The original story is called "Der Briefträger kommt." I have no idea where it's from - another German teacher gave me a copy of it years ago. Based on the copy I have, it's from "Deutsch macht Spass," but other than that I'm not sure of its origin. It's a short reading that contained mostly dialogue. It had a lot of vocabulary that was familiar to students, was in the present tense, and had verb exercises that went along with it, which was primarily why I used it at the beginning of German 2 as a review.
I took the original story and modified it. I actually ended up creating the reading Top Down - I wrote the third, more detailed version first (based heavily on the original I had), then worked backwards to get the other two versions. I also added pictures and changed the exercises that go along with the story.
Here's a look at how the stories differ in detail and length:
|First reading: 112 words, 1 page|
|Second Reading: 220 words, 1 1/2 pages|
|Third Reading: 304 words, 2 pages|
I had never thought this reading was very difficult for students, but the past few years they had found it very difficult to both understand and do the exercises. I don't know if it's because we do it right after summer break or what, but I found that this year the students understood the story much better and were much more involved in the extension activities. With the changes I've made, I feel I could use this later this year with my German 1 students with no problems.
If you're interested in this activity, it's available for free on my TPT account! Let me know how it goes!
- Frau Leonard