Friday, June 6, 2014

Salzburg For The Win!

Since living and working in Alabama, I have been taking groups of students to the University of Alabama German Day, which is our day of competition and exhibition for all students who study German in Alabama. Events are divided into three main categories: speaking performance, academic challenge (writing, reading, listening), and visual/artistic. Underneath the umbrella of academic challenge is a contest known as Geography. Each level of German is assigned a city or region to prepare for a pencil-and-paper quiz. This year, my German 2's received Salzburg as their assignment, so I seized this opportunity to integrate some more Austrian cultural perspective into the classroom.

My teaching strategy for this topic was structured so that almost everyday over the course of approximately three weeks (beginning in mid-February and lasting up until German Day itself, March 7th), my students would work with a bit of Salzburg culture and/or geography.

I've never been a fan of memorizing dates, facts, and figures, so I had this challenge of how to make this information RELEVANT and AUTHENTIC and INTERESTING for all involved. To accomplish this goal, I chose to keep it very visual, personal (whenever possible) and language-based as possible.

Here is the schedule of topics and activities that I ended up using:

  • Introduce Salzburg as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its Historisches Stadtzentrum, show a photo of the Getreidegasse and the Markt with the Salzburger Brezen stand

Salzburg, 2011
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mozart's Geburtshaus (read the sign hanging outside it), Notice the use of "Jänner," and read a short bio written by me about Mozart

File:Mozarts Geburtshaus.JPG
  • Physical geography of Salzburg, used text from (it was one of the recommended resources to read from the University of Alabama) and an outline map of Austria for labeling, students also had to create three reading comprehension questions of their own of any type in German after reading the text.

—  Die Stadt Salzburg liegt an der Salzach (der Name eines Flusses) und am Nordrand der Alpen. Salzburg ist ungefähr 150 km südöstlich von München (BRD). Sie ist die Landeshauptstadt des gleichnamigen Bundeslandes und mit 145.871 Einwohnern (Stand 1. Januar 2013) nach Wien, Graz und Linz die viertgrößte Stadt Österreichs. Der Name “Salzburg” kommt aus der lateinischen SpracheSalis Burgium”. Die Römer wohnten dort von dem 1. Jahrhundert vor Christus bis 5. Jahrhundert vor Chr. Salzburg trägt auch den BeinamenMozartstadt,” denn in 1756 wurde Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, weltbekannter Komponist, dort geboren.

  • Salzburg and what it experienced during World War II beginning with the Anschluss 1938 through the American bombings 1944-45 and how it changed the city
  • The Mirabellgarten, Zwergelgarten, and the filming of The Sound of Music (lots of photos for this one plus a video clip of course from the movie)
  • Famous Salzburger: "Wolferl", Johann Michael Haydn, C. Doppler, Joseph Mohr, Georg Trakl, Felix Baumgartner, Maria von Trapp. I gave the students a slide with clip-art and images on it representing each person and asked them to guess who belonged to each image. 
  • Stiftskeller St. Peter (oldest restaurant in Europe!) and Salzburger Nockerl I just realized I should have had them read the recipe for this!
Salzburg, 2013
  • Salzburger Dom, the Kollegienkirche, religion and the story of St. Rupert who revived the town with the salt mines 
At the very end of it all, we played a Survivor-style game called "Mensch, Ort, oder Sache." Since the geography quiz at German Day would be trivia-based, I wanted our final formative assessment to model that. It was fun. On the day of the quiz, we didn't have any winners, but that's okay because the experience of focusing on Salzburg was very rewarding and enriching. 

Personally, I learned about the Zwergelgarten while preparing for these discussions, which I had missed both times I was in Salzburg, so now I have something to seek out the next time that I am there!

If you have any other ideas of topics regarding Salzburg that I could include for my next go-around with this unit, please share! Continue to teach culture. It's vital to language learning.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget the importance of Salz in the history of Salzburg! Consider Salzach, Salzburg, Salzkammergut, Salzminen (in Bechtesgaden, zB)