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.
You can download the labels as PDF files here: Plätzchen labels GitA 2018
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.
Have you ever seen a wooden jumping-jack toy? If you pull the string at the bottom, the arms and legs of the man go up! In German, it’s called a Hampelmann.
Well, our fabulous art teacher must be clairvoyant or something! Because she did a nutcracker project with the 1st and 2nd graders that looked like Hampelmänner! She was looking for a project to go along with my Nutcracker Story Listening lesson – something for the younger children to do that would be a bit easier than making clothespin nutcrackers. But she wanted a project that was more than a simple coloring page. Perfect!
Aren’t they beautiful?!
It was such a great project that the 3rd & 4th graders created them, too, after they finished their clothespin nutcrackers.
The project can be found here and downloaded for free. Thank you, Brigid Ashwood, for creating such a wonderful project!
Last year I prepared a legend about Nikolaus to teach in 1st & 2nd grade. I used the same story this year to teach in grades 1-4. It still worked great, even though some of the children had heard the story last year. Nothing like repetition!
You can read the legend and download the text from this post.
Last year I had some worksheets for the children, but we did not use them this year. They really are not necessary with Story Listening, and we did not have time.
After the story, the 1st & 2nd graders made lacing boots, like the ones we made in pre-k/kindergarten. Theirs were red with white yard, and they glued white cotton balls to the top to decorate them a bit more. The 3rd & 4th graders colored small pictures of Nikolaus and glued them to little brown take-out boxes. (see this post)
Tonight is the night to clean your boots and put one out for Nikolaus! So the children were busy in school yesterday, making crafts to get ready for him!
As usual, the pre-k/kindergarten classes laced paper boots. This year, we made them in black. And they decorated them first with white crayons. Here is the post with the tutorial and template to download. And here is what a few of them looked like:
I figured that the 3rd & 4th graders might not be too excited about a lacing activity 😉 And we only had 5-10 minutes for a craft. So I printed out some drawings of Nikolaus on cardstock and cut them out ahead of time. Then I found cute little take-out boxes at the craft store. After I told the story of Nikolaus und die drei Töchter, the children went to their desks to color the little Nikolaus figures. Then they got out the glue sticks to glue them on to the boxes. We’ll see if Nikolaus leaves something in them tonight?!
I can’t provide the template, because it is a copyrighted clipart image. I got this one as part of a clipart package that is actually about Sinterklaas 😉 But you can do a quick Google image search to find one of your own.
Last week I was teaching the Nikolaus song “Lasst uns froh und munter sein!” in the pre-k/kindergarten class. It is a surprisingly difficult song to sing. The last two lines are easier, so I start there. But the first two lines are more complicated.
Since we’ll be singing the song again this week – and in 1st – 4th grade – I decided to make some posters for it. Most of the little ones are not readers yet, so I’m not sure how much it will help. But maybe!
Here is what they look like:
You can download the PDF file fore FREE here: Last uns froh und munter sein – GitA
I have tried to make up little motions to go with the song, but it never really works.
How do you introduce and teach this song??
I love when my kids can make something homemade to give as a gift to family and friends. This year, Hippo decided to give artwork.
I cut out some trees, and we taped them to a larger paper. For his first try, he did fingerprints in green, red, and yellow. But that was taking a long time. Especially since he changed colors a lot and kept having to wash his hands. Maybe if I’d only given him one color at a time!?
So we switched to pom-poms held by clothespins. That went a lot faster! He did several in under a half hour. Easy project. Easy clean-up! Beautiful artwork to give as Christmas gifts 🙂
I got the idea from A Dab of Glue Will Do. Hmm. Maybe if I’d followed the instructions a little more closely, the fingerprinting would have worked out a little better! I like how she shows to print around the tree first.
Every year I make a paper chain advent calendar for the boys with 24 German holiday words. I updated the project this year. I tried to find words that capture the elements of a German Christmas.
All of these images were created by the artist Ramona M. She has a lovely collection of clip art for holidays around the world. Last year I contacted her to see if she would add to her German collection, and she graciously did!
For instructions (with pictures) on how to make the Advent Calendar, go to this post. And here are the updated downloads for 2018 in PDF format:
I hope you enjoy this activity with your children as much as I do!