Shape Resources

For our shape unit, we’ll be using some materials I bought a few years ago on TeachersPayTeachers.com. It was created by Open Wide the World, who has a number of German-language units. In fact, the weather unit I used last month was also created by them.

shapes-open-wide-the-world

The unit costs only $3.50, and you can purchase it here. And here’s what you get:

posters
a single page display featuring all 10 shapes
10 individual posters, one shape & shape name per page

game cards
“Bang!” game cards & directions
3 sets of flashcards for games & drill work: 1 set with shapes and shape names, 1 set with shape images only, 1 set with shape names only

2 mini books
1/4-page sized mini book: trace the shape name and draw the shape
1/2-page sized mini book: fill in the blank with the shape name, color the image, and read aloud with a partner (level = emergent reading, repetitive sentence structure)

word search
includes answer key

I’m excited to start using all these colorful materials!

Baking Shapes

Our next language unit is going to be all about shapes! Froggy chose the topic. I don’t know how many times we’ve done shape themes in the past 4 years, but it’s still a favorite!

I started doing language themes when Froggy was 3 and Hippo was just a baby. Every morning, while Hippo napped, Froggy and I would do a project. Having this structure in his day really helped. And we both had so much fun! We did art projects, science projects, themed baths, books, songs – you name it, if it went with our theme, we tried it! That’s when I started collecting ideas on Pinterest boards, too! (Click on my Pinterest button on the right to check out all my daily activity boards!)

Now we are using these themes to help our German. I was off to a good start with Froggy’s weather lessons. And now I really want to get Hippo more involved. So I’ve asked AP3 to help out and try to come up with activities to do with him, while I focus more on Froggy’s lessons.

Since we are still in Valentine mode, our first activity was a baking one. We simply made a cake heart! I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course. It was super simple! Froggy helped me make the batter. Then after the cakes cooled, we put them together to make our heart and covered it with pink frosting. I wanted a little chocolate, and I knew Froggy would choose yellow cake with white (or pink) icing, so I added some chocolate chips to one of the cakes.

You bake one 8-inch square cake and one 8-inch round cake (or use 9-inch pans for both). After they cool, place the square cake at an angle, like a diamond. Then cut your round cake in half, and place each semi-circle at the top of the diamond shape. Voila! You now have a heart-shaped cake! I had to cut off the tops of the cakes to get them to be the same height. And I needed a pretty big plate to put it on. Since I didn’t have a plate big enough, I used a cutting board. The boys loved it!

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!

Valentine Mazes

A while back, Froggy was really into mazes. I mean, REALLY! We all got good at drawing them. And I used to make them on the computer, too. So I thought I would post a week’s worth of Valentine mazes! If your child is starting to read, this is a fun way to get them to read a sentence, too!

You can download all 7 PDF files here in a zip folder:

Valentinstaglabyrinthe-GitA

Here’s an idea of what they look like:

Weather Plan: Week 3

Froggy is still into weather, so we’re continuing with the topic. I have to admit, I haven’t gotten to work on my own materials much lately. So I’m still relying on some great resources I’ve found online.

I do have a couple of ideas up my sleeve, though! I found some fun books related to Weather and want to create some worksheets to go with them.

We also had an idea for a super fun project! We’re going to do a weather comparison for some familiar places. Well, sort of familiar. We’ll be comparing our own weather in Philadelphia with Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (where our 3 au pairs are from!) along with the Netherlands (where PER is from, and where Oma & Opa still live). More on that soon….

For now, here is what we’ve been up to this week:

  • Day 1:
    • A quick weather worksheet that also provided an opportunity to talk about dates (Datum) and seasons. The season part was easy enough, but we had to talk about the words Datum and Monat. Nonetheless, he zipped through it quickly, which was perfect for a tired Monday afternoon. The worksheet was a page from an entire German online workbook from Lehrmittelperlen. I think we’ll be using the rest of it for other topics, too! (Lehrmittelperlen is a site full of German teaching resources that costs about €20 per year.)

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  • Day 2
    • Today we read a simple book: Elmar mag jedes Wetter by David McKee (translated from English; Thienemann, 2016). I made up a worksheet to go with it. See my post for the details and download!
  • Day 3-5
    • Time to start a weather project! We are going to record the weather in our town (Philadelphia), Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. I’m working on a document for our recordings. I’ll post it as soon as it’s been tested and ready to go! The plan is to record the weather for a month and then graph our findings. We’ll see how it goes! I’d be happy with a week, I suppose!

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

 

Weather Plan: Week 2

Our weather unit continues this week! I used a lot of printable worksheets from iSL Collective this week. They were nice and easy. I’ve included links to the pages here. I hope they work! I don’t think you need a membership to view them. (It’s free to join!)

  • Day 1:
    • Wetterkarte: “Wie ist das Wetter?” (iSL Collective) – This is a weather map of Europe, and you have to tell what the weather is in 8 cities. Only thing is, the weather is mostly the same! I ended up doing the writing, so the focus was on speaking and vocab (saying the phrases he had been learning).
  • Day 2:
    • Partnerarbeit: “Wetter in Deutschland Wechselspiel” (iSL Collective) – This activity is for two people. Each gets a map of Germany with the 16 capitols of the Bundesländer. But each gets the weather information for only 8 of those cities. Each also gets a chart to fill in with the 8 city names. There was a small error in that Düsseldorf was listed twice, while Bremen had been left off. Since it is a Word document, you could go in and correct it before printing. I just didn’t notice it in time. We also had a small mistake on my part! I thought the picture for Dresden was windy, but then I realized it was foggy! So we switched them. Focus here was on vocabspeaking, and writing. Here’s a glimpse at Froggy’s work:

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  • Day 4:
    • Matching: Today we did another page from the set “Wie ist das Wetter?” (see above on Day 1). It’s a matching exercise of phrases. For example, “Die Sonne scheint” and “Es ist sonnig.” There is also a small exercise about seasons, where each season is described, and the student writes in the name of the season. Focus on reading and vocab, and also a pre-exercise of circumlocution (the ability to rephrase a word or idea in another way). He added a step by starring the weather that fit today.
  • Day 5:
    • Spieltag! We ended our week with a board game from iSL. All four of us played while enjoying a snack: Froggy, Hippo (although, he wanted to keep landing on the snow!), AP3, and myself. On a long Friday at the end of a long week, playing a game is definitely the way to go. I don’t see how I could have gotten Froggy to do a worksheet or some such. But a game – now that’s fun! It went quickly enough, but we still worked it in. For this board game, I just punched out a few different shapes to be our game pieces and grabbed a die. You roll the die, move forward, and complete the sentence according to the picture. Some of the spaces have arrows that either propel you forward or bring you back. My only complaint was that not every space has something on it – I landed on two of them during the game! Otherwise, we all enjoyed it!

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*I receive no compensation for referencing the resources here. I link them merely for your convenience – and mine!

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

Weather Plan: Week 1

I try to keep the after-school lessons with Froggy short and sweet. Especially when he has an activity after school, he’s pretty tired when he gets home. I know if the lesson lasts longer than 5 or 10 minutes, I’m going to lose him … fast!

In my last post, I wrote about the great resource created by Open Wide the World that I purchases from her Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) page. I’m starting with these resources to work with Froggy on our weather unit.

In addition, I have downloaded a number of worksheets from iSL Collective (see more about them on my resources page). The only problem with mixing resources is of course that they don’t cover the exact same vocabulary. However, I look at this as an opportunity to expand Froggy’s vocab, as it adds just one or two new words or phrases at a time.

Finally, we’ll end this short week (Monday was a holiday for us) with a game I also purchased from TPT: a weather domino game. ($3) I printed the 5 pages on card stock and laminated them before cutting the domino pieces with a paper cutter.

Here are the lessons we are doing each day:

  • Day 1:
    • Introduce the weather sentence using the poster display page (printed on letter-sized paper) (This isn’t our first time talking about weather, so he’s pretty familiar with the phrases already.)
    • Do the matching worksheet (on p. 25)
  • Day 2:
    • Review weather sentences.
    • Do the fill-in + wordsearch worksheet (on p. 29)
  • Day 3:
  • Day 4:
    • I like to end the week with something fun, like a game. So we played weather dominoes. (See the link above for the resource to purchase.)
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Domino chain


*I receive no compensation for referencing the resources here. I link them merely for your convenience – and mine!

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How’s the Weather?

We’ve taken a break from our reading lessons in German with Froggy, but now that the holidays are behind us, we’re ready to dive back in. I decided to start by asking him if there was a topic he was interested in learning more about. “Space!” he replied, of course. Well, we’ve done an awful lot with that already. So I suggested weather, since he seems to have a strong interest in that topic. His teachers at school talk about the weather and the forecast every day at school. So he readily agreed.

I looked through my files to see what I have on the subject, and happily found a rather nice unit already prepared! It was created by Open Wide the World, and you can get it on the Teachers Pay Teachers site for $6. Click here for a link to the unit.

German Weather - Wetter

German Weather Unit preview by Open Wide the World

Here’s what you get:

  • poster display
  • word wall cards
  • individual weather posters
  • weather wheel
  • flashcards
  • matching worksheet with answer key
  • fill-in-the-blank worksheet with answer key
  • word search with answer key
  • “Aus dem Fenster” mini weather drawing book
  • weather forecast maps and recording sheet

For our first lesson, I’m going to start by introducing the weather sentence using the poster display page (printed on letter-sized paper). Then we’ll do the matching worksheet.