German Level 2, Activity #12: Leben in Deutschland / Living in Germany (Face to Face)


Picture of an old street ,with old buildings, in Germany
Description: Students learn the differences between living in the U.S. and living in Germany.  Students create their own Airbnb out of photos and then describe their Airbnb to the group.

Semantic Topics: Houses, Häuser, Apartments, Wohnungen, Bedding, Bettwäshe, Home Furnishing, Einrichtungsgegenstände, Comparisons, Vergleiche,  Adjective, Adjektiv.

Products: Housing information cards.  Infokarten zum Wohnen.

Practices: Learning about the different living accommodations and household goods  in German speaking countries.  Kennenlernen der unterschiedlichen Wohn- und Haushaltsgegenstände im deutschsprachigen Raum.

Perspectives: Respecting the differences in living spaces and household goods in German-speaking countries from those in the USA.  Unter Berücksichtigung der Unterschiede bei den Wohnräumen, Haushaltswaren im deutschsprachigen Raum von denen in den USA.

NCSSFL-ACTFL World-Readiness Standards:

  • Standard 1.1   Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Standard 1.2   Students understand and interpret spoken and written language on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 1.3   Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 4.2  Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons between the cultures in German-speaking countries and their own.

Idaho Content Standards for World Languages:

  • Objective: Comm 1.1  Interact and negotiate meaning (spoken, signed, written conversation) to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.
  • Objective: Comm 2.1  Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • Objective: Comm 3.1  Present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media in the target language.
  • Objective: Comm 3.2 Adapt presentation to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.
  • Objective: CLTR 1.1   Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture.
  • Objective: CLTR 2.1  Analyze the significance of a product (art, music, literature, etc…) in a target culture.
  • Objective: Conn 2.3  Compare and contrast cultural similarities and differences in authentic materials.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can discuss housing options.
  • I can describe an accommodation.
  • I can recognize the differences in home furnishing between my culture and German-speaking culture.

Materials Needed:

Would you like to make changes to the materials? Access the template(s) below:

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  • Go through the Can-Do’s with the students.
  •    Gehen Sie mit den Schülern die Möglichkeiten durch.
  • Ask the students about their housing for this school year?
  •    Fragen Sie die Schüler nach ihrer Unterkunft für dieses Schuljahr?
  • Are you living in a house, a dormitory, or an apartment?
  •    Wohnen Sie in einem Haus, einem Wohnheim oder einer Wohnung?
  • Do you have any roommates, if so how many?
  •    Hast du Mitbewohner, wenn ja wie viele?
  • Do you have any pets?
  •    Hast du Haustiere?
  • Ask the students to describe their bedroom, possible vocabulary can include – bed, sheets, lamp, bedside table, closet, dresser, books, clothing, shoes, pillow, blanket
  •    Bitten Sie die Schüler, ihr Schlafzimmer zu beschreiben. Mögliche Vokabeln können sein: Bett, Laken, Lampe, Nachttisch, Schrank, Kommode, Bücher, Kleidung, Schuhe, Kissen, Decke

Main Activity

1. Explain that apartments are super common! Sometimes, in the United States, in cities that are not big (so not New York City) there is sometimes the idea those who live in apartments might have less money, or not be able to afford a house. But, in German speaking countries, space is very limited and therefore most people actually live in apartments. Apartments are super common! People also live in houses, but the houses tend to be connected to other houses.

Erklären Sie, dass Wohnungen sehr verbreitet sind! In den Vereinigten Staaten, in Städten, die nicht groß sind (also nicht in New York City), kann es manchmal die Ansicht sein, dass diejenigen, die in Wohnungen leben, möglicherweise weniger Geld haben oder sich kein Haus leisten können. Aber im deutschsprachigen Raum ist der Platz sehr begrenzt und deshalb leben die meisten Menschen tatsächlich in Wohnungen. Wohnungen sind super verbreitet! Die Menschen leben auch in Häusern, aber die Häuser sind meist mit anderen Häusern verbunden.

2. Have students look at a picture of a bedroom. Ask them what is different! Describe that in many German speaking countries, people sleep with just a duvet and a bedsheet, but no sheet between! Also notice the size of the pillow! It can be a lot larger. This is a European size of pillow.

Lassen Sie die Schüler ein Bild von einem Schlafzimmer betrachten. Fragen Sie sie, was anders ist! Beschreiben Sie, dass in vielen deutschsprachigen Ländern die Menschen nur mit einer Bettdecke und einem Bettlaken schlafen, aber ohne Bettlaken dazwischen! Beachten Sie auch die Größe des Kissens! Es kann viel größer sein. Dies ist eine europäische Kissengröße.

3. Have students look at a picture of a bathroom. Ask them what differences they see! Discuss that in many German speaking countries, bathrooms have towel warmers (and sometimes even floor warmers). Ask students if this is common in the US or in their houses?

Lassen Sie die Schüler ein Bild eines Badezimmers betrachten. Fragen Sie sie, welche Unterschiede sie sehen! Besprechen Sie, dass Badezimmer in vielen deutschsprachigen Ländern Handtuchwärmer (und manchmal sogar Fußbodenwärmer) haben. Fragen Sie die Schüler, ob dies in den USA oder in ihren Häusern üblich ist.


  • Have you ever stayed in an Airbnb?
  •  Warst du schon einmal in einem Airbnb?
  • What do you think of Airbnb? Would you prefer it over a hotel?
  • Was hältst du von Airbnb? Würden Sie es einem Hotel vorziehen?

End of Activity

  • Read Can-Do statements once more and have students evaluate their confidence.
    (Use thumbs up/thumbs down)
  • Encourage students to be honest in their self-evaluation.
  • Pay attention, and try to use feedback for future activities!

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can discuss housing options.
  • I can describe an accommodation.
  • I can recognize the differences in home furnishing between my culture and German-speaking culture.

Cultural Notes:  In Germany it is typical for many people to live in apartments or duplexes.  The term for a stand-alone home is Einfamilienhaus (one family house).  First is a video titled, How the Germans Live.  This video is in English with German subtitles.  The second link is for an Easy German video about Student Life in Germany.

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Let's Chat! German by Alexandria Crandall; Annika Henderson; Brenna McNeil; Camille Daw; David Crasper; Emma Eason; Erica Laursen; Jacob Cortez; Julia Dryer; Katherine Bukhantsov; Luca Heid; Mary Berheim; Mimi Fahnstrom; Naia Robinson; Nicole Woychick; Reagan Solomon; Robin Wagner; Sarah Lausch; Shawn Moak; Shelby Cole; Sophie Campbell; Stephi Arth; and Zahra Akbari is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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