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!

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??

Story Listening: Stille Nacht

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When I learned that I would be teaching German this year, I knew I wanted to tell the story of the Christmas song, “Silent Night.” I first heard the story when I was a little girl. It was one of the songs included in the TV special, John Denver and the Muppets – A Christmas Together. That is still one of my favorite Christmas albums 🙂

I bought a couple of books about the song. They are pictures books that I could also read to my two boys (see below). But then I did a little research and found that the stories had embellished the truth a bit. But it’s such a beautiful story, that I went ahead and wrote it out as Die Legende von “Stille Nacht”. (Scroll down to read & download the story in German.)

According to the Stille Nacht Gesellschaft (Silent Night Society), the lyrics were written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr in Mariapfarr in the Lungau region of Austria. Two years later Mohr was an assistant priest in Oberndorf. Some say that the organ of the church was broken, so that they needed music for their Christmas Eve service. Whatever the reason, Mohr gave his poem to the church organist, Franz Gruber. For the Christmas Eve service in 1818, Mohr and Gruber led the choir in singing the song, while Mohr accompanied the singing on the guitar.

I called it “Part I” because I would like to add a part about how the song was spread by two singing families (the Strassers and the Rainiers) through Austria to the world. Maybe next year?

And did you know that it is the 200th anniversary of the song?! It was first performed in Oberndorf, Austria in 1818!

Here is the text of the story that I told:

Die Legende von “Stille Nacht”, Teil I

Es war kurz vor Weihnachten im Jahr 1818. Ein Mann saß in der Nicholaskirche in Oberndorf, Österreich. Der Mann hieß Joseph Mohr. Er war Pfarrer in der Nicholaskirche. Pfarrer Mohr war traurig. Die Orgel in der Kirche war kaputt. Am Weihnachtsabend würden sie keine Musik haben. Weihnachtsabend ohne Musik? Unmöglich!

Pfarrer Mohr ging in der Nacht im Wald spazieren. Es war kalt. Der Schnee war tief. Alles war still – ganz still. Der Mond schien durch die Bäume.

Als Pfarrer Mohr ging, dachte er sich ein Gedicht aus. Die Wörter kamen einfach und schnell in der stillen Nacht. Er ging nach Hause und schrieb das Gedicht auf.

Am nächsten Tag ging Pfarrer Mohr zu einem Freund, Franz Gruber. Herr Gruber war Musiker. Er spielte die Orgel in der Kirche. Pfarrer Mohr gab Herrn Gruber sein Gedicht. Er fragte: „Können Sie Musik für das Gedicht komponieren?“ Pfarrer Mohr wollte Musik für Gitarre und zwei Stimmen. Herr Gruber sagte: „Ja!“ und komponierte die Musik.

Am Weihnachtsabend kamen Familien um Mitternacht in die Kirche. Alle waren verwirrt. Wo war die Musik? Warum spielte Herr Gruber die Orgel nicht?

Plötzlich hörten sie eine Gitarre. Es war Pfarrer Mohr! Dann begannen er und Herr Gruber zu singen! „Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht.“ Das Lied war wunderschön. Alle waren glücklich. Herr Gruber war glücklich. Pfarrer Mohr war glücklich. Sie hatten Musik am Weihnachtsabend!

Heute hört man das Lied in der ganzen Welt!

You can download the text in German here: Die Legende von Stille Nacht – Deutsch (Word)

And here is a translation into English here: The Legend of Silent Night – English (Word)

These are two of the books I also used as inspiration:

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  • Silent Night, Holy Night by Myrna Strasser (Zonderkidz, 2004)
  • Silent Night. The Song and Its Story by Margaret Hodges (Eerdmans, 1997)

The second book also recounts significant stories about the song, such as when it was sung during World War I by German and British soldiers during a Christmas Eve truce. There is a lot that could be done with this song!

I did some research online to find more of the historical facts:

I told the legend in grades 3 & 4. After I finished, the children were eager to sing the song, too. I prepared the German lyrics on three pages, so that they could see them well.

You can download the PDF file of the song here: Stille Nacht Lied beibringen – GitA