In today’s post, I thought I would re-cap our school year for German. These are some of the conversation units we did, books we used, and children’s books we listened to. Since the kids are no longer beginners, I’m calling them “Level 2,” though more realistically I would call them “advanced beginners.”
I thought I would share some of the resources that worked well for us this year. We use quite a wide variety of materials as you’ll see, but I feel like the kids really learned a lot this year.
| Last year we started doing a lot more German conversation practice. We started off the year reviewing basic greetings and making sure they knew the family terms we went over last spring. We used our cartoon family members a ton.
In the fall, our family member added clothes too! The kids thought it was SO funny when I brought out the new materials!!
We went on to learn Winter Words and Sickness/Getting Hurt.
After talking about the weather, it seemed natural to move on to a unit on getting sick. The kids learned vocabulary and we had conversations such as…
We have matching pages (German to English, German to pictures) plus a word/reading game about getting sick or hurt (these are also included with the German Weather Packet purchase or in the big bundle purchase below):
German Unit – Nationalities
We delved into a unit about the various nationalities… and our people would ask each other what nationality they were or where they came from:
This German Unit is FREE to download. Click the link here:
Click here to download this FREE packet: German Unit – Nationalities – Staatsangehorigkeit
We spent quite a bit of time going over German verbs and the endings that are used.
We also learned many of the German prepositions. We sang several songs to learn some of the lists of different prepositions (which use the accusative case, dative case or both!). You’ll find the songs we sang and some of the other materials here: German Prepositions – Präpositionen – Accusative, Dative and 2-way Prepositions
|In the fall, we continued with the third book about Bobo Siebenschläfer: Bobo Siebenschläfer macht munter weiter. Geschichte für ganz Kleine I also bought the CD. (affiliate links)If you right click on the picture, it will enlarge so you can read the German print in the book below.The format of all the books in this series is similar. Each book has six or seven stand-alone short stories about the critter named Bobo (who is about 2 years old). Bobo goes on all kinds of adventures with his parents – shopping, playing outside, going to the zoo and things like that.The first book is Bobo Siebenschläfer and the CD is here. (affiliate links)The second book is Bobo Siebenschläfer ist wieder da. (affiliate link) The second book that we used is currently quite expensive on Amazon. Since it does not matter what order you go in (and each story stands on its own), I suggest you get the first or third book (unless the price comes back down).I have found that the price on these Bobo Siebenschläfer books go up and down a lot, so keep checking Amazon’s prices (and don’t pay too much!)|
German Textbooks We Used:
For much of this year, we wound up using two main textbooks. Often we used both on the same day. I’m going to tell you why they worked for us this year:We started using a new German textbook, German Made Simple. (affiliate link) I love it!
This is not a book to use with beginners (it would be too difficult), but for those who are a bit more advanced, I’ve found it really great. Each chapter starts with a paragraph about Mr. Clark (and his family). In each chapter you learn a bit more about them. What makes this books so usable is that it has the English translation on the right side of the page.
Each chapter has vocabulary, exercises and teaches some grammar. We’ll definitely continue with this book next year. My niece and nephew are also learning German and I recommended this to them. They really like it too (They are 14 and 16).
We also used bits and pieces from Learn German The Fast and Fun Way 3rd Edition (affiliate link) this year as we covered our various units. I don’t recommend this as a stand-alone text, but I found it perfect as a supplement to the various topics we covered. We used it for the conversations (each kid took a part) and to supplement our vocabulary. We did not use it very much for grammar. But even with 6 or 7 other German textbooks to choose from, I found myself going back to this one again and again because the cartoon drawings are fun and appealing to the kids, the vocabulary was good, and it worked well for our family. I heard that the 4th edition is quite different from the 3rd so just wanted you to know which version I was referring to. 🙂
Last year, we used Complete German Grammar (affiliate link) quite a lot. It is a workbook that the kids can write in. It’s not fancy, but I find it quite useful and plan to start using that again next fall.
Bestimmt wird alles gut (affiliate link) This spring, the kids and I decided to try another story. We were a bit tired of Bobo and all of his adventures. I chose a children’s story that address a contemporary issue… refugees in Germany.
I bought Bestimmt wird alles gut and the audio CD (read by the author). (affiliate links) This is a story about a Syrian family that decides to leave their country. Smugglers take them on a boat to Italy and they make their way by train to Germany.
This book is a challenge for my kids. We have taken it slowly. I read a couple of pages. Then we go through and translate it together. We listen to the audio CD of that section once or twice. The next day, we go over it again, listen to the audio CD of that section once or twice.. and might add in another page or so. (This is just part of our German lesson for the day. Then we go on to do other things.) It’s been slow going, but the story is so compelling, the kids are *really* enjoying it.
As you can see in the picture below, this book is written in both German and Arabic. The kids and I have talked extensively about the refugee crisis in Europe and have spent quite a bit of time talking about current events. I highly recommend this book if your kids are up to it.
You can right click on the photo to enlarge it and get a better idea of how challenging the text is:
|Wie spät ist es? German Unit on Time: Recently, we have been doing a unit on time. We started with time to the hour: It is 1 o’clock: Es ist ein Uhr.
Then practiced time by 15 minute increments: Es is Viertel nach eins. Es ist halb zwei. Es ist Viertel vor zwei.
And just recently, we’ve been doing time to five minute increments.
I still have a large preschool clock and we’ve been using that a lot!
We’ve been using the online game Stop the Clock! to add some fun and excitement as they race to say the time in German.
Stop the Clock — Level 2 — fifteen minute intervals
Stop the Clock — Level 3 — five minute intervals (above)
If you are interested in the German Conversation Units I created, these sets are available for $2.50 each (click on the links above) or you can purchase the bundle below for $6.50.
- With the purchase of this bundle you will receive 5 pdf files to download. Once you pay through Paypal, you will receive an immediate link to download these materials. You will also received an email from Sendowl (the service I use) to your PayPal email address with a link that you can click on. That too will allow you to download the files. Be sure to check your downloads folder (sometimes the files sneak in there). And of course, if you have any trouble with your order or if you have any questions be sure to contact me via email liesl at homeschoolden dot com, or via the Contact Form here on the blog. ~Liesl
Remember, these materials are best for teachers/instructors who speak German. The contain basic vocabulary and conversation starter suggestions only. (ie. there’s no scripted back-and-forth dialogue).
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. If you do click over, thanks for supporting our blog!