Interactive German Bingo Board

I have been thinking a lot about my students and how they are coping with home learning. It is such a challenging situation. My own kids are in 1st & 4th grade, so I know what is being asked of my elementary German students. We have good days and bad days. Mostly my kiddos get their class work done, but it’s usually too much to ask them to do the specials work, too.

So I wanted to create something that would add an element of fun to my German lessons. And I wanted to be able to let the students CHOOSE. I had been sending out lessons each week with 3 or 4 options. But that gets overwhelming. So I started thinking about making a bingo board! Then I just happened to see a blog post on how to make a choice board, and I knew this is what I was going to do!

As the instructions told me, I created the board in Google Slides. Then I started adding one slide per activity. I already had many of the activities prepared, so I just had to write them up and create the links. Here is what the main board looks like:

Bingo Board 2020 Complete

I’m sorry I can’t share the actual board. However some of the files are private or copyrighted. But here are a few of the slides:

There are 16 activities in all. I had started with 25, but then I realized we only have a few more weeks of school! So I made it smaller. The activities in order from left to right, starting at the top, are:

  • Learn the song/dance “Fliegerlied”
  • Learn some sports and complete a crossword puzzle or word search
  • Sing “Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken” (read more about this from our class here!)
  • Elefant und Schweinchen: Du hast einen Vogel auf dem Kopf
  • Elefant und Schweinchen: Kommst du raus zum Spielen?
  • Basteln – Lebkuchenherz: Make a paper gingerbread heart (see this post!)
  • Make Pfannkuchen (see this post!)
  • Watch Peppa Wutz (learn to draw Peppa in this post!)
  • Learn a dance from Dance Company Leipzig (you can find them in YouTube!)
  • Make a secret message (here is the video! – Danke, Kathrin!!)
  • Elefant und Schweinchen: Das Buch über uns
  • Watch a Story Listening Fairy Tale (all on my YouTube Channel: German in the Afternoon!)
  • Watch a Story Listening Story (also on my YouTube Channel: German in the Afternoon)
  • Elefant und Schweinchen: Muss ich was abgeben?
  • Make Apfelstrudel (see this post!)
  • Yoga auf Deutsch (see this post!)

I’m so excited for this project! I had such fun putting it together. I hope my students will be inspired. If they don’t get to the activities now, I’m wondering if they might try doing some of them after school is officially over for the year?? We are still homebound in our area, so I imagine kids – and parents – will be looking for things to do!

Weihnachts-Bingo

Looking to practice some Christmas vocabulary? How about a fun game of bingo?! I made up 25 different cards. There is also a key for you to keep track of which items have been called already – just in case your students have other ideas 😉

When we play, I bring a die. Whatever number I roll is the column where they have to find the word. If I roll a 6, then it can be anywhere on the card.

Here is what the cards look like:

You can download the Bingo cards for FREE as a PDF file: Weihnacht Bingo GitA

The words are the same 24 that I used in my Vocabulary Advent Calendars.

If you would like to print out posters of the words, you can download this PDF: Weihnacht Posters GitA. I also print these 6 to a page to use a the cards that I draw for the Bingo words. Here is a sample of what they look like:

Here is a list of the 24 words that are included:

  1. der Adventskalender
  2. der Adventskranz
  3. die Geschenke (plural)
  4. die Glaskugel
  5. der Hampelmann
  6. die Kerze
  7. das Knusperhaus
  8. das Lebkuchenherz
  9. der Lebkuchenmann
  10. der Nikolaus
  11. der Nussknacker
  12. die Plätzchen (plural)
  13. die Pyramide
  14. das Räuchermännchen
  15. der Schlitten
  16. die Schneeflocke
  17. die Stiefel (plural)
  18. der Stollen
  19. die Tasse
  20. der Tannenbaum
  21. die Weihnachtskarte
  22. das Weihnachtslied
  23. der Weihnachtsmarkt
  24. die Zuckerstange

Frohe Weihnachten!

The Waiting Game

Anyone who has traveled anywhere knows that at some point, you will be stuck somewhere waiting … and waiting … and WAITING.

Waiting for the plane to take off. Waiting in the airport when the plane is delayed. Waiting for the car you rented to be returned by another family. Or waiting for the car seats you rented along with your car to be returned by another family. Waiting in a restaurant. Waiting for a train. Waiting in line to get into a museum or other attraction. There are so many opportunities to WAIT when you travel!

When you have kids, waiting can be torture!

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The whining starts. There’s no where to sit. Everyone is tired and CRANKY! So what do you do?!

If you’re lucky, you have some space and can pull activities out of the luggage for the kids to do. You know, like all those activities I talk about in my TRAVEL ACTIVITIES tabs at the top of this page 😉

But if you’re stuck waiting for a rental car in a train station, for example, (like we were one summer in the Frankfurt train station – we waited almost an hour!) – THEN WHAT??

Then you need EASY GAMES TO PLAY THAT NEED NO PROPS! Here are some ideas that have worked like a charm to pass the time:

  • I Spy – You know the drill! Someone picks something that they see, and then everyone takes turns asking questions to try to guess what it is. We usually give a general clue, such as a color: “I spy something yellow.”
  • 20 Questions – Similar to I Spy, but instead of picking something you can see, you pick anything you want. You can ask that the “chooser” define category (animals, famous people, etc.) or give some parameter (“I’m thinking of something red.”). Then everyone takes turns asking yes/no questions until someone guesses the answer.
  • Simon Says – I like this game for giving the kids some activity, but within a controlled manner. This way, the kids can get out some energy (hop on one foot five times!), but they are not running all over the place.
  • The Alphabet Game – This is my personal favorite. You need to be in a place that has a number of signs – the more signs, the easier the game. You start with the letter A and try to find a word that has an A in it. Then move on to B, etc. We always take turns. We played it in the Frankfurt train station that time we waited for an hour for our rental car, and I added the rule that they had to say the word that had the letter in it. This way, they were saying German words, too 😉  (Hippo was too little to read, so we helped him out.)
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors – This one doesn’t take much time, but it can be fun to play!
  • Make up a story – One person could tell a story. Or tell a chain story, where one person starts, then the next person picks up the thread, and so on.
  • Take pictures – I prefer not to turn to technology in these situations. But another idea is to let the kids take some pictures with your phone. You could even give them some specific instructions: Take a close-up of a family member’s eye! Find a red triangle! Get creative!

One thing that I really like about these games is that they get everyone involved. If you just hand your kid your phone, then there is no interaction. We have turned some awful waiting situations (did I mention that Frankfurt train station incident?!) into a really fun time! Not only did the wait seem shorter, but we laughed an awful lot!

Halloween Bingo auf Deutsch – The Rules

I recently posted my Halloween Bingo game to play in German. Actually, you could use the Bingo Cards in any language as long as you know the words for all of the images!

But I forgot to explain how we were going to play it! So here are THE RULES:

Before we began, I used the word posters to review the vocab.

Then I used the little cards to “draw” the image. I also rolled a die to see in which column (Spalte) they had to look for the image. Obviously there are only 5 columns. So if I rolled a 6, they could cover the images anywhere on the board. (The boards have each image two times – 12 images for 24 squares.)

Halloween Bingo GitA-page-002

My 3rd & 4th grades had a blast playing!

I also had non-candy prizes for them. I had found some German pencils at Teacher’s Discovery. They say “Mach Fehler. So lernst du.” I thought that was a fun phrase! You can get them here (12 for $3.95).

Halloween Bingo

Last year I made up some Halloween Bingo cards, but I forgot to post them! I never actually had a chance to use them, either. Maybe this year?!

Halloween Bingo GitA-page-002

There is a whole set of materials:

  • Bingo Cards (set of 12) – Download PDF for FREE here: Halloween Bingo GitA
  • Word posters for introducing the 12 vocabulary words – Download PDF for FREE here: Halloween Wortschatz Posters GitA
  • 3 sets of small cards with the 12 vocab words: pictures with words, just words, just pictures. These could also be used for other games, such as Memory or Go Fish. Download PDF for FREE here: Memory Cards GitA

Here is a sample of some of the word posters:

And here is what the small cards with words look like:

Now the only thing I have left to do is figure out what I’m using for Bingo chips! It would be fun to have something Halloween related. I’m just not sure what that would be….

Viel Spaß!

Story Listening: Goldlöckchen

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This week’s story was Goldilocks. Even though it is a story that is familiar to the children, it still works great for Story Listening. There is something comfortable about knowing the story and being able to predict what is coming next.

1st & 2nd Grade:

We sang a new song in class: the German version of “Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes.” In German, you sing “foot” instead of “toes.” It goes like this:

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

(That funny letter in “Fuß” is called an Eszett and is basically a double “s.”)

Sometimes it is hard to sing a song that you already know in another language! So we’ll keep working on it 🙂

3rd & 4th Grade:

We have been working on colors the past two weeks. So we added some new ones: schwarz, weiß, braun, grau, & rosa (black, white, brown, gray, & pink).

Although I shouldn’t really say “working,” because mostly we are having fun with these words! The children love to play games, so we played a round of “Ich habe …, Wer hat…?” (I have, Who has?). (I got the game here.)

And we played their favorite game: Ja oder Nein. I hold up a color and ask if they like it (in German, of course). If the answer is yes, they say, “Ja!” and move to one side of the room. If the answer is no, they say, “No!” and move to the other side of the room. We have had to add in der Mitte (in the middle) for those who can’t quite make up their minds 🙂

Goldilocks is available on The Great Story Reading Project 🙂

Story Listening: Eine Reise

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This week’s story was taken from an easy ready called Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel. You may also know him from his Frog and Toad stories. I really enjoy his humor 🙂 Alas, humor does not always translate well, and the kids didn’t quite get the punchline. But it was still a good story.

The story is called “A Journey.” It is about a mouse who wants to visit his mother (I changed it to grandmother). Along the way, he encounters all kinds of challenges, but there is always someone on the side of the road selling something – roller skates, boots, sneakers – to help him on his way. When at last he can’t go one more step, there is a person at the side of the road selling … feet! He buys them and puts them on and makes it all the way to dear grandmother’s house!

So telling a joke in a foreign language can be tricky! Even after I explained it in English, the kids didn’t seem to quite understand. Because, really, you can’t just take off your feet and put on new ones!

Nevertheless, the story had some rich vocabulary, and we had fun with it.

I’m using the same story in grades 1 – 4, since they are all beginners. Somehow, each lessons is always a little different….

Grades 1 & 2:

I started the lessons with a little TPR to get the “wiggles” out. It’s kind of like Simon Says. This week, we did a series about washing hands and then sang the song “Hände waschen”. (You can listen to the song in this YouTube clip.)

I also used a counting rhyme – like eeny meeny miney mo – to invite the children to the rug for our story. It just happens to correspond with the story, because it talks about taking off and putting on shoes!

Eine kleine Mickymaus
zog sich mal die Schuhe aus,
zog sie wieder an,
und du bist dran!

Grade 3:

We had a little scheduling confusion, so the lesson was shorter today. We only got to sing our hello song and hear the story. But that is the most important part of the lesson anyway! We’ll play games again next week 🙂

Grade 4:

Because of the scheduling confusion, the 4s actually had a longer lesson. Since they had decided to pick new German names, I handed out name tags for each of them, and we did a little Q&A about who was who.

We also played a game based on the food from the Hungry Caterpillar lesson. It was a simple game of “I have, who has”. I made up the cards to have everything they needed to say in German. We played two rounds of it, and they improved so quickly! Here is a sample of the cards:

You can download the PDF of the card game here: kleine Raupe Ich habe Wer hat – GitA

They wanted to play our yes or no game again, so we played that, too. I just held up a card an asked who like each food. If they liked it, they said “ja” and went to one side of the room. If they didn’t like it, they said “nein” and went to the other side of the room.

Das Wetter – The Weather

We’re doing a little review today in pre-K/kindergarten. It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of the year! The children have learned so much! And I’m so inspired to do even more with them next year!!

One of the things we will review today is the weather. We’ll look out the window to see what the weather is like and what we see: die Sonne, der Wind, die Wolke. It’s a beautiful day today 🙂

And we’ll read Elmar mag jedes Wetter again.

elmar-mag-jedes-wetter

I prepared a coloring page for them as well. There are two versions. In the first version, the children can trace the weather words under the pictures. In the second version, I’ve given them a bit of a challenge. There is a word bank (Wortschatz), and they will have to choose the appropriate word to write under the image. I have plenty of each, so the children can choose what they would like to do.

You can download the PDF version here for FREE: Wetter Malvorlage GitA

Check out these other weather materials to go along with Elmar! And for other weather work, just click on the “weather” tag at the right!

Olympische Winterspiele – Activities

I haven’t had time to come up with any of my own activities for the Winter Olympics. But I’ve found some nice worksheets and reading cards on other sites that I thought I’d share.

I really like the materials over on Lehrmittelperlen (you must subscribe to obtain access to their materials – about $20 per year).

Other reading cards about the various sports can be found at Fächerübergreifend leicht gemacht.

KinderSuppe has a variety of materials and activities (search “Olympische Winterspiele”). You have to subscribe to obtain access to most of their materials, however they do offer some things for free:

  • Olympic Rings: Print out the page to color the Olympic rings. They suggest using paint and cotton swabs to color them in! There are two versions: one with a colored dot to indicate the ring colors; one with the color word spelled in the ring.
  • Summer or Winter? This activity has children sorting cards of various sports into summer and winter sport.

What are you doing to learn about the Winter Olympics in German?

Goldilocks and … Two Firsts for Me!

For the very first time, I taught in Froggy’s 1st & 2nd grade class! And for the very first time, I used a method of language teaching called Story Listening (SL). You can read all about the method at the Stories First website. It was a total success! I’m so thrilled!

I had the children for a whole hour!

As I entered the group, I said, “Guten Morgen,” and repeated it. To my delight, the children chimed right in! Then we went right into “Ich heiße…” Again, they were ready to repeat! We practiced the “ch” sound. Then we started again. The only thing was, they repeated my whole sentence, including my name 🙂  So we straightened that out, and I went around the room, asking each child’s name. I started with the 4 children who had been in my German class in Pre-K/Kindergarten. I figured they would be more comfortable with saying the phrase, and they could also be a good model for the other children.

Next, I talked to the children about magic. Yup. Magic. To me, speaking a foreign language is a lot like making magic! It’s like cracking a code. Or knowing a secret – the good kind of secret 🙂  And just look! All of the children had already worked some magic! I never told them what Guten Morgen or Ich heiße meant. But of course, they knew. Then I told them I was going to teach them some more magic a little later….

Then I taught them the hello song. I used my word posters to teach them the actions: klatschen, stampfen, patschen. And we counted to 2. We talked about doing the actions quietly, so the classroom below us didn’t think there’s a herd of elephants – or a thunderstorm – upstairs! And then I asked them if I was showing them the right word, so they could practice ja and nein. Finally, it was time to sing the song!

Next it was time for the children to be magicians! Because I was going to tell them a story.

A whole story, all in German!

I asked them to listen with their ears and watch with their eyes, and just relax and take it all in.

Of course, we needed our magic words to start the story: Es war einmal…

I had practiced telling a simplified story of Goldlöckchen (Goldilocks). As you tell the story, you draw pictures on the board and write the word in German (L2) underneath it. You can use other tools from the SL toolkit (on their website), too, like gestures and antonyms to help with comprehension. The children were right with me, the whole time! Here’s what the board looked like when I was finished:

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Of course, by the time I had finished, the kids were a little restless. Time for some movement! So we played a game of Simon sagt! (Simon Says). We used the verbs from the hello song (klatschen, stampfen, patschen) plus the verbs from our story: essen, spazieren gehen, rennen, einschlafen, aufwachen. It was a big hit!

Then I had handouts for the children to do. I had come up with 5 ideas, and the teachers liked them all, so we made up packets for them to do. The first and second-graders got different ones, based on difficulty.

You can download the handouts here: Goldlöckchen Arbeitsblätter GitA

The Stories First website also has a collection of stories for various languages and levels in the Great Story Reading Project. You do have to register to gain access.