Letter to Penpal 1

Learning Objective

Write a letter to someone in Germany


Success Criteria

I can introduce myself by saying my name, how old I am and whether I am a boy or girl

I can write where I live and when my birthday is

I can say what I am wearing and what the weather is like

I can do a reading comprehension and then write about my own family

Key Vocabulary

Wie heißt du?

Wie alt bist du?

Wie geht’s

Wo wohnst du?

Wann hast du Geburtstag?

Ich heiße ...

Ich bin ein Junge/Mädchen

Ich bin ... Jahre alt

Ich wohne in …

Ich habe im/am … Geburtstag

Im Moment habe ich … an und das Wetter ist


Er ist ...

Sie ist ...

die Mutter

der Papa


der Bruder

der Opa

die Tante

die Schwester

der Onkel

die Oma

der Cousin/die Cousine

der Stiefbruder

die Stiefmutter

die Familie

deine Familie

Ich habe ...

Mein Papa heißt ...

Meine Mutter heißt ...

Mein Opa heißt ...

Meine Schwester heißt ... 


Lesson Context

The children will be familiar with most of the vocabulary this lesson as they will be talking about themselves, including clothes, the weather and family. The children will also learn to recognise some very useful vocabulary in the reading comprehension which will really support them when they actually write the letter in 'Letter to Penpal 3'. Away from the reading comprehension and writing, the lesson also includes fun activities such as 'walk around', 'who is speaking' and 'the king/queen of knowledge'



Powerpoint presentation

'Weekdays and Family' flashcards for the starter activity

Hand outs which the children can take home for revision - front and back

'Walk Around' cards


Slide 2 - Main Introduction

Communicate LO and SC


Slide 3 - Starter activity - Das Kartenspiel - revision of 'Weekdays' and 'Family' vocabulary 

Explain that the children should be using the 'Lob' words on slide 3 and let them get on with it. Reward children for using the 'Lob' words. The 'Family' vocabulary will be useful in today's lesson.


Slide 4 - Fünf Fragen

This slide will be familiar to the children from their Zeit für Deutsch sessions and explain that it will be useful as these are the kinds of things you would write in a first letter to a penpal. Get one child to ask you the questions and answer them using the red format provided. You may want to remind the children of how to say when to say when their birthday is (2 options):


1 Easy - Say 'im' and then the month - e.g. Ich habe im Januar Geburtstag


2 - Difficult - Say 'am' followed by the ordinal number and then the month - e.g. Ich habe am zehnten Januar Geburtstag


Give the children a couple of minutes to ask and answer the 5 questions with someone on their tables. Then randomly select a few children, ask each one the 5 questions and then reward term if they answer them correctly


Slide 5 - More information about myself

A few of the children may recognise some of the blue vocabulary:

Ich bin ein Junge/Mädchen - I am a girl/boy

*Im Moment habe ich ... an und das Wetter ist ... - At the moment I have ... on and the weather is ...


*For the second sentence you may quickly want to point at yourself and a child and sag mir nach the German for what you/they are wearing. For the weather you may also want to remind the children of the following words they can put on the end:

sonning - sunny

heiß - hot

warm - warm

kalt - cold

eiskalt - icy cold

windig - windy

wolkig - cloudy

neblig - foggy


The children should have a walk around card each on their tables. Give the children 2 minutes to take a card, think about what they are going to say and the practise with a partner


Slide 6 - Walk around

This is a similar activity to 'Kartentausch' in that the children walk around the classroom to find a partner with their hand up, high five them, speak some German, hand up again, find a new partner with their hand up and repeat. In this activity though, the children keep the same card and use it as a prompt to tell their partner about themselves. The children say the red and 'choose' the blue. Note that I have highlighted 'das Wetter ist' in blue. In this case the children may want to use another way of describing the weather such as 'die Sonne scheint', es regnet', or 'es schneit'.  


Give the children about 5 minutes to 'walk around' encouraging them to speak to children that they don't know very well


Slide 7 - Who is speaking?

Ask a child to come to the front of the class and stand with his/her back to the other children. Someone from the class then says one of the sentences that they have been saying in 'walk around' (in a funny voice if they wish) and the person at the front has to guess who said the sentence. If the person at the front guesses correctly then they stay where they are, if not the 'speaker' gets to go to the front. The person at the front has the chance of earning a bonus reward if they are also able to correctly translate the sentence into English 


Slides 8 - 12 - Family

Remind the children of the vocabulary learn in their 'family' lessons. On slide 12, say some sentences in German and challenge the children to translate them into English. Then say some sentences in English and challenge the children to translate them into German. Finally randomly select and reward some children who can say a sentence about their families in German, using slide 12 as a prompt.

*Note - as you go through the family vocabulary, you may want to say ein/eine instead of der/die/das because when the children write about their family, that is what they will use 


Slides 13 - 14 - Reading Comprehension

Explain to the children that they are now going to do a reading comprehension in German. Reassure them that they have learnt most of the words and phrases in the text as a whole text in German might seem daunting to some of them. Firstly read out the 6 questions in English and then read out the questions in German. Now read out the text and you may want to point out the following words:

sehr - very

intelligent - intelligent

heißen - are called

weil - because

freundlich - friendly

viele - lots of  


Give the children 10 - 15 minutes to answer the 6 questions on their sheets and to perform the extension activity. The children may answer the questions in English or German


Extension Activity - Underneath the reading comprehension on the children's sheets there are several lines for the children to practise writing to a penpal. Tell the children to use their 'walk around' cards to help them start writing their letters and then to move on to writing about their families. As the lines are placed under the reading comprehension, encourage the children to use that as a guide about how to write about their own families.


After 10 -15 minutes randomly select and reward children who have answered the comprehension questions correctly. Furthermore, select and reward more children who read out what they have written in their practise letter to a penpal.   


Slide 15/Plenary - King/Queen of Knowledge

  • One child starts off as the King/Queen of Knowledge. S/he sits on a 'throne' at the front of the class and wears a crown.
  • The other children are given 1 minute to think of a sentence in English that they know the German to, relating to today's lesson.
  • Choose a child randomly to say their sentence in English. The King/Queen must then translate that sentence into German. If they are able to they remain on the throne and choose another child. If they are unable to translate then the challenger becomes the King/Queen (as long as they can translate their own sentence).
  • Continue until the time limit or amount of questions is reached.
  • The child who is on the throne at the end receives a celebration and wins a reward.

Assessment and Evidence

Observe and ask questions

Monitoring of the written work

Refer back to the learning objective and success criteria after the 'king/queen' activity.  

Check achievement of the success criteria when you are on slide 16 by questioning and rewarding randomly selected children (using lollipop sticks) 

Letter to Penpal 1.pptx
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 1.2 MB
Vocabulary Sheet Letter to Penpal 1.docx
Microsoft Word Document 471.1 KB

Walk Around Cards.docx
Microsoft Word Document 30.3 KB
Das Kartenspiel Weekdays and Family.docx
Microsoft Word Document 44.0 KB