Life in the DDR through Film: German II

byArcadia Teel

This unit uses the film, Goodbye Lenin! to increase vocabulary acquisition and introduce cultural aspects of the DDR to German II students. The film is broken down by chapters so that certain vocabulary can be emphasized using Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) methods. The selected vocabulary for a particular chapter is practiced by asking a story in which the students supply the details. The students then watch that chapter of the movie without sound and once more with sound. A critical analysis of that chapter takes place before the vocabulary is reinforced by having the students translate passages and rewrite parts of the story. Historical and cultural aspects of East Germany are emphasized during the analysis of the film’s various chapters. This unit can be altered to be relevant for German II, German III, and German IV. Its analytical approach to film and history make the unit adaptable for film classes as well as European history classes. Methods used are suitable to meet MYP and IB standards.

(Developed for German II, grade 10; recommended for German III and History, grades 11-12)

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