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!
Yesterday, I wrote about a nature scavenger hunt I’m preparing for the children in the pre-K/kindergarten class. I’m introducing the vocabulary, so they can go on the hunt at the class picnic and teach their parents the German words along the way!
The first part was about signs of nature. This second part is about “animals” in nature – well, animals and insects 🙂
We’re going to play a game of Simon sagt (Simon Says) to practice the words. I’ll teach the children a small motion to go with each word. Then we’ll all play at being the different animals and insects!
Here are the word posters:
And here is the coloring page:
You can download the PDF for free here: Tiere in der Natur GitA
The weather has finally warmed up here on the east coast! And the end of the school year is fast approaching. The pre-K/kindergarten class picnic is coming up next week. I volunteered to lead a scavenger hunt for the kiddos. Luckily, I already have something in my bag of tricks 😉
One of my go-to resources for creating my materials is a site called Teachers Pay Teachers. It’s where I get most of my clipart. But sometimes I get ready-made materials, too. A couple years ago, Froggy came home with a super cute Nature Walk scavenger hunt. I tracked down the seller and asked her if she could make it for me in German. She generously did! Unfortunately, I can’t find it on her TPT page, but I’ve asked her if she would post it, so I can share it here. Here’s a link to the English version.
In the meantime, I’ve created word posters and coloring pages to go along with the items on the scavenger hunt. I grouped them into two parts: Zeichen des Frühlings (Signs of Spring) and Tiere in der Natur (Animals in Nature).
Here’s what the first set looks like:
And here is the coloring page:
You can download the PDF for free here: Zeichen des Frühlings GitA
You could use the coloring page(s) as a scavenger hunt for now!
I’ll be teaching the words to the children in our next two classes. Then they can help their parents with the German when we’re all at the picnic!
UPDATE (29 May 2018): I found a spelling mistake in the files for the flower. I have since made the correction, both in the above example, and in the PDF file!
Today is the last day that we will be working on our farm unit in Pre-K/Kindergarten.
For four weeks, I have been reading different books about the farm. And we have been working on a song. At the end of each lesson, the children get a coloring sheet with four animals or other things found on the farm. See this post for the coloring sheets.
I’ve learned a couple of things while doing this project for the first time!
First, I love having a theme that goes on for a few weeks! I’ve been able to read a number of different books from my collection. And because we’ve been singing the same song each week, the children seem to be learning it well! It makes lesson planning that much easier, too 🙂
Second, making a book out of 4 coloring sheets – to equal 16 small pages of the book – is a LOT for little ones! So instead of having them cut out all 4 pages today, I have prepped the work by cutting the first three pages that they have already colored. Then they will only have to color and cut one page today, and we can staple the booklet together! Maybe next time I won’t be quite so ambitious 🙂 But we’ll have to see how today goes first.
So what books have we been reading? Here they are:
- Die kleine Spinne spinnt und schweigt by Eric Carle (Gerstenberg, 2011)
- Schweinchen auf dem Bauernhof by Moira Butterfield (Parragon Books)
- Klipp klopp by Nicola Smee (Moritz, 2015)
- Bist du meine Mama? by Christiane Hansen and Sandra Grimm (Oetinger, 2006)
I’ve decided to do a mini Farm unit with my pre-K/kindergarten class. Over the next three weeks, we’ll read three books. But we’ll work on one song. And I’ve created a mini coloring book for them to make that has all the animals – plus a few other farm words – that they might learn.
In order to create the coloring book, they first color in the whole sheets and trace the words. Then they can cut along the dotted lines and stack their pages. The teacher will staple it together.
This work could be done over the course of the three weeks. I just have to remind them to put their names on the pages! I think it is too much for them to do all at once. There are 15 words, after all!
It could also be added to the classroom as a “work” (as they call it in Montessori schools) to be completed over time, as the children choose. Of course, if we do it this way, not all the children might complete a book. In fact, I think 15 pages is really too much for them to do all at once. Perhaps in that case, we would choose fewer words. Or maybe let the children choose which words they want in their book.
There is lots of flexibility here!
This is what the pages look like:
And here is the PDF for you to download: Mein Bauernhofbuch GitA
How will you use the coloring pages??
See Tiel 2 of this post for more on the farm lesson!
In the pre-K/kindergarten class, we are creating our own picture dictionary of German words! The book will be auctioned off at the school’s annual fundraiser. But we are having fun putting it together.
We thought we would take a picture of the entire group and put in the words to our hello song. Using construction paper and straws, the children have made flags of the major German-speaking countries, and they will hold the flags in the group picture!
Tomorrow is our last day to take photos. I am going in for a special lesson. I’ll be keeping the kiddos busy while the teachers are snapping the pictures. I thought I would do a review of the favorite songs we’ve sung and books we’ve read this year.
The children always love a coloring page, too! So I made up a coloring page of the three flags: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
You can download the PDF file here: Flags coloring page GitA
I won’t be able to share the book here online, since it will be filled with images of the children from the class, and we always want to protect their privacy. But I can tell you it is super cute!!