Sunday, September 21, 2008

Right-brained foreign language assignments: the German tissue box

When I learned, this weekend, that my nephew had to decorate a tissue box for German class, I was curious whether this was the brainchild of his particular teacher, or a general trend in German language instruction.

I googled "tissue box" "German," and found three links touting my nephew's assignment:

Note, especially, the grading rubric, with its ratings for creativity and craftsmanship.

I find myself brimming over with questions as I peruse these sites; perhaps the most burning one of all is this:

When will this contagious meme (to use Richard Dawkins' term), this sticky idea (to use Malcolm Gladwell's term), this creative, crafty pedagogical epiphany, catch on in other Germanic language classrooms--like Swedish and Dutch?

Who knows, it might even liven up French, Russian, and Chinese.


Dawn said...

And why stop at a tissue box? Imagine the creativity and learning if it were a chip bag or a styrofoam cup or even, oh my, a toilet paper roll!!

I'll have to suggest this to my daughter for Greek and French.

I'm sure she won't laugh at me...Too much.

KathyIggy said...

We did a cone of some sort used for storing candy in German class last year. I have no idea what the purpose was other than to get lots of candy. After that disastrous quarter of German (where my ASD daughter learned NOTHING), we got the IEP modified to get her out of foreign language. She got to take computer for 2 quarters and was very happy!

pgavenu said...

The cone is called a Schultuette. German children receive them as gifts on the first day of school.

I am sure the teacher meant for this to be a fun cultural activity. Language classes are a lot of work for teachers and students alike.
This should not be considered time wasted. I teach a language and I always make sure that fun activities are part of a meaningful lesson.

Pink Panther said...

Every child can learn German despite disabilities. Communication is key when needing to discuss the needs of your child with the teacher. Removing your child from German certainly did not help her. Talking to her teacher about how her class could change to meet your child's needs, could have helped her. Languages should be available to ALL students and they teach skills transferable to all disciplines. Hopefully you will try again with a different instructor.