SL: Der dicke, fette Pfannkuchen

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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.

SL: Heidi

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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.

SL: Was trägt kleiner Bär? / What Will Little Bear Wear?

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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. This sweet story by Else Holmelund Minarik is a sweet classic. Perhaps you know the Little Bear stories, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak?

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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.

SL: Dornröschen / Sleeping Beauty

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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 all 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!

SL: Klingelingeling

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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.

klingelingeling

SL: Der Maulwurf im Winter – The Mole in Winter

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As the weather turns cold and we anticipate snow, I am starting to bring out my winter stories. Here is one about a mole who is eager to go sledding, but there is no snow on the ground. So he and his friend, the chickadee, come up with the idea to give a cloud some water to drink through a straw. Then when the cloud blows some wind, it sends plenty of snowflakes to the ground. The little mole can finally go sledding! Just watch out for that hill!

It was a great story for the 1st and 2nd graders. I was pleased that they were able to guess the my drawing was indeed a mole! And of course, they loved it when the mole went flying off of the hill and landed in the powdery snow.

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Der Maulwurf im Winter was written by Hana Dosocilova and Zdenek Miler (LeiV, 2007).

SL: Silvester und das Jahrkind – a fairy tale for the New Year

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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.