Easy Kürbislaternen for Pre-K & Kindergarten

 

I have posted before about making simple Jack-O-Lanterns out of orange paper plates. We made them in the Lesestunde.

In pre-k/kindergarten last year, I came up with a similar activity to practice shapes and a few parts of the body: eyes, nose, mouth.

I used my trusty orange paper plates (from Target) and punched a bunch of shapes out of black paper: circles, squares, and triangles. We talked about the shapes in class.

We also sang “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” to practice the words Augen, Nase & Mund. You can find the lyrics over at Mama Lisa’s World.

Then I showed them the worksheet. They had to choose a different shape for each part of the face. Then look at the sheet to see how many of each shape they needed.

Meine Kürbislaterne mit Formen GitA-page-002

They could place the shapes on the worksheet first. Then they glued them to the orange plates to make their Kürbislaternen.

On the back of the worksheet, I also printed a coloring page:

Meine Kürbislaterne mit Formen GitA-page-003

You can download the worksheet and the coloring page for FREE here: Meine Kürbislaterne mit Formen GitA. The PDF file includes instructions.

Story Listening: Goldlöckchen

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This week’s story was Goldilocks. Even though it is a story that is familiar to the children, it still works great for Story Listening. There is something comfortable about knowing the story and being able to predict what is coming next.

1st & 2nd Grade:

We sang a new song in class: the German version of “Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes.” In German, you sing “foot” instead of “toes.” It goes like this:

Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß
Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß
Augen, Ohren, Nase und Mund
Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß

(That funny letter in “Fuß” is called an Eszett and is basically a double “s.”)

Sometimes it is hard to sing a song that you already know in another language! So we’ll keep working on it 🙂

3rd & 4th Grade:

We have been working on colors the past two weeks. So we added some new ones: schwarz, weiß, braun, grau, & rosa (black, white, brown, gray, & pink).

Although I shouldn’t really say “working,” because mostly we are having fun with these words! The children love to play games, so we played a round of “Ich habe …, Wer hat…?” (I have, Who has?). (I got the game here.)

And we played their favorite game: Ja oder Nein. I hold up a color and ask if they like it (in German, of course). If the answer is yes, they say, “Ja!” and move to one side of the room. If the answer is no, they say, “No!” and move to the other side of the room. We have had to add in der Mitte (in the middle) for those who can’t quite make up their minds 🙂

Story Listening: Das Langnasenschwein

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This week’s story was based on a book called The Long-Nosed Pig by Keith Faulkner. It is a story in the tradition of Kipling’s Just So Stories and tells how the pig got it’s short, wrinkled snout. I actually found the book over the summer when we stayed at an air B&B in the Netherlands. It was in the home-owner’s collection of children’s books, and I thought it would be fun to use for Story Listening.

The book is out of print, but if you Google it, you will find a few YouTube videos of it being read in English.

The story tells of a pig with a very long nose. He is so proud of his nose that he goes around boasting about it to other animals. He trots away, holding his nose up proudly. Until finally, he holds his nose up so high that he can’t see where he’s going and runs smack into a tree! And that is how the long-nosed pig got it’s short, wrinkled snout.

Well, it turns out the the children were not all familiar with Just So Stories. So that interfered a bit with their comprehension of the story. Also, for some reason, I wasn’t sure if they would know what a toucan is, so I changed it to a parrot. Obviously, the parrot does not have a particularly long nose, but it is a rather distinctive one!

1st & 2nd Grade:

I decided to give the toucan a try, and of course they knew what it was! Here is what the board looked like with that drawing:

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Story Listening: Eine Reise

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This week’s story was taken from an easy ready called Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel. You may also know him from his Frog and Toad stories. I really enjoy his humor 🙂 Alas, humor does not always translate well, and the kids didn’t quite get the punchline. But it was still a good story.

The story is called “A Journey.” It is about a mouse who wants to visit his mother (I changed it to grandmother). Along the way, he encounters all kinds of challenges, but there is always someone on the side of the road selling something – roller skates, boots, sneakers – to help him on his way. When at last he can’t go one more step, there is a person at the side of the road selling … feet! He buys them and puts them on and makes it all the way to dear grandmother’s house!

So telling a joke in a foreign language can be tricky! Even after I explained it in English, the kids didn’t seem to quite understand. Because, really, you can’t just take off your feet and put on new ones!

Nevertheless, the story had some rich vocabulary, and we had fun with it.

I’m using the same story in grades 1 – 4, since they are all beginners. Somehow, each lessons is always a little different….

Grades 1 & 2:

I started the lessons with a little TPR to get the “wiggles” out. It’s kind of like Simon Says. This week, we did a series about washing hands and then sang the song “Hände waschen”. (You can listen to the song in this YouTube clip.)

I also used a counting rhyme – like eeny meeny miney mo – to invite the children to the rug for our story. It just happens to correspond with the story, because it talks about taking off and putting on shoes!

Eine kleine Mickymaus
zog sich mal die Schuhe aus,
zog sie wieder an,
und du bist dran!

Grade 3:

We had a little scheduling confusion, so the lesson was shorter today. We only got to sing our hello song and hear the story. But that is the most important part of the lesson anyway! We’ll play games again next week 🙂

Grade 4:

Because of the scheduling confusion, the 4s actually had a longer lesson. Since they had decided to pick new German names, I handed out name tags for each of them, and we did a little Q&A about who was who.

We also played a game based on the food from the Hungry Caterpillar lesson. It was a simple game of “I have, who has”. I made up the cards to have everything they needed to say in German. We played two rounds of it, and they improved so quickly! Here is a sample of the cards:

You can download the PDF of the card game here: kleine Raupe Ich habe Wer hat – GitA

They wanted to play our yes or no game again, so we played that, too. I just held up a card an asked who like each food. If they liked it, they said “ja” and went to one side of the room. If they didn’t like it, they said “nein” and went to the other side of the room.

Story Listening: Der süße Brei

This week’s Story Listening lesson was Der süße Brei (The Sweet Porridge). It comes from the collection of Grimm’s fairy tales. But it is not very well-known here in the US.

At first the children thought it was Goldilocks. Good guess. But no 🙂  Afterward, some children were reminded of Tomi dePaola’s book Strega Nona. I love when they make connections! Maybe I’ll have to tell that one later in the year??

Here’s my finished board:

 

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Yup. I have a chalkboard this year! Can’t remember the last time I used a chalkboard 🙂

I created some work for the students to do in between our weekly classes again. But honestly, their curriculum is already so packed, I don’t think they have time to do them. That’s okay, though. It would be more for reinforcement. But the stories alone are enough 🙂

I’ll still share with you what I created here:

There is a vocabulary worksheet. Students are given an image and the German word; they have to write the English. Then they are given a booklet with the story. The words from the vocab sheet are in bold. They have to illustrate the book.

Download the vocabulary sheet for FREE: Der süße Brei Wortschatz GitA

Download the booklet for FREE: Der süße Brei booklet GitA

 

Höflichkeit im Unterricht

This year I have decided to put more emphasis on polite expressions in the pre-K/kindergarten class. Because such expressions are a sign of respect, they are consistently taught in the Montessori classroom.

In the past, we have always had the children say “Danke” when they receive their coloring page. But I am hoping to add more expressions, such as “Entschuldigung” and even “Guten Appetit!”

I have made some posters to help teach the words to the children. Although I only intend to focus on one expression at a time and then reinforce it throughout the year.

Our first word is Danke!

Höflichkeit Work Posters GitA-page-002

I will also send a coloring page home with the children to reinforce the word:

Danke Mvl GitA-page-001

You can download all of the polite expressions posters for FREE here: Höflichkeit Posters GitA

And you can download the Danke! coloring page for FREE here: Danke Malvorlage GitA

As I create more coloring pages, I will be sure to post them!

Story Listening: The Hungry Caterpillar

Today was my first day teaching a full schedule! Well, I’ll be teaching 6 classes, once a week, to grades pre-K through 4th. It’s a big change from just the one pre-K/kindergarten class, though!

In grades 1 – 4, I will be using the Story Listening method. I absolutely loved the looks on my students’ faces when I told them I was going to tell them a story … ALL in German … and that they would understand it! The skepticism was palpable!

I chose a short, familiar story to start off with: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I simplified the beginning and the end. I also changed up some of the food, choosing foods I thought most kids would eat 🙂 So on Saturday, my caterpillar eats a hamburger, French fries, pizza, pasta, a waffle, ice cream, and chocolate! That really got their attention!

But really, it didn’t take long for the students to recognize the story! I did not tell them ahead of time what the story would be. Once they guessed, I put the title (in German) on the board.

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I only have the children for 30 minutes, once a week. So I will leave some work in the classrooms for them to do during the week. For this lesson, there are two tasks.

First is a vocabulary sheet that has images and words in German. The students have to write the English word underneath. For the younger students, I created a version that has tracing words in English, since they are still learning to spell!

The second task is to create their own reader of the story. I made a booklet with the text – main words from the vocab sheets are in bold. They have to illustrate the book. I also made a finished sample to leave with the non-German-speaking teachers 🙂

Clipart credits:

kleine Raupe Wortschatz AB3,4-page-001

We did have some time after the story, so we sang “Ich habe Hunger”.

Ich habe Hunger SONGTEXT-page-002

You can download the poster from this post.

Then we played a simple game. I asked them if they liked one of the foods from the story (pointing to the board). If the answer was “yes” they went to the right of the room. If the answer was “no” they went to the left side. It was good for some movement, and they enjoyed it!

Download the vocabulary worksheet for FREE: Die kleine Raupe Wortschatz GitA

Due to copyright issues I have not provided the booklet for download.