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

 

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)