Nikolaus Story Listening Video

I am not going to be able to teach my next lesson on Nikolaus to the 3rd & 4th graders. The classroom teachers kindly agreed to work on it with the students while I’m away. They will review the Nikolaus legend I told them in the last lesson, but I needed a way for the kids to hear the German story. So my terrific tech-savvy husband helped me figure out a way to do just that!

I used a program called Explain Everything and was able to use a tablet to draw and record the story as a video that could be uploaded! Here it is….

 

After they watch the video, students have two options:

  1. Draw a picture of their favorite scene and find a sentence in the text to use as a caption.
  2. Illustrate a booklet of the story (can also be done in partner work).

A variation for the second option would be to print out individual pages from the booklet and have each student illustrate one page to make a collaborative book.

You can download the text and illustration page as a PDF here: Nikolaus und die drei Töchter Text.  Download the booklet as a PDF here: Nikolaus booklet.

I hope to create more animated drawings like this for my students to use as review. Stay tuned!

Story Listening: Nikolaus und die drei Töchter

Last year I prepared a legend about Nikolaus to teach in 1st & 2nd grade. I used the same story this year to teach in grades 1-4. It still worked great, even though some of the children had heard the story last year. Nothing like repetition!

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You can read the legend and download the text from this post.

Last year I had some worksheets for the children, but we did not use them this year. They really are not necessary with Story Listening, and we did not have time.

After the story, the 1st & 2nd graders made lacing boots, like the ones we made in pre-k/kindergarten. Theirs were red with white yard, and they glued white cotton balls to the top to decorate them a bit more. The 3rd & 4th graders colored small pictures of Nikolaus and glued them to little brown take-out boxes. (see this post)

Getting Ready for Nikolaus

Tonight is the night to clean your boots and put one out for Nikolaus! So the children were busy in school yesterday, making crafts to get ready for him!

As usual, the pre-k/kindergarten classes laced paper boots. This year, we made them in black. And they decorated them first with white crayons. Here is the post with the tutorial and template to download. And here is what a few of them looked like:

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I figured that the 3rd & 4th graders might not be too excited about a lacing activity 😉  And we only had 5-10 minutes for a craft. So I printed out some drawings of Nikolaus on cardstock and cut them out ahead of time. Then I found cute little take-out boxes at the craft store. After I told the story of Nikolaus und die drei Töchter, the children went to their desks to color the little Nikolaus figures. Then they got out the glue sticks to glue them on to the boxes. We’ll see if Nikolaus leaves something in them tonight?!

I can’t provide the template, because it is a copyrighted clipart image. I got this one as part of a clipart package that is actually about Sinterklaas 😉  But you can do a quick Google image search to find one of your own.

Lasst uns froh und munter sein!

Last week I was teaching the Nikolaus song “Lasst uns froh und munter sein!” in the pre-k/kindergarten class. It is a surprisingly difficult song to sing. The last two lines are easier, so I start there. But the first two lines are more complicated.

Since we’ll be singing the song again this week – and in 1st – 4th grade – I decided to make some posters for it. Most of the little ones are not readers yet, so I’m not sure how much it will help. But maybe!

Here is what they look like:

You can download the PDF file fore FREE here: Last uns froh und munter sein – GitA

I have tried to make up little motions to go with the song, but it never really works.

How do you introduce and teach this song??

Sinterklaas or Nikolaus?

In our family, we celebrate both Sinterklaas and Nikolaus. But what’s the difference? Well, I did not grow up with either one, so I’ve been learning about them both since my kids were born 🙂  Here’s what I understand….

Sinterklaas is Dutch. He lives in Spain with his many helpers, the zwarte pieten. They help him with all the preparations, and each one has a specific job. They do not make the toys, as Santa’s elves do. I understand that there has been controversy over the “black Petes” because they wear blackface when they dress up. One solution has been to change it to colored Petes, so now they have vibrant faces in all colors.

In mid-November, Sinterklaas travels by boat with many Petes to the Netherlands. You can always see his arrival on the news that night! He docks in a different port each year. He visits children in the schools. And any time after he arrives, children may put out a shoe (just one! you don’t want to look greedy!) and some carrots for his horse. In the morning they will find it filled with treats.

Some time on December 5th, the presents arrive. The Petes help with the deliveries, and often they have a lot of fun being sneaky with their deliveries. And of course, they are never seen! Perhaps a doorbell rings, and when the children open the door, there are the presents! Or if you live in an apartment building, maybe they will be left on a deck! This is the day when children get their presents, as there is not delivery on the 25th.

In our house, the Petes always prepare a scavenger hunt for the kids to find their gift. This year, they were super sneaky! They even used my wrapping paper to wrap one of the gifts! And since they know we get a visit from Santa, too, they only bring something small – usually an ornament.

Here are some toys of Sinterklaas that we have:

On the left is a Pakjesboot with Sinterklaas in it. On the right is the Playmobil toy. You can see that the boat is a steam boat. And Sinterklaas rides a white horse. Can you see the zwarte piet in the back of the boat on the left?

Now if you buy a Playmobil Nikolaus toy, you will get the same figure on a horse! But no boat. So I guess they do look alike!

As far as I know, there isn’t quite as much to the German story of Nikolaus. On the evening of the 5th, children clean their boots and put one out. When they wake up in the morning, there are treats (nuts, mandarines, chocolates) and maybe a small present.

Some families tell of how Nikolaus travels with Knecht Ruprecht, who is responsible for the naughty children. He might leave a switch or lumps of coal in their shoes instead of sweets. In other traditions, they are accompanied by Krampus, a horned, goat-like creature who terrorizes the naughty children or might carry them away in his sack. (They are not, however, to be confused with the Dutch zwarte piet. The Petes are friendly and mischievous.) We don’t talk about Ruprecht or Krampus in our house 🙂

In our house Sinterklaas and Nikolaus must communicate in some way. Because one of them brings an ornament and the other brings holiday pajamas. But you never know who will bring which one! Sinterklaas usually brings a little toy (like a small box of Legos) and some Dutch treats, like stroopwafel and peppernote. Nikolaus just brings sweets – like lollipops (since Froggy isn’t too fond of chocolate) – and the ornament or pajamas.

How do you celebrate Sinterklaas or Nikolaus??

Nikolaus und die drei Töchter (eine Legende)

Today I was finally back in 1st & 2nd grade. We’re a few days late for Nikolaus, but that’s okay. I started the lesson off with a story, of course! This time, it was the story of Nikolaus and the three daughters and how he helped them by throwing sacks of gold through their window, so that they could be married. Here is the story I told:

Nikolaus und die drei Töchter: eine Legende

Vor langer, langer Zeit lebte ein lieber Mann. Der Mann hieß* Nikolaus. Er hatte ein großes Haus. Er hatte viele schöne Sachen. Er hatte viel Geld. Er war ein reicher Mann.

Aber Nikolaus war traurig. Er war allein. Er hatte keine Familie. Er war nicht glücklich. Sein Geld machte ihn nicht glücklich.

In seiner Stadt wohnte ein anderer Mann. Dieser Mann hatte drei Töchter. Der Mann hatte keine Arbeit. Und er hatte kein Geld. Er war arm. Weil er kein Geld hatte, konnten seine drei Töchter nicht heiraten.

Nikolaus wusste von diesem Problem. Er wollte helfen.

In der Nacht warf Nikolaus einen kleinen Sack durch das Fenster. Am nächsten Morgen fand eine Tochter den kleinen Sack in ihrem Schuh. Der Sack war voller Gold! Jetzt konnte die erste Tochter heiraten!

Am nächsten Morgen fand die zweite Tochter einen kleinen Sack voller Gold. Jetzt konnte die zweite Tochter auch heiraten!

Am nächsten Morgen fand die dritte Tochter einen kleinen Sack voller Gold. Jetzt konnte die dritte Tochter auch heiraten!

Nikolaus hat die Familie geholfen*! Und er wollte andere Leute auch helfen. Endlich war Nikolaus glücklich!

Ende.

You can download a PDF of the story here: Nikolauslegende printable – GitA (I pieced together and simplified the story using some online sources. You can find them listed in the PDF printable.)

We did a few different activities after I told the story. I made up some worksheets to go with some of the vocabulary from the story. I decided to focus on the opposites: glücklich – traurig, Nacht – Tag, groß – klein, reich – arm.

You can download the PDFs here: Nikolaus Opposites Arbeitsblatt – GitA 2017

I also taught them the traditional Nikolaus song: “Lasst uns froh und munter sein”.  Do you know it? Here is the first verse:

Lasst uns froh und munter sein
Und uns recht vom Herzen freuen
Lustig, lustig, tra la la la la
Bald ist Nikolausabend da
Bald ist Nikolausabend da!

I gave out my coloring page with a picture of Nikolaus and the first verse to the children to color. You can find it in this post.

I decided to give them the riddle, Das Haus vom Nikolaus, as well, where you have to draw the house in 8 lines without lifting  your pencil! You can find the download in this post.

Our main activity was a boot-lacing craft. First the children decorated the boot with silver crayons. I brought them in special 🙂  Then they laced the black construction-paper boots with red yarn and glued red pom-poms at the top for fur.

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All the instructions along with the boot template can be found in this post.

We actually did the boot-lacing project first. Then I gave them hand-outs to work on after they finished their boots.

Das ist das Haus vom Nikolaus

Nikolaus Day has come and gone. It’s a VERY busy time of year in our house – Sinterklaas arrives on the 5th, Nikolaus on the 6th, and we have a birthday on the 7th. Lots going on! So I’m a little late with this post. But perhaps you can tuck it away for next year. Or what the heck – it’s still the holidays! Go ahead and play this little game any time in December!

Do you know the riddle of the house from Nikolaus? It’s technically a math problem. You have to draw his house in 8 strokes without lifting your pencil. And that makes one stroke for each syllable: Das ist das Haus vom Ni – ko – laus! Is it challenging? Perhaps. But there are actually 44 different ways to solve the puzzle!

Das Haus vom Nikolaus GitA-page-001

I made up this little worksheet for my 1st & 2nd graders to try it out. There is the example of the house at the top. Then there are the dots to connect at the bottom. It’s fun to try out different paths!

You can download the document here: Das Haus vom Nikolaus – GitA

Want to see all 44 ways to draw the house? Check out the cool GIF file from Wikimedia below…

I’ll be teaching a lesson on Nikolaus tomorrow. I’m telling the class one of the legends about Nikolaus in German. Then we’ll do a lacing boot activity. Check out my post from last year for instructions on the boots!

Viel Spaß!