Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß / Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Singing this classic children’s song is a great way to teach my pre-k/kindergarten classes about body parts.

I like to back into the song, teaching the parts of the face first. It’s nice to repeat these a number of times, because they only show up in the song one time, while the others repeat three times!

  • Augen (eyes)
  • Ohren (ears)
  • Nase (nose)
  • Mund (mouth)

We repeat those a couple of times. Then I point to them on me in a random order and ask if it is X? First I do it right, then I start to make “mistakes” 🙂 For example, I point to my nose and say: “Ist das die Nase?” They all say: “Jaaaaaa!” But later I’ll point to my eyes and say: “Sind das die Ohren?” Most of the children recognize the mistage and say: “Nein!”

Then we move on to the bigger body parts:

  • Kopf (head)
  • Schulter (shoulders)
  • Knie (knees)
  • Fuß (foot)

Once we have the vocabulary down, we sing the song! We usually start seated and then sing it again standing. This year we repeated the song one last time at the end of the lesson. It was a nice way to reinforce it. And next week, those facial features will come in handy when we start making our Kürbislaternen (Jack-o-Lanterns)!

It’s also fun to read Eric Carle’s book Von Kopf bis Fuß (From Head to Toe) with this lesson.

I always send home a coloring page for the children. Here is one with all 8 body parts. You can download it for free below!

Meine Finger / My Fingers

Another song I introduce early on with my pre-k/kindergarten classes is “Meine Finger” (My fingers).

First we practice counting to 5 on our fingers. Then when we do the actions at the end of each verse, we do them five times while counting to five again.

I don’t follow the original lyrics exactly. I like to reuse vocabulary that the children know and add in a few funny ones. So with our funny little fingers, we clap (klatschen), pat (patschen), and count (zählen). Sometimes we also tickle (kitzeln), fidget (zappeln), scratsch (kratzen), knock (klopfen), and even play the piano (Klavier spielen)! Just plug in the verb at the end of the last sentence!

Here are the lyrics:

Meine Finger, meine Finger
sind so lustig kleine Dinge
Ich hab' fünf an jeder Hand!
Mit meinen Finger kann ich ... klatschen!

I also always show each hand with the line “Ich habe fünf an jeder Hand!”

Here is a video of the original song. One day, I’ll record our class version!

Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo / Out Little Bear in the Zoo

I sing a lot of songs with my pre-k/kindergarten class. We always start by learning our Begrüßungslied – our Hello Song. I often pair that with a common children’s song: “Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo.” In the original song, the bear hops and stomps and dances. But I like to change the actions to practice the ones we use in our Hello Song. When we sing it, the bear claps, pats his legs, and stomps. It’s great for review. And the kiddos love it!

Here are the lyrics that I use:

Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo der schläft ganz tief und fest
Schnarcht mal laut, mal leise, nach der Bärenweise
Doch wenn unser Bär erwacht, dann schaut mal was er macht

Er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht den ganzen Tag
Er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht den ganzen Tag

Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo der schläft ganz tief und fest
Schnarcht mal laut, mal leise, nach der Bärenreise
Doch wenn unser Bär erwacht, dann schaut mal was er macht

Er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht den ganzen Tag
Er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht den ganzen Tag

Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo der schläft ganz tief und fest
Schnarcht mal laut, mal leise, nach der Bärenweise
Doch wenn unser Bär erwacht, dann schaut mal was er macht

Er stampft, er stampft, er stampft, er stampft, er stampft, den ganzen Tag
Er stampft, er stampft, er stampft, er stampft, er stampft den ganzen Tag
Er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht den ganzen Tag
Er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht, er patscht den ganzen Tag
Er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht den ganzen Tag
Er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht, er klatscht den ganzen Tag

Here is a little poster I like to use when I introduce the song. I talk about the little bear (kleiner Bär) and the zoo (Zoo). I ask the children what the bear does in winter. So many of them already know the word hibernate! Then I tell them that our bear is sleeping and snoring – sometimes loudly (laut), sometimes quietly (leise). But when he wakes up – just watch what he does! You can download the poster and teaching document below:

Here is a YouTube video that shows how the original song works:

Olympische Sommerspiele / Olympic Summer Games

I’m finally coming out of my fog from the end of the school year. And I just realized that the Summer Olympic Games will be starting in a few weeks!

Four – make that five – years ago, I made some vocabulary cards for the Summer Olympics in Rio. I thought I would repost them here. You can read more about them in the original post.

There are 8 sports covered in this packet of materials. You can use them as flashcards, play games like Memory and Go Fish, and also solve some Purzelwörter – scrambled word puzzles.

Some of the words I chose are not the official names of the sports. As this is meant for an introduction to vocabulary, I went with simpler forms. For example, instead of Leichtathletik, I used Laufen. Clearly, Leichtathletik encompasses a whole lot more than just running, but for young children, it made sense to keep it simple!

Download the FREE PDF here:

Gefunden! A quick vocab game

With new classroom rules in place for covid, we are all having to get creative! I recently came up with a little “Hide & Seek” game that I’ve been using with my pre-k/kindergartners.

I use a set of vocab posters I already have. For example, we’ve been working on the weather. So there are 8 – 10 words they are learning. After we review the words, I choose one to “seek”. For example, it’s been very gray and snowy here, so we’ve been looking for the sun a lot 🙂 I shuffle the vocab posters and then hold them in front of me, so I can’t see them. Then I start asking, “Ist das die Sonne?” They answer “Ja!” or “Nein!” And after they have found the sun and answered “Ja!” we then call out, “Gefunden!”

I made a little poster with the words “Gefunden” on it to help them learn it. Tomorrow when we play the game, I’ll hold up the sign after they find the word 🙂

You can download the poster here:

Wetterkarten / Weather Cards

After updating the weather materials to include wintery words, I decided to make some bigger weather cards. Fitting all eight words on to one page seemed to be a bit of a squish, so I’ve spread them out over two pages. They work better for younger learners.

I’ve made them in color and black & white, in case the children prefer to color the cards themselves. They can be used as flashcards or print two sets and use them to play memory.

Read previous posts on weather here and here.

Was für Wetter sehen wir aus dem Fenster? / Weather out the Window

Last spring I posted some materials for weather-watching. But as it was already April, I did not include winter weather. Well, we’re at the beginning of a big Nor’easter here, about to get a whole lot of snow! So I wanted to add words for snow and ice to the checklist and weather cards. Here are the new materials!

If you are looking for the older materials without wintery weather words, they are in this post.

I often ask my young students what kind of weather they see out the window. (Was sehen wir aus dem Fester?) This allows them to answer in a simpler, more consistent noun-form. It avoids the mix of answers like “Die Sonne scheint.” – “Es schneit.” – “Es ist nebelig.” Once they master the nouns, it will be easier to move into the various sentence structures.

I also have a video to review the words. The word Eis is not included, however it is pronounced pretty much the same as the English “ice”.

Schneemann Lesen & Malen / Snowman Read & Color

Our winter break has ended, however we are taking a week of remote learning before heading back into the building. And so I wanted to give my students some activities to get German fresh again without having to use screen time. They are getting enough virtual meetings and online assignments already.

Since my 5th & 6th graders really like to color, I created a snowman read & color activity. To help them along, I added a second page of vocabulary.

To make sure I had set it up correctly, I had Hippo try the activity for his at-home German lesson yesterday. It went very well!

Download the PDF for FREE here:

Viel Spaß!

Nussknacker / Nutcracker 2020 – Part 9

All those fabulous Nutcracker projects created in pre-k/kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade, 3rd & 4th grade, and 5th & 6th grade left some students extra time at the end of class. So I prepared a variety of worksheets and activities to keep them occupied if they finished early.

Activities that I created – Download them all for FREE:

MAZE

The favorite for the older kids was a maze that I hand-drew:

WORD SEARCHES

There were four levels of word searches. The first two were created for 1st & 2nd grade, the easiest one having words that only go horizontally. The words come directly from the stories of the Nutcracker that I told them. Each of the word searches come with a solution key!

The word searches for the older kids also had a glossary that could be printed on the back.

COLORING WITH SHAPES

Some children also enjoyed completing the shape coloring page that I created for the preschoolers.

Activities from subscription sites:

Click the links to get to the activities!

Nutcracker Mandala

Nussknacker-Mandala

Nutcracker Cut-out Puzzle (Weihnachtsbild Ergänzen Nussknacker)

KiGa-Portal had a simple puzzle to cut out and paste the missing parts of the nutcracker. Unfortunately, the link is no longer active.

Christmas Color By Number

Twinkl had some nice color-by-number activities.

I Spy (Weihnachtsbaum)

Another favorite was this “I Spy” Christmas Tree. Unfortunately, the site is currently under reconstruction. Hopefully it will be up and working again soon!

Nussknacker / Nutcracker 2020 – Part 8

5th & 6th Grade Nutcracker Art Project

One last Nutcracker project to round out the week before winter break! The pre-k/kindergarten class completed a Nutcracker shape coloring page, 1st & 2nd grade made a giant collaborative Nutcracker mural, and 3rd & 4th grade made cardboard tube nutcrackers.

The 5th & 6th graders heard the most detailed version of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Nutcracker last week. So they were ready to get started on their project. They made a “Hampelmann” – or jumping jack – Nutcracker. I printed the template on cardstock, and then the students colored them in and cut them out. I have a small hole puncher (1/8-inch), so we used that to make the holes. Then they assembled the Hampelmänner with mini gold brads (I bought these on Amazon).

I absolutely love these little guys! They are all different, but they look amazing together or individually!

One thing I wish I’d done better was manage their time. The kids needed at least 10-15 minutes to cut out the nutcrackers. It’s petty detailed! In the end, I was running around trying to punch all the holes and hand out the fasteners, while the classroom teacher taped them to the board, so we could display them – even if just for a short time. We did of course let them take their beautiful nutcrackers home. Apparently one got to go for a ride, and another made it on to the Christmas tree! (See the pictures below!)

You can download the free template created by Brigid Ashwood.