Klingelingeling! Jingle Bells

While we may not be singing in the classrooms right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t have music! I usually teach the children the song “Kling, Glöckchen, Klingelingeling” at this time of year. In the past few years, I have made little bells at home to give to the children, so they can play along as we sing. But this year, I decided to let them make the bells. And then we said the words Kling, Glöckchen, Klingelingeling.

To make the bells, you need:

  • 2 pipe cleaners in two different colors (we used red & white this year)
  • three bells

That’s it! I get my bells at the Dollar Store. You have to make sure you get bells that have a big enough “loop” or “handle” at the top, so the pipe cleaner can go through.

For instructions on how to make the bells, see this post!

After I taught the children how to say “Kling, Glöckchen, Klingelingeling” we clapped out the rhythm as we said it. Then I told them that we needed bells to ring instead of just clapping! So we made the bells. And then I showed them one of my favorite things: and Advent calendar from our Swiss au pair. Each day plays a different song!

We listened to the German song for Day 2, of course – Kling, Glöckchen, Klingelingeling! And we rang our bells in time and spoke the words we’d learned.

(This Advent calendar plays 48 beautiful songs – 24 German and 24 English! It uses only 3 AA batteries. And the melodies are lovely to listen to! You can find more about them here! No compensation for me – I just like them!)

The children enjoyed the music so much, that we listened to several other songs. “O Tannenbaum“, “Stille Nacht“, and “Jingle Bells”.

Here is a coloring page that goes with the song:

Frohe Weihnachten!

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:

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!

Mh mh macht der grüne Frosch im Teich

For the past two years, I have been singing the song “Mh mh macht der grüne Frosch im Teich” with my preschoolers and kindergartners. They LOVE it!

I usually do some lessons on farm animals in the spring, and we sing the song for several weeks in a row. I often bring a little canvas bag filled with my farm animal finger puppets (if you watched the video on counting farm animals, you know I have 12!), and I pull one out at a time. Then we sing about that animal.

Just because we’re learning from home right now doesn’t mean we have to skip the song! I made a video where I talk about the farm animals and what they “say” in German (yes! even animals speak differently in different languages!). Then I sing the song, using my finger puppets.

You can download the text to this traditional song here: Mh mh macht der grüne Frosch im Teich GitA

I also made a few coloring pages, a tracing worksheet, and a label-the-animal worksheet for the children to do after they watch the video.

You can download the PDFs here, too:

 

Hände waschen! / Wash Your Hands!

We all know how important it is to wash our hands right now! And lots of people are talking about singing a song while you wash to make sure you wash long enough. There is a cute song in German about washing hands. It says that every child must wash hands until they are clean. But once they are clean, there is no towel! So they must shake, shake, shake their hands. If you sing the whole song while washing (including the part about shaking them dry), it’s about 24 seconds. Perfect!

SL: Klingelingeling – Take 3!

If you’ve read my posts from last year and the year before, you know that I LOVE this story! I love reading the book to my pre-k/kindergartners. And I love telling it to ALL my students as a Story Listening lesson 🙂

Upper Elementary:

Even though my 4th-graders have heard the story for the past two years, I thought it would be a great one to tell after winter break. The kids came back for just two days, and so I was in teaching German on Friday, January 3rd!

I decided to update it for the 4th-graders and added a few details and an extra paragraph. But for the 3rd-graders, I stuck to my original story. You can see the two boards here:

 

2020-01-03 13.33.21 4th

4th Grade

2020-01-03 12.51.23 3rd

3rd Grade

So in 4th grade, the Schlitten was blue. And after crossing the fields, they went carefully through a forest (because really, what story of mine would be complete without mentioning a Wald?!)

In the top picture, you can also see that I was using the expressions that were created by my friend over at We Love Deutsch. The kids LOVE to say the phrases! I try to include a few in each story for them to use. Sometimes they are in the text of the story, and they repeat them. But sometimes I think about how you might react and make a little speech bubble in the margin of my prompter. Then I point to the expression, and they all say it. Now they often don’t even need any prompting!

Since it is a short story, I needed something to do to finish out our 30 minutes. So I taught them the song “Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken.” See this post to read all about it!

Lower Elementary:

On the following Tuesday I had my first meeting with my 1st & 2nd graders. Again I told them Klingelingeling.

The 2nd-graders remembered it from last year and still enjoyed it. They get really excited by a familiar story.

The 1st-graders are new to Story Listening this year. However, most of them were here in kindergarten last year, and many of them were in pre-school before that. And so they have heard me read the book a number of times! They were also very excited to know the story!

I did not take pictures of my story boards in 1st & 2nd grade, but they were similar to the 3rd-grade board. However, I often do not write as many words for them.

I am working on creating video reviews of my stories. Stay tuned for the Klingelingeling video….

Baby Hai

As my own kids are a bit older now, I don’t always hear about what is popular with the younger children. But at their last piano recital, a little girl played “Baby Shark” on the piano and sang along. At first, I thought, “What is this?!!” But it was actually really cute.

I was recently talking with another language teacher who said she was using it in her Spanish class. So now that’s got me thinking. In the fall we regularly sang “Fünf kleine Fische” in the pre-k/kindergarten classes. I think “Baby Hai” would have been a great follow-up song. Maybe we will circle back to the fish song and introduce “Baby Hai” along with a book about family.

Meanwhile, here is a link to a video of “Baby Hai” in German:

 

My New Favorite Song for German Class!

Last fall I wrote two posts about the song “Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken” – this one and this one. It went really well with my after-school German club!

Well, today I did it in class with my 3rd and 4th graders. It was SUCH a hit!!! Even the kids who were kind of tuning out and not engaging suddenly perked up 🙂

It worked really well to teach the song step by step. As we went along, they got more and more into it. And there were more and more giggles – while still maintaining order in the classroom 😉

STEP 1: Introduce the 5 vocabulary words that you end up leaving out in the song:

STEP 2: Teach the first two lines by just saying the words and doing the actions that go with them. You can watch a video of how to do the actions here: (but don’t start singing yet!!)

STEP 3: Then practice the next two lines with the actions. And put all 4 lines together.

STEP 4: Now sing the whole song, using the actions. You can use my poster with the words, if it helps. But I kind of liked waiting to add that visual. With the singing and the actions, there is already enough for the kids to focus on!

Mein Hut Songtext-page-002

STEP 5: Continue singing as you practice leaving out one new word each time you sing it. The posters I made really come in handy here!

STEP 6: Finally, turn on the music from the song above. (It’s on YouTube, of course, but I played it from my phone using the Amazon music app. I expect you could find it on any music app.) And have fun trying to keep up as you leave out more and more of the words while doing the actions. And ENJOY THE GIGGLES! (Hmm, maybe I should have taught them the word kichern?!)

Download all the posters for FREE as a PDF here: Mein Hut Songtext (GitA)