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Teaching Students the German Names of Household Items

written by: Peter Boysen • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 1/20/2012

This is an introductory lesson plan designed to help new language learners identify the German names of basic things around the house.

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    Materials: Teaching Household Items in German

    This can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. You can have students use 8" x11" sheets of printer paper, you can have students use graph paper, or even a poster board for the final project. If you're doing a smaller presentation, a pencil and black pen will suffice; if you are doing a larger, more elaborate project, you can bring crayons and markers in.

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    Getting Started

    Have students draw the floor plan of a house. This could be the house in which they live, the house that they dream of living in one day, a friend's house -- you can give them as many choices as you want. Even if you're going to have students present a poster for a finished project, it is a good idea to start with plain or graph paper. One benefit of graph paper is that the students could incorporate a sense of scale more easily. Especially for students who are designing their ideal home, this could add a great deal of creativity to the project.

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    Labeling the Rooms

    Once students have drawn the layout of their houses, have them label each room in German. Use the following list to help students get started:

    office: das Büro

    bathroom: die Toilette, das WC (half-bath); das Bad (full bath)

    storage closet: der Abstellraum

    attic: der Dachboden

    dining room: das Eβzimmer

    garage: die Garage

    basement: der Keller

    children's room: das Kinderzimmer

    kitchen: die Küche

    bedroom: das Schlafzimmer

    living room: das Wohnzimmer

    laundry room: die Waschküche

    stairway: die Treppe

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    Filling the Rooms

    There are many websites that offer extensive lists of German furniture vocabulary. If you would like to move into a discussion of household tasks, either as an oral presentation about the diagram or as part of a new project, there are excellent materials that provide lists of words and exercises as well as visual aids.

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    While not every student will have the architectural promise of a Frank Lloyd Wright or a Louis Sullivan, you can certainly expect a minimal level of effort as far as neatness, organization and correct spelling go. The amount of German you require in the oral presentation will vary depending on the level of your class.