School in Germany

It is HOT! in Europe in the moment.  It’s probably hard for you to believe while it is cold in Sydney just now.  But even their hot weather isn’t as unpleasant as our really hot Sydney summer days.

I met some Year 5 students here who wanted to know if we have “Hitzefrei” (heat-free) when it gets too hot.  At their school, if the temperature goes above 30 degrees celsius, school is canceled.  Can you imagine that?  We would hardly go to school! They can’t believe that we don’t have Hitzefrei, or how hot it gets for us.  But they were glad to hear that we have air conditioning at our school (they don’t).

The students had many questions about school, and as I showed them photos, they couldn’t believe our uniforms!

Everywhere we go, people are astounded that we have been able to pull our children out of school, as German regulations around this are very strict – the maximum extra time you can take your child out of school is 2 days, and they cannot adjoin holidays. You have to seek permission and have a very good reason!  Police go to the airports on the last day of school, and if parents can’t produce the child’s report (issued on the last day), they receive massive fines for breaking these laws.

Austria’s rules are not quite as strict as Germany’s.  They are allowed to have a maximum of 1 week out of school, and permission is sought from the Government to do this.

German children have so much more independence and much more is expected of them.  School starts by 8, and is usually finished by 11.30.  There are no casual teachers, so teachers are not replaced if a teacher is absent (at least in upper primary and high school).  Many schools put their timetable online, and students can check in the morning to see what their lessons are, and if any are canceled.  They are expected to do some work on their own, or go home and come back again. High school starts from Year 5 onwards.

In Year 5, students learn German and English and 1 other language!!!, the level of proficiency is impressive, because they have at least 5 lessons a week of their other languages, so everyone has the opportunity to become fluent.

Students pass a “walk to school test” at around Year 2 age.  They receive their “Walk to School Licence” – then they are expected to walk to school on their own, and many will be allowed to walk home alone (even if their parents are not at home yet).

There is an after-school program for younger students whose parents work.

Schools also conduct bike riding lessons, and when the students are ready, the police assess whether they pass and receive their Licence.

In the towns and cities, there are so many aspects of life like this, that mean it’s easy to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.

 

What do you think about all the things that are different?  Which things do you prefer? The German way or the Australian way?

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Which language would you like with that?

We have arrived in the UK, and already I love the way I can see how people are aware of some other languages that are spoken.

We popped into McDonald’s for some familiar food yesterday…  The kids love to use the screens to order their own meals.  Look what we saw!

 

Have you ever seen this before?

maccas languages 1

We had a look at the French screen:

 

maccas languages 3

And the German screen:

 

maccas languages 2

Are there any words you can work out?

 

Can you find out what the other languages are?

 

Can’t wait to tell you more!

 

Frau Holmes!

 

 

 

 

Das Geld

Have a look at the photo…

What do you notice about the money?

Have you seen money that looks like this before? Where?

Have you used it before?

What’s different from the money we use in Australia? Is anything the same?

What do you think is interesting?

Most countries have their own “currency” (the word for the type of money they use).

If you travel outside of Australia you need to get some of the money for each country. You swap some Australian money for whichever currency you need.

Lots of countries in Europe now use “the Euro” instead of all having different types of money – this makes it much easier when you go traveling!

What currencies can you see in the picture?

Can you find out which countries they are used in?

Building Sentences

This week in Year 4 and Year 6, students have been exploring how to ‘build’ sentences in German.

We used a Lego board to create a model of a sentence.

We discussed the essential components of a sentence:

building sentences base board

Subject + Verb

See if your student can explain what the Subject and Verb are

Subject:  Who or What is doing the action

Verb:  The action they are doing.  We discussed tricky irregular verbs “to be” and “to have” that don’t necessarily look like verbs (eg. I am big), and that don’t follow the normal rules – these verbs are also irregular in German:

In addition, a sentence often has a Predicate (this may be a new word to you!).

The predicate covers all the other parts of the sentence.

We talked about how you can manipulate a sentence by replacing the subject or the verb.*

We concentrated on these sentences:

Year 6:

Ich bin…

Ich habe….

Year 4:

Meine Raupe ist …

Mein Schmetterling hat….

We sorted our word-bricks into the right colours, and then had fun making up and changing sentences  by swapping out the Subject, the Verb or the Predicate.

The students responded really well, and seemed to have a much clearer grasp of how to create a sentence of their own, rather than just copying a phrase they have been taught.

I’m really grateful to the amazing teacher I heard at a recent Languages Teacher meeting. You can check out more of her good ideas here.

*We didn’t talk yet about Subject + Verb agreement – for those of you who have ever studied languages! This means the way that the end of the verb changes according to who the subject is. I wanted to keep the focus on the overall sentence construction this time.

German States 1815

This week we are exploring what “Germany” was like before it became Germany.

You will be given some maps, and you’ll need to draw some different things on them, to help you understand how Germany and other nations, have changed over time.

The challenges, and the links are listed below!

 

Challenge:  What was there before Germany?

German States, 1815.  The link is here.

Draw the shape of these states on your current map of Germany.

Prussia is a German state as well.  Include it, but show in a different colour.

The key on the map will help you understand how big Germany was, and which parts were Prussian.

Challenge:  Why become one nation?

Read the paragraph underneath the map.  Answer the questions on your sheet.

What do you think these words mean:

  • Nationalism
  • Alliances

They were important factors in both WW1, and WW2.  We will talk about them more soon!

Challenge:  German Empire 1871

Read the information on your sheet, and look at the map here

Compare it to the original map you drew – what has changed.  Use a different colour to show the lands that Bismarck took over.

 

 

 

 

Germany, WW1 & WW2: What we Know & Want to Know

This week in German we discussed what we already Know, what we Want to Know about Germany, WWI and WW2.

At the end of our unit we will revisit our ideas, and see what we understood correctly.

What would you add to our list?

What do you think we will learn?

WWI

Know:

  • Germany started the war
  • Many countries helped each other
  • a lot of people risked their lives for us
  • The English declared war
  • A lot of people died
  • They fought over countries
  • Spain and Russia owned Germany during the great war
  • What weapons
  • Adolf Hitler started WW1
  • Sir John Monash fought (on $100 note)
  • They used guns, army, dogs, horses and C4
  • they had weapons
  • Hitler was in WW1 as a soldier.
  • The shooting of Franz Ferdinand – shot by Serbians
  • 1914-18
  • millions of Jews got killed in 1916
  • Caused by assassination of Prince of Hungary
  • Everyone started to leave

Want to know

  • how it ended
  • what aircraft they used
  • who were some of the main fighters?
  • what guns did the Germans use?
  • who started WWI
  • when was World War I started?
  • how many people fought?
  • If Hitler had died in WW1 would WW2 have happened?
  • How did it start?
  • what was the purpose of it?
  • everything important about the war!
  • How did the war unfold?
  • Why did they shoot Franz Ferdinand?
  • Which countries were involved?
  • More about the Red Baron
  • The youngest soldier
  • How did it end?

WW2

Know

  • They fought over countries
  • Adolf Hitler hated Jews
  • Adolf Hitler was a Nazi
  • Adolf Hitler was leader of the Nazis
  • Concentration Camps
  • The Nazis trapped a lot of Jewish people
  • Some of our families fought in the war
  • Hitler, Swastika symbol
  • Hitler committed suicide & killed his family
  • Hitler started WW2
  • Hitler was attacked by a bomb but survived

Want to know:

  • How did it start?
  • Where did it start?
  • When did it start?
  • How did Hitler rise to power
  • If they said WWI was going to be the first and last war why was there WW2
  • Hitler’s childhood / history
  • Why it started
  • How did Hitler die?

Germany

Know:

  • have a good soccer team
  • Capital City:  Berlin
  • Powerful war country
  • Sausages

Want to know

  • Why are there two parts of Germany?
  • How to speak German better

War!

In Year 6 we will explore what was happening in Germany that led to World War I & World War II.  It will help us to understand more recent German history – like:

  • why there was West Germany & East Germany
  • why there was a wall dividing Berlin into East & West
  • why the wall came down!

It will lay the foundation for us to research how different people used opportunities to resist what Hitler was doing, and to complete a presentation in German about these heroes.

It will also prepare students for their Semester 2 Literature Unit.

WinterFest!

WinterFest kommt bald dran!

WinterFest is nearly here!

It will be lots of fun.  Come along and bring your friends.

You will have lots of fun activities to do:  Schlittschuhlaufen, Schneespielen, Singen, Tanzen, Laterne-machen, und vieles leckeres Essen zum essen!

Can you work out what any of those words mean?

Don’t forget there will be a Lantern Parade – you will be able to paint your very own lantern for the parade.

Year 1 will be learning more about this later in the year.  Older students should remember what the Lantern parade is about:  Martinstag (Sankt Martin).  See if your students can remember the story of St Martin.

Here is a link to one of the songs we will be singing – you might remember it!

 

Tschüß!

 

World War II Resistance Heroes

In year 6, we have been exploring the theme of power and how it relates to World War II.

In German, we are learning about some people who were brave enough to use their power to stand up against Hitler.

Today we practised how to describe our hero in German.

Wie heisst du?       Ich heisse…

Ich komme aus …

Ich spreche…

Mein Spitzname…

Mein Geburtstag ist am…

Ich bin ein Junge / Mädchen.

Ich bin…

 

Medaille: