In my 1st & 2nd grade class, I thought I would do a survey of who likes which foods. I will ask: “Wer isst x gern?” If they like it, they can stand up, if they don’t they stay seated. We will then count – in German, of course! – the students who are standing. And I will record the number in the box next to the food.
Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday. They obviously do not celebrate it in Germany! And yet, the Germans I know are all rather fascinated by the holiday.
With my 5th & 6th graders, we have been practicing how to talk about foods that you like and don’t like. So with Thanksgiving approaching, I thought it would be fun to hear which traditional foods the kids like and which ones they don’t.
To talk about foods they like (gern essen) and foods they don’t like (nicht gern essen), I made some posters to hang:
Included in the download is also a single poster which includes both sentences, as well as a poster for expressing a favorite food. You can download these here:
I also made individual posters that you can laminate to introduce the vocabulary. I have to say, I was surprised to find that pies are essentially called Kuchen. I always think of Kuchen as cake! But every source I checked used the same words. So Kürbiskuchen and Apfelkuchen it is!
I created a couple of worksheets as follow-up activities, in case students are not able to back the strudel. The information needed to complete each of the worksheets can be found in the video. You can download them here.
Every February, the kids at school get to have a Pajama Day. The student council makes breakfast for lunch. So I was inspired to tell a tale about a pancake!
The children liked the story, because it reminded them of The Gingerbread Man. The nice thing about this story, however, is that in the end the pancake decides to let himself be eaten by three children who have nothing else to eat 🙂
It’s a great beginner text for a Story Listening lesson, because of its repetition.
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.
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.
Our next language unit is going to be all about shapes! Froggy chose the topic. I don’t know how many times we’ve done shape themes in the past 4 years, but it’s still a favorite!
I started doing language themes when Froggy was 3 and Hippo was just a baby. Every morning, while Hippo napped, Froggy and I would do a project. Having this structure in his day really helped. And we both had so much fun! We did art projects, science projects, themed baths, books, songs – you name it, if it went with our theme, we tried it! That’s when I started collecting ideas on Pinterest boards, too! (Click on my Pinterest button on the right to check out all my daily activity boards!)
Now we are using these themes to help our German. I was off to a good start with Froggy’s weather lessons. And now I really want to get Hippo more involved. So I’ve asked AP3 to help out and try to come up with activities to do with him, while I focus more on Froggy’s lessons.
Since we are still in Valentine mode, our first activity was a baking one. We simply made a cake heart! I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course. It was super simple! Froggy helped me make the batter. Then after the cakes cooled, we put them together to make our heart and covered it with pink frosting. I wanted a little chocolate, and I knew Froggy would choose yellow cake with white (or pink) icing, so I added some chocolate chips to one of the cakes.
You bake one 8-inch square cake and one 8-inch round cake (or use 9-inch pans for both). After they cool, place the square cake at an angle, like a diamond. Then cut your round cake in half, and place each semi-circle at the top of the diamond shape. Voila! You now have a heart-shaped cake! I had to cut off the tops of the cakes to get them to be the same height. And I needed a pretty big plate to put it on. Since I didn’t have a plate big enough, I used a cutting board. The boys loved it!