langer, langer Zeit lebte ein lieber Mann. Der Mann hieß* Nikolaus. Er hatte ein großes Haus. Er hatte viele schöne Sachen. Er hatte viel Geld. Er war ein reicher Mann.

Aber Nikolaus war traurig. Er war allein. Er hatte keine Familie. Er war nicht glücklich. Sein Geld machte ihn nicht glücklich.

In seiner Stadt wohnte ein anderer Mann. Dieser Mann hatte drei Töchter. Der Mann hatte keine Arbeit. Und er hatte kein Geld. Er war arm. Weil er kein Geld hatte, konnten seine drei Töchter nicht heiraten.

Nikolaus wusste von diesem Problem. Er wollte helfen.

In der Nacht warf Nikolaus einen kleinen Sack durch das Fenster. Am nächsten Morgen fand eine Tochter den kleinen Sack in ihrem Schuh. Der Sack war voller Gold! Jetzt konnte die erste Tochter heiraten!

Am nächsten Morgen fand die zweite Tochter einen kleinen Sack voller Gold. Jetzt konnte die zweite Tochter auch heiraten!

Am nächsten Morgen fand die dritte Tochter einen kleinen Sack voller Gold. Jetzt konnte die dritte Tochter auch heiraten!

Nikolaus hat die Familie geholfen*! Und er wollte andere Leute auch helfen. Endlich war Nikolaus glücklich!

Ende.

You can download a PDF of the story here: Nikolauslegende printable – GitA (I pieced together and simplified the story using some online sources. You can find them listed in the PDF printable.)

We did a few different activities after I told the story. I made up some worksheets to go with some of the vocabulary from the story. I decided to focus on the opposites: glücklich – traurig, Nacht – Tag, groß – klein, reich – arm.

You can download the PDFs here: Nikolaus Opposites Arbeitsblatt – GitA 2017

I also taught them the traditional Nikolaus song: “Lasst uns froh und munter sein”.  Do you know it? Here is the first verse:

Lasst uns froh und munter sein
Und uns recht vom Herzen freuen
Lustig, lustig, tra la la la la
Bald ist Nikolausabend da
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!

I gave out my coloring page with a picture of Nikolaus and the first verse to the children to color. You can find it in this post.

I decided to give them the riddle, Das Haus vom Nikolaus, as well, where you have to draw the house in 8 lines without lifting  your pencil! You can find the download in this post.

Our main activity was a boot-lacing craft. First the children decorated the boot with silver crayons. I brought them in special 🙂  Then they laced the black construction-paper boots with red yarn and glued red pom-poms at the top for fur.

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All the instructions along with the boot template can be found in this post.

We actually did the boot-lacing project first. Then I gave them hand-outs to work on after they finished their boots.

Das ist das Haus vom Nikolaus

Nikolaus Day has come and gone. It’s a VERY busy time of year in our house – Sinterklaas arrives on the 5th, Nikolaus on the 6th, and we have a birthday on the 7th. Lots going on! So I’m a little late with this post. But perhaps you can tuck it away for next year. Or what the heck – it’s still the holidays! Go ahead and play this little game any time in December!

Do you know the riddle of the house from Nikolaus? It’s technically a math problem. You have to draw his house in 8 strokes without lifting your pencil. And that makes one stroke for each syllable: Das ist das Haus vom Ni – ko – laus! Is it challenging? Perhaps. But there are actually 44 different ways to solve the puzzle!

Das Haus vom Nikolaus GitA-page-001

I made up this little worksheet for my 1st & 2nd graders to try it out. There is the example of the house at the top. Then there are the dots to connect at the bottom. It’s fun to try out different paths!

You can download the document here: Das Haus vom Nikolaus – GitA

Want to see all 44 ways to draw the house? Check out the cool GIF file from Wikimedia below…

I’ll be teaching a lesson on Nikolaus tomorrow. I’m telling the class one of the legends about Nikolaus in German. Then we’ll do a lacing boot activity. Check out my post from last year for instructions on the boots!

Viel Spaß!