German Level 4, Activity #10: Krimi / Crime (Face to Face)

Silhouette of a man, dressed in black, in a fedora.

Description: Students discuss Krimi and learn German vocabulary associated with Krimi.  Students learn about the German Show Tatort.

Semantic Topics: Stadt, Land, Verb, Krimi, Crime, Murder Mystery Books, Tatort.

Products: Crime novels. Tatort, Krimis.

Practices: Reading and watching crime stories is popular in the United States and in German speaking countries.  Das Lesen und Anschauen von Krimis ist in den USA und im deutschsprachigen Raum beliebt.

Perspectives: People in German speaking countries enjoy some of the same reading material and shows that people in the United States enjoy.  Menschen in deutschsprachigen Ländern genießen einige der gleichen Lesematerialien und Shows, die Menschen in den Vereinigten Staaten genießen.

NCSSFL-ACTFL World-Readiness Standards:

  • Standard 1.1 Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Standard 3.1 Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through German.

Idaho Content Standards for World Languages:

  • Objective: COMM2.1  Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • Objective: CLTR 2.1      Analyze the significance of a product (art, music, literature, etc…) in a target culture.
  • Objective: CONN 2.1  Analyze the content and cultural perspectives of authentic materials prepared in the target language.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can contact emergency providers.
  • I can compare crime and mystery in German speaking countries and my own.
  • I can confidently create a present a story based on given materials.

Materials Needed:


Give each student a whiteboard.

Think of and write down five cities starting with the letter A, five countries with the letter B, and five verbs that start with the letter C. Whoever finishes first wins.

Denken Sie an fünf Städte, die mit dem Buchstaben A beginnen, fünf Länder mit dem Buchstaben B und fünf Verben, die mit dem Buchstaben C beginnen.Wer zuerst ins Ziel kommt, gewinnt.

Discuss answers: What did each student come up with? Which ones were challenging?
 Was haben Sie sich ausgedacht? Welche waren eine Herausforderung?

With a partner, look at the pictures.  What could be the story?  Come up with a thriller together!

     Mit einem/einer Partner/in, schaut die Bilder an.   Was könnte die Geschichte sein?  Denkt euch zusammen einen Krimi aus!


Main Activity

First discuss useful vocabulary. Then, have students pair up. The presentation will have a variety of pictures relating to mystery. Give students a few moments to work together to create a story around these pictures. Have pairs share their stories with the rest of the group.


1) Mordtat = murderous deed

2) einen Fall lösen = to crack a case

3) Detektiv = detective

4) Entführung = hijacking/ kidnapping

5) Räuber = robber

6) Einbrecher = burglar

Discuss what students associate with mystery.

  • What do you associate with mystery/crime/thriller?
  •      Was assoziiert ihr mit dem Begriff “Krimi”? 
  • Do you like to watch mystery/crime shows? Which ones? Why or why not?
  •      Schaut ihr gern Krimis? Welche? Warum oder Warum nicht?
  • Which crime books do you know? Does a crime book have the same effect as a crime movie or show?
  •      Welche Krimis (Romane) kennt ihr? Hat ein Roman dieselbe Wirkung wie ein Film oder eine Sendung?
  • What do you like about crime mystery?
  •      Was gefaellt euch an Krimis?  
  • Do you find real (based on true stories) or made up crime stories more interesting?
  •      Findet ihr “wahre” Krimis oder “fiktive” Krimis interessanter?
  • Explain a bit about Tatort and how popular it is in Germany.
  •     Erklären Sie ein wenig über Tatort und wie beliebt er in Deutschland ist


  1. Have students discuss what they associate with Krimi.
    Was verbinden Sie mit Krimi?

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 contact emergency providers.
  • I can compare crime and mystery in German speaking countries and my own.
  • I can confidently create a present a story based on given materials.

Cultural Notes: Linked is an episode of Tatort, Germany’s longest running TV drama.

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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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