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.
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.
Der Maulwurf im Winter was written by Hana Dosocilova and Zdenek Miler (LeiV, 2007).
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.
One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is bake cookies! I wanted to bring some German cookies in to school for the 3rd and 4th graders to try. After all, I was going to be teaching them for the very last hour of school before winter break! I knew we needed some down time. But by bringing in some Plätzchen and Kinderpunsch, I could at least keep it cultural!
So I baked Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars), and AP5 made Vanillekipferl and Linzer. I also bought some ready-made gingerbread dough and cut out some gingerbread men.
I made up some labels for the cookies, so the children would know what they were getting.
You can download the labels as PDF files here: Plätzchen labels GitA 2018
I made them to be able to fold as tented cards. So you can print them out, then cut out the long rectangle with the blank box and the cookie label in one piece. Then fold so that the blank box is at the back.
Last year I prepared a legend about Nikolaus to teach in 1st & 2nd grade. I used the same story this year to teach in grades 1-4. It still worked great, even though some of the children had heard the story last year. Nothing like repetition!
You can read the legend and download the text from this post.
Last year I had some worksheets for the children, but we did not use them this year. They really are not necessary with Story Listening, and we did not have time.
After the story, the 1st & 2nd graders made lacing boots, like the ones we made in pre-k/kindergarten. Theirs were red with white yard, and they glued white cotton balls to the top to decorate them a bit more. The 3rd & 4th graders colored small pictures of Nikolaus and glued them to little brown take-out boxes. (see this post)