Märchenland Deutschland – Germany: The Land of Fairy Tales (LS-IT-75)

Context

At the beginning of this school year, I had to plan a multidisciplinary Unit of Teaching, through which the development of particular learning competences could be observed and evaluated. The teaching target focused on the following three key competences for lifelong learning:

  • multilingual competence;
  • personal, social and learning to learn competence;
  • cultural awareness and expression competence.

My school team and I chose to concentrate on the European tradition of fairy tales in Italian, Latin and three foreign languages (English, French and German). As I found out that I had been accepted in the Europeana Education project, I decided to exploit Europeana Collections to implement my part of this unit of teaching.

Planning the LS

In order to plan my lesson, I firstly checked which free resources I could use from the Europeana platform regarding the topics I had previously selected for my didactic unit. I decided to use some portraits of the Brothers Grimm, the picture of a manuscript, which showed their handwriting, some pictures of the Toy Museum (Nurnberg), postcards and paintings which illustrated the three texts I had chosen (Sleeping Beauty; The Bremen Town Musicians; The Star-Money). Finally, I integrated the Europeana materials with other resources. This way, my students could be best guided in their learning achievements.

Learning steps

1. Presentation: I introduced my students to the German tradition of fairy tales. Firstly, based on their own experiences and starting from the most well-known stories (from books or cartoons). Secondly, I made them reflect on the origin of these fables, presenting the Brothers Grimm’s contribution to the development of this genre and its diffusion.

2. Brothers Grimm: I focused on the works of the two authors. Referring not only to their life but especially to their present importance. For this reason, I introduced both the Museum “Grimmwelt” in Kassel and the German Fairy Tale Route.

3. The three Fairy Tales: Before reading the texts, I showed my pupils a famous German TV series (Sechs auf einen Streich), in order to catch their attention. I also referred to their previous knowledge with the help of the Europeana images. Afterwards, I guided the class in reading comprehension and analysis.

4.Communicative tasks: Europeana resources were useful in class. Especially to support and revise the learning of the new vocabulary and the idiomatic expressions of this literary genre. I also exploited Europeana images to reinforce translation competences and the narrative creativity of pupils.

Conclusion

Using Europeana for my unit of teaching has been an interesting and enriching experience. The aims of the lesson have been fulfilled and students gained a lot from the selected pictures. These also represented a useful mean to get in touch with German museums and the German cultural heritage.

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