It was during a few intimate tea times with my Great-Great Grandmother and Pop that my daughter Annabelle (Age 10.5) became inspired to learn about my German heritage.
We began exploring books together from the library and googling articles on German personality traits, culture and food and before I knew it – she had decided to create this project piece.
Project Title: ‘Lets Talk about Germany’
Memories of Mutti: this helped her process the grief and loss after my Great -Great grandmother’s passing.
Planning a Holiday: inspired by our family goal to visit Germany one day.
People and Culture: gave us clarity on why we are the way we are. In particular, our love for sausages, cakes and need for direct communication.
Such a fun way of showcasing her interest and connections made on the topic – don’t you think?
But wait there’s more:
By accident one weekend we found a German cuisine food van at a local market so we all got to try some traditional German foods. This then lead to the idea of creating her very own pop up German Café.
The Pop Up Cafe Experience
We invited local home-school families to join us in the experience. Annabelle planned and cooked the menu for about 15 people. She recruited the help of her brother (age 8) to help with setting the table and myself to assist with cooking. She considered everything that was needed without little input from me other than being time keeper and dishwasher of course.
Items considered were:
Menu: traditional hot dogs served with sauerkraut and apple dump cake for desert.
Table Setting: table cloth, flowers, drink station, plates and food labels (including the translation).
Preparation: shopping, budgeting, meal prep.
The Learning Experiences and Benefits
What I love about this way of learning is that it was totally natural and completely child-led. All I did was expose her to visits with grandparents and arranged an impromptu market visit for our family’s entertainment. The rest just happened.
Both activities were multi-layered experiences, engaged all 5 senses which made it easier to stimulate and form connections. The project lasted about a month.
Subjects covered were:
o English: produced a written piece
o History: through conversation/reading we explored the reasons and effects of WW2
o Maths: menu planning, shopping, budget, cooking, mental maths
o Social Skills: ability to interact with all ages
o Emotional development: working under time pressure, confidence, bravery
Overall this project piece was fun, effortless and gave us time with our friends and loved ones.
Hope this ticks your boxes for finding new ways to learn at home and look forward to hearing about your successes.