Vehicles

I can’t believe the school year is almost over! And I can’t believe I haven’t done a vehicles topic for the children yet! So I grabbed one of my favorite books for inspiration: Kikaninchen’s Wer fährt heute mit (arsEdition, 2011). It doesn’t necessarily have the most common of vehicles (a submarine and a soap box car?!), but it’s a cute little story. It also includes days of the week and animals.

I began the lesson by introducing the vocabulary to the children. I couldn’t find a picture of a soap box car, so we skipped that one for now! And since I planned on singing “Die Räder vom Bus” we had to include a bus. I like to keep the new words to only 5 or 6. But I created word posters for 9 vehicles:

  • das Auto
  • der Bus
  • der Heißluftballon
  • die Rakete
  • das Schiff
  • der Traktor
  • das U-Boot
  • der Zug

You can download the PDF file here: Fahrzeuge Posters GitA

Then we sang “Die Räder vom Bus” (Wheels on the Bus). There is more than one version of this song. But here is one that I have:

Die Räder vom Bus

Die Räder vom Bus, die rollen dahin
rollen dahin
rollen dahin
Die Räder vom Bus, die rollen dahin
Stundenlang
Die Türen vom Bus gehen auf und zu...
Die Wischer vom Bus machen wisch wisch wisch...
Die Hupe vom Bus macht tut tut tut...
Die Leute im Bus schaukeln hin und her...

Finally, we read our book:kika-wer-fahrt-heute-mit

And of course, I send the children home with a coloring page.

Fahrzeuge Malvorlage GitA-page-001

Download it here: Fahrzeuge Malvorlage GitA

Valentine Stories

Yesterday in story hour, we celebrated Valentine’s Day! I always like to focus on friendship when choosing books and songs for the little ones. Here’s what we did:

BOOKS:

  • Alles Freunde by Nele Moost & Annet Rudolph (Esslinger, 2015)
  • “Der Liebesbrief” from Frosch und Kröte by Arnold Lobel (dtv junior, 2008)
  • Frosch ist verliebt by Max Velthuijs (Beltz & Gelberg, 2015)

SONGS:

For lyrics, you can download this PDF document: Lieder zu Valentinstag

  • Ich bin ein dicker Tanzbär (Die 30 besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder)
  • Der Kuckuck und der Esel (traditional)
  • Wenn du fröhlich bist (version from Die 30 besten Kindergartenlieder)

CRAFT:

This year, we made foam hearts with the word “LIEBE” on them. We used some large foam hearts and put smaller foam heart and letter stickers on them. Then punched a hole and put some yarn through them. Easy, but it gets a little letter practice in, too!

Mein Körper

We did a review of body parts in school this morning. I reviewed the body parts we learned at our last lesson and added a few more:

  • die Haare
  • der Arm
  • der Hand
  • das Bein

We sang “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” again. It’s such a great song for this age group! It gets them involved and active. Plus, they already know the melody and get the idea of the song. Makes it easy to teach it! I think last time we sang the song, we all just stayed seated. But I found that having them stand and do it helped get them more into it. I’ll remember that for next time, too!

We read a different book this time: Das bin ich. Ich zeig es dir by Heinz Janisch (Tyrolia, 2015). It’s a really fun rhyming book that introduces all the main body parts. And ends with a laugh and smile in the mirror! I decided not to translate it for them, as I often do. Instead, I read the page and then asked them where the body part was.

das-bin-ich-book

I sent the children home with a different worksheet. You can download it here: Mein Korper – GitA (PDF)

mein-korper-gita

Lucky Pig! (Glücksschwein)

Happy New Year! As I mentioned in my last post, it is traditional to have a pig made of bread or marzipan to celebrate New Year’s in Germany.

In addition to our pancake pigs, we also got creative with the bread version of the lucky pig. One of my boys’ favorite snacks is bread with Nutella. So why not have pig-shaped bread with Nutella?! All you need is a pig cookie cutter. Ours was quite large, so it just barely fit on the bread. I added a little candy eye that we had from decorating cupcakes.

Just makes me want to say, “Happy Pig Day!” (But maybe we’ve been reading too many of Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books! I just found two of these books in German: Das Buch über Uns and Du hast einen Vogel auf dem Kopf. I ordered the first one through Book Depository, so we’ll see how it is in German!)

Der gute Martin

Next week marks the celebration of St. Martin’s Day. I have to admit, while I lived in Germany, I never actually witnessed the children walking through the streets with their homemade lanterns on November 11th. I didn’t know about the special day until I was teaching in the States at a German Saturday School. It’s such a sweet celebration, though! Now I love to share it with the children at Story Hour and in Preschool.

To go along with the celebration, I have created a very simple lantern for the children to make. You can print it out, let them color the paper if they like, and then cut along the dotted lines and assemble it. You can download the template and instructions in PDF format here: martinstag-laterne

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A finished lantern from Story Hour

The songs that go with Martinstag are also very important. We always sing two of the most popular ones at Story Hour: “Laterne, Laterne” and “Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne.” When I teach Preschool, I often just do the first two lines of “Laterne, Laterne,” since it is easy to learn and helps the children learn some of the more important vocabulary words: Laterne, Sonne, Mond, and Sterne. To teach the songs, I made up some vocabulary posters of these four words, a coloring page, and a sheet with the lyrics. You can download all of them in PDF format here:

 

Here’s an idea of what they look like:

When I teach Martinstag at Story Hour, I include several books. I have a few about Martinstag itself. This year, we’ll be reading Laterne, Laterne, da oben leuchten die Sterne by Dagmar Geisler and Rosemarie Künzler-Behncke (Ravensburger, 2009). I also like to read the fairy tale “Sterntaler” about the little girl who gives away all her earthly possessions to others in need and is rewarded in the end with a shower of coins that fall from the stars to last her the rest of her life. (I actually made my own book of this fairy tale, so I don’t have one to recommend here.) This year, I’m adding a beautiful new book (well, new to me!) called Der rote Faden by Anne-Gaëlle Balpe and illustrated by Eve Tharlet (Minedition, 2014). In this story, little Oli finds a red thread and by passing it on, he learns how little it takes to help others.

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German Date #6: Space Book

Our schedule was a bit thrown off this week, since Froggy was home from school for Memorial Day on Monday. So AP2 took Froggy on a German date today. We still have plenty of space materials, so that was once again the focus.

This time, they started off by reading some pages from a space book. It’s called Weltraum. Sterne und Planeten, and it’s from the series “memo Kids” (Dorling Kindersley, 2014).

It’s a little bit advance, but it’s broken down into simple topics. Each topic spans two pages and offers several short paragraphs about that topic. Here’s an example:

2016-06-01 16.02.49

AP2 had to help with some of the reading, but I understand it went very well! She was able to explain the words he didn’t know in German.

On a personal note, I heard that Froggy has been telling my mom that our house is special, because we don’t just speak English – we speak German, too. How big of a smiley face can I make here?! 🙂

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