German Level 4, Activity #04: Berlin! / Berlin! (Online)

Photo of people walking in-front of the Berlin Wall.
Lobo Studio Hamburg

Description: In this activity students will discuss the Berlin wall as well as hypothetical situations that families may have faced relating to the Berlin wall during the Cold War.

Semantic Topics: Berlin, Sightseeing, Landmarks, Sehenswürdigkeiten, East Berlin, Ost-Berlin, West Berlin, West-Berlin, Escape Attempts, Fluchtversuche,  Fleeing, Flucht, Imperfect,  Imperfekt, Perfect, Vergangenheit,  Perfekt.

Products: Individual knowledge of Berlin.  Individuelle Berlin-Kenntnisse.

Practices: Discussing Berlin, East and West Berlin, the Berlin Wall.  Im Gespräch über Berlin, Ost- und Westberlin, die Berliner Mauer.

Perspectives:  The division of Berlin and of Germany shaped both individuals and countries.  Die Teilung Berlins und Deutschlands hat Menschen und Länder geprägt.

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 2.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied.

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: COMP 1.1- Observe formal and informal forms of language.
  • Objective: COMM 2.1- Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can express my opinions on / explain historical events.
  • I can participate in a conversation about the Berlin Wall.
  • I can discuss hypothetical situations.

Materials Needed:

Warm-Up

  1. Discuss the Can-Do- Statements
  2. Discussion Questions:
    • What do you already know about the Berlin Wall?
      • Was wisst ihr schon über die Berliner Mauer?
    • Which landmarks / sights are in Berlin?
      • Welche Sehenswürdigkeiten gibt es in Berlin?

Main Activity

  1. Discussion Questions:

    • What would you do if you lived in the East, but your family lived in the West?
      • Was würdet ihr tun wenn ihr im Osten leben würdet, aber ihre Familie im Westen wäre?
    • What would you do if you had to the chance to flee the East, but that would mean leaving your family behind (in the East)?
      • Was würdet ihr tun wenn ihr die Chance hättet, aus dem Osten zu Fliehen, aber das  würde bedeuten, ihre Familie dort (im Osten) zu lassen?
    • What are some of the escape attempts that you know of?
      • Was sind einige der Fluchtversuche, von denen ihr wisst? Wie würdet ihr entkommen?
    • After the fall of the Wall, would you stay in the East of go to the West?
      • Würdet ihr nach dem Fall der Mauer im Osten blieben oder in den Westen gehen?

    Wrap-Up

    1. Discussion Questions:
      • Do you ever want to go to Berlin?
        • Möchtet ihr jemals nach Berlin gehen?
      • Where would you go / what would you do?
        • Wohin würdet ihr gehen/was würdet ihr tun?

    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 express my opinions on / explain historical events.
  • I can participate in a conversation about the Berlin Wall.
  • I can discuss hypothetical situations.

Cultural Notes:  Linked here is a German language educational video, 1961: Der Bau der Mauer.  A second video in German is Die Berliner Mauer.

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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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