This group also heard the story of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Nutcracker last week. So this week, these peaceful students colored a design printed on cardstock. Then we taped a feather (if they wanted) to come out of the “hat” and taped the paper to a toilet paper roll! Easy peasy! But so effective!
Aren’t they striking?! The children really did work so peacefully! I was pleasantly surprised, as it was the end of the day on the last day of school before winter break!
I found this simple craft at Sophie World. She has the template you can download for free (click the “Stats” tab to the right of “How to”.)
As I told the story of the Nutcracker in each of my classes, the story became more complex with more details. The 1st & 2nd graders got a very simple version of the story.
In the next story for 3rd & 4th grade, we went beyond the bare basics.
Here you can see the storyboard. There are quite a few more words on the board! After the story, we checked comprehension to make sure everyone understood. As we went over the story, I wrote some of the words in English, which you can see in blue ink.
I wanted to give my elementary and middle school students some background information about nutcrackers. So after I told the story in each class, I gave them a worksheet in the form of a “Steckbrief“. We filled in the simple facts together. Each class got a different version, becoming more detailed as the kids get older.
In 1st and 2nd grade…
Then in 3rd and 4th grade …
It’s the same information, but with a little more to fill in.
Finally, in 5th and 6th grade …
They got more information.
You can download the Steckbriefe here as a PDF. Each one comes with an answer key.
This year inspiration struck, and I decided to bring The Nutcracker into all of my classes, from pre-k to 6th grade. All the children will be introduced (or reintroduced) to the story, and each level will do a different art project. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!
For pre-k/kindergarten students, we will read a shortened book and do a simple coloring project.
For elementary & middle school students, the lessons will be in two parts. This week, I am telling the story and giving the children some background on nutcrackers and the fairy tale.
In elementary school, I’ll tell a simple version of the story. First & second grade heard the story yesterday:
I decided to draw my nutcracker ahead of time, as it is so detailed. And every time I said “Nussknacker” the children were supposed to say “Knack!” You can download them both for free below:
Today the Nikolaus celebration continued with my older students. As always, I started the class with the story. Again, it was the legend of Nikolaus and the Three Daughters. But not as simple as the version I told in 1st & 2nd grade.
It amazes me that they enjoy the story year after year! Most of these students have heard the story two or three times now.
Of course, the 3rd & 4th graders needed a boot, too. But I thought they might be a bit older for lacing 🙂 So I found little red paper bags at the craft store. Then I printed and cut out some boots on white card stock. (The image is copyrighted, so I can’t share it, but this picture gives you an idea – I fit 3 on a page.)
I had also told Puss in Boots to these students a couple of weeks ago, so I again challenged them to create the most magnificent boots. They colored them in and then glued them to the front of the little bags.
I didn’t get a picture of their work, but I’m hoping the teachers will take a picture for me on Monday! Meanwhile, you can see the post on 5th & 6th grade to see how the project turned out.
As the kids finished up their boots, I had a fun little activity for them. The puzzle is to make a house with 8 lines without lifting your pencil.
There are 44 ways to solve the puzzle! You can download the worksheet and see the solutions in this post!
Our students are working SO hard during remote learning! This week I wanted to shake things up a bit – give them something fun and easy to do. I know my boys are also getting very tired as they work. So one day we did a few yoga poses together. It seemed to help!
Today I made a short video with two yoga flows. Sorry, I’m not sharing the video, because my kids are in it 🙂 But I will share the instructions that are in both German and English:
Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite fairy tales – at least of the Disney fairy tales! It’s the first movie I ever saw. Even though it frightened me when Maleficent turned into the dragon, I still loved it.
Today I am telling the version of the story that is closer to the one collected by the Brothers Grimm. Here we do find a vengeful fairy, however she is not called Maleficent. She is simply the 13th fairy – yes, there were 13 fairies in total!
The title Dornröschen does not translate to “Sleeping Beauty.” It literally means “little thorn – or briar – rose.” Listen to the story to find out why the young princess is called Dornröschen.
Today’s story comes again from the collection of Grimm’s fairy tales. It’s a shorter story today.
This story is not as well-known here in the US. It’s about a girl who is given a magic pot that cooks sweet porridge. My students have heard it before, so I hope they enjoy it again.
I don’t love the ending. I think it is a bit confusing. Basically it says that whoever goes into the city had to eat their way through the sweet porridge. But that is not the easiest thing to understand. Maybe one day I’ll come up with a different ending….
I’m SO excited! The 3rd & 4th graders have just started a unit on traditional literature, and they are beginning with fairy tales! This is perfect for Story Listening! So I am planning to tell a fairy tale every day for the rest of the week.
Today’s lesson is Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood). I recently told the story to the 3rd graders, so it would be more of a review for them.