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Teaching “Kinderbücher ohne Rassismus” (DW)

Ottfried Preußler's "Die Kleine Hexe" (1957)

Here are additional activities I have created for teaching Deutsche Welle Top-Thema module “Kinderbücher ohne Rassismus“.  The original Deutsche Welle materials can be accessed from the theme webpage, or the text and exercises (pdf) and audio (mp3) can be downloaded for offline use.

In the post Teaching with Deutsche Welle’s Top-Thema and Video Thema, I outline how I use these Deutsche Welle modules in an intermediate- to advanced-level courses with varied goals. Visit that page to see how my students begin to work with the materials Deutsche Welle provides. Here I am presenting and explaining the extension activities that I use after we have exhausted all of the excellent materials Deutsche Welle provides to accompany the text.


This is an activity students can do with any text. Each student makes a list of 10 words, expressions, or phrases from the text that s/he does not understand. Then they sit in groups of three and take turns explaining to each other in German what their chosen terms mean. If students have written down the same words, they work together to figure out the meaning based on the way it is used in the context of the article.



This activity references the Arbeitsauftrag at the very bottom of the Deutsche Welle page:

Teaching Deutsche Welle Top-Thema "Kinderbuecher ohne Rassismus" - Arbeitsauftrag

The class is divided into two groups. Each group is assigned a position.

Group 1 must prove: Man soll rassistische oder diskriminierene Wörter aus Kinderbüchern entfernen.
Group 2 must argue: Man soll den Kindern die Originalgeschichten unverändert vorlesen.

The debate then proceeds as follows.

Argumente sammeln (10 minutes). The groups discuss and gather arguments that will support their assigned position.
Argumente vortragen (4 minutes, 2 minutes per group). The groups each choose one or two speakers who will deliver their arguments. Students who are not speakers have the job of listening to the arguments of the opposite side and taking notes.
Gegenargumente sammeln (5 minutes). Each group confers again and gathers ideas to refute the arguments they heard from the opposite side.
Gegenargumente vortragen (4 minutes, 2 minutes per group). Speakers from each side deliver their gathered counterarguments.

At the end of the debate, I poll students to see what their own beliefs on the issue are. If I had thought of it earlier, I would have done before and after polls to see if anybody’s mind was changed after hearing arguments for both sides of the issue.

The original Deutsche Welle Top-Thema page in HTML, with audio and comprehension exercises, is here: “Kinderbücher ohne Rassismus“.


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