Teaching Colors with Elmar dem Elefanten

I’ve had a hard time teaching colors to my pre-K/kindergarten class in the past. I needed a book that had something of a story to hold the children’s interest and more importantly, I needed a color song.

For the book, I am going to try out Elmar mag alle Farben by David McKee (Thienemann-Esslinger, 2015). (If you are familiar with these books in English, you’ll notice that the spelling is different: Elmer with an “e” in English, Elmar with an “a” in German.)

It’s very simple, which I really like. But it isn’t just page after page of Elmar mag rot … Elmar mag blau … und, und, und. It isn’t exactly a story, but each set of pages tells a kind of mini story. For example: “Der Schneemann ist weiß. Sein lila Schal hält ihn warm.” Nice and simple, but still interesting.

Elmar mag alle Farben

Before I get to the book, however, I need to introduce the colors. I made a rainbow out of felt pieces that stack on top of each other. That way, I can introduce each color individually, but I can also stack them up to make my rainbow. Now if only I had remembered to get myself a felt board! I’ll have to improvise a little here 🙂

I still have not found a simple song to teach the colors. So I finally came up with my own! It’s to the tune of “Ten Little Indians” and just repeats the colors:

rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
in dem Regenbogen

Just make sure you sing the word “orange” on two notes (one for each syllable). I’ll keep my felt rainbow out to point to the colors as we sing it. Easy peasy!

I always end with a book and then an activity – usually a coloring sheet. So I made up a very simple checkered Elmar coloring page to include all six colors.

 

Elmar Farben GitA-page-001

Each of the colored crayons points to a box to color in, so that Elmar ends up looking like a checkered rainbow.

You can download the coloring page here: Elmar Farben GitA

Viel Spaß!

Bewegungen – Action Words

For three weeks, I’ve been doing numbers in the Pre-K/Kindergarten class. I was wondering if the repetition was good, or if the children needed a little variation! So I came up with a compromise for today’s lesson. We still included number, but we also added some new vocabulary.

We have been starting each class with our Hallo-Lied and working on ich heiße.

As a quick review, we sang “Meine Finger” again. Just like on the first day, we used klatschen and patschen. I added schnipsen this time, too. And to review numbers, we counted to 5 as we did the actions five times each.

Then I introduced some verbs. We already talked about schlafen with the song “Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo,” but we repeated that one again here. Then we also added gehen, essen, spielen, and steigen (to walk, to eat, to play, to climb).

In addition to the word posters, I created a coloring sheet for the children to take home:

Bewegungen AB GitA-page-002

I chose these words because of the book we read: Mein 1-2-3 Mäuschenbuch by Alexandra Dannenmann. In addition to counting from 1 to 10, each page shows a different action. I decided to select just five of the action words to introduce.

mein-1-2-3-mauschenbuch

Usually, I read the book last. But I wanted to end this class with a fingerplay that the children always love! It’s called Die Mausfamilie. You can read the text and download it on this post from last year.

The action word posters and coloring page are free to download here:

Viel Spaß!

Elmar loves all weather!

Today for our weather unit lesson, Froggy read a book called Elmar mag jedes Wetter. It’s a pretty simple book. But at this stage, simple is good!

elmar-mag-jedes-wetter

At the same time, it wasn’t quite enough to fill out a full lesson. So I created a worksheet to go with it. It, too, is rather simple. Since Elmar likes all weather, the answer to each question is Ja! But I added a bit more to personalize it:

elmar-mag-jedes-wetter-gita

It also sneaks in a little work on how to say that you like something!

You can download the PDF here: Elmar mag jedes Wetter – GitA

 

Alles über mich!

For our first session of Lesestunde (Story Hour), I like to do a topic that is all about “ME!” So we read books and sing songs about the body and feelings. For the end of the session, I prepared a few variations of activities, so the children could also report on themselves.

Download the PDF file here: das-lied-uber-mich

Here are the books we read:

  • Heute bin ich by Mies van Hout (2015)
  • Das bin ich by Heinz Janisch & Birgit Antoni (2014)
  • Von Kopf bis Fuß by Eric Carle (2011)

And here are the songs we sang:

  • “Wenn du glücklich bist”
  • “Meine Finger, Meine Finger” (Die 30 Besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder, Vol. 3)
  • “Kopf und Schulter, Knie und Fuß”
  • “Das Lied über mich” (Volker Rosin)

You can download all the lyrics here: lieder-16-sept-2016 (PDF)

Let’s Go to the Zoo!

Okay, we didn’t really go to the zoo. (Although we’re talking about it, and I have a few ideas for including some German on the trip … so stay tuned for that!)

Today in Story Hour, we talked about zoo animals. We read books:

  • Hör mal im Zoo  by Anne Möller (Carlsen, 2012) – The children really enjoyed hearing the animal sounds!
  • Wo ist Mami?  by Axel Scheffler & Julia Donaldson (Beltz & Gelberg, 2016)
  • Von Kopf bis Fuß  by Eric Carle (Gerstenberg, 2011)
  • 1, 2, 3 ein Zug zum Zoo   by Eric Carle (Gerstenberg, 2015)

We sang songs:

  • “Ich bin ein dicker Tanzbär”
  • “Ein Elefant ging ohnt Hetz”
  • “Unser kleiner Bär im Zoo”

Finally, the children each got to plan out their own zoo! I gave them a blank map and some animal stickers. They placed their animals and then colored the map as they chose.

Click here for the PDF map: Zoo Karte PDF

I just bought some stickers and cut them up, so that each child received the same six animals:

2016-05-19 15.26.33

Here’s my example:

Zoo Karte Kate GitA

Here are some samples of the children’s work from story hour:

2016-05-21 02.22.06Zoo Karte KMR GitA

VARIATION:

You can also do a larger version of this project using a roll of butcher paper (which you can also get at Ikea). It works best with one-on-one, as opposed to in a group. Cut off a long section and secure it to the floor with painter’s tape. Let your child help decide where the different animals live and where the paths should be. Use multiple stickers of the animals. And once your zoo is complete, add small toy animals. Use small figures to walk through the zoo. Have fun and be creative!

Spiders on the Farm

Today, I’ll be teaching a lesson based on Eric Carle’s book, Die kleine Spinne spinnt und schweigt.

First, we will review the five farm animals they learned when we read Klingelingeling:

  • die Katze
  • der Hund,
  • das Schwein
  • die Ente
  • das Pferd

Then I’ll use more images to introduce the other animals (and insect!) in the story:

  • die Kuh
  • das Schaf
  • die Ziege
  • der Hahn
  • die Eule
  • die Spinne

For the images, I found Eric Carle’s images in a bulletin board set on Amazon. (Nope, I don’t get compensation for mentioning this product! 🙂 )

We will also talk about the different sounds the animals make in German.

Next we sing “Die winzig kleine Spinne.” There are several German versions, including one called “Imse Bimse Spinne.” But this is the one that I know:

Die winzig kleine Spinne
kroch auf den Wasserhahn.
Dann kam der Regen
und ward sie aus der Bahn!
Dann kam die Sonne
und trocknet wieder auf.
Und die winzig kleine Spinne
kroch wiederum hinauf!

Finally, I will read the book to the children. I love to be dramatic when reading books to children 🙂  So I exaggerate the animal sounds and read in voices that sound like the various animals.

I always try to bring a craft or a coloring page for the children. This week, I’ll bring a coloring page with the six new animals on one side and the words to the song on the other. Here you can download a copy of the coloring sheet, which includes an extra page with the first five animals as well: Malvorlage kleine Spinne (PDF)

kleine Raupe

We have loved Eric Carle’s book about the hungry caterpillar for years! I wanted to share it with Froggy’s class last week. So I created some picture cards to introduce the words. For this set, I added cards with words and numbers, too.

Included in this set are:

  • image cards
  • images with numbers, 1-5
  • images with words (fruit in both singular and plural)
  • words only

2016-05-10 19.23.12

Print them full-size for wall posters or to have large images to introduce to a class. Or print them 6-to-a-page for flashcards or a memory or matching game.

If you want to use them for Memory, be sure to use a thicker cardstock, so that the images don’t show through 🙂

I’d love to hear how you use the cards!

Click here to download: kleine Raupe Posters  (PDF file)

In addition to the posters, there is also a coloring page with the caterpillar and the five different fruits, labeled with colors and numbers. Download here: kleine Raupe Essen Farben Zahlen Malvorlage (PDF file)

 

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