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Ideas for IB or A-Level German Literature texts?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by zrcadlo, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. zrcadlo

    zrcadlo New commenter

    Hello there
    I am looking for suggestions of texts to work on with specifically IB German B students (Standard or Higher) , but I am sure A-Level ideas are also relevant.
    Any particularly good plays/novellas/films/extracts that went down well with your IB or A-Level students?
    I've used Brecht's Keuner-Geschichten in the past, also Duerrenmatt's 'Der Besuch der alten Dame' (although found this fairly hard-going) and of course Kafka's 'Die Verwandlung'. Have been referred to 'Im Westen nichts Neues' and 'die weisse Rose' so am going to think about preparing them - but I would be glad for more ideas.
    I've also had the suggestions of films 'Jenseits der Stille' and 'die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum' - not being much of a movie type I've stuck to Goodbye Lenin (hard) and Das Leben der Anderen so far but fancy a change. Any other film tips?
    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help...

    All suggestions gratefully received... Thanks
  2. How about "Die Schachnovelle" by Stefan Zweig? It's a great book, and not as strange as die alte Dame. For films... I don't know if it's already available, but teenagers (especially girls) here in Germany love "Goethe", I suppose because the actor is quite hot ;-).
  3. if you've got good kids, how about Faust I - the language itself is a bit high faluting [spelling?] but the basic story is very accessible and there's oodles of resource packs etc available from amazon germany if you want to teach it. I'm thinking about Gottfried Keller's 'Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe' next year. In terms of film, have you thought about using either 'die Welle' or 'die fetten Jahren sind vorbei'? Just a few ideas - hope that's of some use!

    Failing that, my own texts at school were Der Besuch, die Verwandlung and Kathi Blum. They're good but terribly overused...
  4. zrcadlo

    zrcadlo New commenter

    Hi, thank you for the suggestions. I agree with your point baldlydrawnboy about the texts you (and I) mention, they're overused and that's why I fancied a change. I will check out the Zweig suggestion especially as they have it in our school library already, so I think that'll be my first port of call. Also I think I will use Im Westen nichts Neues as text and as film. I read Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe myself at uni, it was a while ago though so may refresh myself and give it a go...
    If anyone else has some more suggestions especially regarding film, I'd still be interested to hear. Thanks again for the help so far.
  5. Hi Sarah,
    I can highly recommend Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front ) I did it about a hundred years ago at O Level (English) instead of Macbeth !! Strangley enough I now live in the author's birthplace (Osnabrück):
    For a film I would suggest As Far as my Feet Will Carry me. The story of a German POW in Russia after Stalingrad and his escape from a Gulag and journey home ON FOOT pursued all the way by a rather unpleasant Russian Colonel and helped by a variety of people.
    Message me if you would like more details .
  6. Our A level students have quite enjoyed Der Vorleser - some of the vocabulary is a little more interesting than the dry topics we study in class! They've also been able to watch the film version with Kate Winselt and Ralph Fiennes
  7. Hi. I taught 'Ich fühl mich so fifty-fifty' as a piece of text for A-level a few years ago, and the students were quite engaged in it. The chapters are short so it feels 'manageable' for them, and the theme is teenagers at the time of reunification which they found easy to relate to.
    Re film, there's always Run Lola Runn (lola rennt) or I did 'Goodbye Lenin' with my AS group last term...there are quite a lot of resources online for this, including on TES.
    Good luck!
  8. hpblossom

    hpblossom New commenter

    Blimey. I did Verwandlung and Katharina Blum for A level 25 years ago. Surprised that they are still going strong... If nothing has changed, then I also did Mutter Courage (hated it)and Heinrich Boll's short stories Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa (loved it).
  9. taradh

    taradh New commenter

    Hi I did 'Jenseits der Stille' for the first time last year with my year 13 and the students (even my one boy!)really enjoyed it. I have posted some resources on TES and have made a lot more if you are interested.
    There are also lots of other resources on the Internet for the film including Hefte.What is really good about the film is that it is immediately accessible, you do not need to teach about German history, etc for them to understand the film.(not that there is anything wrong of course in teaching German history!!! But I was thinking about time restraints...)
  10. Hi
    I have just been on an IB course and we discussed some possibilities. I have decided on: Der Vorleser. Bernhard Schlink- for the second work and then maybe Biedermann und die Brandtstifter - Max Frisch for the first (it is quite short but pretty easy). I have a list of some other ideas at school which I can send later. It depends quite a lot on the group (gender/maturity/ability), so is hard to plan in advance.
    Do you know of many good poems? It was suggested that a collection of 10-15 poems could be used as a 'work'.

  11. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    What did you choose in the end and how did you get on? I just found this thread when doing a search on the IB. I really enjoyed teaching 'Der letzte Grund' by Alfred Andersch. It's quite a challenging book, but there's a beautiful film made about it, which would ease comprehenion. It's about a group of people all wanting to leave Nazi Germany, and it's got all the various types: a Jewish girl, a communist, a work of persecuted art, a Christian etc. Really makes them think and went well with 'Die weisse Rose', which my colleague did.
  12. I did a wonderful book for German A Level in 1975. I am trying to remember who wrote it and what it was called but it was about an old couple who had let the attic of their house to some men who were kidding them on that they were making a bomb. The old couple thought it was a joke and just laughed about it. They had no idea that there really was a bomb being constructed in their attic? until it went off.

    Yes it's a suggestion as we all really enjoyed the book. I've gone through years and years thinking it was by Berthold Brecht but I can't find it among his output. I also thought it was called 'Die Drei gerechten Kammacher' but I've recently discovered my memories are muddled up and that was another book by Keller that we read. You can tell from this that my teaching subject isn't German, but I'm still interested, and if anyone can enlighten me and tell me what the book is that we enjoyed so much I'd be grateful!
  13. soddit

    soddit New commenter

    I have done " Kleider machen Leute" by Gottfried Keller, which is a nice start, but the language can also be a bit hard to comprehend." Der Besuch der alten Dame" by Dürrenmatt (quite hard for non-natives) and "Andorra", by Frisch - which they enjoyed.

    I think, on the whole, Plays are better suited for non-natives as the layout makes reading easier!

    I tried das Brot der Frühen Jahre once ..total Flop.
  14. Hello fellow German teachers around the world!

    I figured that between all of us we've got some knowledge to share! So I just started a group on Facebook where we can access each other and our great ideas easily!

    So, if you have questions, information, want to brainstorm, found a new app or just need a new some help, this could be our place!

    International German Teachers: www.facebook.com/.../1593443027549612
  15. Frannbug, das klingt nach 'Biedermann und die Brandstifter' von Frisch. Wird immer noch gern fuer A-level benutzt.

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