Tiere in der Natur – Animals in Nature

Yesterday, I wrote about a nature scavenger hunt I’m preparing for the children in the pre-K/kindergarten class. I’m introducing the vocabulary, so they can go on the hunt at the class picnic and teach their parents the German words along the way!

The first part was about signs of nature. This second part is about “animals” in nature – well, animals and insects 🙂

We’re going to play a game of Simon sagt (Simon Says) to practice the words. I’ll teach the children a small motion to go with each word. Then we’ll all play at being the different animals and insects!

Here are the word posters:

And here is the coloring page:

Tiere in der Natur GitA-page-009

You can download the PDF for free here: Tiere in der Natur GitA

 

Zeichen des Frühlings – Signs of Spring

The weather has finally warmed up here on the east coast! And the end of the school year is fast approaching. The pre-K/kindergarten class picnic is coming up next week. I volunteered to lead a scavenger hunt for the kiddos. Luckily, I already have something in my bag of tricks 😉

One of my go-to resources for creating my materials is a site called Teachers Pay Teachers. It’s where I get most of my clipart. But sometimes I get ready-made materials, too. A couple years ago, Froggy came home with a super cute Nature Walk scavenger hunt. I tracked down the seller and asked her if she could make it for me in German. She generously did! Unfortunately, I can’t find it on her TPT page, but I’ve asked her if she would post it, so I can share it here. Here’s a link to the English version.

In the meantime, I’ve created word posters and coloring pages to go along with the items on the scavenger hunt. I grouped them into two parts: Zeichen des Frühlings (Signs of Spring) and Tiere in der Natur (Animals in Nature).

Here’s what the first set looks like:

And here is the coloring page:

Zeichen des Frühlings GitA-page-010

You can download the PDF for free here: Zeichen des Frühlings GitA

You could use the coloring page(s) as a scavenger hunt for now!

I’ll be teaching the words to the children in our next two classes. Then they can help their parents with the German when we’re all at the picnic!

UPDATE (29 May 2018):  I found a spelling mistake in the files for the flower. I have since made the correction, both in the above example, and in the PDF file!

Bauernhof Malbuch – Farm Coloring Book

I’ve decided to do a mini Farm unit with my pre-K/kindergarten class. Over the next three weeks, we’ll read three books. But we’ll work on one song. And I’ve created a mini coloring book for them to make that has all the animals – plus a few other farm words – that they might learn.

In order to create the coloring book, they first color in the whole sheets and trace the words. Then they can cut along the dotted lines and stack their pages. The teacher will staple it together.

This work could be done over the course of the three weeks. I just have to remind them to put their names on the pages! I think it is too much for them to do all at once. There are 15 words, after all!

It could also be added to the classroom as a “work” (as they call it in Montessori schools) to be completed over time, as the children choose. Of course, if we do it this way, not all the children might complete a book. In fact, I think 15 pages is really too much for them to do all at once. Perhaps in that case, we would choose fewer words. Or maybe let the children choose which words they want in their book.

There is lots of flexibility here!

This is what the pages look like:

 

 

And here is the PDF for you to download: Mein Bauernhofbuch GitA

How will you use the coloring pages??

See Tiel 2 of this post for more on the farm lesson!

Flags of German-Speaking Countries

In the pre-K/kindergarten class, we are creating our own picture dictionary of German words! The book will be auctioned off at the school’s annual fundraiser. But we are having fun putting it together.

We thought we would take a picture of the entire group and put in the words to our hello song. Using construction paper and straws, the children have made flags of the major German-speaking countries, and they will hold the flags in the group picture!

Tomorrow is our last day to take photos. I am going in for a special lesson. I’ll be keeping the kiddos busy while the teachers are snapping the pictures. I thought I would do a review of the favorite songs we’ve sung and books we’ve read this year.

The children always love a coloring page, too! So I made up a coloring page of the three flags: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Flags coloring page GitA-page-001

You can download the PDF file here: Flags coloring page GitA

I won’t be able to share the book here online, since it will be filled with images of the children from the class, and we always want to protect their privacy. But I can tell you it is super cute!!

Viel Spaß!

Winter Activities

Here on the east coast, winter has made a very loud arrival! Two days with no school – and this the first week back after a long break! Then I realized I’ve never posted any winter activities! So here are a number of random worksheets and craft ideas you can do in German 🙂

Schneemann malen nach Zahlen

This simple color by number is great for the little ones just learning their numbers and colors. The color words are written in the corresponding color, making it easier for them to do on their own. Download the PDF here: Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA

Schneemann Malen nach Zahlen GitA-page-001

Tierspuren

Here are two simple worksheets to talk about the tracks that different animals leave in the snow. There is a black and white version. And if a little extra help is needed, there is a colored outline version. Then the colors can be easily paired up.

Tierspuren GitA-page-001

Download the worksheets as PDF files here:

For a follow-up activity, see if you have any little animal figures. Winter animals would be best, but whatever you’ve got! Then get out the play-doh and roll it out. Let your child walk the animals through the play-doh to make tracks. Then compare them. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about animals in German!

If you have snow and it isn’t brutally cold, go for a walk and see if you see any tracks. Before you go, talk about the kinds of animals that live in your area. Maybe look up what their prints look like, so you can identify them when you see them.

Winter Wortschatz

Here are five winter word posters you can print out full-sized or print 6-to-a-page to make flashcards. Print two sets to make a game of memory!

Download the PDF file here: Winter Wortschatz GitA

There is also a coloring page of all five words to go with them.

Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA-page-001

Download the PDF here: Winter Wortschatz Malvorlage GitA

Winter Labyrinthe

I just put up a post with 10 easy German winter mazes! You can find them here 🙂 Here is an example:

Schneeflocken fangen GitA-page-001

Other ideas

There are tons of great craft ideas out there! I’ve been collecting them on a Pinterest board for years. Check it out here!

I also saw a list of 40 snow day boredom busters on Mommy Poppins. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration there?!

Viel Spaß!

Martinstag in the Classroom: Part 3

As I mentioned in a recent post, I love teaching about Martinstag, because it embodies the spirit of giving and selflessness. In the past, I’ve taught about Martin in the German story hour and in the pre-k/kindergarten class. This year I finally got to bring it into the 1st and 2nd grade class. Each class is a little bit different. In this post I’ll tell you about what we do …

in Pre-K/Kindergarten…

This is also a mixed class of pre-k and kindergarten children, ages 2 1/2 to 6! I’m always amazed at how well it works to mix the ages of the children. The older ones make good models for the younger ones!

This year, however, we have a lot of younger ones. So after teaching my Martinstag lesson “upstairs” in 1st/2nd grade, I knew I had to make things extra clear and simple for the younger children.

I began by telling the story of Martin in English, using the same book I had used with 1st/2nd: Das erste Buch von Sankt Martin by Erwin Grosche (Gabriel Verlag, 2017)

Martin

I had the story written out in English, but I only used it as a reference. I know it well enough by now! This book actually leaves out the more religious aspect of the tale – that the beggar was Christ, who later came to Martin in a dream. As we are not a religious school, I don’t feel comfortable teaching that part of the story. I focus mainly on Martin’s kind and generous nature.

Next I used the word posters to teach the words from “Laterne, Laterne”. This year I brought our au pair along to help with the lantern project. She also helped me by holding the Mond and Sterne, so the children could see all four images at once. It was much easier than me trying to flip through them as we sang!

You can download the posters – with or without words – in this previous post, Der gute Martin.

I just taught them the first half of the song. Then AP4 and I sang the rest of it (Brenne auf mein Licht, brenne auf mein Licht, aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht). The children tried to follow along, and it sounded quite nice!

Finally it was time to make our paper lanterns. You can read more specifically about that part of the lesson and download the instructions and template here. I broke it down into simple steps and had samples of each step to show the children. They had three things to do:

  1. color the paper with the sun, moon, and stars (I print it on yellow paper, so it looks like it’s glowing!)
  2. fold the paper in half along the dotted line
  3. cut the “fringe” along the dotted lines

The teachers, AP4, and I did the stapling part to assemble the lanterns.

It was such a successful lesson!

Then we got to parade around the classroom and into the front hall. The children really enjoyed that part of it.

I decided not to use Story Listening and tell the fairy tale of the Sterntaler for this lesson. I wanted to be sure they knew the story of Martin and why we make the lanterns. And of course, they needed to learn the song for our little parade!

So that’s it! All three versions of my Martinstag lessons for 2017!

Viel Spaß!

Martinstag in the Classroom: Part 2

As I mentioned in a recent post, I love teaching about Martinstag, because it embodies the spirit of giving and selflessness. In the past, I’ve taught about Martin in the German story hour and in the pre-k/kindergarten class. This year I finally got to bring it into the 1st and 2nd grade class. Each class is a little bit different. In this post I’ll tell you about what we do …

in 1st & 2nd Grade…

This is a mixed class of 22 students. I couldn’t just jump right in with books and songs, like I did in Story Hour. Instead, I started with the story of Sterntaler. The children were outraged that the poor girl was all alone! And then shocked when she kept giving everything away! They were right with me the whole time 🙂  My board looked a little different, since they needed more help to understand it. But they had also experienced the method the week before when I told them Goldilocks. Here is a picture of my finished board for Sterntaler:

2017-11-03 15.06.15

After that, I read them the story of Martin, using the book Das erste Buch von Sankt Martin by Erwin Grosche (Gabriel Verlag, 2017). I used the book mainly for the illustrations and wrote out the story in English beforehand. I knew after hearing Sterntaler, that was probably enough German for that class (especially since it was 2pm on a Friday … the week of Halloween!).

Martin

Next I wanted to teach them the song, “Laterne, Laterne“. The beginning is so simple with its four words: Laterne, Sonne, Mond, Sterne. I knew they would need a little movement by this time, though, so I came up with a little game. I had printed out the vocab words on small cards. I printed enough so that each child could have a card. I just used my full-sized word posters and printed them 4-to-a-page. Then I laminated them and cut them down to size.

I handed the cards out to the children and then had them get into groups according to the picture – in order, of course! I had already gone over the words using my full-sized word posters. So they were familiar enough with the vocab. I called out a word, and that group had to raise their picture and say the word. I mixed them up and first. Then I told them to pay attention, because we were going to speed it up! And I went in order according to the song: Laterne! Laterne! Sonne! Mond! Sterne! They enjoyed the little game. And weren’t they surprised when I told them they had just learned the beginning of a song?!

You can download the word posters along with song lyrics in the post Der gute Martin.

Finally, it was time to make our lanterns! We did them a little differently in this older class. Although in hindsight, I’m not sure I would do it this way again!

  1. I gave them white paper cut down to size (without the strip for the handle) and let them color it however they liked.
  2. I gave them the lantern template printed on yellow paper (without the sun, moon, and stars – just the lines for cutting and folding) and asked them to cut the strip off the end to make the handle.
  3. They glued their white paper to the yellow template (I might do this step myself, in advance, if I try it again).
  4. They folded the paper (I was surprised how many of them did not fold on the line, but folded the long edge of the paper up to the line! If you read my post with instructions, you’ll see why I decided to give step-by-step instructions the next time!)
  5. They cut the “fringe”.
  6. We went around and stapled the lanterns together along with their handles

The lanterns turned out alright in the end. But it took so long that we did not have time to parade in the halls.

Then again, it was the last hour of school on a Friday. And did I mention it was Halloween week?? Scary stuff!! 🙂

Tutorial and templates can be found in the post Martinstag Lanterns!

Viel Spaß!