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 🙂

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.

Story Listening: The Hungry Caterpillar

Today was my first day teaching a full schedule! Well, I’ll be teaching 6 classes, once a week, to grades pre-K through 4th. It’s a big change from just the one pre-K/kindergarten class, though!

In grades 1 – 4, I will be using the Story Listening method. I absolutely loved the looks on my students’ faces when I told them I was going to tell them a story … ALL in German … and that they would understand it! The skepticism was palpable!

I chose a short, familiar story to start off with: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I simplified the beginning and the end. I also changed up some of the food, choosing foods I thought most kids would eat 🙂 So on Saturday, my caterpillar eats a hamburger, French fries, pizza, pasta, a waffle, ice cream, and chocolate! That really got their attention!

But really, it didn’t take long for the students to recognize the story! I did not tell them ahead of time what the story would be. Once they guessed, I put the title (in German) on the board.

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I only have the children for 30 minutes, once a week. So I will leave some work in the classrooms for them to do during the week. For this lesson, there are two tasks.

First is a vocabulary sheet that has images and words in German. The students have to write the English word underneath. For the younger students, I created a version that has tracing words in English, since they are still learning to spell!

The second task is to create their own reader of the story. I made a booklet with the text – main words from the vocab sheets are in bold. They have to illustrate the book. I also made a finished sample to leave with the non-German-speaking teachers 🙂

Clipart credits:

kleine Raupe Wortschatz AB3,4-page-001

We did have some time after the story, so we sang “Ich habe Hunger”.

Ich habe Hunger SONGTEXT-page-002

You can download the poster from this post.

Then we played a simple game. I asked them if they liked one of the foods from the story (pointing to the board). If the answer was “yes” they went to the right of the room. If the answer was “no” they went to the left side. It was good for some movement, and they enjoyed it!

Download the vocabulary worksheet for FREE: Die kleine Raupe Wortschatz GitA

Due to copyright issues I have not provided the booklet for download.

Ostereier – Easter Eggs

We’re a little late celebrating Easter in the pre-K/kindergarten class. I had planned a lesson for the week before spring break, but alas! It snowed that day, and the kids were sent home early!! So I did the lesson today anyway.

After singing our hello song and checking in on the weather, we practiced counting from 1 to 10. Then we sang “10 kleine Ostereier.” It’s a song I made up based on “10 Little Indians.” It goes like this:

Eins, zwei, drei kleine Eier
Vier, fünf, sechs kleine Eier
Sieben, acht, neun kleine Eier
Zehn kleine Ostereier!

Easy peasy! The kids caught on quickly, especially since they are really good at counting to 10!

Then we read our book: Eins, zwei, drei, fertig ist das Osterei! by Ursel Scheffler (Ravensburger, 2008).

Hasenfranz

There is a Drehscheibe (a wheel) you can turn to change the pattern on the eggs! We looked at the cover of the book, pointing out Hase (rabbit), Pinsel (paintbrush), and Farben (colors). Then I taught them the magic words from the book:

Pinsel, Farbe, eins zwei drei!

On each page, Hasenfranz paints an egg with a different pattern. So we all said the magic words together as I turned the wheel to see the new egg. They loved it!

I also brought in some Easter eggs. I had made some stickers for them using round, white labels. They each got two! But before I handed them out, we used them to count to 20. First, we counted all of them to get to 20. Then we counted each color (I had 5 purple, 5 green, and 9 blue – yes, I was one short!).

I also gave them a Malen-nach-Zahlen page to color. I updated it from the one I’ve used in the past. Instead of the 6 primary colors, I swapped out two, so I could include rosa and grau. I also made a more difficult version, so the older children could have more of a challenge. I let them choose which one they wanted to color.

You can download the PDFs here:

And here is the work-in-progress and the finished product. Hippo put his stickers on his paper, too. (This is a copy he and I did at home, and you might be able to tell that I helped with some of the coloring. It was fun to do it together!)

Frohe Ostern!

Ich habe Hunger! German Song

Tomorrow, I’ll be giving a lesson on FOOD using Eric Carle’s book Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt. It has long been a favorite in our house! Since I know it so well, I thought it could make a good Story Listening lesson.

I have a number of activities to go along with it. I’ll post about each one of them.

To start, after I tell the story, we are going to sing “Ich habe Hunger!” Do you know it? It goes like this:

Ich habe Hunger, Hunger, Hunger
habe Hunger, Hunger, Hunger
habe Hunger, Hunger, Hunger
habe Durst!

I’m sure you can find it on YouTube if you do a quick search!

For teaching the song, I made a small poster with the words:

Ich habe Hunger SONGTEXT-page-002

You can download the PDF here: Ich habe Hunger SONGTEXT GitA

Viel Spaß!

Die drei kleinen Schweinchen (Three Little Pigs)

I did my latest Story Listening lesson in the 1st/2nd grade class on The Three Little Pigs. To be honest, I think I focused too much on vocabulary. When you use a familiar story and try to teach too many words, the kids tend to lose focus and stop paying attention. A lesson learned for me!

Here is the simple version of the story that I put together: Die drei kleinen Schweinchen GitA (PDF)

Still, I thought I’d share my worksheets to go along with the story.

Download the PDF here: drei kleine Schweinchen AB GitA

I also sang the beginning of the song “Hurra, der Wind ist da” by Nena:

Hurra der Wind ist da-page-002

I made it nice and big, so I could hang it on the board, and all the children could see it clearly. Download the PDF here: Hurra der Wind ist da GitA

I also tried to teach a tongue twister with them. Tricky business! But fun 🙂

Ferkel Zungenbrecher-page-002

You can download this letter-sized poster here: Ferkel Zungenbrecher GitA

Viel Spaß!

Kling, Glöckchen!

I’m teaching a Christmas lesson in Pre-K/Kindergarten tomorrow morning. I like to bring in some of my favorite German Christmas things. This year I’m keeping it simple. So I’ll bring in just a few things:

  • der Nussknacker (nutcracker)
  • der Hampelmann (jumping jack)
  • das Lebkuchenherz (gingerbread heart)
  • der Räuchermann (smoker)
  • das Adventskalender (advent calendar)

Last year we received a musical advent calendar from our Swiss au pair’s family. You open a little door and press the button and get a song! And there is a switch on the back, so you can choose between German and English carols. It’s called Der klingende Adventskalender.

I’m going to read a sweet book about being together to celebrate. It’s called Frohe Weihnachten, kleiner Elch by Anne-Kristin zur Brügge (Oetinger, 2016).

Frohe Weihnachten, kleiner Elch

Then I’m going to teach them the song “Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling”. I thought I would teach them just that much to begin. We’ll see if they can catch on to the rest!

We’ll craft some jingle bells, because you can’t sing that song without some jingle bells!

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You can find the simple instructions in this post.

I’ll send them home with a coloring page that has the words to the song.

Kling Glöckchen coloring page-GitA

You can download the PDF here: Kling Glöckchen coloring page GitA