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!

2016-12-16-09-08-39

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

 

Teaching Colors with Elmar dem Elefanten

I’ve had a hard time teaching colors to my pre-K/kindergarten class in the past. I needed a book that had something of a story to hold the children’s interest and more importantly, I needed a color song.

For the book, I am going to try out Elmar mag alle Farben by David McKee (Thienemann-Esslinger, 2015). (If you are familiar with these books in English, you’ll notice that the spelling is different: Elmer with an “e” in English, Elmar with an “a” in German.)

It’s very simple, which I really like. But it isn’t just page after page of Elmar mag rot … Elmar mag blau … und, und, und. It isn’t exactly a story, but each set of pages tells a kind of mini story. For example: “Der Schneemann ist weiß. Sein lila Schal hält ihn warm.” Nice and simple, but still interesting.

Elmar mag alle Farben

Before I get to the book, however, I need to introduce the colors. I made a rainbow out of felt pieces that stack on top of each other. That way, I can introduce each color individually, but I can also stack them up to make my rainbow. Now if only I had remembered to get myself a felt board! I’ll have to improvise a little here 🙂

I still have not found a simple song to teach the colors. So I finally came up with my own! It’s to the tune of “Ten Little Indians” and just repeats the colors:

rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
in dem Regenbogen

Just make sure you sing the word “orange” on two notes (one for each syllable). I’ll keep my felt rainbow out to point to the colors as we sing it. Easy peasy!

I always end with a book and then an activity – usually a coloring sheet. So I made up a very simple checkered Elmar coloring page to include all six colors.

 

Elmar Farben GitA-page-001

Each of the colored crayons points to a box to color in, so that Elmar ends up looking like a checkered rainbow.

You can download the coloring page here: Elmar Farben GitA

Viel Spaß!

Goldilocks and … Two Firsts for Me!

For the very first time, I taught in Froggy’s 1st & 2nd grade class! And for the very first time, I used a method of language teaching called Story Listening (SL). You can read all about the method at the Stories First website. It was a total success! I’m so thrilled!

I had the children for a whole hour!

As I entered the group, I said, “Guten Morgen,” and repeated it. To my delight, the children chimed right in! Then we went right into “Ich heiße…” Again, they were ready to repeat! We practiced the “ch” sound. Then we started again. The only thing was, they repeated my whole sentence, including my name 🙂  So we straightened that out, and I went around the room, asking each child’s name. I started with the 4 children who had been in my German class in Pre-K/Kindergarten. I figured they would be more comfortable with saying the phrase, and they could also be a good model for the other children.

Next, I talked to the children about magic. Yup. Magic. To me, speaking a foreign language is a lot like making magic! It’s like cracking a code. Or knowing a secret – the good kind of secret 🙂  And just look! All of the children had already worked some magic! I never told them what Guten Morgen or Ich heiße meant. But of course, they knew. Then I told them I was going to teach them some more magic a little later….

Then I taught them the hello song. I used my word posters to teach them the actions: klatschen, stampfen, patschen. And we counted to 2. We talked about doing the actions quietly, so the classroom below us didn’t think there’s a herd of elephants – or a thunderstorm – upstairs! And then I asked them if I was showing them the right word, so they could practice ja and nein. Finally, it was time to sing the song!

Next it was time for the children to be magicians! Because I was going to tell them a story.

A whole story, all in German!

I asked them to listen with their ears and watch with their eyes, and just relax and take it all in.

Of course, we needed our magic words to start the story: Es war einmal…

I had practiced telling a simplified story of Goldlöckchen (Goldilocks). As you tell the story, you draw pictures on the board and write the word in German (L2) underneath it. You can use other tools from the SL toolkit (on their website), too, like gestures and antonyms to help with comprehension. The children were right with me, the whole time! Here’s what the board looked like when I was finished:

2017-10-27 11.42.07

Of course, by the time I had finished, the kids were a little restless. Time for some movement! So we played a game of Simon sagt! We used the verbs from the hello song (klatschen, stampfen, patschen) plus the verbs from our story: essen, spazieren gehen, rennen, einschlafen, aufwachen. It was a big hit!

Then I had handouts for the children to do. I had come up with 5 ideas, and the teachers liked them all, so we made up packets for them to do. The first and second-graders got different ones, based on difficulty.

You can download the handouts here: Goldlöckchen Arbeitsblätter GitA

The Stories First website also has a collection of stories for various languages and levels in the Great Story Reading Project. You do have to register to gain access.

Halloween in der Lesestunde

We celebrate Halloween a little early in story hour last week! I don’t think the children minded 🙂

We actually read four books, because I just couldn’t decide on three!

  • Die neugierige kleine Hexe by Lieve Baeten (Oetinger, 2003)
  • Pip und Posy: Das Gruselmonster by Axel Scheffler (Carlsen, 2015)
  • Für Hund und Katz ist auch noch Platz by Axel Scheffler (Beltz & Gelberg, 2017)
  • Wir sind Dreieck, Kreis, Quadrat by Felicitas Horstschäfer (Velber, 2012)

Why did we read a song about shapes that has nothing to do with Halloween?? Read on! You’ll see… 🙂

And of course we sang songs:

  • “Morgens früh um sechs”
  • “Ich bin die kleine Hexe” from Die 30 Besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder
  • “Die winzig kleine Spinne”

To introduce “Morgens früh um sechs” I brought in a large cardboard clock. We didn’t focus on telling time – the children are much too young for that. But I used it to count up to 12. When we sang “kleine Hexe” we just had to ride our brooms around the room! And we used the colors of the children’s shoes to decide which colors the witch was wearing in the songs. And we went around 7 times – one for each child! For “kleine Spinne” we didn’t just sing about an itsy-bitsy spider. We also sang about a great big spider! Download the lyrics below for the other version.

You can download the lyrics here: Lieder Halloween GitA

We ended with a pumpkin craft. I found orange paper plates (at Target) to be our pumpkins. To make the faces, we used … what else? SHAPES! In the past I have used craft punches to make triangles, circles, and squares out of black paper. Then the children glued the shapes to the pumpkins. This year, however, I happened to find a box of foam shape stickers, so I snatched them up! The children had fun choosing their shapes and creating their pumpkins!

How do you celebrate Halloween … German-style?

Viel Spaß!