Zehn kleine Zappelfinger / Ten Little Fidgety Fingers

I am quickly trying to find some finger plays that I can do with the little ones, now that we can’t sing for a while. Although “Zehn kleine Zappelmänner” is usually a song, it can be done as a finger play, too! I looked at a number of variations on the old favorite and came up with a version of my own.

First, I went with Finger instead of Männer. Especially for my youngest students, it made more sense to use the word for fingers. And isn’t it often our fingers that get fidgety?!

I made a little handout with the words that I am using for the fingerplay. The children can also color in the hands when they bring the coloring page home.

I will try to get a video of the fingerplay posted soon!

Fünf kleine Fische / Five Little Fish

In the fall, I love to read the books about Kleiner weißer Fisch (Little White Fish) by Guido van Genechten. They are sweet books that are perfect for early language learners. There is a whole series of the books, so we read 5 of them this year in Pre-k/Kindergarten.

To go along with the books, we also sing the song “Fünf kleine Fische”. The kids love it! They especially love the “blub blub blub” part. I have little hand motions that we do with the song, so the kids can play along, even before they have learned the words. Here is a video of how I sing the song with them:

Of course, we practice counting to 5 before we start singing! We count forward and backward, since the song starts with 5 fish and counts down to 1.

To go along with the song, I have a coloring page that also includes the lyrics to the song with an English translation:

You can download that PDF for FREE here:

I also have a simple coloring page of five fish. This coloring sheet includes the words to the song as well.

You can download the PDF for FREE here:

Finally, if you are musically inclined and would like the sheet music for the song, you can find it here from Sing Kinderlieder (PDF).

Viel Spaß beim Singen!

Mh mh macht der grüne Frosch im Teich

For the past two years, I have been singing the song “Mh mh macht der grüne Frosch im Teich” with my preschoolers and kindergartners. They LOVE it!

I usually do some lessons on farm animals in the spring, and we sing the song for several weeks in a row. I often bring a little canvas bag filled with my farm animal finger puppets (if you watched the video on counting farm animals, you know I have 12!), and I pull one out at a time. Then we sing about that animal.

Just because we’re learning from home right now doesn’t mean we have to skip the song! I made a video where I talk about the farm animals and what they “say” in German (yes! even animals speak differently in different languages!). Then I sing the song, using my finger puppets.

You can download the text to this traditional song here: Mh mh macht der grüne Frosch im Teich GitA

I also made a few coloring pages, a tracing worksheet, and a label-the-animal worksheet for the children to do after they watch the video.

You can download the PDFs here, too:

 

Farbenlied – Color Song

Since I started teaching German to children, I have been looking for an easy color song. So far I haven’t found one that is just right. So I’ve been using my own.

It’s very simple – to the tune of Ten Little Indians. It goes like this:

Rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
Rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
Rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
in dem Regenbogen!

Just make sure you sing the word “orange” on two notes (one for each syllable). It’s a simple song, but we make it lots of fun by starting slowing and then going schneller!!! (faster) I always have to remind the kids to stay with me, and I tap the colors to the beat as we sing them. It can quickly get out of hand! But the kids love it 🙂

I made this video for my young students while we sare having to do remote learning, so you can sing along:

 

In the video, I show some word posters to refresh the vocabulary.

Regenbogen-page-001

I also made the comparative posters – schneller & langsamer – since we always say “schneller!!” at the end of the song before we sing it again. Here are the PDF files:

I’ll also send along a coloring sheet for the children. I made one in color and one in black & white, since I don’t know what kind of printer they’ll have.

Here is the PDF for the coloring page: Farbenlied Malvorlage GitA

 

Hände waschen! / Wash Your Hands!

We all know how important it is to wash our hands right now! And lots of people are talking about singing a song while you wash to make sure you wash long enough. There is a cute song in German about washing hands. It says that every child must wash hands until they are clean. But once they are clean, there is no towel! So they must shake, shake, shake their hands. If you sing the whole song while washing (including the part about shaking them dry), it’s about 24 seconds. Perfect!

Baby Hai

As my own kids are a bit older now, I don’t always hear about what is popular with the younger children. But at their last piano recital, a little girl played “Baby Shark” on the piano and sang along. At first, I thought, “What is this?!!” But it was actually really cute.

I was recently talking with another language teacher who said she was using it in her Spanish class. So now that’s got me thinking. In the fall we regularly sang “Fünf kleine Fische” in the pre-k/kindergarten classes. I think “Baby Hai” would have been a great follow-up song. Maybe we will circle back to the fish song and introduce “Baby Hai” along with a book about family.

Meanwhile, here is a link to a video of “Baby Hai” in German:

 

My New Favorite Song for German Class!

Last fall I wrote two posts about the song “Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken” – this one and this one. It went really well with my after-school German club!

Well, today I did it in class with my 3rd and 4th graders. It was SUCH a hit!!! Even the kids who were kind of tuning out and not engaging suddenly perked up 🙂

It worked really well to teach the song step by step. As we went along, they got more and more into it. And there were more and more giggles – while still maintaining order in the classroom 😉

STEP 1: Introduce the 5 vocabulary words that you end up leaving out in the song:

STEP 2: Teach the first two lines by just saying the words and doing the actions that go with them. You can watch a video of how to do the actions here: (but don’t start singing yet!!)

STEP 3: Then practice the next two lines with the actions. And put all 4 lines together.

STEP 4: Now sing the whole song, using the actions. You can use my poster with the words, if it helps. But I kind of liked waiting to add that visual. With the singing and the actions, there is already enough for the kids to focus on!

Mein Hut Songtext-page-002

STEP 5: Continue singing as you practice leaving out one new word each time you sing it. The posters I made really come in handy here!

STEP 6: Finally, turn on the music from the song above. (It’s on YouTube, of course, but I played it from my phone using the Amazon music app. I expect you could find it on any music app.) And have fun trying to keep up as you leave out more and more of the words while doing the actions. And ENJOY THE GIGGLES! (Hmm, maybe I should have taught them the word kichern?!)

Download all the posters for FREE as a PDF here: Mein Hut Songtext (GitA)

Grün, grün, grün – Halloween Style

My 1st and 2nd graders are so squirrely! It is hard to get through a Story Listening lesson. So I have decided to try to keep the stories short (still rich with content) and sing songs for the second part of our class.

I came across the song “Grün, grün, grün” again recently. It’s such a great song for colors. But at the same time, I find some of the verses to be a bit cumbersome. I mean, “Schornsteinfeger”?! That’s something of a tongue-twister!

Then I found some super cute Halloween kids clipart and thought that would work really well for adapting the song. It would be even better if the kids’ costumes were truly monochromatic, but I think it’s close enough 😉

Of course, I made some word posters to help teach the song. There is a set with the color words and a set without them – your choice!

I came up with the following characters:

  • red – Rotkäppchen (Red Riding Hood)
  • orange – Kürbis (pumpkin)
  • yellow – Biene (bee)
  • green – Fee (fairy)
  • blue – Cowboy
  • purple – Hexe (witch)
  • pink – Hase (rabbit)
  • black – Katze (cat)
  • white – Geist (ghost)

Check them out:

You can download them all for FREE here: Grün, grün, grün Plakate GitA

Just take the original song and change the lyrics:

Grün, grün, grün sind alle meine Kleider
Grün, grün, grün ist alles, was ich habe
Darum liebe ich alles, was grün ist
Weil mein Schatz ein Jäger ist

I’d love to hear from you! How are you using these materials? And how did it go??

Viel Spaß!

Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken – Follow-up

Earlier this week, I wrote this post with materials to help teach the song, “Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken.”

My club kids had SO much fun with this silly song! They are my oldest group (4th & 5th graders), so they caught on to the vocab very quickly. Having the pages with the text and the words replaced by pictures helped us all through the repetitions of the song.

 

We still got the motions mixed up and sang words where they didn’t belong! There were a lot of giggles 🙂 But I always say that you remember things better when you are having fun with them!

I know we will sing the song again next week. I think we might take the final page – the one with the most images – and practice just the words that are left before we tackle the song again.

Go back to the original post to download all the materials for FREE 🙂