Winter Activities

Here on the east coast, winter has made a very loud arrival! Two days with no school – and this the first week back after a long break! Then I realized I’ve never posted any winter activities! So here are a number of random worksheets and craft ideas you can do in German 🙂

Schneemann malen nach Zahlen

This simple color by number is great for the little ones just learning their numbers and colors. The color words are written in the corresponding color, making it easier for them to do on their own. Download the PDF here: Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA

Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA-page-001

Tierspuren

Here are two simple worksheets to talk about the tracks that different animals leave in the snow. There is a black and white version. And if a little extra help is needed, there is a colored outline version. Then the colors can be easily paired up.

Tierspuren GitA-page-001

Download the worksheets as PDF files here:

For a follow-up activity, see if you have any little animal figures. Winter animals would be best, but whatever you’ve got! Then get out the play-doh and roll it out. Let your child walk the animals through the play-doh to make tracks. Then compare them. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about animals in German!

If you have snow and it isn’t brutally cold, go for a walk and see if you see any tracks. Before you go, talk about the kinds of animals that live in your area. Maybe look up what their prints look like, so you can identify them when you see them.

Winter Wortschatz

Here are five winter word posters you can print out full-sized or print 6-to-a-page to make flashcards. Print two sets to make a game of memory!

Download the PDF file here: Winter Wortschatz GitA

There is also a coloring page of all five words to go with them.

Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA-page-001

Download the PDF here: Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA

Winter Labyrinthe

I just put up a post with 10 easy German winter mazes! You can find them here 🙂 Here is an example:

Schneeflocken fangen GitA-page-001

Other ideas

There are tons of great craft ideas out there! I’ve been collecting them on a Pinterest board for years. Check it out here!

I also saw a list of 40 snow day boredom busters on Mommy Poppins. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration there?!

Viel Spaß!

Das ist das Haus vom Nikolaus

Nikolaus Day has come and gone. It’s a VERY busy time of year in our house – Sinterklaas arrives on the 5th, Nikolaus on the 6th, and we have a birthday on the 7th. Lots going on! So I’m a little late with this post. But perhaps you can tuck it away for next year. Or what the heck – it’s still the holidays! Go ahead and play this little game any time in December!

Do you know the riddle of the house from Nikolaus? It’s technically a math problem. You have to draw his house in 8 strokes without lifting your pencil. And that makes one stroke for each syllable: Das ist das Haus vom Ni – ko – laus! Is it challenging? Perhaps. But there are actually 44 different ways to solve the puzzle!

Das Haus vom Nikolaus GitA-page-001

I made up this little worksheet for my 1st & 2nd graders to try it out. There is the example of the house at the top. Then there are the dots to connect at the bottom. It’s fun to try out different paths!

You can download the document here: Das Haus vom Nikolaus – GitA

Want to see all 44 ways to draw the house? Check out the cool GIF file from Wikimedia below…

I’ll be teaching a lesson on Nikolaus tomorrow. I’m telling the class one of the legends about Nikolaus in German. Then we’ll do a lacing boot activity. Check out my post from last year for instructions on the boots!

Viel Spaß!

Martinstag in the Classroom: Part 2

As I mentioned in a recent post, I love teaching about Martinstag, because it embodies the spirit of giving and selflessness. In the past, I’ve taught about Martin in the German story hour and in the pre-k/kindergarten class. This year I finally got to bring it into the 1st and 2nd grade class. Each class is a little bit different. In this post I’ll tell you about what we do …

in 1st & 2nd Grade…

This is a mixed class of 22 students. I couldn’t just jump right in with books and songs, like I did in Story Hour. Instead, I started with the story of Sterntaler. The children were outraged that the poor girl was all alone! And then shocked when she kept giving everything away! They were right with me the whole time 🙂  My board looked a little different, since they needed more help to understand it. But they had also experienced the method the week before when I told them Goldilocks. Here is a picture of my finished board for Sterntaler:

2017-11-03 15.06.15

After that, I read them the story of Martin, using the book Das erste Buch von Sankt Martin by Erwin Grosche (Gabriel Verlag, 2017). I used the book mainly for the illustrations and wrote out the story in English beforehand. I knew after hearing Sterntaler, that was probably enough German for that class (especially since it was 2pm on a Friday … the week of Halloween!).

Martin

Next I wanted to teach them the song, “Laterne, Laterne“. The beginning is so simple with its four words: Laterne, Sonne, Mond, Sterne. I knew they would need a little movement by this time, though, so I came up with a little game. I had printed out the vocab words on small cards. I printed enough so that each child could have a card. I just used my full-sized word posters and printed them 4-to-a-page. Then I laminated them and cut them down to size.

I handed the cards out to the children and then had them get into groups according to the picture – in order, of course! I had already gone over the words using my full-sized word posters. So they were familiar enough with the vocab. I called out a word, and that group had to raise their picture and say the word. I mixed them up and first. Then I told them to pay attention, because we were going to speed it up! And I went in order according to the song: Laterne! Laterne! Sonne! Mond! Sterne! They enjoyed the little game. And weren’t they surprised when I told them they had just learned the beginning of a song?!

You can download the word posters along with song lyrics in the post Der gute Martin.

Finally, it was time to make our lanterns! We did them a little differently in this older class. Although in hindsight, I’m not sure I would do it this way again!

  1. I gave them white paper cut down to size (without the strip for the handle) and let them color it however they liked.
  2. I gave them the lantern template printed on yellow paper (without the sun, moon, and stars – just the lines for cutting and folding) and asked them to cut the strip off the end to make the handle.
  3. They glued their white paper to the yellow template (I might do this step myself, in advance, if I try it again).
  4. They folded the paper (I was surprised how many of them did not fold on the line, but folded the long edge of the paper up to the line! If you read my post with instructions, you’ll see why I decided to give step-by-step instructions the next time!)
  5. They cut the “fringe”.
  6. We went around and stapled the lanterns together along with their handles

The lanterns turned out alright in the end. But it took so long that we did not have time to parade in the halls.

Then again, it was the last hour of school on a Friday. And did I mention it was Halloween week?? Scary stuff!! 🙂

Tutorial and templates can be found in the post Martinstag Lanterns!

Viel Spaß!

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt auf Deutsch

2017-08-13 13.44.18

Today was the day! We drove 5.5 hours south, from the Netherlands into Germany. So what did we do to keep the kiddos occupied? Well, they actually slept quite a lot! A month abroad has taken it out of them! They did a busy bag or two. (There were some new little puzzles I’d found at the Hema in the NL – it’s kind of like Target, only smaller.) And we also did a road trip scavenger hunt 🙂

Last year, I posted a set of travel games for road trips in Germany and the Netherlands. It looks, in part, like this:

There are also sets with just pictures and just words (so you can play games such as memory or go fish), plus a search for just vehicles (3rd image here).

Froggy had a great time with the scavenger hunt last year and managed to cover all of his boxes!

2016-07-21 16.47.19

This year we were driving from the Netherlands to Germany again, so I packed them up once more. But I also found a new scavenger hunt. This one has 52 things to find. And it’s all in German!! It also is only words with no pictures. That meant the boys needed help with the hunt. Heck, I had to look up a few words for myself before we left!

As we drove down the highway toward Baden-Württemberg, we found a whole bunch of things, right off the bat. And then Froggy got tired and lost interest. I think PER and I ended up having the most fun with it 🙂  I still have 9 items that I never found. But as we got closer and closer to our destination, I was SO excited to check off just one or two more things: ein rotes Cabrio!!! ein Mini-Cooper!! I still say I saw a green Jeep, but as it wasn’t an actual Jeep brand, I wasn’t allowed to cross it off my list 🙂  You can see all my scribblings on the scavenger hunt:

2017-08-14 22.11.38

You can download your own copy over on Isi-im-Glück. Herzlichen Dank, Isi!

Playground Games

Yesterday was our last story hour before our summer break, and we met at a playground.

We played a quick but fun game of Feuer, Wasser, Sturm. The children run around the playground. When they hear the word Feuer called out, they have to lie down flat. If they hear Wasser, they have to climb up on something high to avoid the rising waters. And if they hear Sturm, they have to hold on tight! It’s a fun, easy game!

Since it was still a story hour session, I did read a book and lead a song. The children sat up on the playground equipment.

IMG-20170616-WA0001-1

We read Kleiner weißer Fisch by Guido van Genechten (Ars Edition, 2015).

Kleiner weißer Fisch

Then we sang “Fünf kleine Fische.”

Fünf kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich wär viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Vier kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich wär viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Drei kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich wär viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, und die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Zwei kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich wär viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, und die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Ein kleiner Fisch, der schwamm im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Er sagt zu sich, er kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich wär viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, und die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Ein großer Hai der schwimmt im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagt der Hai, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich wär viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Denn da sind die Fische und die fress ich gleich (blub blub blub blub)

 

Under the Sea

School’s out! Time for some summer fun!

How about some sea life cards to play a small game of memory? Or practice numbers?

Print out the cards on card stock (so you can’t see through the paper when it’s turned over!) and laminate them for longer use. You can download them here:

I also found small objects from a craft store to go along with the six words. I popped them into a busy bag with the cards and made a matching game out of it.

Viel Spaß in den Sommerferien!

A Trip to the Philadelphia Zoo

Last summer, we finally took the boys to the Philadelphia Zoo. Of course, I had to work in a German lesson!

So I made up word posters for 16 of the animals that can be found there. Hopefully your local zoo has similar animals! There are three sets of cards:

  • pictures with words
  • just pictures
  • just words.

You can print them in full 8½ x11 or print more to a page for smaller versions. I like to print 6-to-a-page, laminate them, and cut them down to 3×4 cards. Then we use them to play memory, go fish, or other games! If you’ll be using them for memory, be sure to print on thick card stock or paper with a patterned back! The animals included are:

  • der Bär – bear
  • der Eisbär – polar bear
  • das Erdmännchen – meerkat
  • die Gazelle – gazelle
  • die Giraffe – giraffe
  • der Gorilla – gorilla
  • das Känguru – kangaroo
  • der Lemur – lemur
  • der Leopard – leopard
  • der Löwe – lion
  • das Nashorn – rhinoceros
  • das Nilpferd – hippopotamus
  • der Orang-Utan – orangutan
  • der Penguin – penguin
  • der Tiger – tiger
  • das Zebra – zebra

Here’s a sample of what they look like:

Download all the posters as a PDF here: Zootiere Posters Phila Zoo GitA

On the day of our outing to the zoo, I gave the boys a scavenger hunt. It looks like this:

Auf der Suche im Zoo GitA-page-002

Included in this PDF document is a worksheet to keep track of the animal name, the color of the animal, and its climate. Download it here: Auf der Suche im Zoo GitA

Viel Spaß im Zoo!