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??
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:
- Angst haben
- schlecht gelaunt
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.
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.
It ends with the rabbit’s friends singing “Der Mond ist aufgegangen.” So of course, we’ll end class with that song!
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.
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!!
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.
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….
I have posted before about making simple Jack-O-Lanterns out of orange paper plates. We made them in the Lesestunde.
In pre-k/kindergarten last year, I came up with a similar activity to practice shapes and a few parts of the body: eyes, nose, mouth.
I used my trusty orange paper plates (from Target) and punched a bunch of shapes out of black paper: circles, squares, and triangles. We talked about the shapes in class.
We also sang “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” to practice the words Augen, Nase & Mund. You can find the lyrics over at Mama Lisa’s World.
Then I showed them the worksheet. They had to choose a different shape for each part of the face. Then look at the sheet to see how many of each shape they needed.
They could place the shapes on the worksheet first. Then they glued them to the orange plates to make their Kürbislaternen.
On the back of the worksheet, I also printed a coloring page:
You can download the worksheet and the coloring page for FREE here: Meine Kürbislaterne mit Formen GitA. The PDF file includes instructions.
This year I have decided to put more emphasis on polite expressions in the pre-K/kindergarten class. Because such expressions are a sign of respect, they are consistently taught in the Montessori classroom.
In the past, we have always had the children say “Danke” when they receive their coloring page. But I am hoping to add more expressions, such as “Entschuldigung” and even “Guten Appetit!”
I have made some posters to help teach the words to the children. Although I only intend to focus on one expression at a time and then reinforce it throughout the year.
Our first word is Danke!
I will also send a coloring page home with the children to reinforce the word:
You can download all of the polite expressions posters for FREE here: Höflichkeit Posters GitA
And you can download the Danke! coloring page for FREE here: Danke Malvorlage GitA
As I create more coloring pages, I will be sure to post them!
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.
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!