Sunday, September 25, 2016

Haben and the Accusative Case for German 1

This week German 1 learned the verb haben (to have), which means also introducing the accusative case (for direct objects).  

Cases are something that most German students struggle with because they are a lot less noticeable in English.  (The one exception is my students who have had Latin - they are usually thrilled that German has only 4 cases instead of 6!)

The question I get asked the most is "How do I know what case the noun is in?"  My answer, which does not please students, is that you have to figure out the role of the noun in the sentence, which means figuring out what the sentence means.  In other words, you have to think.  Students would like a simple formula, such as the first noun is always the subject, the second noun is the direct object, and so on.  Sadly, it just doesn't work that way.

So, I tried to come up with a way to describe what I mean by "you have to think" and came up with German Sentence Dissection.

The mad scientist on the cover is Dr. Two Brains from PBS Kids Word Girl.  (I love PBS Kids!)  

We made a stacked foldable with the steps for German Sentence Dissection on the outside and the details inside.

I separated out definite and indefinite articles into two separate days.  Here is Step 2: Find the Subject on day one with only definite articles.

And here is Step 3: Find the Direct Object after the second day with definite and indefinite articles.  

I have a terrible time with my students using "eine" (a/an) before a plural noun.  In the past, we used to write "keine" (not/no) in the chart for plural, but then students thought it means a or some for plural nouns.  These days, I have students write "meine" for plural in their ein words charts because it goes along with Das doofe Fischlied.  

But German 1 hasn't learned possessive adjectives, and I wanted to emphasize that plural means more than one, so we wrote "zwei" (two) to signify that you can't say "a books" but you can say "two books."  We'll see if that helps...

This was German 1's first foldable, and they did quite well.  I had them do all of the cutting and preparation work as their bell work, so that when we got to this point in the notes, they were ready to go.

Here are the files for the guided notes plus two worksheets for practicing haben, the accusative case, and articles in the accusative case:

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