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)

Grün, grün, grün – Halloween Style

My 1st and 2nd graders are so squirrely! It is hard to get through a Story Listening lesson. So I have decided to try to keep the stories short (still rich with content) and sing songs for the second part of our class.

I came across the song “Grün, grün, grün” again recently. It’s such a great song for colors. But at the same time, I find some of the verses to be a bit cumbersome. I mean, “Schornsteinfeger”?! That’s something of a tongue-twister!

Then I found some super cute Halloween kids clipart and thought that would work really well for adapting the song. It would be even better if the kids’ costumes were truly monochromatic, but I think it’s close enough 😉

Of course, I made some word posters to help teach the song. There is a set with the color words and a set without them – your choice!

I came up with the following characters:

  • red – Rotkäppchen (Red Riding Hood)
  • orange – Kürbis (pumpkin)
  • yellow – Biene (bee)
  • green – Fee (fairy)
  • blue – Cowboy
  • purple – Hexe (witch)
  • pink – Hase (rabbit)
  • black – Katze (cat)
  • white – Geist (ghost)

Check them out:

You can download them all for FREE here: Grün, grün, grün Plakate GitA

Just take the original song and change the lyrics:

Grün, grün, grün sind alle meine Kleider
Grün, grün, grün ist alles, was ich habe
Darum liebe ich alles, was grün ist
Weil mein Schatz ein Jäger ist

I’d love to hear from you! How are you using these materials? And how did it go??

Viel Spaß!

Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken – Follow-up

Earlier this week, I wrote this post with materials to help teach the song, “Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken.”

My club kids had SO much fun with this silly song! They are my oldest group (4th & 5th graders), so they caught on to the vocab very quickly. Having the pages with the text and the words replaced by pictures helped us all through the repetitions of the song.

 

We still got the motions mixed up and sang words where they didn’t belong! There were a lot of giggles 🙂 But I always say that you remember things better when you are having fun with them!

I know we will sing the song again next week. I think we might take the final page – the one with the most images – and practice just the words that are left before we tackle the song again.

Go back to the original post to download all the materials for FREE 🙂

Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken

I remember learning the song “Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken” in school. It’s a simple, silly song, but it definitely sticks.

My boys love, it, too. Especially this extra silly version from Die 30 Besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder:

I’ve been wanting to teach it, using this version. So today I finally came up with a way to do it! I have the text written out 6 times. Each time that a word is replaced by a sound, I use a picture instead of the word. I also have word posters for each of the words that get left out: mein, Hut, drei, Ecken, & nicht.

 

 

I’ll start by introducing the 5 words with the images. Then go over the entire song text. When we’re ready to sing the whole thing, I’ll start with page 1 (all words, no sounds). Then move on to page 2 when the word Hut is replaced. Keep flipping to the next page as more words are replaced by sounds. Until finally you go back to the original with all the words.

Of course, if you watch the video, you can also see how to use movements to replace the words.

You can download the PDF for FREE here: Mein Hut Songtext GitA

Materials for Summer Learning

With the summer break upon us, I know some of my students are interested in continuing their learning of German during the break. I have found some materials, such as workbooks, books, and CDs, that can be ordered in the US.

Workbooks

For young learners, there is the Dover Little Activity Book (it is only 4 x 5.6 inches!): Color & Learn Easy German Phrases for Kids (Dover, 2015). This pocket-sized book is a picture dictionary with German, English translation, and pronunciation. And it doubles as a coloring book. There are lots of useful phrases plus the basics, such as colors, numbers, days, months, etc. It is available on Amazon.com for about $2.50.

Color Learn Easey German Dover

For young learners and beginners, there is the Cool Kids Speak German series (CreateSpace). These workbooks use both English and German to guide students through the exercises, such as worksheets, word searches, and coloring pages. Each workbook includes a German-English dictionary plus the answer key at the back. The series includes the following titles:

  • Young Cool Kids Learn German (Numbers, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, greetings and useful words, colors, farm animals, the garden, toys, and ice cream)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 1 (greetings, introductions, numbers 1-10, fruit, colors, clothes, and transportation)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 2 (pet animals, numbers 11-20, sports, weather, drinks, and the house)
  • Cool Kids Speak German Book 3 (things for school, numbers 21-40, months, family, food, and school subjects)

Although I have only seen Book 1 in person, the series seems simple and instructive. They are available on Amazon.com for about $8 – 9.

For older students, I found a book of word searches called Learn German with Word Search Puzzles (CreateSpace, 2018).The word searches are difficult, in that the words can go diagonally and backwards. So they are not ideal for younger learners. Each puzzle has a topic and includes words in German and their English translation (both of which can be found in the puzzle). There is an answer key in the back. It seems it would be a fun way to practice some vocabulary. It is available on Amazon.com for about $10.

Learn German with Word Search Puzzles

Other Books

You might also consider getting a favorite book in German. There are many titles available in translation. My favorite place to order books is Book Depository (BookDepository.com). They are based in the UK and ship for FREE, even internationally! They have a great selection of German books at competitive prices. Try searching an author and then filter by language (in the left column) to see what is available in German. For example, if you search Eric Carle, there are 214 titles in German!! Here is a link to Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) board book.

Audio Books & Music

Another great way to learn is to listen to favorite stories (especially if you have the book in German, too). Continuing with the Eric Carle example, you can get a CD of Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt from Book Depository for about $10. (Just be careful not to get one in dialect!!) It comes with other stories in German, such as The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, & The Very Busy Spider.

If you don’t want to purchase a CD, you could try YouTube. You would need the German title of the book you want to hear. But many can be found being read aloud. You can even hear Eric Carle read Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt in German (did you know he was originally from Germany?!). You can also watch a lovely video of the story on YouTube.

How about some German songs? Remember Nena?! Well, I don’t just mean “99 Luftballons” 🙂  She has several lovely CDs of children’s songs now. Try searching “Nena Kinderlieder” in your favorite music app. (Kinderlieder means children’s songs.) While many recordings of children’s music can be somewhat … well, difficult to listen to, I find her recordings to be quite lovely. There is also the series Die 30 besten Spiel- und Bewegunslieder (The 30 best play and movement songs) by Simone Sommerland & Karsten Glück. You can find the songs on YouTube as well.

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These ideas can get you started! If you have any questions or suggestions, just comment below!

Viel Spaß in den Sommerferien!