It’s 2019, and you are teaching German. What could be easier than making your own worksheet at home?
Start up the laptop, spend an hour with Word, and print the result—voilà. Or you even use a program or webpage specifically for creating worksheets or fill-in-the-blank handouts.
And yet, sometimes it can become a chore and a burden. Worse yet, if you design all worksheets yourself, they might become repetitive and not engage your students anymore.
After all, you are a teacher, not a worksheet designer, right?
That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t put worksheets together. Just keep in mind that you can complement your own worksheets with a host of pre-made ones, and that there are distinct benefits from doing so.
The Unexpected Benefits of Using Pre-made German Teaching Materials
Let’s begin with the obvious: if you use pre-made worksheets, you save time and energy.
It also removes all technical limitations. If you want to have nice boxes or a fancy layout, you don’t need to wrestle with Word until you get there, because someone else already did. Not everyone is a professional designer and layout expert, and that is perfectly okay.
Somewhat less obvious, but equally important: using worksheets from the internet allows you to access an immense, almost limitless pool of creativity that you will be hard-pressed to equal on your own.
You will have a multitude of diverse styles and contents, of different topics, images and texts that you can tailor to each session and use to always keep your classroom fresh and surprising.
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The Best Resources to Find German Worksheets and Teaching Materials
Where do you find the best German worksheets and teaching materials on a budget? And by budget, we mean for free. Just download the files and print them out, and that’s it—you are set for your session.
If you have a topic in mind, there are a few invaluable repositories of worksheets you can access online for free.
- Pinterest: Put a keyword in their search engine and marvel at the hundreds upon hundreds of worksheets you will be presented with.
- iSLCOLLECTIVE: Works similar to Pinterest and has a similar wealth of worksheets for every conceivable topic.
- Deutsch und Deutlich: A German site that has a large selection of worksheets designed for secondary school German teaching—and most of them can be easily appropriated for secondary language German teaching.
- Deutsch als Fremdsprache: A Swiss site that holds hundreds of worksheets that are sorted by type, so you can easily find worksheets related to grammar, spelling, semantic fields and many more.
- 4teachers: Collects worksheets made by teachers and makes them available for other teachers. If you need something that comes out of practical thinking and experience, look no further than this.
- derdieDaF: A website of the Klett Verlag, one of the biggest and oldest educational publishing houses in Germany. They offer a smaller selection of worksheets that have very high quality across the board, and they are all for free.
- Lehrermaterial: This is aimed at German teacher in a variety of subjects, but as with Deutsch und Deutlich above, most of the worksheets can be transferred to second language teaching without any adjustments. Many of the worksheets here can be quite advanced, so they may be most useful for somewhat experienced students. Most of the worksheets are not free but require a fee of €1,50 to be used.
- Nancy Thuleen: Nancy Thuleen is a German teacher who has prepared a lot of worksheets, uploaded them to her site, categorized them for easier use, and allows everyone to freely download them. What more could you want?
If you want to create a FluentU fully immersive learning experience add to your teaching material also. Because, after all, what else could be the first choice for German teaching materials than FluentU?
You’ll marvel at the ease with which they can be plugged into your teaching sessions. With interactive captions, an integrated dictionary and ready-made quizzes, it provides endless hours of classroom or homework functionality.
8 Exemplary German Worksheets to Use as Teaching Materials
Worksheets are the stalwarts of teaching materials, and you can find a thousand and one of them online.
We already gave you a comprehensive list of resources and repositories. Now, let’s go through eight of the best worksheets out there and how you can plug them into your classroom teaching.
1. Verb Crossword Puzzle
The design is clear, no instructions needed. It works just like any old newspaper crossword puzzle, but it is loaded with teaching goodness.
For each of the 38 across and down answers, your students will need the Präteritum form of the given verb and how to adjust it to the given person. You can find the complete crossword puzzle and its solution key as a free download online.
As a “sequel” or alternative, use this crossword puzzle to help your students learn the numbers and do a bit of math on the way.
2. What’s so Special About Specialists?
This worksheet is a bit tricky, but quite fun.
Its main text is based on a newspaper column and has to be read out aloud two times, telling the story of a customer and two salespeople at an electronics store.
Following the two readouts, you hand out the actual worksheet with questions your students might have some difficulties with. But if they can answer them (either all together or in groups), you can congratulate them on their impressive grasp of the language and situational analysis.
3. Jobs and Job Descriptions
What better way to understand German daily life than by understanding what Germans do?
This worksheet seems minimalist at first, but it packs a punch. On the left side, it lists some of the most common jobs in Germany, from teacher to waiter and from mailman to doctor.
The students are required (I would suggest in group work) to fill in two things: where these people work (e.g. the doctor works in the hospital or a medical office), and what they do there (e.g. the doctor diagnoses patients and gives prescriptions).
4. Applied Geography
If you want to give your students an overview of the heartland of the German language, you can’t do much better than this worksheet.
It includes not only Germany but also Austria and Switzerland, and it comes complete with four pages of additional information, research tasks and questions, as well as the solution to all of these.
Since some of the tasks can be quite extensive and since there are a lot of them, this is something for groups of students or even the entire classroom.
Before you start this, you could offer your students a primer on German geography with a worksheet on the sixteen federal states and their capitals.
5. A German House
Teaching and learning don’t always have to be heavy. Try a bit of lighter and more entertaining activities that nonetheless demand your students’ attention.
This one centers around a colorful image of a German house in which a lot is happening. And best of all, it comes complete with a 17-question quiz that your students’ will only be able to answer if they look closely, work together and improve their vocabulary.
And if your students can’t get enough of German houses, how about this worksheet about a house and its furniture?
6. A Day in the Life
In teaching a language, it is always good to be immersive–and what could be more immersive than experiencing the daily life of a German (well, Austrian) student?
This worksheet provides the complete daily routine of a boy called Robert, then asks several questions to see if your students have paid attention and understood everything.
You can have your students read out the story in turns (one sentence per student), then give them some time to answer the questions. Have them each provide one answer to the whole classroom, and discuss the results.
To get a bit more grammar value out of it, use another worksheet about Tristan’s weekend activities where the answers have to be filled in using the correct sentence structure and verb form.
7. Going into Space
German astronaut Alexander Gerst went aboard the International Space Station, and this worksheet is a great opener to talk about that.
First, you have seven scrambled astronaut words your students have to put into the right order; then, they need to find the same seven words in a word grid.
And if that’s not enough, they can also fill them into a fill-in-the-blanks text and learn about life on the International Space Station!
8. Days of the Week
It is always good when a worksheet has a clear and unanimous teaching purpose. This one couldn’t be simpler—it’s about memorizing the German days of the week.
It might seem repetitive at first, but have your students answer every single question on their own before you discuss the result with the whole classroom.
I guarantee that after a session of this, they will always get their weekdays straight!
As you can see, there are fantastic worksheets out there–now it’s up to you to put them to good use!
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