Book 1 Letters and Sounds

Learning Objective

Read German Letters and Sounds


Success Criteria

I can say the alphabet in German

I can spell my name in German

I know what an Umlaut is

I know what sound German digraphs make


Key Vocabulary

The main focus this lesson is the pronunciation of German letters and digraphs so only few new words will be learnt


das Buch

das Alphabet

hört zu

der Lehrer/die Lehrerin

die Klasse

heiß oder kalt

Sag ein wort, das mit ... beginnt


Lesson Context

The purpose of this letter is to encourage the children to start becoming independent readers of German and to prepare them to read their first German book next week, 'Die kleine graue Maus'. The umlaut and digraph sounds have not been explicitly taught yet but the children should be aware of most of them through the examples on slides 8 - 14. The letters and sounds are taught through lots of fun games including 'splat', 'hört zu', 'Lehrer v Klasse' and 'heiß oder kalt.    



Power point presentation

Hand outs which the children can take home for revision

Flashcards (Weekdays and Family) for the starter activity

Digraph and Umlaut cards

YouTube Clip of Felix and Franzi - Ein Buch (see below)

The alphabet written in large letters on the board

Slide 2

Communicate LO and SC

Highlight the 'blue' Success Criteria - 'I can spell my name in German'. Explain that at the end of the lesson you will randomly select (and reward) children who are able to do this. 


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

Explain that the children should be using the 'Lob' words on slide 3 and let them get on with it. 


Slide 4 - das Alphabet

Tell the children that although German has the same letters as us (and an ß and umlaut letters), they mostly have different names. Play the clip at the bottom of this page up to 1:50 and ask each child to identify 3 letters that are pronounced differently to English. Afterwards, randomly choose 3 children to give you the 3 letters and to explain the difference. They may use the helpful chart on their hand outs to help them


Slide 5 - Splat

Play the clip to 1:50 again and then play 'Splat' using the large letters written on the white board. Divide the class into 2 teams and choose a representative from each team to come to the board. Say a letter in German and the first person to touch (or splat with something like a fly squatter) the correct letter on the board wins a point for their team. After a few turns change the 'splatters'


Slide 6 - Sag ein Wort, das mit ... beginnt

Before playing the game, get the children to work on their tables with a partner saying the alphabet. They can start off by using the chart on their hand outs and once they feel they can, they can try it without looking at the sheet. Ask if there are any children who feel they can say the whole alphabet in German and reward those who can or who gave a great effort


Now play the game, which is very similar to 'Hans sagt ...' which the children should be familiar with. Randomly choose 2 children using lollipop sticks who then stand up to compete against each other, with the winner earning a reward. Say the sentence on the slide 'Sag ein Wort, das mit ... beginnt' and say a letter in German after the word 'mit'. The first child to say any German word that beings with that letter wins. Repeat several times with different children.


Slide 7 - Hört zu

The children may use pencils and paper for this activity. Spell a German word using German letters and the first child to shout out what it is in English wins a reward. For example, you could spell out E-r-d-b-e-e-r-e and the first child to shout out 'strawberry' wins. After a few goes, play this game the other way around, but still say the letters in German. So for example, you could spell out s-u-n-g-l-a-s-s-e-s and the first child to shout out 'Sonnenbrille' wins. Finally, choose a more able child to spell out the words instead of you, but make sure they have the translation correct. You could introduce a fun element where you spell a child's name. Tell the class that you might occasionally do this and if that child stands up or someone points to the child, they win a reward. 


Now play the clip to 1:50 again but beforehand tell the children to specifically look out for the letters in their name. Also tell them that you will ask randomly selected children 'wie heißt du' after the clip. Model how to answer saying your name and then spelling it- 'Ich heiße Sean, S-e-a-n'


Slides 8 - 11 - Digraphs

Explain that a combination of 2 letters is called a digraph and when certain letters are together in German they make a certain sound. Tell the children that you will now show them the most popular 4 examples of digraphs, together with examples of words the children already know from their Zeit für Deutsch lessons. Sag mir nach the sound and words as you go through these slides to emphasise how the words contain the same sound


Slides 12 - 14 - Umlaute

Explain that German has these extra letters and sounds and again, go through the slides and sag mir nach the Umlaut letters and words


Slide 15 - Lehrer v Klasse

Use the 4 large digraph cards first from the bottom of the page - ei, ie, au and eu. Write your name V the class on the board and get a child to keep score underneath. Hold all 4 cards but only show the class 1 - say the sound and the class repeats. Show another card, say the sound and the class repeats. Do this for all of the cards, changing the order. Say the sounds in a rhythm e.g. ei, ei, ei and the class repeats with ei, ei, ei.


You win if you say a sound which is different to the sound on the card that the children can see - if any child in the class repeats the incorrect sound that you say, then you win a point. Basically you are trying to trick them into saying the wrong sound. The class wins a point if you say an incorrect sound but no-one repeats and everyone does the 'Mobot' that Usain Bolt is doing on the slide. Repeat for a few rounds then use the 3 Umlaut cards instead. I find that the first to 5 works well. When either you or the class have won, choose a more able child to be the teacher and they can compete against the class


Slide 16 - Heiß oder Kalt/Plenary

This is a similar game to 'Es geht um Franzi'. You have 7 cards from the previous activity - 4 digraphs and 3 Umlaut cards. These should all be partially hidden around the classroom for this activity.  


One child leaves the classroom. Some children then change and mix up the location of the cards. The class then agrees on which card the absent child must find. The child is then called back in and the class chant the sound of the letter/diagraph that the child should look for. The class helps the child by chanting quietly if s/he is far away and louder as s/he gets closer. This way the children will repeat the letters/diagraphs many times. Just as in 'es geht um Franzi', when the child finds the card s/he says 'ich habe ... gefunden'.  


Assessment and Evidence

Observe and ask questions

Refer back to the success criteria after 'Heiß oder Kalt'

Check achievement of the success criteria by highlighting the 'blue' SC and questioning and rewarding randomly selected children (using lollipop sticks)  

Book 1 Letters and Sounds.pptx
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 930.5 KB
Vocabulary Sheet Book 1 Letters and Soun
Microsoft Word Document 148.3 KB

Digraph and Umlaut Cards.docx
Microsoft Word Document 30.8 KB
Das Kartenspiel Weekdays and Family.docx
Microsoft Word Document 44.0 KB