Tiere in der Natur – Animals in Nature

Yesterday, I wrote about a nature scavenger hunt I’m preparing for the children in the pre-K/kindergarten class. I’m introducing the vocabulary, so they can go on the hunt at the class picnic and teach their parents the German words along the way!

The first part was about signs of nature. This second part is about “animals” in nature – well, animals and insects 🙂

We’re going to play a game of Simon sagt (Simon Says) to practice the words. I’ll teach the children a small motion to go with each word. Then we’ll all play at being the different animals and insects!

Here are the word posters:

And here is the coloring page:

Tiere in der Natur GitA-page-009

You can download the PDF for free here: Tiere in der Natur GitA

 

Winter Activities

Here on the east coast, winter has made a very loud arrival! Two days with no school – and this the first week back after a long break! Then I realized I’ve never posted any winter activities! So here are a number of random worksheets and craft ideas you can do in German 🙂

Schneemann malen nach Zahlen

This simple color by number is great for the little ones just learning their numbers and colors. The color words are written in the corresponding color, making it easier for them to do on their own. Download the PDF here: Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA

Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA-page-001

Tierspuren

Here are two simple worksheets to talk about the tracks that different animals leave in the snow. There is a black and white version. And if a little extra help is needed, there is a colored outline version. Then the colors can be easily paired up.

Tierspuren GitA-page-001

Download the worksheets as PDF files here:

For a follow-up activity, see if you have any little animal figures. Winter animals would be best, but whatever you’ve got! Then get out the play-doh and roll it out. Let your child walk the animals through the play-doh to make tracks. Then compare them. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about animals in German!

If you have snow and it isn’t brutally cold, go for a walk and see if you see any tracks. Before you go, talk about the kinds of animals that live in your area. Maybe look up what their prints look like, so you can identify them when you see them.

Winter Wortschatz

Here are five winter word posters you can print out full-sized or print 6-to-a-page to make flashcards. Print two sets to make a game of memory!

Download the PDF file here: Winter Wortschatz GitA

There is also a coloring page of all five words to go with them.

Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA-page-001

Download the PDF here: Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA

Winter Labyrinthe

I just put up a post with 10 easy German winter mazes! You can find them here 🙂 Here is an example:

Schneeflocken fangen GitA-page-001

Other ideas

There are tons of great craft ideas out there! I’ve been collecting them on a Pinterest board for years. Check it out here!

I also saw a list of 40 snow day boredom busters on Mommy Poppins. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration there?!

Viel Spaß!

Happy Mother’s Day!

We celebrated Mother’s Day in the pre-K class this week. We read a book called Bist du meine Mama? about a little chick that goes looking for its mother. It was perfect, because they were actually hatching chicks at school!

The book takes place on a farm, so first we reviewed our farm animals and what they say. The children love to hear the different animal sounds, especially ones that are very different, like the frog that says “quak” like our English ducks!

  • das Küken sagt “piep-piep”
  • die Katze sagt “miau”
  • der Hund sagt “wau-wau”
  • das Schwein sagt “oink-oink”
  • die Kuh sagt “muh”
  • der Frosch sagt “quak-quak”
  • die Henne sagt “gack-gack”
  • der Hahn sagt “kikeriki”

I have several sets of farm animal word posters. Sorry there isn’t one easy document for this story! And even though there isn’t a horse or a duck in this book, I’m including those, too.  You can download them here:

They look like this:

Songs about animals or the farm have been hard to come by. And I couldn’t really think of a song about a mother that would work. These songs in the pre-K class have to be very, very simple! So in the end, I thought of doing a lullaby 🙂 We sang “Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf” and I had the children do simple motions with it:

  • Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf  –  pretend to sleep
  • Dein Vater hütet die Schaf  –  use arms to “gather” the sheep & then pretend to hold a sheep
  • Die Mutter schüttelt das Bäumelein  –  hold arm up like a tree trunk with the hand as the branches and wave the arm & hand, as if the tree is shaking
  • Da fällt herab ein Träumelein  –  hands slowly “rain” down a soft dream (think “Itsy-Bitsy Spider rain!)
  • Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf  –  pretend to sleep again

They really enjoyed it. And – bonus! – it also settled them down a bit 🙂

We ended with our book, Bist du meine Mama? by Christiane Hansen (Oetinger, 2006):

Bist du meine Mama

Then I sent them home with a coloring page: Alles Liebe zum Muttertag (PDF)

Alles Liebe zum Muttertag-page-001

 

So Many Vehicles!

Today in Story Hour, we read and sang about vehicles … cars, buses, trains, excavators, fire trucks, tractors, submarines, ships, hot air balloons, rockets, and even soapbox cars!

After reading our books, singing our songs, and doing a finger play, the children created their own little book based on Kikaninchen: Wer fährt heute mit? Each child had a booklet with each of the days and a place to enter which vehicle was used and who got to go along. They could fill in the information (with help from a caregiver) and then add the appropriate sticker to match. Later on, when Froggy (our 7-year-old) heard about the project, he wanted to do one, too. He was able to write the words himself, with some spelling help. Here are two examples:

To assemble the booklet, you print out the two pages, double-sided, and cut them in half. Then you can staple them together to make the booklet. (You’ll need a long reach stapler to get all the way to the middle of the booklet.) Next, print out the stickers on round labels (1 2/3-inch):

wer-fahrt-heute-mit-stickers-gita-docx-page-001

You can download both documents here in PDF format. Included in the download is a sheet with specific instructions.

The three books we read were:

  • Unser Ausflug. Wir fahren ins Grüne  by Chris Embleton & Louise Martin (Parragon, 2008)
  • So viele Fahrzeuge im Einsatz  by Stefan Seidel (Coppenrath, 2011)
  • Kikaninchen: Wer fährt heute mit?  (arsEdition, 2011)

We also did a fingerplay (Fingerspiel): “Tatütata(click on the link to see a video of the fingerplay)

Tatütata – Wer kommt daher?
Tatütata – die Feuerwehr.
Tatütata – Es brennt ein Haus.
Tatütata – die Schläuche raus.

Wasser marsch!

And we sang two songs:

“Die Räder vom Bus”

Die Räder vom Bus, die rollen dahin, rollen dahin, rollen dahin
Die Räder vom Bus, die rollen dahin
Stundenlang

Die Türen vom Bus gehen auf und zu …

Die Wischer vom Bus machen wisch wisch wisch …

Die Hupe vom Bus macht “tut tut tut” …

Der Fahrer vom Bus sagt: “Fahrkarte, bitte!” …

Die Kinder im Bus machen “Blah blah blah” …

Die Leute im Bus, die schaukeln hin und her …

“Mit der Eisenbahn” (2010, von Ottmar Liedl)

Wir fahren heute Eisenbahn
und schauen uns die Welt mal an
Wir machen einen langen Zug
Platz für alle ist genug

Hallo, Du! Du bist dran!
Hallo, Du! Häng dich dran!
Mach die Türe zu
Der Zug, der fährt jetzt ab

Wir fahren heute Eisenbahn
und schauen uns die Welt mal an
Wir fahren jetzt in eine Stadt,
die den Namen Passau hat

Hallo, Du! Du bist dran!
Hallo, Du! Häng dich dran!
Mach die Türe zu
Der Zug, der fährt jetzt ab

Wir fahren heute Eisenbahn
und schauen uns die Welt mal an
Wir fahren bis zur Endstation
Da ist die schon

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Counting Mice

This week in the Pre-K/Kindergarten class, we are focusing on numbers. The children have already been exposed to a few numbers. When we sing the Hello Song, I always say “eins, zwei” when they clap, or pat their legs, or especially when they stomp their feet, so that they don’t get carried away with the actions. It’s also a nice way to reinforce the first two numbers.

Today, we are adding the next three numbers. We will go over the numbers 1 through 5 using the number cards I made last year:

You can download the PDF file here: 1-5-farm-animals-gita

Then we’ll sing a song from our very first lesson this year. Now that I am going in to teach every week, I really want to bring back the songs and books throughout the year to reinforce the lessons for the children. So we’ll sing “Meine Finger, Meine Finger” from Die 30 Besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder 3. There is no counting in the song, but we will do the different movements five times and count as we do.

I will also do a finger play called Die Mausfamilie. Again, there is no counting, but you use all 5 fingers to represent the family members. I did this finger play in class last year, and the children really enjoyed it.

 

die-mausfamilie-fingerspiel-w-translation-page-001

You can download the PDF here: die-mausfamilie-fingerspiel-w-translation

Finally, we will read the book Mein 1-2-3 Mäuschenbuch by Alexandra Dannenmann.

mein-1-2-3-mauschenbuch

This book is available from both Amazon.de and Amazon.com.

I’ll send the children home with a coloring page with 5 little mice.

zahlen-1-5-mause-gita-page-001

Download the PDF here: zahlen-1-5-mause-gita

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German Date #5: Another Zoo Map

Froggy saw Hoppo’s zoo map and wanted to make one of his own. Only he wanted to start from scratch and use paint! I, of course, told him he could … as long as he did it in German 🙂

We taped together two pieces of heavy painting paper, and then Froggy laid out the animals where he wanted them to be in the zoo. He drew paths, lakes, rivers, and boulders. Then he started painting. He got about half of it finished before he’d had enough. Well, the paints were poured, so together we finished it up. Today, on our German date, he finished it up by putting on the stickers. Then I labeled the animals for him. Of course, I asked him to say the animal names as we did the work.

Here is a look at how it all came together:

2016-05-22 11.01.49

Laying out the animals

2016-05-22 11.10.44

Drawing the zoo elements

2016-05-22 11.34.52

Painting!

2016-05-22 12.09.27

The painting phase is complete

2016-05-23 15.54.28

Time to add the stickers!

2016-05-23 16.11.56

The finished product 🙂

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