Materials for Summer Learning

With the summer break upon us, I know some of my students are interested in continuing their learning of German during the break. I have found some materials, such as workbooks, books, and CDs, that can be ordered in the US.

Workbooks

For young learners, there is the Dover Little Activity Book (it is only 4 x 5.6 inches!): Color & Learn Easy German Phrases for Kids (Dover, 2015). This pocket-sized book is a picture dictionary with German, English translation, and pronunciation. And it doubles as a coloring book. There are lots of useful phrases plus the basics, such as colors, numbers, days, months, etc. It is available on Amazon.com for about $2.50.

Color Learn Easey German Dover

For young learners and beginners, there is the Cool Kids Speak German series (CreateSpace). These workbooks use both English and German to guide students through the exercises, such as worksheets, word searches, and coloring pages. Each workbook includes a German-English dictionary plus the answer key at the back. The series includes the following titles:

  • Young Cool Kids Learn German (Numbers, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, greetings and useful words, colors, farm animals, the garden, toys, and ice cream)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 1 (greetings, introductions, numbers 1-10, fruit, colors, clothes, and transportation)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 2 (pet animals, numbers 11-20, sports, weather, drinks, and the house)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 3 (things for school, numbers 21-40, months, family, food, and school subjects)

Although I have only seen Book 1 in person, the series seems simple and instructive. They are available on Amazon.com for about $8 – 9.

For older students, I found a book of word searches called Learn German with Word Search Puzzles (CreateSpace, 2018).The word searches are difficult, in that the words can go diagonally and backwards. So they are not ideal for younger learners. Each puzzle has a topic and includes words in German and their English translation (both of which can be found in the puzzle). There is an answer key in the back. It seems it would be a fun way to practice some vocabulary. It is available on Amazon.com for about $10.

Learn German with Word Search Puzzles

Other Books

You might also consider getting a favorite book in German. There are many titles available in translation. My favorite place to order books is Book Depository (BookDepository.com). They are based in the UK and ship for FREE, even internationally! They have a great selection of German books at competitive prices. Try searching an author and then filter by language (in the left column) to see what is available in German. For example, if you search Eric Carle, there are 214 titles in German!! Here is a link to Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) board book.

Audio Books & Music

Another great way to learn is to listen to favorite stories (especially if you have the book in German, too). Continuing with the Eric Carle example, you can get a CD of Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt from Book Depository for about $10. (Just be careful not to get one in dialect!!) It comes with other stories in German, such as The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, & The Very Busy Spider.

If you don’t want to purchase a CD, you could try YouTube. You would need the German title of the book you want to hear. But many can be found being read aloud. You can even hear Eric Carle read Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt in German (did you know he was originally from Germany?!). You can also watch a lovely video of the story on YouTube.

How about some German songs? Remember Nena?! Well, I don’t just mean “99 Luftballons” 🙂  She has several lovely CDs of children’s songs now. Try searching “Nena Kinderlieder” in your favorite music app. (Kinderlieder means children’s songs.) While many recordings of children’s music can be somewhat … well, difficult to listen to, I find her recordings to be quite lovely. There is also the series Die 30 besten Spiel- und Bewegunslieder (The 30 best play and movement songs) by Simone Sommerland & Karsten Glück. You can find the songs on YouTube as well.

index

These ideas can get you started! If you have any questions or suggestions, just comment below!

Viel Spaß in den Sommerferien!

Gefühle: Today I feel…

We just finished our Martin’s Day activities, and I was looking for a lesson to do with the children right before Thanksgiving. I guess a topic of Thanks would have been obvious. But I have been wanting to read a favorite book with the classes, so I decided to give a lesson on feelings.

I have some feeling word posters that I made earlier this year, so I chose three of those to teach: froh (happy), müde (tired), and aufgeregt (excited).

You can download all the feeling posters for FREE here: Gefühle Wortschatz Posters GitA  There are 12 feelings in all:

  • glücklich
  • traurig
  • verwirrt
  • böse
  • müde
  • aufgeregt
  • Angst haben
  • verlegen
  • enttäuscht
  • nervös
  • überrascht
  • schlecht gelaunt
  • froh

I added froh at the end, because I thought it is an easier word for younger children to say. The file includes:

  • pictures with words in just German
  • pictures with words in German and English
  • just pictures without words
  • just words

I also made a coloring page to send home. I always like to give the parents and idea of what the children learned in class.

Gefühle Malvorlage - GitA-page-001

You can download that for FREE, too! Gefühle Malvorlage – GitA

Okay, so after we talk about those three feelings – and whatever other feelings come up! – I am going to read Kaninchen ist sooo müde by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Beltz & Gelberg, 2000). It’s a sweet little lift-the-flap book from the creators of Der Gruffalo.

Kaninchen ist sooo mude

It ends with the rabbit’s friends singing “Der Mond ist aufgegangen.” So of course, we’ll end class with that song!

Preparing for Martinstag

 

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Now that I am teaching in pre-k through 4th grade this year, I wanted to celebrate Martinstag with a little parade through the school. It’s amazing how much back-and-forth planning it has taken to carve out 15 minutes of time to bring everyone together and make it happen!! But we did, and tomorrow is the big day!

To prepare, I told the story of Martin to the elementary students (1st – 4th grade) as a Story Listening lesson last week. I also introduced the story to the pre-k/kindergarten classes in English with the help of a board book.

Martin

I have been working with our fabulous art teacher to make lanterns in 1-4. We came up with a great idea! We bought plastic ornaments that look like a mason jar. Then cut strips of black and yellow paper to fit inside. We had a stash of chopsticks (donated by a middle school student :)) and yarn and beads. I brought in a variety of punches from our too-large collection.

Before the children started working, the art teacher had them gather around the table and talked to them about what they would be doing – and why. She asked them about the story I had told them. She asked them why we would have certain shapes, like a sun, a moon, and a star. My heart sang as the children answered! What is more gratifying to a teacher than proof that the children are learning?? 😀

Then they got to work. They punched shapes into the black paper. Then they put the black and yellow papers inside the lanterns. The art teacher tied the lanterns to the chopsticks with heavy yarn. Then the children cut yarn or ribbon to tie on as decoration and threaded beads onto them. They look amazing!!

 

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As the children worked, we sang the songs. It was such a beautiful afternoon!

Tomorrow I will go back into the pre-k/kindergarten classes in the morning. They will make paper lanterns, as they have done in previous years. You can find the template and instructions here.

2017-11-06 09.09.12 - Copy

As soon as we finish in the 3rd class, I’ll go gather the elementary students. And we will parade through the pre-k/kindergarten classes with our lanterns while singing our two Martin’s Day songs. Stay tuned to hear how it all goes….

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Meine Sommerleseliste / Summer Reading Log

!Sommerleseliste 2018 GitA

As Froggy gets ready for 3rd grade (what?!!), he has been asked by his teachers to keep a log of the books he reads over the summer. I thought it would be fun if he helped me create one for him. So he chose the frame and the font.

I’ve created the log in English and in German. You choose!

Download the PDF file for FREE here: !Sommerleseliste 2018 GitA

What books will your children read over the summer? And in what language will they read??

Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

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)

 

Ostereier – Easter Eggs

We’re a little late celebrating Easter in the pre-K/kindergarten class. I had planned a lesson for the week before spring break, but alas! It snowed that day, and the kids were sent home early!! So I did the lesson today anyway.

After singing our hello song and checking in on the weather, we practiced counting from 1 to 10. Then we sang “10 kleine Ostereier.” It’s a song I made up based on “10 Little Indians.” It goes like this:

Eins, zwei, drei kleine Eier
Vier, fünf, sechs kleine Eier
Sieben, acht, neun kleine Eier
Zehn kleine Ostereier!

Easy peasy! The kids caught on quickly, especially since they are really good at counting to 10!

Then we read our book: Eins, zwei, drei, fertig ist das Osterei! by Ursel Scheffler (Ravensburger, 2008).

Hasenfranz

There is a Drehscheibe (a wheel) you can turn to change the pattern on the eggs! We looked at the cover of the book, pointing out Hase (rabbit), Pinsel (paintbrush), and Farben (colors). Then I taught them the magic words from the book:

Pinsel, Farbe, eins zwei drei!

On each page, Hasenfranz paints an egg with a different pattern. So we all said the magic words together as I turned the wheel to see the new egg. They loved it!

I also brought in some Easter eggs. I had made some stickers for them using round, white labels. They each got two! But before I handed them out, we used them to count to 20. First, we counted all of them to get to 20. Then we counted each color (I had 5 purple, 5 green, and 9 blue – yes, I was one short!).

I also gave them a Malen-nach-Zahlen page to color. I updated it from the one I’ve used in the past. Instead of the 6 primary colors, I swapped out two, so I could include rosa and grau. I also made a more difficult version, so the older children could have more of a challenge. I let them choose which one they wanted to color.

You can download the PDFs here:

And here is the work-in-progress and the finished product. Hippo put his stickers on his paper, too. (This is a copy he and I did at home, and you might be able to tell that I helped with some of the coloring. It was fun to do it together!)

Frohe Ostern!