Blackout Poetry with The Book Thief

In The Book Thief, Max takes Hitler’s memoir Mein Kampf, white washes the pages and from that creates something beautiful.  Through this lesson plan, students have the opportunity to do the same.

As my roommate said as we were doing this together, “I’m taking Hitler’s words, reducing it down to 10%, and now it’s so much better!”

Mine’s about zombies. Teehee.

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Lesson plan after the jump.

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Kung-fu und Kebab

Fatih Akin is one of my heroes. He’s one of the foremost German filmmakers today, the director of Soul Kitchen and Im Juli, as well as a segment of New York, I Love You. He’s also the screenwriter of one of my fav films, Kebab Connection. Watch the clip below to see why:

Update: The original video I posted got removed from YouTube. Lame. Here’s the trailer, instead.

Here’s the synopsis: young Ibo, a Hamburger of Turkish descent, aspires to make the first German kung-fu film. Meanwhile, his girlfriend gets pregnant. Comedy ensues.

There are SO MANY reasons to include this film in your German classes. For one, the role of Turks in Germany is a hot topic issue, and this is a good way to get students to start discussing immigration issues both in Germany and in the states, as well as other German current events. For another, the exploration of fine German cuisine, the omnipresent Döner (I’m drooling just thinking about it). Or even still, listening to real German helps students with their Hörverstehen skills and expands their vocabulary. Which is why, you know, we teach German. Right?

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A great compilation of resources for learning German! Most are for self-learners rather than for classroom application, but useful all the same. Expat even includes links to her reviews of them!

Expat Linguist

I noticed recently that a number of people have found my blog after searching for information about German vocabulary or grammar. I have written a number of blog posts about learning German, but that information is scattered throughout the blog. Here is a list of resources, more or less in order from least to most commitment, along with links to some of my blog posts about them:

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German rap is actually pretty good

Culcha Candela has quickly become one of my favorite music groups, even though (or possibly because) they normally don’t sing in English. As soon as I started taking German classes, I wanted to find some German music to listen to. Although I couldn’t understand it at first, it helped get my head in the right place as I was rushing to class listening to my iPod. Turns out, some of it is actually pretty good.

Our friends at the Goethe Institute have apparently figured this out, as well. They’ve put together some handy dandy worksheets, ready to print and hand out, that go nicely with some contemporary German music. These are actual bands that actual Germans listen to, like Peter Fox and Ich + Ich. They’ve also picked some songs that are easily understood – “Haus am See” by Peter Fox is nice and slow, so even beginning students should be able to pick out at least a couple words. The activities they’ve included are perfect for listening comprehension, with some fill-in-the-blanks, some multiple choice, and some free writing exercises. Extraordinarily well done, as if we could expect any less from Goethe.

Now if only I could convince them to make one for Culcha Candela…

Here’s that link again. Enjoy!