I love using songs to teach and learn language.
I also find it rather difficult to teach songs German songs to my English-speaking students. Sometimes, they are actually quite complicated!
So this year in my Pre-K/Kindergarten class, I’m trying to repeat the songs more often. A lot more often. That is a hard thing for me to do! I love a good theme and have usually planned my lessons around a theme: colors, farm animals, numbers, holidays, etc. But by planning my lessons this way, I trap myself into a place where I am constantly introducing new vocabulary, new books, and new songs!
Even at this level, it’s really important to me that the children are getting something out of the class. At the very least, that they learn words that they will understand. Even better is when I hear them saying the words … phrases … sentences! But that will not happen without some repetition.
One of the songs I love to sing is “Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo” by Karsten Glück (from Die 30 Besten Spiel und Bewegungslieder, Vol. 1). I like to use it in week 2, so that we can review the actions in our hello song: klatschen, patschen, und stampfen. I always do “stampfen” last, so that we can stay low to the ground until the end. It helps to keep the little ones more in control of their bodies, too!
So this week (week 3), we’re going to sing it again, but in conjunction with a zoo theme. (More on that soon!)
I put together a visual to introduce the song. It includes an image of a zoo, plus a small (klein) and big (groß) bear. The little bear is sleeping, while the big bear (the Mama bear, I call her) is awake.
In this second lesson with the song, I plan to use the image again to add some vocabulary. Something like this, that focuses on the conjugated verb “schlafen” and also adds a yes/no question.
- Unser kleiner Bär schläft.
- Mama Bär schläft nicht.
- Schläft er? Schläft sie?
- Wer schläft? – Er schläft. Sie schläft nicht.
We’ll see how it goes!
You can download the PDF of the image plus the lyrics here: Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo mit Bildern – GitA