Materials for Summer Learning

With the summer break upon us, I know some of my students are interested in continuing their learning of German during the break. I have found some materials, such as workbooks, books, and CDs, that can be ordered in the US.

Workbooks

For young learners, there is the Dover Little Activity Book (it is only 4 x 5.6 inches!): Color & Learn Easy German Phrases for Kids (Dover, 2015). This pocket-sized book is a picture dictionary with German, English translation, and pronunciation. And it doubles as a coloring book. There are lots of useful phrases plus the basics, such as colors, numbers, days, months, etc. It is available on Amazon.com for about $2.50.

Color Learn Easey German Dover

For young learners and beginners, there is the Cool Kids Speak German series (CreateSpace). These workbooks use both English and German to guide students through the exercises, such as worksheets, word searches, and coloring pages. Each workbook includes a German-English dictionary plus the answer key at the back. The series includes the following titles:

  • Young Cool Kids Learn German (Numbers, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, greetings and useful words, colors, farm animals, the garden, toys, and ice cream)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 1 (greetings, introductions, numbers 1-10, fruit, colors, clothes, and transportation)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 2 (pet animals, numbers 11-20, sports, weather, drinks, and the house)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 3 (things for school, numbers 21-40, months, family, food, and school subjects)

Although I have only seen Book 1 in person, the series seems simple and instructive. They are available on Amazon.com for about $8 – 9.

For older students, I found a book of word searches called Learn German with Word Search Puzzles (CreateSpace, 2018).The word searches are difficult, in that the words can go diagonally and backwards. So they are not ideal for younger learners. Each puzzle has a topic and includes words in German and their English translation (both of which can be found in the puzzle). There is an answer key in the back. It seems it would be a fun way to practice some vocabulary. It is available on Amazon.com for about $10.

Learn German with Word Search Puzzles

Other Books

You might also consider getting a favorite book in German. There are many titles available in translation. My favorite place to order books is Book Depository (BookDepository.com). They are based in the UK and ship for FREE, even internationally! They have a great selection of German books at competitive prices. Try searching an author and then filter by language (in the left column) to see what is available in German. For example, if you search Eric Carle, there are 214 titles in German!! Here is a link to Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) board book.

Audio Books & Music

Another great way to learn is to listen to favorite stories (especially if you have the book in German, too). Continuing with the Eric Carle example, you can get a CD of Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt from Book Depository for about $10. (Just be careful not to get one in dialect!!) It comes with other stories in German, such as The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, & The Very Busy Spider.

If you don’t want to purchase a CD, you could try YouTube. You would need the German title of the book you want to hear. But many can be found being read aloud. You can even hear Eric Carle read Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt in German (did you know he was originally from Germany?!). You can also watch a lovely video of the story on YouTube.

How about some German songs? Remember Nena?! Well, I don’t just mean “99 Luftballons” 🙂  She has several lovely CDs of children’s songs now. Try searching “Nena Kinderlieder” in your favorite music app. (Kinderlieder means children’s songs.) While many recordings of children’s music can be somewhat … well, difficult to listen to, I find her recordings to be quite lovely. There is also the series Die 30 besten Spiel- und Bewegunslieder (The 30 best play and movement songs) by Simone Sommerland & Karsten Glück. You can find the songs on YouTube as well.

index

These ideas can get you started! If you have any questions or suggestions, just comment below!

Viel Spaß in den Sommerferien!

Olympische Winterspiele – Activities

I haven’t had time to come up with any of my own activities for the Winter Olympics. But I’ve found some nice worksheets and reading cards on other sites that I thought I’d share.

I really like the materials over on Lehrmittelperlen (you must subscribe to obtain access to their materials – about $20 per year).

Other reading cards about the various sports can be found at Fächerübergreifend leicht gemacht.

KinderSuppe has a variety of materials and activities (search “Olympische Winterspiele”). You have to subscribe to obtain access to most of their materials, however they do offer some things for free:

  • Olympic Rings: Print out the page to color the Olympic rings. They suggest using paint and cotton swabs to color them in! There are two versions: one with a colored dot to indicate the ring colors; one with the color word spelled in the ring.
  • Summer or Winter? This activity has children sorting cards of various sports into summer and winter sport.

What are you doing to learn about the Winter Olympics in German?

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!

Sticker Workbooks

As much as I enjoy creating fun activities and worksheets for my kids in German, sometimes I just don’t have the time. For a while, Froggy was really into sticker books, and so I sought out some fun sticker workbooks to purchase online. They were hard to find at first, because I didn’t know the titles of the series. So I thought I would compile a list of some of the ones we’ve liked – both for myself for future reference, and for anyone else out there looking for some fun supporting materials. You can search just the general series title, or add a specific topic, such as Tiere, Weltraum, Feuerwehr, etc.

  • Was ist Was Mitmachheft (Tessloff Verlag)
    • also available in Junior for younger children and Mini for on-the-go
  • Rätseln und Stickern – Was ist Was Rästselhefte (Tessloff Verlag)
  • Lesen, Lernen, Mitmachen! (Parragon)
  • memo Activity (Dorling Kindersley)
  • Der große Stickerspaß (Usborne)
  • Superstarker Stickerspaß (Arena)
  • Spiel & Spaß Stickerspaß (Ravensburger)

I’ll say this: we haven’t tried all of these series. And perhaps there are more out there, too! I’ll update the post if I find anything. I think we’ve tried the first 5 and been happy with them.

Olympic Games: National Flags

The Summer Olympics are upon us! I don’t watch a lot of sports, but I always love the Olympics. I suddenly find myself watching sporting events that normally hold little interest for me. There’s just something so exciting about it all! And I love the way it brings countries together.

It’s also a great opportunity for the boys to learn about both sports and the world!

The other day, I was inspired by Froggy. He’s so into Legos these days. And he came up to my office asking for some flag pictures, so that he could make them out of Legos. What a great idea!!

I found these images of national flags on Kindersuppe.de. It’s a great website with all kinds of useful documents and activities in German. (There is a fee to use the site: € 35,88 per year.) Then Froggy and I got busy collecting Lego pieces, especially red ones 🙂 I’m not much of a Lego-builder, myself, but I really go into with him! Of course, some of the flags would be really hard! We stuck mainly to the striped ones. Although Froggy made a great Swedish flag, and I managed to make a decent Swiss flag. Stay tuned for instructions on how to make your own Lego flags!

 

German Date #4: More Space!

Froggy has been enjoying our German dates so much, he wanted to do more! So we decided that he would go on another date this week with AP2. Of course, he wanted to keep talking about space. I just happened to have ordered some space workbooks in German, and they arrived Thursday afternoon. He’s really into sticker workbooks right now, so he was VERY excited 🙂

He worked through 4 or 5 pages of the book. Hippo and I happened to crash their date at the last minute, so I got to see some of it in action 🙂  AP2 was doing a lot of the reading, but then we got Froggy to read out loud, too. The workbook provided some good challenge with a number of words that he didn’t know.

The workbook we used is called Mitmach-Heft Weltraum (Was ist was Junior) (Tessloff, 2016). I bought it on Amazon.de for about €5.