Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pitch-in German Breakfast

Our current unit in German 1 is all about food.  Everyone likes talking about food, and of course high school students like to eat food even more!

My students had been asking to have German food in class, and I decided the two days before spring break would be a good time to do it.  

I'm pretty big on having activities like this be things that students plan and contribute to rather than something that I do for them.  So, about a week and a half before spring break, we watched this video for inspiration:

Then, I asked students
It gave us a chance to practice both "möchten" (would like), which we had just learned, and food vocabulary.  

We came up with this list in my M3 class
I explained to students that I would provide Brötchen and Nutella and they could sign up for things they wanted to bring.  Students who didn't want to/couldn't bring anything would be able to help out by washing some of the dishes afterwards.

I gave the M4 class, which meets after lunch, the option of having Kaffee and Kuchen instead of breakfast, but they opted for breakfast too.

All three classes ended up having a good variety of foods, and almost everyone remembered to bring things in on the day.  We ate and watched part of the Sound of Music, since we're talking about Austria right now.  

When students had finished eating, I asked one student from each table group of four who had not brought anything in to clear the dishes and trash from his or her table and follow me to the world languages office, where we have a sink for washing dishes.  I showed them the supplies and let them do the washing.  No one had to do very much, and everything was cleaned up by the end of class.  And I wasn't exhausted by the end of the day - I'd call that a win!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Wir mögen Deutsch!

We're on to a new unit in German 1 - food!  It's a good unit for this time in the year when everyone's energy level is low.  We all like to talk about food.

Students learned five modal (helping) verbs - sollen, dürfen, können, wollen, and müssen - last unit.  Our new textbook teaches mögen (to like) and möchten (would like to = subjunctive form of mögen) separately in this unit, which I really like.  

Mögen is an unusual modal verb because it is usually used without a main verb to say that you like something, whereas gern (gladly) is more frequently used to say that you like doing something.  We've been using gern for a while now and have that pretty well established in students' vocabulary so I think it is a good time to introduce mögen to talk about foods we like and dislike.

Our guided notes for mögen and looked like this:

I really emphasized the difference between gern and mögen, and we also had a chance to review the ways in which modal verbs are irregular.  

Then, we wrote about foods we liked and disliked before moving on to möchten.

Finally, it was time for Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.  I love Sesame Street, both in English and German, and try to incorporate clips from it into class whenever I can.  (The 3/4 students seem to enjoy it a lot, too.  The first year students aren't quite sure yet.)  I happened upon the German version of "I love trash," which uses mögen: "Ich mag Müll."  Perfect!