“Die rote Blume” is a short story – a VERY short story – from a collection by Erwin Moser. It is from his second collection about two mice named Manuel und Didi. These two mice are best friends and have all kinds of adventures. (Manuel & Didi: Das zweite große Buch der kleinen Mäuseabenteuer, 2009)
I’ve always loved reading these stories in my German story hour at the library. They are entertaining for both the children and the adults 🙂 They can be a little tricky to use for Story Listening, because there is often a humorous or ironic twist at the end. That can be hard to capture in a way that the children understand. This one is a bit more straightforward.
The children enjoyed the story, so I’m sure I’ll be telling them more about Manuel & Didi later in the year.
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!
After talking about Martin’s Day, I always like to tell the story of Sterntaler – or Star Money. It is a fairy tale from the collections of the Brothers Grimm.
The story is sweet and goes along nicely with the theme of generosity and giving to those less fortunate. After the girl, who is alone in the world, gives away all her possessions, she is rewarded as the stars fall from the sky and become coins and she suddenly has a beautiful “Unterhemd” – a kind of slip – made of beautiful silk.
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….
On November 11th, children in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland will be celebrating Martinstag. We are planning our own little celebration at school with all the children from pre-k through 4th grade.
So of course, I had to tell a story about St. Martin. Legend has it that Martin helped a beggar who was freezing by cutting his cloak in two with his sword.
I told another part of the story in English. Martin had become a monk and was living in Tours. When a new bishop was needed, the people turned to “the good Martin”. But he was so humble that he did not want to be bishop. He ran away and hid in a goose stall. The people of the town went searching for him. They lit their lanterns to guide them through the night. But it was the squawking geese that finally gave him away! And he did then agree to become the new bishop.
I took out a few of the details to simplify the story in 1st and 2nd grade. They still got the idea!
This story is available on the Great Story Reading Project 🙂
I have big plans for Martin’s Day this year at school! Since I am teaching all the way up through 4th grade, I thought it was time to do a parade. That means that the children need to learn the songs!
So I made up some posters to help them learn the words to “Laterne, Laterne”. Last week, I used the word cards to teach the first four words. (You can find out more about how I used them last year in the post Martinstag in the Classroom, and you can download the cards in the post Der gute Martin.)
Now this week it’s time for them to learn the rest of the song.
You can download the posters for FREE here: Laterne Laterne Lied GitA
I made up some posters for teaching “Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne” but the images I found are copyrighted, so I can’t share them. However, there is a great coloring page that you can find at Teddylingua.
I’m not a fan of scary stories. And the last thing I want to do is frighten a child, even at Halloween! But I still wanted to tell a good story with a Halloween theme. So I found the book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams.
The little old lady is followed home by two shoes, a pair of pants, a shirt, gloves, a hat, and a scary jack-o-lantern. But when they don’t frighten her, they get sad. But she has an idea! The next day, she wakes up to see them all standing in her garden making the perfect scarecrow!
This story is perfect for Story Listening, because of the way it repeats. The ending was a little tricky to make clear, though. I’ll have to work on that for next time.
In 3rd & 4th grade, I’m teaching in a different room, so I now have a white board instead of a chalk board. The pictures don’t come out quite as well 🙂
I tried something new with this lesson. I gave the children a sheet of paper with some of the words on it, so they could draw along with me. My intention was for them to be more attentive in their listening. But I don’t think it worked very well. They were too concerned with their drawings. I saw more of the tops of their heads than their eyes! It was a good experiment. Maybe I’ll try having them draw after the story another time.
1st & 2nd Grade
I simplified the story even more for the younger children. I took out the gloves and hat and also removed some of the descriptive colors of the clothes. It made the story go a little faster, since I don’t have as much time to spend with them.