Schneemann Lesen & Malen / Snowman Read & Color

Our winter break has ended, however we are taking a week of remote learning before heading back into the building. And so I wanted to give my students some activities to get German fresh again without having to use screen time. They are getting enough virtual meetings and online assignments already.

Since my 5th & 6th graders really like to color, I created a snowman read & color activity. To help them along, I added a second page of vocabulary.

To make sure I had set it up correctly, I had Hippo try the activity for his at-home German lesson yesterday. It went very well!

Download the PDF for FREE here:

Viel Spaß!

Nussknacker / Nutcracker 2020 – Part 5

Pre-k / Kindergarten Nutcracker Art Project

A few cracking-good facts:

This week is all about nutcrackers! I began today by telling my youngest students a little about nutcrackers. I also brought in a small nutcracker to show them. Of course, many of the children were excited to see something that they, too, had in their homes!

  • Nutcrackers have been around for 600 years.
  • Nutcrackers are traditionally made of wood in Germany.
  • Nutcrackers represent luck, strength, and protection.
  • German author E.T.A. Hoffmann wrote a fairy tale about a nutcracker that comes to life in 1816.
  • Russian composer Tchaikovsky based his famous ballet on Hoffmann’s story.

(You can read these and other facts in the various “Steckbriefe” I created for my elementary & middle school students in this post.)

Crack open a story book!

Then I read the children a short story book of The Nutcracker. I was excited to see that it was attributed to Hoffmann, as that is the version I want to focus on. I am, after all, teaching German! However, I was surprised to find that this version calls the little girl Clara. In Hoffmann’s story, the girl is named Marie, while her beloved doll is named Clara. So as I read the book, I called her Marie. I added some details from the story as I read, too.

Let’s get crafting!

For my youngest students, we actually did not do a craft. Instead, I prepared a Nutcracker coloring project for them. I got the idea from another site, but of course I wanted to make it German! So I started drawing the outline of a nutcracker. It helped when I realized I could fold my paper in half and trace the right side of it, so that it turned out symmetrical! Then I scanned it and started adding shapes. Here’s how it turned out:

I have to say, I’m really quite pleased with how it turned out! You can download the PDF for free here:

The children enjoyed the project!

Stay tuned for projects from the 1st & 2nd graders, 3rd & 4th graders, and 5th & 6th graders!

Nikolaus – in 1st & 2nd Grade

In the afternoon on December 1st, I did a lesson with my 1st & 2nd graders on Nikolaus. Of course I told them a story first. I like to tell the story of how Nikolaus helped a poor family with three daughters.

For this class, I follow a format that I use from the beginning of the school year. On the first day, I told them the story Danke, Bär! (Thank You, Bear). So when I tell other stories in this first part of the year, I like to return to a similar format when I can. This story (as well as the Martin Legend) lends itself well to it, because a similar event happens three times. And at the end, the man and his daughters cry, “Danke, Nikolaus!” (Okay, that’s stretching it a little, as Nikolaus liked to work anonymously! But for the purpose of comprehension, I still like to use it!)

We skipped our drawing lesson for the day. Instead we went straight to our craft! For, as Nikolaus knows that the children of our school are learning German, he usually makes a special stop to drop off a little treat to each student. But he needs a place to put them! And as the kids can’t leave their boots in school, we make our own.

With these younger children, I still do the boot-lacing craft (see this post for instructions & free template). But we jazz it up a little! This year, they got white boots and sparkly red yarn. As I had recently told the story Puss in Boots, I asked them to decorate their boots to be as magnificent as the ones the shoemaker made in that story. And at the end, they got to glue cotton balls to the top for a little added warmth.

As we are not singing in the building right now, I played some Nikolaus songs while they worked. They couldn’t help themselves from singing along: “Lustig, lustig, Tra la la la la! Bald ist Nikolausabend da! Bald ist Nikolausabend da!” I have to admit, it warmed my heart!

Their wonderful teachers also put up a fireplace bulletin board where the children could hang their boots. It sure looks colorful and cozy!

I gave out a coloring page with words to the most common Nikolaus song for children who finished early or to take home to color. (You can download that from this post.)

Nikolaus Lied / Song

Normally, I would teach the children the song “Lasst uns froh und munter sein” when we celebrate Nikolaus. (Check out this post to see how I teach it and get the free materials to go along with it!) However, as we are not singing in the classrooms right now, I just played the song for them as they work on crafting their boots.

However, I did send them home with a coloring page that also has the words to the song!

You can download the coloring page for free here:

Zahlen / Numbers

We practice counting right from the start in Pre-K/Kindergarten classes! I thought I would collect a number of resources that I hand out at the beginning of the year.

Here is a video I made for counting to 12. In the video, I count farm animals. However, we don’t start learning those words until the spring. So you might want to watch for just about 1 minute 20 seconds 🙂

I have a variety of coloring pages, including some color-by-number, and even tracing pages for early readers. Scroll through to see the selection! The PDF download links are below each image.

Counting fish, numbers 1-5:

And here are 5 mice that go nicely with the finger play, Die Mausfamilie (The Mouse Family).

Or there are 10 mice!

Fall Color-by-number:

Tracing Number Words:

That’s all for now! Check back for updates throughout the year!

Fünf kleine Fische / Five Little Fish

In the fall, I love to read the books about Kleiner weißer Fisch (Little White Fish) by Guido van Genechten. They are sweet books that are perfect for early language learners. There is a whole series of the books, so we read 5 of them this year in Pre-k/Kindergarten.

To go along with the books, we also sing the song “Fünf kleine Fische”. The kids love it! They especially love the “blub blub blub” part. I have little hand motions that we do with the song, so the kids can play along, even before they have learned the words. Here is a video of how I sing the song with them:

Of course, we practice counting to 5 before we start singing! We count forward and backward, since the song starts with 5 fish and counts down to 1.

To go along with the song, I have a coloring page that also includes the lyrics to the song with an English translation:

You can download that PDF for FREE here:

I also have a simple coloring page of five fish. This coloring sheet includes the words to the song as well.

You can download the PDF for FREE here:

Finally, if you are musically inclined and would like the sheet music for the song, you can find it here from Sing Kinderlieder (PDF).

Viel Spaß beim Singen!

Alles über den Igel, Teil 2 (All about the Hedgehog, Part 2)

I have been working hard to create the rest of the pages for our unit on hedgehogs in 1st & 2nd grade. And I think they are finally finished!

I made two different cover pages. I think I will use the simple one and give instructions in German on which colors to color each element:

  • Die Stacheln des Igels sind dunkelbraun.
  • Das Körper und das Gesicht des Igels sind hellbraun.
  • Die Eule ist grau.
  • Der Pilz ist lila.
  • Das Blatt oben ist rot.
  • Das Blatt in der Mitte ist orange.
  • Das Blatt unten ist gelb.

We will do the cover page on the last day of the unit. There are three other pages (Habitat, Feinde, Essen). We will do one page per week.

The entire hedgehog unit will take us 6 weeks to complete. (We’ve already labeled the body parts and talked about where in the world hedgehogs live.)

Each week I also show the children an adorable picture of Mr. Herbee, the Hedgehog. Do you know him? He’s an Instagram sensation! He is the second hedgehog pet of a woman in Wiesbaden. The kids just love seeing his happy little face every week!

Download the PDF file of these worksheets here:

Answer sheets are included in the PDF file!

(Note that the program I used to make the worksheets creates for A4 paper. Just make sure you tell your printer to fit to letter size, if you are printing in the US!)

Bauernhoftierpuppen – Farm Animal Puppets

As I was preparing this week’s lesson on farm animals, I came up with the idea of having the children make puppets with the farm animals. It’s simple enough! Download the PDF, color and label the animals. Then cut them out and glue them to craft sticks!

Download the PDF here: Bauernhoftierepuppen GitA

Let me know how they turn out!

Bauernhoftierepuppen-page-001

 

Was für Wetter haben wir heute?

For this week’s remote lesson for my preschoolers & kindergartners, I wanted to review the weather. We had been working on it for several weeks before school closed. After our Hello song, we would review the words and record the weather in our chart.

Today I made a video to review the words:

You can download the weather vocabulary posters I use in the video here: Wetter Wortschatz Posters GitA

I created a weekly chart for recording the weather. It looks like this:

Wetterbericht Woche PKK 2020 GitA-page-001

I also made a page of cards in color or black & white. They can be used as a whole sheet to review the words. Or they can be cut up into flashcards. If you print two sets, you can use them to play Memo!

All three of these pages are included in this Wetterbericht (weather report) PDF: Wetterbericht Woche GitA

When I first talk to my young students about the weather, I ask them: “Was für Wetter haben wir heute?” (What kind of weather do we have today?) This question prompts them to answer with the noun form: Sonne – Wind – Regen (sun, wind, rain, etc.). It keeps things simple at first.

Later we can get into the question: “Wie ist das Wetter heute?” (How is the weather today?). Those answers can vary: “Die Sonne scheint.” – “Es ist winding.” – “Es regnet.” (The sun is shining. – It is windy. – It’s raining.)

If you want to practice writing some of the words, I made some worksheets a couple of years ago that work nicely with these materials. Click on over to this post about weather to find those!

Farbenlied – Color Song

Since I started teaching German to children, I have been looking for an easy color song. So far I haven’t found one that is just right. So I’ve been using my own.

It’s very simple – to the tune of Ten Little Indians. It goes like this:

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). It’s a simple song, but we make it lots of fun by starting slowing and then going schneller!!! (faster) I always have to remind the kids to stay with me, and I tap the colors to the beat as we sing them. It can quickly get out of hand! But the kids love it 🙂

I made this video for my young students while we sare having to do remote learning, so you can sing along:

 

In the video, I show some word posters to refresh the vocabulary.

Regenbogen-page-001

I also made the comparative posters – schneller & langsamer – since we always say “schneller!!” at the end of the song before we sing it again. Here are the PDF files:

I’ll also send along a coloring sheet for the children. I made one in color and one in black & white, since I don’t know what kind of printer they’ll have.

Here is the PDF for the coloring page: Farbenlied Malvorlage GitA