I am not going to be able to teach my next lesson on Nikolaus to the 3rd & 4th graders. The classroom teachers kindly agreed to work on it with the students while I’m away. They will review the Nikolaus legend I told them in the last lesson, but I needed a way for the kids to hear the German story. So my terrific tech-savvy husband helped me figure out a way to do just that!
I used a program called Explain Everything and was able to use a tablet to draw and record the story as a video that could be uploaded! Here it is….
While this method follows the guidelines for Story Listening, it is not at all meant to be a replacement. It does use a variety of aspects of Comprehension-Aiding Supplementation (CAS):
- Written Words
- Word Families
- Students’ First Language
- Slow & Clear Speach
The main things that I am missing here are gestures (body movements) and mimic (facial expressions). However, I believe my tone of voice does also help slightly to make up for this lack.
Also, this story is already known to the students. Not only did I tell the story the week before my absence, but it is the 3rd year in a row that they have heard it! So I feel good about sending it in to help the students through this “substitute” lesson.
After they watch the video, students have two options:
- Draw a picture of their favorite scene and find a sentence in the text to use as a caption.
- Illustrate a booklet of the story (can also be done in partner work).
A variation for the second option would be to print out individual pages from the booklet and have each student illustrate one page to make a collaborative book.
You can download the text and illustration page as a PDF here: Nikolaus und die drei Töchter Text. Download the booklet as a PDF here: Nikolaus booklet.
I hope to create more animated drawings like this for my students to use as review. In a pinch, they could also be used as a substitute lesson if I am absent at the last-minute. Stay tuned!
Every February, the kids at school get to have a Pajama Day. The student council makes breakfast for lunch. So I was inspired to tell a tale about a pancake!
The children liked the story, because it reminded them of The Gingerbread Man. The nice thing about this story, however, is that in the end the pancake decides to let himself be eaten by three children who have nothing else to eat 🙂
It’s a great beginner text for a Story Listening lesson, because of its repetition.
I told my version with a rabbit, a wolf, a bear, and a pig – in part, because they were animals I knew I could draw! Here is the text I used in German, which you can view and download as a PDF: Der dicke fette Pfannkuchen SL 1,2. And here is an English translation of the text I used (PDF): Big, Fat Pancake English translation
Our au pair from Switzerland came to visit us for two weeks. She was kind enough to come into school to talk to the children about Switzerland and even baked bread with them! So of course I was inspired to tell them the story of Heidi by Johanna Spyri!
The version I told was extremely simple, but most of the children were not familiar with this classic tale! So it was a good introduction. They all enjoyed it!
Here is my abridged version:
Heidi (nach dem Buch von Johanna Spyri)
Es war einmal ein Mädchen. Das Mädchen hieß Heidi. Heidi war sehr lieb. Und sie war allein auf der Welt. Aber sie hatte doch einen Großvater.
Der Großvater wohnte hoch auf einem Berg in der Schweiz. Er wohnte allein in einem kleinen Haus. Er hatte einen kleinen Bauernhof, wo er Ziegen hatte. Großvater war nicht glücklich. Er war oft verärgert und schlecht gelaunt.
Heidi war glücklich, auf dem Berg zu wohnen. Sie liebte die Natur. Und sie liebte die Ziegen.
Da war ein Junge, der sich um die Ziegen kümmerte. Der Junge hieß Peter. Oft ging Heidi mit Peter und den Ziegen hoch auf den Berg.
Heidi war immer sehr lieb. Sie war nie böse zu ihrem Großvater, auch wenn er so schlecht gelaunt war. Nach einer Zeit war Großvater nicht mehr verärgert. Er liebte Heidi.
Eines Tages kam Heidis Tante, Dete. Dete hatte einen Job für Heidi. Aber der Job war weit, weit weg in Frankfurt. Frankfurt war eine Großstadt. In Frankfurt konnte Heidi die Berge nicht mehr sehen. In Frankfurt konnte Heidi nicht in der Natur spielen. Aber Heidi musste nach Frankfurt.
In Frankfurt war Heidi Begleiter für ein Mädchen. Das Mädchen hieß Clara. Clara war krank und brauchte einen Rollstuhl. Heidi und Clara waren gute Freunde. Aber Heidi vermisste Großvater und die Berge. Sie war so traurig, dass sie krank wurde. Heidi musste zurück in die Berge.
Als Heidi zurück in den Bergen war, kam Clara zu Besuch. Eines Tages waren Clara, Heidi, und Peter hoch auf dem Berg mit den Ziegen. Ihr Rollstuhl rollte den Berg hinab! Er war kaputt! Clara musste selber gehen. Und doch! Sie konnte es! Sie war noch schwach und musste üben. Aber sie konnte doch gehen.
Clara ging zurück nach Frankfurt. Und Heidi blieb mit Großvater auf dem Berg. Sie waren immer noch Freunde und besuchten einander. Aber Heidi war glücklich, bei Großvater auf dem Berg zu bleiben.
Sometimes a story works so well in 1st & 2nd grade, that I have to tell it again to the 3rd & 4th graders, even if it is a simple one. (The first image is from grades 1 & 2, the second image is from grades 3 & 4.) This story by Else Holmelund Minarik is a sweet classic. Perhaps you know the Little Bear stories, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak?
Little bear repeatedly goes inside to tell his mother he is cold. So she gives him a hat, then a coat, then snow pants. Finally she asks him if he wants a fur coat? He says yes! So she takes back the hat, the coat, and the snow pants and there you have it! He has his fur coat and is not cold anymore 🙂
It’s a sweet little story, and has great repetition for a beginner Story Listening lesson.
I added a bit of detail for the 3rd & 4th graders, and they enjoyed it just as much as the younger students.
Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. So when I was looking for a traditional tale to tell, I had to choose this one!
In some ways it was a simple story to tell, since the students were familiar with it. However, the original German from the Grimm Brothers is slightly different from the Disney version that we know. And some of the 3rd & 4th grade students had a harder time wrapping their minds around that idea. They wanted to know why I didn’t call the “evil” fairy Maleficent and draw horns on her. Perhaps I should take a few minutes before the story to talk about the way fairy tales evolve over time and how they can come in many different variations!
Klingelingeling by Nicola Smee is one of my favorite read-aloud books (arsEdition, 2010; original English title: Jingle-Jingle). It’s a fun story with some great repetition. I told it last year in 1st & 2nd grade. Read about that here.
Even though those students heard the story last year, they didn’t mind hearing it again. Nothing like some repetition for language learning!
You can see my two boards above. The first one (on the white board) was in 3rd & 4th grade. There are a few more details in my story for them. And the chalkboard version was for 1st & 2nd grade.
All the children are surprised when the horse climbs into the sleigh to go down the hill with the other animals! And then of course, when they all go flying out of it at the bottom of the hill, the giggles can’t be suppressed!
It is definitely a hit and a great story for beginning Story Listening in German.
A few years ago I stumbled on to an English version of this New Year’s fairy tale by Eduard Mörike.
The story is not included in Mörike’s collected works. He apparently made up the story around 1860 for a little girl named Emilie Schnabel, who was about age 6 or 7. The story made such an impression on the little girl that she later wrote it down when she was an adult. It made its way to Mörike’s family, and that’s how we have it now. The text has been studied by experts, and they agree it matches Mörike’s style.
It is such a beautiful story to tell at the beginning of the new year! I knew that I wanted to tell it as a Story Listening lesson.
It was a little challenging for the 3rd graders, but the 4th graders really got it.