With the kids home from school for at least the next two weeks, I wanted to start uploading more videos to my YouTube channel. I am using two methods to tell German stories. First, I am drawing stories with the Explain Everything app. Second, I am taking live videos of me giving a Story Listening lesson to my own two boys (who happen to also be my students in school, in 1st & 4th grade).
Today I did a live video of a Grimm fairy tale called Brautschau (Looking for a Bride). It’s a short story. But it can be a bit tricky to understand. So I wanted to share a vocabulary list here, just in case. I also will share the text of the story below.
Instructions for TWS students:
- Watch the video (below)
- Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
- Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video and email it back to me.
- Retell the story to someone in English – take a video or make an audio recording.
- Write a summary of the story in English – take a picture of it or record yourself reading it.
- Draw your favorite scene from the story. Remember to put the story title on it! Take a picture.
- Watch the video again and read along. (See the text below) Take a picture of your log, so we know you heard the story.
* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!
Here is the vocabulary list:
- die Braut bride
- der Hirte shepherd
- heiraten to marry / get married
- 3 Mädchen 3 girls
- Schwestern sisters
- schön pretty
- Welche? which?
- die Wahl choice
- wählen to choose
- Wie? how
- die Mutter mother
- fragte asked
- Rat advice
- lade ein invite
- der Käse cheese
- anschneiden to cut
- die Rinde rind
- eilig in a hurry
- schnell fast
- warf weg threw away
- ordentlich orderly
- Frau wife
And here is the text to accompany the story:
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.