Vehicles

I can’t believe the school year is almost over! And I can’t believe I haven’t done a vehicles topic for the children yet! So I grabbed one of my favorite books for inspiration: Kikaninchen’s Wer fährt heute mit (arsEdition, 2011). It doesn’t necessarily have the most common of vehicles (a submarine and a soap box car?!), but it’s a cute little story. It also includes days of the week and animals.

I began the lesson by introducing the vocabulary to the children. I couldn’t find a picture of a soap box car, so we skipped that one for now! And since I planned on singing “Die Räder vom Bus” we had to include a bus. I like to keep the new words to only 5 or 6. But I created word posters for 9 vehicles:

  • das Auto
  • der Bus
  • der Heißluftballon
  • die Rakete
  • das Schiff
  • der Traktor
  • das U-Boot
  • der Zug

You can download the PDF file here: Fahrzeuge Posters GitA

Then we sang “Die Räder vom Bus” (Wheels on the Bus). There is more than one version of this song. But here is one that I have:

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...
Die Leute im Bus schaukeln hin und her...

Finally, we read our book:kika-wer-fahrt-heute-mit

And of course, I send the children home with a coloring page.

Fahrzeuge Malvorlage GitA-page-001

Download it here: Fahrzeuge Malvorlage GitA

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

 

Nikolaus – Free Coloring Page

As we prepare for a visit from Nikolaus, we will be making our lacing boots today in Story Hour. (If you missed that post, you can find it here.)

If you’re looking for something quick and easy, I also made up a coloring page with Nikolaus along with the words to the first verse of “Lasst uns froh und munter sein”.

nikolaus-malvorlage-gita-2015-jpg

You can download the PDF here: Nikolaus Malvorlage GitA

We are expecting some little ones in Story Hour today, so while the older children are lacing and decorating their boots, I thought our young friends could have this picture to color.

Head, Shoulder, Knees, and … Feet!

Today at school, we brought back a favorite lesson from last year: Body Parts! The children loved singing the German version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” – which says Fuß instead of toes 🙂

We started off with the 8 body parts in the song:

  • der Kopf
  • die Schulter
  • das Knie
  • der Fuß
  • die Augen
  • die Ohren
  • die Nase
  • der Mund

Then we got to sing the song! In case you need the German words to the song, it goes like this:

Kopf und Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß.
Kopf und Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß.
Augen, Ohren, Nase, und Mund.
Kopf und Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß.

We also did the Fingerspiel about the mouse family. (You can find it in my last teaching post: about Counting Mice.) And we read Eric Carle’s Von Kopf bis Fuß (Gerstenberg, 2011).

von-kopf-bis-fus

Finally, the children got to do a coloring page I created with all those body parts they learned at the beginning of the lesson:

kopf-schulter-knie-fus-malvorlage-gita

Download the coloring page in PDF here: Kopf Schulter Knie Fuß Malvorlage GitA

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

Der gute Martin

Next week marks the celebration of St. Martin’s Day. I have to admit, while I lived in Germany, I never actually witnessed the children walking through the streets with their homemade lanterns on November 11th. I didn’t know about the special day until I was teaching in the States at a German Saturday School. It’s such a sweet celebration, though! Now I love to share it with the children at Story Hour and in Preschool.

To go along with the celebration, I have created a very simple lantern for the children to make. You can print it out, let them color the paper if they like, and then cut along the dotted lines and assemble it. You can download the template and instructions in PDF format here: martinstag-laterne

2016-11-04-11-10-34

A finished lantern from Story Hour

The songs that go with Martinstag are also very important. We always sing two of the most popular ones at Story Hour: “Laterne, Laterne” and “Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne.” When I teach Preschool, I often just do the first two lines of “Laterne, Laterne,” since it is easy to learn and helps the children learn some of the more important vocabulary words: Laterne, Sonne, Mond, and Sterne. To teach the songs, I made up some vocabulary posters of these four words, a coloring page, and a sheet with the lyrics. You can download all of them in PDF format here:

 

Here’s an idea of what they look like:

When I teach Martinstag at Story Hour, I include several books. I have a few about Martinstag itself. This year, we’ll be reading Laterne, Laterne, da oben leuchten die Sterne by Dagmar Geisler and Rosemarie Künzler-Behncke (Ravensburger, 2009). I also like to read the fairy tale “Sterntaler” about the little girl who gives away all her earthly possessions to others in need and is rewarded in the end with a shower of coins that fall from the stars to last her the rest of her life. (I actually made my own book of this fairy tale, so I don’t have one to recommend here.) This year, I’m adding a beautiful new book (well, new to me!) called Der rote Faden by Anne-Gaëlle Balpe and illustrated by Eve Tharlet (Minedition, 2014). In this story, little Oli finds a red thread and by passing it on, he learns how little it takes to help others.

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Halloween & die kleine Hexe

When I teach German at preschool around Halloween, I like to do a lesson on colors to go with the song, “Ich bin die kleine Hexe”. First we review a few colors. Then we sing the song to practice the colors. At this point in the year, we’re starting with the basics: just the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue.

I created a full-sized poster of a pair of shoes and printed them on red, yellow, and blue paper to use as a cue when we sing the song.

schuhe-kleine-hexe-gita-page-001

There is also a coloring page with three sets of shoes, one for each color. The lyrics are on the sheet as well, so the children can bring them home with them. I often hear from parents about how the children sing the songs I teach them, but they don’t know the songs! So I hope this helps them out.

schuhe-malvorlage-gita-page-001

You can download them each here as PDF:

You can also find the sheet music here at Labbe.

Happy Halloween!