Das Wetter – The Weather

We’re doing a little review today in pre-K/kindergarten. It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of the year! The children have learned so much! And I’m so inspired to do even more with them next year!!

One of the things we will review today is the weather. We’ll look out the window to see what the weather is like and what we see: die Sonne, der Wind, die Wolke. It’s a beautiful day today 🙂

And we’ll read Elmar mag jedes Wetter again.

elmar-mag-jedes-wetter

I prepared a coloring page for them as well. There are two versions. In the first version, the children can trace the weather words under the pictures. In the second version, I’ve given them a bit of a challenge. There is a word bank (Wortschatz), and they will have to choose the appropriate word to write under the image. I have plenty of each, so the children can choose what they would like to do.

You can download the PDF version here for FREE: Wetter Malvorlage GitA

Check out these other weather materials to go along with Elmar! And for other weather work, just click on the “weather” tag at the right!

Bauernhof Malbuch, Teil 2

Today is the last day that we will be working on our farm unit in Pre-K/Kindergarten.

For four weeks, I have been reading different books about the farm. And we have been working on a song. At the end of each lesson, the children get a coloring sheet with four animals or other things found on the farm. See this post for the coloring sheets.

I’ve learned a couple of things while doing this project for the first time!

First, I love having a theme that goes on for a few weeks! I’ve been able to read a number of different books from my collection. And because we’ve been singing the same song each week, the children seem to be learning it well! It makes lesson planning that much easier, too 🙂

Second, making a book out of 4 coloring sheets – to equal 16 small pages of the book – is a LOT for little ones! So instead of having them cut out all 4 pages today, I have prepped the work by cutting the first three pages that they have already colored. Then they will only have to color and cut one page today, and we can staple the booklet together! Maybe next time I won’t be quite so ambitious 🙂  But we’ll have to see how today goes first.

So what books have we been reading? Here they are:

  • Die kleine Spinne spinnt und schweigt  by Eric Carle (Gerstenberg, 2011)
  • Schweinchen auf dem Bauernhof  by Moira Butterfield (Parragon Books)
  • Klipp klopp  by Nicola Smee (Moritz, 2015)
  • Bist du meine Mama?  by Christiane Hansen and Sandra Grimm (Oetinger, 2006)

 

Die drei kleinen Schweinchen (Three Little Pigs)

I did my latest Story Listening lesson in the 1st/2nd grade class on The Three Little Pigs. To be honest, I think I focused too much on vocabulary. When you use a familiar story and try to teach too many words, the kids tend to lose focus and stop paying attention. A lesson learned for me!

Here is the simple version of the story that I put together: Die drei kleinen Schweinchen GitA (PDF)

Still, I thought I’d share my worksheets to go along with the story.

Download the PDF here: drei kleine Schweinchen AB GitA

I also sang the beginning of the song “Hurra, der Wind ist da” by Nena:

Hurra der Wind ist da-page-002

I made it nice and big, so I could hang it on the board, and all the children could see it clearly. Download the PDF here: Hurra der Wind ist da GitA

I also tried to teach a tongue twister with them. Tricky business! But fun 🙂

Ferkel Zungenbrecher-page-002

You can download this letter-sized poster here: Ferkel Zungenbrecher GitA

Viel Spaß!

Story Listening: Klingelingeling

I was back in the 1st/2nd grade today! So it was time to tell another story. I selected one of my favorite read-aloud children’s books: Klingelingeling by Nicola Smee (arsEdition, 2010; original English title: Jingle-Jingle).

klingelingeling

Of course, I didn’t actually read the book. I told it as a story, which meant I had to add some description. Since the book is copyrighted, I can’t post my version of it here. But it wasn’t too hard to work out!

For today’s lesson, I wanted to add a brief discussion about the weather. So after our hello song, I asked the children about the weather for today. I told them the words in German and wrote them on the board: es regnet, regnerisch, warm, leichter Wind. I’d like to start each lesson with the weather in the future.

From there, we went right into our story. I was really pleased with how it went! It’s such a fun little story, especially when the horse climbs into the sleigh, so he can ride down the hill with the other animals! I did have to figure out how to draw all those animals, though! I used a book called The Usborne Step-By-Step Drawing Book (Usborne, 2014):

Usborne drawing book

(They didn’t have a duck, so I looked up some ideas online.) When I drew the horse, I warned the children not to laugh at my drawings. They actually clapped! They could all tell it was a horse. Success! Here is a look at my finished story board:

2018-01-12 11.16.40

When I finished the story, they asked where it was from. So I told them about the book. I happened to have it with me, so I showed it to them. Most of them wanted to hear it, so I read it aloud to them. I think it was actually a great way to reinforce the story and repeat the vocabulary!

I made up some worksheets for them to practice the main words: die Katze, der Hund, das Schwein, die Ente, das Pferd, der Schlitten. I thought about Schnee, too but decided to keep it to 6 words (I like even numbers!). The tasks included:

  • matching picture to word
  • tracing the word under the corresponding picture
  • writing the word under the corresponding picture (I left this one out today and just used the tracing words)
  • a word search
  • cut out 4 images and paste them in the correct order on the next page

They did great with the first pages. Some of them had trouble with putting the images in order. It helped if they started with the last one first, since it’s obvious (they flew out of the sled when they reached the bottom of the hill). I did not expect them to be able to read the text under the pictures, but it’s there for exposure.

You can download the worksheets as a PDF file here: Klingelingeling Arbeitsblätter, 2018 GitA

Before I sent them off to work on the assignment, though, I had one more bit of fun with them. I decided to try a tongue twister! I do love a good tongue twister! I was surprised to find that I had to explain what it was for some of the children. But then I also got to show off my “Peter Piper” 😉

For our German tongue twister – or Zungenbrecher (literally: tongue breaker), I chose:

In Ulm und um Ulm und um Ulm herum

I started by teaching them how to pronounce Ulm. Oooooooo. Then add the L, then the M. Then make it short. Then we started very slowly. And we worked up our speed. Some of them got quite good at it!

After they completed their worksheets, I had one more surprise for them. They had been begging me to read an Elephant & Piggie book by Mo Willems. A few of them have been translated into German, and I just happen to have one: Das Buch über uns (Klett Kinderbuch, 2015; original English title We are in a Book).

Buch über uns

For the most part, they really enjoyed it. And some of them knew it well enough in English to translate as we went along. That was fine. It was the end of a very long lesson (I ended up being in the class for an hour and a half!) at the end of a Friday half-day. So it would have been a lot to expect them to sit still and just listen!

Overall, I’d say it was a very successful lesson! I was exhausted, but then I usually am! And it’s so worth it! Even Froggy said he enjoys the lessons, even though he isn’t really learning anything new 🙂

Teaching Colors with Elmar dem Elefanten

I’ve had a hard time teaching colors to my pre-K/kindergarten class in the past. I needed a book that had something of a story to hold the children’s interest and more importantly, I needed a color song.

For the book, I am going to try out Elmar mag alle Farben by David McKee (Thienemann-Esslinger, 2015). (If you are familiar with these books in English, you’ll notice that the spelling is different: Elmer with an “e” in English, Elmar with an “a” in German.)

It’s very simple, which I really like. But it isn’t just page after page of Elmar mag rot … Elmar mag blau … und, und, und. It isn’t exactly a story, but each set of pages tells a kind of mini story. For example: “Der Schneemann ist weiß. Sein lila Schal hält ihn warm.” Nice and simple, but still interesting.

Elmar mag alle Farben

Before I get to the book, however, I need to introduce the colors. I made a rainbow out of felt pieces that stack on top of each other. That way, I can introduce each color individually, but I can also stack them up to make my rainbow. Now if only I had remembered to get myself a felt board! I’ll have to improvise a little here 🙂

I still have not found a simple song to teach the colors. So I finally came up with my own! It’s to the tune of “Ten Little Indians” and just repeats the colors:

rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
in dem Regenbogen

Just make sure you sing the word “orange” on two notes (one for each syllable). I’ll keep my felt rainbow out to point to the colors as we sing it. Easy peasy!

I always end with a book and then an activity – usually a coloring sheet. So I made up a very simple checkered Elmar coloring page to include all six colors.

 

Elmar Farben GitA-page-001

Each of the colored crayons points to a box to color in, so that Elmar ends up looking like a checkered rainbow.

You can download the coloring page here: Elmar Farben GitA

Viel Spaß!

Der erste Tag / First day of Story Hour!

Today was our first day back at story hour. It seemed like no time had gone by at all! Except, of course, that the children had grown. They just keep doing that 🙂

I like to start off the new year talking about them! I’m super excited about the activity we did to kick things off! On a large piece of paper, I drew a simple outline of a tree with a bunch of big circles inside. The circles were not just apples, but were meant to represent each child in the group. As they arrived, I called each child over to pick a favorite color and color in the “apple”. Then I labeled each one with their name, age, and a favorite toy or thing to do. Not only did we have a lovely little art project, but I got to know something about them and can use that information to plan future story hours!

In the past, I used books mostly about Körperteile – or parts of the body. But I wanted to also talk about things they like to do. So I used one story about a girl named Frieda who loves to dance. We did include one about the body. And then I couldn’t resist reading the Elephant & Piggie book, Das Buch über uns. The kids just love it! Especially if you use voices 😉

  • Frieda tanzt by Birgitta Sif (Aladin, 2016)
  • Das bin ich by Heinz Janisch (Tyrolia, 2014)
  • Das Buch über uns by Mo Willems (Klett, 2015)

Here are some other books we could have used:

  • Von Kopf bis Fuss by Eric Carle (Gerstenberg, 2011)
  • Heute bin ich by Mies van Hout (aracari verlag, 2012)
  • Der Hase mit dem roten Nase by Helme Heine (Beltz & Gelberg, 2016)
  • Bin ich klein? Am I Small? by Philipp Winterberg (CreateSpace Independent, 2013)
  • Das kleine ich bin ich by Mira Lobe (Jungbrunnen, 2016)

We sang four songs today, since I couldn’t decide on just three!

  • “Wenn du glücklich bist”
  • “Meine Finger, Meine Finger” (Die 30 Besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder, Vol. 3)
  • “Kopf und Schulter, Knie und Fuß”
  • “Das Lied über mich” (Volker Rosin)

You can download the lyrics here: Lieder – ich (PDF).

After we wore ourselves out singing “Das Lied über mich” (I think the moms enjoyed it even more than the kiddos!), the children had a choice of coloring a picture of themselves or filling out a Steckbrief! Some chose to do both 🙂

You can download the activities as PDF here: Das Lied über mich – GitA.

Elmar loves all weather!

Today for our weather unit lesson, Froggy read a book called Elmar mag jedes Wetter. It’s a pretty simple book. But at this stage, simple is good!

elmar-mag-jedes-wetter

At the same time, it wasn’t quite enough to fill out a full lesson. So I created a worksheet to go with it. It, too, is rather simple. Since Elmar likes all weather, the answer to each question is Ja! But I added a bit more to personalize it:

elmar-mag-jedes-wetter-gita

It also sneaks in a little work on how to say that you like something!

You can download the PDF here: Elmar mag jedes Wetter – GitA