Both 7th and 8th grade classes finished their current chapters with oral projects. Some recorded their own video and some were presented live in class. Here are some of the videos from the 2013 7th and 8th grades. 7th grade presented some basic getting-to-know-you dialogues, while the 8th graders presented their schedules.
For a take home assessment to our mini unit, "Separation and Reunification of Germany," the 8th graders had to create pictures, stories, poems, songs or even a 3D-model to show what they learned. I picked some of the best work to show cast it here. Enjoy these wonderfully creative projects.
Kathryn and Maddie decided to put their creative energy together to create this great model of the Berlin wall.
Scroll through the document below to read some fantastic writing by our very talented students. Some chose to tell a story out of a family's perspective, others rhymed and managed to put so much of what they learned in a poem or rap.
There were many more great examples. Fantastische Arbeit!
Homework is probably no student's favorite part of school. First you have to go to school and do all the work in class and then you should do more at home?
But even though it seems like just another way to keep you busy, homework is giving you a way to practice your skills at home by yourself. In your homewok choice packet you have 20/39 different choices (depending on if you are in 7th or 8th grade) of what to do for homework for each due date. Each choice is practicing a particular skill: reading, listening, speaking, writing and cultural awareness. You may choose what to focus on each time. So while it may feel to you like I am just keeping you busy, I am actually helping you advance one of your skills on your own.
It can be so hard to practice German outside of class when there is no one else to talk to and it is important that you find ways to do it regardless. A language lives from practice and use.
The picture here shows you the bulletin board that we have in class with some of your homework assignments that turned out really nice and serve as great examples for what a good finished product should look like. I also save the nicest flashcards in a box so that everyone can use them for review if you want to come to visit during RECAP or before/ after school. I love going through your finished work. The best thing about being a teacher is seeing what amazing things your students can do!
What is intolerance?
As we moved away from our mini-unit on Sophie Scholl and resistance during World War II, we are now trying to answer the question in class: What is intolerance? What does it feel/ look like? And how can I express what I know about intolerance in German. To lead from the topic of the Holocaust to a unit concerned with intolerance in school, we read and analyzed a very powerful quote by Martin Niemöller about personal responsibility:
“First they came for the socialists and I didn't speak out—because I wasn't a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out—because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
The students' objective was to rewrite the quote to match their own lives. Here are some of the students' quotes:
"First it came for my grandmom,
and I was still too young.
Then it came for my neighbor,
I never got to say goodbye.
Then it came for my friend,
some things should not be seen.
Then it came for my gerbil.
another friend lost.
And soon one day it will come for me,
when I am the only one left."
First the oceans were polluted, but I don't live near the ocean. Then the rivers were polluted, but I didn't go in the river. Next the lake was polluted but I don't swim in the lakes. Then all the drinking water was polluted... and it was too late to save it.
In our new unit we are following a boy from Southern Germany, who moved to the Hamburg in the North, where he gets bullied because he is different.
After all this work in the last couple months, we closed our environment unit with some unique action plans. The task for the students was to have a report and a presentation on how they can save the environment. Some students chose to make posters or PowerPoints, others did videos or ads. The more creative the better, and of course everything should be in German and present what they learned.
Every presentation had to have a verbal part. Unfortunately the camera that I used to tape the presentation stopped working after the first couple ones, but fortunately some students did some video taping and recording of their own. Enjoy!
Save the environment!
As part of our review for the action plans and unit test, the 8th graders recorded statements on how to save the environment. Here are some of the clips, enjoy!
Trash or Art? "Müllkunst"
As part of our unit on the environment the 8th graders learned about artists who are making art from trash. Here are some pictures of what they came up with in return.
Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt...
In both 7th and 8th grade, we learned a little bit about German Christmas traditions. Germany has a rich Christmas culture, many of the German traditions were adopted into the culture of other countries. One example for this is the tradition of the Christmas tree.
To have some holiday spirit in our classroom, we celebrated St. Nikolaus in 7th grade by putting a shoe out and learning a Nikolaus song. We will continue the holiday celebration after our quiz this week by writing Christmas cards and talking about our own holiday traditions.
In 8th grade we wrote something nice about everyone in class and put this letter into an Adventskalender. Every day one student gets to open one of the envelops to look at their letter and enjoy some German candy. On the last day before the break we will be making Gingerbread houses.
German American Day
In order to celebrate German week and German American Day on 10-06, we did a scavenger hunt in all my classes. 6th grade did a hunt on finding out information on famous German people and hunted for German words in the classroom. 7th and 8th grade did a six station hunt to find out the most information with 5 minutes at each station. At these stations they learned about the different "states" of Germany, what countries Germany is bordered by, the flags of German speaking countries and the German states and famous German products, people and inventions. They also puzzled Germany back together at one station. The winners received a gift in class consisting of German candy and a sticker.
Eighth grade students also learned about the Berlin wall and the separation of East and West Germany. We talked about what different products both countries had, the circumstances under which the wall went up and how life was different in both parts. As a creative assignment the students either wrote a story or song/rap or drew a picture showing what they learned. Here are some examples:
On Wednesday we had a small Oktoberfest in our 8th grade classroom. The room was decorated by Frau Walter in blue and white (the colors of the Bavarian Flag) and some fall decorations. Both 8th grade German classes got to bring German food and celebrate the German tradition with music, food and a game. First we listened to the live-stream of the Oktoberfest on www.br-online.de to listen to the oompa music they were playing there. This was followed up by our own music and dance, when we danced to "Das Fliegerlied." After that the buffet was opened for our fest. Once everyone had settled down in their seats, we made teams and played Jeopardy with questions about the Oktoberfest as well as other categories, such as "Flashback to 7th grade" and "grammar."
We had some really good food and I want to say "Thank you" to all the students, who contributed to this! I hope you had as much fun as I did. Sorry to everyone, who missed the festivities because of your NYC field trip or for other reasons, you were missed!