Germany has a long and varied cultural history with a long line of industrial, military, technological and scientific excellence. Some of the best composers have come from Germany as well. Help your students celebrate Germany's cultural history with German crafts.
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Horse Chestnut Creatures
Horse chestnuts are very popular in Germany in a wide variety of dishes. They are large and sturdy, making them excellent for craft work celebrating this traditional German staple. If you live in an area where chestnuts grow, you can have your children pick them in the autumn. If not, you can buy them in many grocery stores. Give each child at least four or five. They should also have scissors, acorns, seeds and toothpicks. Have them pick their favourite animal. Find a picture of this animal and have the children use it as a guide in their designs. They should then use their scissors, toothpicks and chestnuts to craft a chestnut version of their animal. The scissors can shape the chestnuts while the toothpicks can hold them together.
White Stork Toilet Roll
Bald eagles are the national bird in the United States of America. In Germany, the white stork is the national bird. Celebrate the tradition of national birds by having your children create their own white stork out of toilet paper rolls. Bring in at least two toilet paper rolls per child or have them bring in their own, which will give them an extra in case of mistakes. Show them a picture of a white stork to give them a guide. Use light construction paper to colour your stork. Wrap it around the toilet paper roll, and tape it down tightly. Give your children crayons to colour their bird's face, eyes and beak. Have them use construction paper to glue small feet to their birds, as well as a tail. They should also carefully draw and cut out wings to tape to the side. Once everyone has finished their birds, display them throughout the room on wires.
Traditional German Dress
Long ago, the traditional dress for working class Germans consisted of clogs, large feathered tracthen hats, white socks and lederhosen. "Lederhosen" refers to green or brown breeches held up by suspenders. A white shirt is worn underneath. Though such films as "Heidi" have popularised the classic German peasant look, in more modern times people in Germany wear this outfit during festivals to celebrate their cultural heritage. Show your children pictures of this traditional outfit, which they likely have already seen. They should use thick cardboard to design and dress a small German boy. Each piece of clothing should consist of a separate piece of paper cut out and glued to the boy. Once every child has finished the project, hang these on the walls of your classroom.
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