What better way to help your child learn German than to build a dictionary with them!
Now, if I were to do this in English, I would just provide my daughter with the letter page and then we would search through magazines to find things that start with each letter.
But, since she is newer to German, she doesn’t have the vocabulary to do that. Instead, I created these alphabet cards with 3-5 things for each letter. That was harder than I thought it would be when I first began, because there aren’t any native words for the letters C and X, and very few for some other letters. For C, I found enough more commonly used words that work, even if they weren’t native. For X, however, I only found the word “Xylophon (xylophone)”. I did add a card in with the word “Hexe (witch)” so that you can still explain the sound that X makes, or you can use it for the letter H.
To do this activity, download and print out the alphabet pages and the word cards. If your child is old enough, you can have them cut out the cards, otherwise cut them out for them. I cut out 3-4 letters worth of cards at a time, so it wouldn’t be too confusing.
Provide the child with the A sheet and 3-4 letters worth of cards. Read each of the words with the child. Have them repeat the word and then ask ‘Beginnt der Apfel (or whichever word) mit “A”?’ I really try to only use German when we work on the dictionary.
When the child finds a word that begins with the letter in question, have them glue it onto the page. Then, they can trace and then write out the letter on the line if you or they wish. You can do a letter everyday or combine with other letter activities to do one every week.
When you’re all finished, your child will have their own dictionary to go back and look words up in. Something that they created, which makes it ever so much more personal! Enjoy!
Note: when you print out the cards, please note that there are some cards mixed in at the end of other letters where there was extra space. Particularly the two lines at the end.
Chrissy Leiberan-Titus writes for Muse of the Morning.com
Each link is a PDF download. You will need Adobe Acrobat to download and use them.