The Christmas holiday provides a wonderful opportunity for cross-cultural comparisons between the United States and the German-speaking countries. Below you will find excerpts for use in your classroom during the holiday season.
Suited for the 2nd Year and up: In this fun exercise from our beginning textbook series Portfolio Deutsch—the Lieblingsding—students select from the list of objects and guess to whom they belong, leading to a writing exercise on the topic of favorite things in general. A good warm-up activity before asking students what they want for Christmas!
Suited for the 3rd Year and up: These Christmas exercises from the Leo & Co. Easy Reader Series story Stille Nacht are drawn from the extensive Landeskunde section, which accompanies each story in the series, providing useful and informative background information. Each story is also accompanied by an audio CD with a dramatized narration of the story. Be sure to listen to the last chapter of the story with a description of a festive Christmas dinner and the first verse of "O Tannenbaum" as sung by the guests!
Suited for the 3rd Year and up: In these short texts and exercises students learn about various Christmas traditions in the German-speaking world: the Adventskalender, Adventskranz, Nikolaus and the Christkindlmarkt. In this exercise, students are asked to sort out the ingredients for two recipes—one for Kokosmakronen and the other for a non-alcoholic Punsch—after reading the instructions for each. The section concludes with a project to design and make an advent calendar based on the tips from a German website.
Suited for 4th Year and up: "Man soll die Feste feiern..." In this section from Klett-USA's ancillary text Grammatik im Gespräch, students simultaneously talk about the holidays and practice the infinitive construction with zu. This book is ideal for extra practice for intermediate-level students and for AP teachers looking to integrate content with relevant grammar points.