📜German Level 2, Activity 12: Politik und die Umwelt / Politics and the Environment (Online)

Photo of three game pieces (black, red, yellow), a colored dice and a paper with Wahlen (elections) written on it.(vote) on it.

Description: Students discuss politics in Germany and environmentalism.

Semantic Topics: Politics, Politik, Environment, Umwelt

Products: Posters, Markers, Students’ individual environmental concerns. Poster, Markierstifte, individuelle Umweltbelange der Schüler.

Practices: Students discuss politics and environmental protection in the German language. Studierende diskutieren Politik und Umweltschutz in der deutschen Sprache.

Perspectives: The right for free elections is of crucial importance to those in German speaking lands.  Das Recht auf freie Wahlen ist für Menschen im deutschsprachigen Raum von entscheidender Bedeutung. The belief that humans are part of the natural world, and must respect and care for it, is very important to Germans and those in German speaking countries. Der Glaube, dass der Mensch ein Teil der Natur ist und sie respektieren und pflegen muss, ist den Deutschen und den Menschen im deutschsprachigen Raum sehr wichtig.

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: 3.1 Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through German.

Idaho State Content Standards:

  • 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 in 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.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can discuss the various German political parties.
  • I can discuss how I care for the environment.
  • I can discuss the importance of the environment and ways in which people can protect it.

Materials Needed:


Ask the students:  Are you familiar with the political parties in the United States?  Make sure that students are respectful of both the liberal and the conserative parties in the US and the German party discussion.
  • Fragen Sie die Schüler: Kennen Sie die politischen Parteien in den Vereinigten Staaten?  Achten Sie darauf, dass die Studierenden sowohl die liberalen als auch die konservativen Parteien in den USA und die deutsche Parteiendiskussion respektieren.
Conservative parties in the United States: Republicans, Libertarians
  • Konservative Parteien in den Vereinigten Staaten: Republikaner, Libertäre
Liberal parties in the United States: Democratic Party, Green Party
  • Liberale Parteien in den Vereinigten Staaten: Demokratische Partei, Grüne Partei

Main Activity

Introducing the political parties.  Ask the students if they are familiar with the political parties in Germany?
  • Vorstellung der politischen Parteien. Fragen Sie die Schüler, ob sie die politischen Parteien in Deutschland kennen?


Ask the students: “Do you know the conservative parties of Germany?”

  • Kennen Sie die konservativen Parteien Deutschlands?


Conservative Parties in Germany:  Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), Free Democratic Party (FDP), Alternative for Germany (AfD),  Free Voters, (FW), German Centre-Party (ZENTRUM), Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP), Liberal Conservative Reformers (OKR),  Family Party of Germany (Familie)

  • Konservative Parteien in Deutschland:  Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU), Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern (CSU), Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP), Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Freie Wähler (FW), Deutsche Zentrumspartei (ZENTRUM), Ökologisch-Demokratische Partei (ÖDP), Liberal-konservative Reformer (LKR), Familien-Partei Deutschlands (Familie)


Ask the students: “Do you know the liberal parties of Germany?”

  • Fragen Sie die Schüler: “Kennen Sie die liberalen  Parteien in Deutschland?”


Liberal Parties in Germany: Social Democratic Party of German (SPD),  Alliance 90/The Greens, (Grüne),  The Left (LINKE), Volt Germany (Volt)

  • Liberal Parteien in Deutschland:  Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (Grüne), Die Linke (LINKE), Volt Deutschland (Volt)


Ask students: “Do you know of any bourgeois or non-political parties?”

  • Fragen Sie die Schüler: “Kennen Sie die bürgerliche oder unpolitische Parteien?”


Center/APolitical: South Schleswig Voters’ Association (SSW),The Party (Die PARTEI),  Pirate Party (PIRATEN)

  • Mitte/APolitisch: Südschieswigscher Wählerverband (SSW), Partei für Arbeit, Rechtsstaat, Tierschutz, Elitenförderung und basisdemokratische Initiative (Die PARTEI), Piratenpartei Deutschland (PIRATEN)


Why or why not would the German political system function better than the United States system?
  • Warum oder warum nicht sollte das deutsche politische System besser funktionieren als das System der Vereinigten Staaten?


What do you find most important when you think of environmentalists?
  • Was findet ihr am wichtigsten, wenn man an Umweltschützer denkt?
An event with the topic of “environmental protection” needs a new poster.  You should do that!  Divide the students into breakout rooms of two or three.  Each room should make a Google slide and add a picture and words as in the example.  Why is it important?  Explain this to us.
  • Eine Veranstaltung mit dem Thema „Umweltschutz“ braucht ein neues Plakat. Du solltest das tun! Teilen Sie die Schüler in Breakout-Räume von zwei oder drei auf. Jeder Raum sollte eine Google-Folie erstellen und wie im Beispiel ein Bild und Wörter hinzufügen. Warum ist es wichtig? Erklären Sie uns das.
Bring them back together and have each room present their Google Slide!
  • Bringen Sie sie wieder zusammen und lassen Sie jeden Raum seine Google Slide präsentieren!


Ask students the following question to finish the activity:
  • Was macht ihr für die Umwelt? (What are you doing for the environment?)

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 the various German political parties.
  • I can discuss how I care for the environment.
  • I can discuss the importance of the environment and ways in which people can protect it.

CUltural Resources

First is a Meet the Germans video over the History of Elections in Germany. This is in English with German subtitles. The second video is an interview, from DW, with Angela Merkel in German, after the Elections in 2021.

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