Everyday classroom objects

You need to learn a lot of nouns when you start learning a language. There are various ways to do this.

One way is to write or type a list and then read it out loud several times. This method might work, but it is not as much fun as the one I am recommending below.

This other method is to learn the word along with a sentence chunk, so that you can actually say a sentence with the new noun inside it. Here are a few examples:

Do you have a sharpener? Hast du einen Spitzer?
I need a pencil. Ich brauche einen Bleistift.
„Where is the dictionary?“ Wo ist das Wörterbuch?

Since we speak in sentences rather than single words, it helps to have a few sentence chunks in your mind. You can slot new nouns into those sentences and begin to speak in a connected way.

The other advantage is that a sentence adds meaning and context to a word. If you can picture the situation where you might say that sentence and even act it out in your head, then that sentence – not to mention the noun – is more likely to stick in your memory. The more vividly you can imagine the situation, the better. Here’s an example:

A Scenario

You are doing a maths test. The teacher is a bossy, critical type who has just warned you that there are only three minutes left. Your pencil lead breaks. Oh no! You have no other pencils. You search desperately in your pencil case. Where is that thing you desperately need? The square  thing with the holes in it? The seconds are ticking away. You think in German to yourself:

Ich brauche einen Spitzer!

Wo ist mein Spitzer?

You turn to your friend and whisper, „Hast du einen Spitzer?“

He says, „Nein, aber ich habe einen Bleistift für dich.“

Just when your problem seems to be solved, your mean maths teacher snaps, „Stop talking, you two. Pens down, everyone.“ 

Can you guess what the sentences above mean? If you can work out little scenarios and use simple sentences like these, you will add meaning to the nouns you have to learn and be able to use them in class with your friends. That’s why the Quizlet below contains a number of nouns followed by usable sentences. Try them out in class. Borrow your friend’s stationery and start using your new nouns right away.

Here’s a verb that might also come in handy: brauchen – to need.

brauchen – Present Tense – a regular verb
  Singular Plural
First Person ich brauche – I need wir brauchen – we need
Second Person du brauchst – you need (familiar) ihr braucht (familiar plural – you need)
Third Person er/sie/es braucht (he/she/it needs) sie brauchen (they need)
 Formal Address Sie brauchen (you need – formal) Sie brauchen (you need – formal plural)

Once you have cycled through the Quizlet once or twice, you will be ready to tackle the crossword below. The code word (that is, the word in the highlighted squares running vertically through the puzzle) is the object you use when you have made a mistake and need to rub it out. This word is not in your text but it is in the Quizlet and in your dictionary.

The multiple choice quiz below will help you to revise school-related words and everyday classroom items. The nouns are in simple sentences, descriptions and scenarios, so that you encounter them in context. Sometimes there is a picture and your task is to select the sentence that describes it. When you check your answer, you will often get a little vocabulary hint or reminder, even if your answer was correct. Write down nouns or verbs that you haven’t already committed to memory. Use a dictionary if you need one, but you’ll be able to figure out most of the answers without one, if you have already cycled through the Quizlet above and the work on the other pages about school.

In this quiz there’s even a picture of a teacher looking kind of scary. 

One last crossword to check your memory of vocabulary:

This Prezi will remind you of a few names for common stationery and for the gadgets that sit on our desks.

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