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Der Wievielte ist heute?

10. Der Wievielte ist heute? What is the date today?

In this section pupils say the full date in German, which means knowing the 'ordinal' version (1st, 2nd, 3rd...) of the familiar 'cardinal' numbers 1-31 - plus the days and months met in previous sections. Saying (and writing) the date in German can become part of your daily class routine. This is also an opportunity to look at celebrations in the German calendar, and the customs traditionally associated with them. Children may be interested in the story behind German Unity Day; you can re-visit Christmas and Easter customs. You can do saying the year in German, or wait until Ch.2.12, which covers higher numbers.


Der Wievielte ist heute? What is the date today? Heute ist der (23. Februar)

Today is the...(23rd) of (February)

Heute ist (Mittwoch), der (3. Juli) Today is (Wednesday), the (3rd) of (July)

Can you spot the pattern? Just add a "-te" sound to the number, "-ste" from 20+ - but these 3 differ:

1st- 2nd- 3rd- 4th- 5th- 6th-

DVD: film 10

Animated ordinal numbers In part 1 of film 10, animated numbers from 1st to 31st bounce onto the screen.

We hear the pattern as each ordinal number appears: a “-te” sound is added up to 19th, then “-ste” from 20th+; the three exceptions (ein(e) > der erste; drei > der dritte and sieben > der siebte) are repeated at the end of the sequence.


7th- 8th- 9th- 10th- 11th- 12th-

der siebte der achte der neunte der zehnte der elfte der zwölfte

13th- der dreizehnte 14th- der vierzehnte 15th- der fünfzehnte 16th- der sechzehnte 17th- der siebzehnte 18th- der achtzehnte NOTE: ending 19th- der neunzehnte changes after 19th. 20th- der zwanzigste 21st- der einundzwanzigste 22nd- der zweiundzwanzigste 23rd- der dreiundzwanzigste 24th- der vierundzwanzigste 25th- der fünfundzwanzigste 26th- der sechsundzwanzigste 27th- der siebenundzwanzigste 28th- der achtundzwanzigste 29th- der neunundzwanzigste 30th- der dreißigste 31st- der einunddreißigste der Punkt - point, full stop

Film 10: Ordinal numbers are indicated by a dot in German.

PAUSE - part 2, the calendar date of German Festivals

Festival dates We see scenes of different festivals and hear the date when they are celebrated. Hallowe'en (31st October): Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist der einunddreißigste Oktober.

der erste der zweite der dritte der vierte der fünfte der sechste

Flashcards CD 10


Early Start German Pack 2 St. Martin's Day (11th November): Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist der elfte November.

KEY SOUNDS Listen and enjoy copying these typical sounds: where have you heard them before?

heute heard before in neun [An example in English is toy ] as in...

Wievielte heard before in Wohnung as in...

Wievielte heard before in viel as in...

Film 10: St. Nicholas' Day, "Heute ist der 6. Dezember"


St. Nicholas' Day (6th December): Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist der sechste Dezember. Christmas Eve (24th December): Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist der vierundzwanzigste Dezember. New Year's Eve (31st December): Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist der einunddreißigste Dezember.

as in... Wievielte

vier, Lieblingsfach [An example in English is deer ]

heard before in

zweite heard before in ein, eine [An example in English is cry ] as in

PAUSE - (3) dates with the day of the week


Saying the date with the day of the week: Monday 23rd February - Karneval procession: Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist Montag der einunddreißigste Februar.

zweite, zwölfte, zwanzigste

as in


(Listen to the native speakers try to copy their typically German sounds.) Flashcards CD 10

PAUSE - (4) saying the year in German

Film 10: Easter Sunday, "Heute ist Sonntag der 26. April"

Sunday 26th April - Easter Egg Hunt: Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist Sonntag, der sechsundzwanzigste April. Wednesday 3rd July - outdoor swim-pool: Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist Mittwoch, der dritte Juli. Tuesday 1st September - first day at school: Der Wievielte ist heute? Heute ist Dienstag, der erste September.

Film 10: New Year's Eve: "Heute ist der 1. Januar 2011"

Saying the year: We see people celebrating New Year's Eve: Frohes neues Jahr! Heute ist der einunddreißigste Dezember zweitausendzehn. (Today is 31st December 2010). 108


Der Wievielte ist heute?

The countdown begins: Zehn, neun, acht, sieben, sechs, fünf, vier, drei, zwei, eins... The fireworks explode as the New Year starts: Heute ist der erste Januar zweitausendelf . (Today is 1st January 2011).

Click on any number or word to hear it

Planning your lessons

Start this section with plenty of practice with the ordinal numbers; revise the pattern of the (cardinal) numbers 1 - 31, and establish the pattern from 1st to 31st. Once the children are confident with these, it is a good opportunity to pull together language children already know: the months and days of the week, so children can say today's date. You can make saying the date in German a regular daily routine. If you want to go on to saying the year in German, this will revise numbers, and can be linked to history.


switch off sound

switch off text

The text can be hidden while children get used to the sounds of the new numbers.

4. Respond with understanding

❑ Use the Flashcards CD to show numbers in jumbled order. When it shows a number, ask children to predict what the ordinal will be in German. Repeat until they are confident of the pattern.


5. Watch film 10, parts 2 and 3

1. Ordinal numbers - new words 2. Dates and celebrations 3. Dates with days of the week 4. Saying the year in German Use the skip key on your remote control

❑ Watch part 2 of film 10: “Der Wievielte ist heute?” to introduce saying the date (number and month). You could go straight on to see part 3, which adds the day-of-the-week (which you could revise first).


6. Get used to the sounds.....

❑ Echoing: Say today's date, e.g. “Heute ist der dreizehnte April”. Pupils echo the date. Make up more dates for children to echo. ❑ Play “listen to the sounds” with dates You call out a series of dates; children make agreed gestures when they hear a “key sound”, e.g. squeak like a mouse when they hear [ ] in: “Heute ist der vierte Juli” (see Ch. 2.1).

1. Warm up ......

For your “warm up” session before watching part 1 of film 10, the class could sing the numbers songs. Make sure they know the difference in English between cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3...) and ordinals (1st, 2nd, 3rd...).

2. Watch film 10, part 1

7. Respond with understanding

❑ Watch part 1 of film 10: “Der Wievielte ist heute?” to introduce ordinal numbers.

❑ Ask (say) 9 pupils to come to the front of the class - it could be more if space permits. Give the first 3 different flashcards for days of the week; the next 3, number cards (with punkt , eg '19.') and the last 3, month cards. You call out a date, e.g. “Montag, der 19. März”. The pupils who hold flashcards for “Montag", “19.” and “März”run to form a line facing the class so that the flashcards can be read from left to right. Everyone echoes “Montag, der 19. März”.

3. Get used to the sounds.....

❑ Echoing: Use the Flashcards CD to showthe numbers (or re-show part 1 of film 10. or say them yourself as a model). With the Flashcards CD, pupils hear the ordinary ("cardinal") number first. You can click on the ordinal number to hear it; pupils echo, paying particular attention to key sounds. Ask pupils to spot the patterns of how ordinal numbers are made . 109

Early Start German Pack 2 EXTRA WORDS AND PHRASES 1

zweitausendzehn (the year) 2010 neunzehnhundertsechsundsiebzig (the year) 1976 meine Schwester wurde 2005 geboren

my sister was born in 2005

meine Mutter wurde 1976 geboren

my mother was born in 1976 Flashcards CD 10

You say to children: "X wurde neunzehnhundertachtzig geboren" (X was born in 1980) - they give you the name of the person. Or, you give children the person's name, they tell you the year.

. Now change the date by one or two components, e.g. “Montag, der 26. März”. The pupil holding the “26.” flashcard runs to swap places with the pupil who was holding the “19.” flashcard. Everyone echoes the new date.

11. Extension activity (years)

NOTE: you could make this activity simpler by doing just number and month.

❑ True-or-false years: show the street names from Ch.2.4's Flashcards CD, which show "minibiographies" on street signs.

❑ Play “find the date” Set out the days, numbers and months flashcards on a flat surface. Ask for three volunteers to “find the date”. Pupils take it in turns to make up dates. You call out a date: volunteer #1 has to select the correct day; #2 the number, volunteer #3 looks for the month. Make this into a team game with duplicates of the flashcards. See which team can find the components and say the complete date first.

You point to a year, and say it in German (prepare first!), e.g1459-"vierzehn-hundert-neunund-fünfzig" (break it up for easy listening); children respond by echoing if you are correct.

8. Watch film 10, part 4

❑ Watch part 4 of film 10 about saying the year in German - or save this until children know the numbers 40-500 from Ch.2,12.

12. Watch all film 10 again

9. Get used to the sounds....

❑ Show film 10: “Der Wievielte ist heute?” again for reinforcement.

❑ Echoing: Say the years shown in film 10 slowly. Show a year in figures (use one from the next activity, e.g. "1980"); ask pupils to follow you in breaking the year up into separate words, e.g. "neunzehn-hundert-achtzig".

13. Introduce writing the date When you write the date, follow the German format, e.g. "23. Februar" or "Montag, 23. Februar". Then say it out loud together: e.g. "Montag, der 23. Februar".

10. Respond with understanding

❑ Play “find the year” (people's birthdates) Display pictures of famous people with their year of birth underneath.


❑ Classroom routines: Practise the date every day. If some pupils find it difficult to say 110


Der Wievielte ist heute? the "Western powers" (USA, France and UK) and Soviet Russia under its Communist dictator, Stalin.

Berlin West East Germany

❑ Design Technology: Pupils can design and make their own “calendar machines” which enable different combinations of days, numbers and months to be revealed. They can work in pairs calling out dates to test the “machines”.

d Polan

the full date in German, you can invite different pupils to give you the various components. Simply repeat what has been said, but change the statement into a question e.g. You: “Der Wievielte ist heute?” Pupil 1: “Heute ist Montag.” You: “Ja, heute ist Montag....” (pause as if waiting for something else to be said and identify another pupil). Pupil 2: “... 10. November.” You: “Sehr gut! Montag, der 10. November.”



= Communist countries

Recordind and assessment

Divided Germany: 1949 - 1990

Children are now ready to record their achievements to date on the “can-do statements”(find them after chapter 2.18). Each child could add the completed sheet to their European Languages Portfolio.

It was the start of the long "Cold War" in which each side threatened to destroy the other with nuclear weapons, but there was no direct fighting. So in 1949, the Western powers joined their zones together to make one country, "West Germany", while the Russians created a separate communist state in "East Germany". The old capital, Berlin, had also been divided into 4 zones; the western part of the city was now a little "island" marooned in East Germany. It could be reached by air, by rail or by driving along special fenced-off motoways. The Western allies gradually gave the West Germans powers to rule themselves. The USA gave money to rebuild the country's economy, called the "Marshall Plan", and a new currency (the Deutsche Mark, see Ch 2.12). With this help, West Germany rose from the ruins of bombed cities to become the richest country in Europe. It helped start the "Common Market", now the EU in which it is a leading member. Meanwhile, behind the "Iron Curtain", East Germans' lives were closely controlled by the Stasi secret police. East Germans envied western consumer goods, pop music, and freedoms to travel, speak out and watch TV that wasn't state propaganda. By the 1960's, it was well behind the West, but more prosperous than other Communist countries. Many East Germans were tempted to move to the West; the easiest way was to cross from East

 Talking point

HOLIDAYS in Germany

In Germany's prosperous years, Germans with full-time jobs have done well for paid holidays. They are entitled to at least 4 weeks (20 days), but many get as much as 6 weeks. They also have 9 to 13 public holidays, depending on which federal state they live in - UK has 8 public holidays, and France has 10, so they probably have more holidays than any other country! Most public holidays are religious in origin; the exact list is decided at local level, except Germany Unity Day which is national.

German Unity Day: 3rd October

The Tag der Deutschen Einheit on 3rd October is the anniversary of the reunification of Germany in 1990. After Hitler's defeat in the Second World War, troops from the victorious Allies (Britain, USA, France and Soviet Russia) occupied Germany, each with their own " zone". They originally intended to keep Germany as a single country, but by 1948 relations had broken down between 111

Early Start German Pack 2 to West Berlin. East Germany lost so many skilled people that, in 1961, they banned travel across the border and built the Berlin Wall to prevent people from crossing to the West without permission. The famous Brandenburg Gate was closed and people trying to cross illegally could be shot.


Neujahrstag - New Year's Day Frohes neues Jahr! - Happy New Year! Heilige Drei Könige - Twelfth Night Karfreitag - Good Friday Ostermontag - Easter Monday Christi Himmelfahrt - Ascension Day Pfingstmontag - Whit Monday Tag der Arbeit - Labour Day Mariä Himmelfahrt - Assumption Day Tag der Deutschen Einheit - German Unity Day Halloween - Hallowe'en Allerheiligen - All Saints' Day Martinstag - St. Martin's Day Nikolaustag - St. Nicholas’ Day Weihnachtstag - Christmas Day

1989: the fall of the Berlin Wall by the Brandenburg Gate.

Source: English Wikipedia, Lear21; "shareandshare alike" licence.

In 1989, demonstrations and discontent in East Germany led to the border opening, dismantling the wall and, in 1990, voters in both countries approving reunification. See:

Flashcards CD 10

Once, churches would have tolled their bells all through the night.

Other public holidays

St Martin's Day: 11. November

New Year's Day: 1. Januar

Martinstag: for more on how German children celebrate St. Martin's Day with lantern processions, see Chapter 2.8.

Neujahrstag - is a public holiday after New Year's Eve parties and fireworks.

Twelfth Night: 6. Januar

St Nicholas' Day: 6. Dezember

Heilige Drei Könige - the 'Holy Three Kings' ('Twelfth Night' in UK) marks the visit of the Three Kings to Bethlehem, bearing gifts for the Baby Jesus. In Catholic areas singers welcome the Kings carrying stars in street processions.

Nikolaustag is celebrated in Germany, northern France, Belgium and Holland. St. Nicholas was a rich young Christian in third century Turkey who gave all his inheritance to the poor, became a bishop, and was imprisoned and tortured by the Romans when Christianity was made illegal. See Early Start German 1: Ch. 1.16.

Easter: variable, in März or April

Ostern - Good Friday and Easter Monday are both public holidays. See Chapter 2.8.

Christmas Day: 25. Dezember

Assumption Day: 15. August

Both 1. Weihnachtstag (Christmas Day) and 2. Weihnachtstag (Boxing Day) are public holidays. See Early Start German 1: Ch. 1.16. for more on German Christmas traditions.

Mariä Himmelfahrt is a public holiday only in Catholic areas marking the festival dedicated to the Virgin Mary’s ascent to heaven.

Hallowe'en: 31. Oktober

Cultural awareness

Halloween (German spelling) is not a public holiday.

■ Talk with children about what people do in your community on particular holidays. Draw pictures to illustrate. They may be surprised at how much customs differ between families! ■Swap pictures with your German link school, and compare.

All Saints’ Day: 1. November

Allerheiligen; in Catholic areas people remember their dead relatives, putting flowers on their graves. 112

G2.10 Today's date  
G2.10 Today's date