It is so wonderful to have our students back in person! Beginning German students have been rapidly growing in their language skills! They have been using new technologies like ThingLink to describe their house and family and immersing themselves in song, language, and culture. Last Spring, we inducted new members into the German Honor Society and this year, they have been busy planning events for the school year. The first event was a collaboration with the preschool students at WHS. German Honor Society and German 4 Honors students taught and acted out the legend of Martin, a man known for his generosity with the poor. They helped the preschoolers make paper lanterns whose light symbolizes radiating goodness into the world. Martin’s Day is celebrated in parts of Europe and children go door-to-door with their lanterns, singing songs, receiving candy, and collecting money for the poor. The UCONN/ECE/4H students collaborated with the LLC and Ken Dunaj and Tara Peterson to use Noodle Tools, online databases, and to research more about the former East and West Germany. The project required students to write journals from the perspective of E/W Germans living in Berlin at the time of the Cold War. These students also analyzed the art of the East Side Gallery in Berlin and put examples of this art on their “piece of the Berlin Wall.” The classes’ symbolic Berlin Wall is currently on display in the LLC to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Students also Zoomed with Professor Anke Finger from UCONN to share their projects and hear about her memoir about life in East Germany and her novel, Memoryland. Students really reflected on the notion of freedom. This German 4H/ECE course simultaneously gives WHS German students a chance to earn six (6) college credits through UCONN. Lastly, before Winter break, students learned about the house and family in the beginning levels of German, the fairy tales, the history of Gingerbread and in the upper levels, both forms of the past tense! Students used their creativity to design a Gingerbread house and complete a written project (tailored to their respective levels). The German classes and the German Honor Society hosted the annual Gingerbread competition in the LLC and the school had a chance to vote! A great time was had by all!
The students were all so happy to be back in person! The German Club started up right away, and activities thus far have been: making personal Schultüten, pumpkin painting contest, Haribo Gummibärchen Tasting Contest (which color is which flavor?), decorating Lebkuchenherzen (paper cut-outs) and making lanterns for St. Martinstag.
At the beginning of October we took part in the “Meet a German” program, and were able to have a live Google Meet with a teacher in German. The students learned a lot about school life!
At the end of November each class took a tour of the on-line Wanderbus, and in December, my mother joined us on a Google Meet to teach the classes a paper craft to create large snowflakes. She is a retired math teacher, so we included the German terms for shapes, angles and folds into the lesson.
At this time we are getting ready to take the National German Exam, and planning more activities for the Spring.
Michela grew up bilingually in Italian and German and lived in both countries for many years. Michela holds an M.A. in Political Science, Italian Philology, and Transport Management and a Ph.D. in Italian Philology from the University of Bonn, Germany as well as a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from the Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY.
Michela has been working at many different schools and school types and can now look back onto 19 years of vast teaching experiences from several countries, Germany, the UK, and the USA. Michela lives in White Plains, NY with her husband Oliver and their two daughters, Helena (9) and Dorothea (1).
More information about the German School of Connecticut.