K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • pronounce the words correctly with particular emphasis on vowels, including umlauted vowels and diphthongs.
  • use comprehension strategies to interpret the poem
  • speculate and hypothesize on the plot development and the resolution of the conflict
  • use the shorter lines to create pauses during oral readings of the poem, and using the longer lines containing more beats than the average line to quicken the pace in reading them aloud
  • give an oral reading of the poem using appropriate gestures and intonation
  • used shared reading and writing activities to become creatively engaged in the action of the poem

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

3 days


  • copy of the poem “Der Handschuh” from the web
  • materials for students to use to create a visual representation of the poem, such as plain white paper, poster or construction paper, markers, and/or crayons
  • transparency, poster, or free-hand drawing of a spider concept map and/or a Venn diagram
  • pictures of items and people typical of the Middle Ages (knights, damsels, armor), and pictures of lions, tigers, and leopards, are optional and available from a variety of resources
  • overhead markers, chalk, or markers for whiteboard
  • Poem “Der Handschuh” printed on an overhead transparency

Technology resources

overhead projector


With the help of a spider drawing on an overhead projector or on the chalk or white board, lead a brainstorming session of previously-learned German vocabulary and concepts learned about the Middle Ages in other disciplines or from students’ previous knowledge, in particularly focusing on what students associate with the word könig (king) and his hof (court). As an optional approach, use pictures of Middle Age themes to direct the brainstorming session.

Steer the discussion to include what royalty would do for leisure activities. As an alternate strategy, make a table, putting on the left side what students and their families do for leisure, and on the right what kings and queens would do for fun. Another alternate activity would be to use a Venn diagram to allow discussion on what leisure interests the two parties might have in common.


Day 1

Shared Reading

  1. Teacher reads the first verse aloud. Students do not look at the text. Teacher models pausing in the gaps of the shorter lines and using gestures and appropriate intonation to set the scene visually.
  2. Teacher rereads the first verse again. Students count the number of end-rhymes they hear.
  3. Teacher and students repeat steps 1 and 2 for the second verse.
  4. Students look at verses 1 and 2 while the teacher rereads them.
  5. Teacher reads a line, and students repeat chorally after him or her, and proceed in this fashion going through verses 1 and 2.
  6. Students read a line chorally, and the teacher repeats after them for reinforcement, as they proceed through verses 1 and 2.

Phoneme or Phonics Awareness

  1. Teacher reads a word that ends a line in verses 1 and 2, and students individually or collectively call out a rhyming word from those verses.
  2. Students may ask questions about the meaning of words, but the teacher as much as possible should repeat the gestures, using drawings, point to pictures, and use the target language as much as possible.

Shared Reading (continued)

  1. Use steps 1, 4, 5, and 6 above to go through verses 3 and 4.
  2. Teacher uses a “Think-Pair-Share” activity for students to speculate as to where the glove came from and why. For 2–3 minutes, individual students write down their own ideas. Then, for 2–3 minutes, they share their ideas with a partner. Afterwards, if or when they are called on, they must report first what their partners thought, and then state whether they agreed or disagreed and why.
  3. For homework, each student draws the scene as it would appear at the conclusion of verse 4. Students do not have the rest of the poem at this point to refer to. A minimum of ten distinguishable objects, people, or animals should be visible.

Day 2

Shared Reading

  1. Students describe their drawings using adverbs and prepositions of place, such as “next to” and “below,” in a partner speaking activity for 4–5 minutes.
  2. If and when called upon, selected students present their partners’ drawings to the class.
  3. Teacher reviews the speculations about the glove given in the “Think-Pair-Share” activity of the day before.
  4. Teacher shows verses 4 through 7, and the first four lines of the last verse (ending with …empfängt ihn Fräulein Kunigunde) on the overhead transparency. Teacher reads these verses aloud.
  5. Teacher rereads each line of this section, and the students respond chorally.

Phoneme and Phonics Awareness

  1. Students may ask questions concerning meaning of individual words. Teacher should use procedure indicated in Step 8 from Day 1.

Shared Writing

  1. Students are matched with a partner. Together they hypothesize how the poem will end and write their version, using four or more lines that match the style and tone of the poem. Each student must write on his or her own paper.
  2. When called upon if they do not volunteer, students together with their partners present their versions of the conclusion of the poem.
  3. Teacher exposes the last three lines of the poem and reads them aloud.
  4. Following the procedure in Step 8 above, teacher explains any vocabulary about which students have questions.
  5. Teacher leads a discussion of the knight’s motive for having fetched the glove and for passing up a glorious opportunity.
  6. The teacher will prepare a cloze text of the first four verses of the poem, leaving a blank for an end word. In a word bank, students can find the word that would appropriately complete the line, based on the rhyming word in the poem and based on the poem’s content and meaning.

Shared Reading

  1. Students will compare their answers with a partner, and be prepared to read a portion of their results to the class. Teacher exposes the poem line-by-line on the overhead as the poem is reread by the selected students.
  2. Homework: Individually, students write an imagined conversation of a minimum number of words or lines given by the teacher that might occur after the event:
    • between two eyewitnesses to the event
    • between an eyewitness and an acquaintance who was not there
    • between the knight and the friend
    • between Fräulein Kunigund and her mother

Day 3

An oral presentation can be assigned and practiced in small groups. Groups of five or six can be assigned for each presentation, based on an equal division of the lines of the poem. Each student must practice the entire poem, as he or she will not know which lines they will present prior to his or her group’s presentation. The teacher will have sticks, folded pieces of paper, or index cards, each given a number. Students will draw to know in which order they will present and for which section they are responsible.


  • The homework writing assignment on Day 2 can be graded based on the following rubric, twenty percent per category: punctuality, length, comprehension, range of vocabulary, and correctness. Extra points could be given subjectively by the teacher for creativity and flair. A correction session or opportunity could be provided at the teacher’s discretion.
  • The oral reading and dramatization given on Day 3 could have the following rubrics, twenty percent per category: pronunciation, clarity, intonation, rhythm and meter, and dramatic gestures.
  • The drawing assigned for the homework on Day 1 could have the following rubrics, twenty-five percent per category: punctuality, ten items visible, accuracy of location and placement, and accurate labeling of the items indicated. Extra points could be given for creativity or for the oral presentation of the student’s partner’s work.
  • Informal assessments are made through question and answer sessions in the target language at key intervals. Questions should be open-ended as much as possible (not Welches Tier kam zunächst herein? (Which animal came in next?), but on the order of Warum ließ die Dame den Handschuh fallen? (Why did she drop the glove?).

Supplemental information

“Text Talk: Capturing the Benefits of Read-aloud Experiences for Young Children,” The Reading Teacher, Vol. 55, No. 1, September, 2001. (Given as supplemental reading at the Foreign Language Literacy Institute, June 24–25, NCDPI, Raleigh, North Carolina.)


This lesson could close with a conversation in the target language as to what true love is. Students could react to the statement Die Liebe ist nur ein Spiel. “Love is just a game.” Students could evaluate and engage in critical thinking about the motives the young lady had in putting her boyfriend in danger to prove his love.

A closing activity could also be to emphasize the oral tradition of ballads and poems that tell a story, comparing this poem to such English ballads dealing with love as “Lord Randall.”


This lesson plan was created as a result of the June, 2004 Foreign Language Literacy Institute hosted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The lesson reflects certain reading methods introduced at this institute, specifically those that deal with Alphabet, Phoneme, or Phonics Awareness, Shared Reading and Shared Writing.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Second Languages (2005)

Grade 9–12 — High School Level III

  • Goal 1: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION - The learner will engage in conversation and exchange information and opinions orally and in writing in the target language.
    • Objective 1.01: Interact using original thoughts orally and in writing by employing increasingly complex structures and expanded vocabulary in present, past, and future times.
    • Objective 1.02: Ask and answer open-ended questions on a wide range of topics orally and in writing.
    • Objective 1.03: Express preferences, feelings, emotions, and opinions giving supporting details orally and in writing.
  • Goal 2: INTERPRETIVE COMMUNICATION - The learner will understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics in the target language.
    • Objective 2.01: Demonstrate understanding of a wide range of oral and written idiomatic expressions, phrases, sentences and passages.
    • Objective 2.02: Demonstrate understanding of oral and written questions relating to familiar and less familiar topics.
    • Objective 2.05: Read and interpret authentic materials (e.g., selected short stories, poetry and other literary works, articles, personal correspondence, and simple technical material).
    • Objective 2.06: Predict outcomes, draw inferences, analyze, and make judgments from oral and written materials.
    • Objective 2.07: Recognize intonation patterns and their effect on meaning.
  • Goal 3: PRESENTATIONAL COMMUNICATION - The learner will present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics in the target language.
    • Objective 3.01: Narrate and describe with detail in present, past and future time orally and in writing.
    • Objective 3.02: Compose and present stories, poems, and skits.
    • Objective 3.05: Summarize and interpret information from authentic material orally and in writing.
  • Goal 4: CULTURES - The learner will gain knowledge and demonstrate understanding of the relationship among practices, products, and perspectives of cultures other than his/her own.
    • Objective 4.04: Examine historical and contemporary literature and the arts in order to understand the cultural practices and perspectives of the target cultures.