May 30, 2011

End of Year Activities, Part 2

Last week we share several different people’s ideas for things to do with you students at the end of the school year. Here are a few more.

Read a blog post by Mary Beth Hertz with ideas for ending the year on a positive note (and scroll down to see others’ contributions as well) at

An AATG listserv user shares the following insights and ideas:

1. We looked at the course offerings of all the universities they are planning to attend. We talk about how to choose well, if offered a choice and how in undergraduate school it is not called "German Four" but how much choice there is in upper levels. After this we dabble in a few literature pieces- a few pages of Thomas Mann, Elfriede Jelinek and Max Frisch- this really opens their eyes to the variety, different levels of difficulty and literary styles. I know some will gasp that we are not reading the entire work, but it is meant to open them up to what lies ahead.

2. I provided them with a list of themes and they chose two from the list- this class chose humor and film. So we have a week of student-chosen themes- We are watching Die Mitte by Stanislaw Much- a good film to continue our year-long theme of mobility in a changing Europe. For humor we will read a few pieces from an anthology and then write captions to some Far Side cartoons for fun.

3. Then for two weeks each student will be the teacher for 20 minutes. They have to teach us something A)- we do not already know, B) that is personal to their lives and C)- can be explained in 20 minutes- if there is a performance aspect- great: in the past students have taught us a certain type of sport or dance or some other hobby they have that is not something everyone does- interesting way to get to know each other more before departing from each other. One student taught us the history of album covers of rock bands from Germany in the 70's. One student taught us how to put a Sari on, etc. The point is for them to show us something about themselves away from meeting an external goal.

4. We will take, during the last week of school, many of the pieces they have written this year, choose a few and rework them to be posted on a blog- the idea is to reach out to the community beyond our school and for them to share their voices in the wider German-speaking world.

Gwin, C. Re: [AATG-L] End of the year ideas for seniors? AATG listserv (AATG@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU, 15 May 2011).

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