SL: Dornröschen / Sleeping Beauty

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Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. So when I was looking for a traditional tale to tell, I had to choose this one!

In some ways it was a simple story to tell, since the students were familiar with it. However, the original German from the Grimm Brothers is slightly different from the Disney version that we know. And some of the 3rd & 4th grade students had a harder time wrapping their minds around that idea. They wanted to know why I didn’t all the “evil” fairy Maleficent and draw horns on her. Perhaps I should take a few minutes before the story to talk about the way fairy tales evolve over time and how they can come in many different variations!

SL: Klingelingeling

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Klingelingeling by Nicola Smee is one of my favorite read-aloud books (arsEdition, 2010; original English title: Jingle-Jingle). It’s a fun story with some great repetition. I told it last year in 1st & 2nd grade. Read about that here.

Even though those students heard the story last year, they didn’t mind hearing it again. Nothing like some repetition for language learning!

You can see my two boards above. The first one (on the white board) was in 3rd & 4th grade. There are a few more details in my story for them. And the chalkboard version was for 1st & 2nd grade.

All the children are surprised when the horse climbs into the sleigh to go down the hill with the other animals! And then of course, when they all go flying out of it at the bottom of the hill, the giggles can’t be suppressed!

It is definitely a hit and a great story for beginning Story Listening in German.

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SL: Der Maulwurf im Winter – The Mole in Winter

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As the weather turns cold and we anticipate snow, I am starting to bring out my winter stories. Here is one about a mole who is eager to go sledding, but there is no snow on the ground. So he and his friend, the chickadee, come up with the idea to give a cloud some water to drink through a straw. Then when the cloud blows some wind, it sends plenty of snowflakes to the ground. The little mole can finally go sledding! Just watch out for that hill!

It was a great story for the 1st and 2nd graders. I was pleased that they were able to guess the my drawing was indeed a mole! And of course, they loved it when the mole went flying off of the hill and landed in the powdery snow.

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Der Maulwurf im Winter was written by Hana Dosocilova and Zdenek Miler (LeiV, 2007).

SL: Silvester und das Jahrkind – a fairy tale for the New Year

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A few years ago I stumbled on to an English version of this New Year’s fairy tale by Eduard Mörike.

The story is not included in Mörike’s collected works. He apparently made up the story around 1860 for a little girl named Emilie Schnabel, who was about age 6 or 7. The story made such an impression on the little girl that she later wrote it down when she was an adult. It made its way to Mörike’s family, and that’s how we have it now. The text has been studied by experts, and they agree it matches Mörike’s style.

It is such a beautiful story to tell at the beginning of the new year! I knew that I wanted to tell it as a Story Listening lesson.

It was a little challenging for the 3rd graders, but the 4th graders really got it.

Hobbys

I have been wanting to do a little lesson to get to know my students better, especially the 1st & 2nd graders. So I thought they could make a little booklet about themselves. Today we started with the first page: Hobbies.

But I just couldn’t teach them without telling them a little story. According to the method of Story Listening, you do not teach targeted words or make up your own story. But I broke the rules and wrote a short script that would help to link our lesson on hobbies. Next week, we’ll be back to real Story Listening!

Here is my short story:

Jürgens Hobbys

Es war einmal ein Junge. Er hieß Jürgen. Jürgen war 7 Jahre alt.

Eines Tages hatte Jürgen Langweile. Er fragte seine Mama: „Mama, was kann ich tun?“ – Seine Mama sagte: „Finde ein Hobby!“

Zuerst spielte Jürgen mit der Katze. Aber das wurde langweilig.

Zweitens arbeitete er im Garten. Aber das wurde langweilig.

Drittens spielte er mit einem Ball. Aber das wurde langweilig.

Viertens malte er ein Bild. Aber das wurde langweilig.

Fünftens las er ein Buch. Aber das wurde langweilig.

Endlich spielte er mit seinen Legosteinen. Er baute einen großen Turm aus Legosteinen. Aber der Turm fiel um. Er baute ein Auto aus Legosteinen. Er baute ein Flugzeug aus Legosteinen. Er baute ein Schiff aus Legosteinen. Er baute … und baute … und baute. Aber es wurde nie langweilig!

Endlich hatte Jürgen ein Hobby!

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I forgot to take a picture of my board, but you can see my practice drawings above.

After the quick story, I showed them the booklets. They look like this:

You can download the PDF of the booklet here: Das bin ich GitA. The file includes two versions: one with the writing lines as seen, and one with just two solid lines for older children who do not need the guidance anymore.

So far, the booklet includes:

  • Lieblingshobby (favorite hobby)
  • Lieblingsfeiertag (favorite holiday)
  • Lieblingsbuch (favorite book)

We only worked on the hobbies today. We’ll continue to add to the book, and I hope to add more topics, too. Maybe a page about facts, such as age, a description (hair color, eye color), where they are from, etc.

I also made some vocabulary posters, so the kids could just copy down their favorite hobby. Here is what they look like:

There are also individual posters for soccer, football, and baseball, plus one for riding horses. You can download the PDF file here: Das bin ich Wortschatzposters GitA. The file also include posters for the holidays.

It seems that Legos are a big hit. No surprise there! Followed by sports, drawing/coloring, animals, and riding horses. The answers were actually rather diverse! Although no one listed working in the garden as a favorite hobby 🙂

Plätzchen! Cookies!

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is bake cookies! I wanted to bring some German cookies in to school for the 3rd and 4th graders to try. After all, I was going to be teaching them for the very last hour of school before winter break! I knew we needed some down time. But by bringing in some Plätzchen and Kinderpunsch, I could at least keep it cultural!

So I baked Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars), and AP5 made Vanillekipferl and Linzer. I also bought some ready-made gingerbread dough and cut out some gingerbread men.

I made up some labels for the cookies, so the children would know what they were getting.

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You can download the labels as PDF files here: Plätzchen labels GitA 2018

I made them to be able to fold as tented cards. So you can print them out, then cut out the long rectangle with the blank box and the cookie label in one piece. Then fold so that the blank box is at the back.

Guten Appetit!

Nutcracker Hampelmann

Have you ever seen a wooden jumping-jack toy? If you pull the string at the bottom, the arms and legs of the man go up! In German, it’s called a Hampelmann.

Well, our fabulous art teacher must be clairvoyant or something! Because she did a nutcracker project with the 1st and 2nd graders that looked like Hampelmänner! She was looking for a project to go along with my Nutcracker Story Listening lesson –  something for the younger children to do that would be a bit easier than making clothespin nutcrackers. But she wanted a project that was more than a simple coloring page. Perfect!

Aren’t they beautiful?!

It was such a great project that the 3rd & 4th graders created them, too, after they finished their clothespin nutcrackers.

The project can be found here and downloaded for free. Thank you, Brigid Ashwood, for creating such a wonderful project!