Hi teachers! Here are some quick tips on how to use pictures in your classroom. I use it in online teaching and for teaching German, but it can be easily adapted to other languages and classroom settings.
1. Bilder des Tages/ Pictures of the day
Use some pictures from the News and let students describe what they see. This works with all levels, for higher levels you can add discussions about the news topics. You can let students click through and find 5 interesting pictures to describe, or, if you have to be political sensitive, choose some photos before class. The page I ususally use for this is: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/thema/Bilderblog and then e.g. “Momentaufnahmen im März”.
Reuters is also a good choice for the pictures of the day.
2. Bildergeschichten /picture stories
Here students describe a sequence of pictures as a story, you can even let them tell the story in different tenses. Good material: Vater und Sohn
Another good one is Five card Flickr stories : a sequence of 5 photos, students have to make up a story using these. Very creative exercise, you can also let students write the story as homework.
3. The classic: Use art to teach some culture and to get students talking. They can describe pictures and also tell about how they make them feel, what the intention might have been, how the colours work, etc.etc. If you want to make this also about culture, let students research some famous/favourite artists and give small presentations.
4. Comparing. Students have to find the differences in two pictures. For the pictures, I just google “Fehlerbilder” or “Suchbilder”.
5. Picture dictation. Simple idea, but especially children have a lot of fun with it. “Dictate” them a picture, tell them step by step what is in the middle, on the left, top of the picture etc. The student then has to to the same and dictate you a picture. This can get you some very funny results. For online lessons, let students either draw and then hold the picture into the camera, or use twiddla. For material, if you don’t want to make up their own: search the internet for picture dictations or just use any drawings or photographs you wish. This is also great for themed lessons, like picture dictating a monster on Halloween, or practising christmas words with a christmas picture. You’ll have a lot of fun with it!
Happy teaching ♥ And feel free to share your own ideas in the comments!
1. Er ist verrückt nach ihr: He’s crazy about her. 2. Total verknallt sein: to be madly in love
3. Jemandem schöne Augen machen: to make mooneyes on somebody 4. Auf Wolke 7 schweben: to be on cloud nine 5. Schmetterlinge im Bauch haben: to have butterflies in one’s stomach 6. Liebe geht durch den Magen: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach
7. Jemandem den Kopf verdrehen: to turn somebody’s head 8. Der Herzensbrecher: the heartbreaker 9. Der Knutschfleck: the hickey/lovebite 10. Unter die Haube kommen (= den Bund der Ehe schließen) to tie the knot
11. Jemanden verkuppeln: to set sb. up 12. Liebe macht blind: Love is blind 13. Jemdandem sein Herz zu Füßen legen: to lay your heart at someone’s feet 14. Die Turteltauben: the lovebirds
Lovebirds Image courtesy of panuruangjan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net // Heart Apple Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Great for learners AND teachers: Subjekte is a new website for German learners who want to practise reading German while also learning interesting facts about Germany (politics, culture and much more). The best thing: the language used is “only as complicated as necessary”. Definitely worth a look & a read:
A new part of the dialogue series is finally here! A short but typically conversation about snow, with vocabulary. Enjoy ♥
Dialog: Der Schnee
A: „Ach guck mal! Es hat geschneit. Alles weiß draußen!
B: “Darauf hätte ich dieses Jahr auch verzichten können.”
A: „Warum magst du denn keinen Schnee?“
B: „Schnee ist kalt und beim Fahrradfahren friert man sich die Hände ab. Oder man muss morgens sein Auto erst mal freikratzen. Und auf den Straßen ist doch nur hässlicher Schneematsch.“
A: „Hm. Aber wenn ich mich richtig erinnere, hast du gegen eine ordentlicheSchneeballschlacht nichts einzuwenden!
B: „Na gut, dem kann ich was abgewinnen. Und, wenn ich so drüber nachdenke, ich liebe eislaufen auf einem zugefrorenen See.
A: “Siehst du, du nicht alles am Winter ist schlecht!
B: „Ich kann den Frühling trotzdem kaum erwarten…”
(geschneit = Partizip II)
"Darauf hätte ich verzichten können"
"I could have done without it"
sich die Hände abfrieren
to freeze one's hands off
to scrape the ice off of car windows
to take pleasure in
etw. kaum erwarten können
to can hardly wait for sth.
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So, where to start when learning German? A good idea is to get familiar with the Alphabet first, so today I’m sharing some helpful links for you to learn it online. You can start right away:
Top 5 links on the Web for learning the German Alphabet
1.Listen and repeat on this website (just click on the letter you want to listen to).
2. Find pronunciation explanation & help with English word/sound examples at German About
3. Enjoy a fun video by Deutsch für Euch:
4. Practise time! Memrise flashcards with Audio for the Alphabet and the special characters (you need a memrise account for this). LINK
5. Song: Fanta 4 – MFG
Listening practise with this famous Song by “Die Fantastischen Vier”. They use thousands of abbreviations in this song, so play it once or twice and write down all that you get. Then compare your abbreviations with this list (and learn their meaning if you klick on the English version).
Happy 2015 my dear readers! It’s already been 9 days, and so much happening in the world. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? If you set yourself the goal this year to learn German (or any other language), then here are 5 tips that might help you to start the year off right.
5 tips for successful language learning
1. Know your motivation. This means, you should always know why you’re learning the language, because reminding you of the answer to this question can be helpful in times when you get stuck a bit in your studies. Your motivation or reasons to learn German can be anything, even if it is “just for fun”. If you have trouble finding your true motivation, then maybe invite friends to learn with you and turn it into a challenge.
2. Set yourself realistic goals. If you think you can become fluent in 3 months..then you might soon be disappointed if you don’t get there so fast. Try to set a goal that is realistic in terms of the time you can spend, the resources you have, and also, your motviation and reasons.
3. Make it a habit. Dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to learning German (but do more if you want to achieve goals faster!). This can be anything: a session on duolingo, memrise, reading an article, doing online exercises, doing your homework. Even 10 minutes can help you making a regular space in your life for the language and help you stay motivated.
4. Try out anything new you learn right away! Perhaps you can start a blog where you reflect on your learning while using the new words, or find more direct ways like writing in the target language (try lang8 e.g.), looking for a penpal online, chatting with someone on skype, talking to yourself, etc. etc.
5. Have fun. This means, focus your learning on things you really like. If you dread grammar, then try to read more instead , and don’t keep doing exercises that bore you anyway. If you’re intersted in photography, sports, cats etc. then try to find this kind of content in your target language. You can even write a story or a song in the language you learn..there are just so many possibilities!
Feel free to share your own tips on how to success in learning a language in the comments below. I wish you all the best for your language goals and resolutions this year!
Enjoy a playlist of 24 Christmas songs sung in German. With Nena, Puhdys, Nat King Cole (singing in German!) and many others. You can listen to the embedded playlist without signing up to Spotify. Fröhliche Weihnacht!