In German 3 or 4, we do a unit on professions. It starts basically how you'd expect such a unit to start - we learn German words for various professions (der Lehrer, der Arzt, der Richter, etc.) and do various activities describing/grouping these professions.
As we move through the unit, however, we get into what I like to think of as more practical applications of the vocabulary and themes.
This part of the unit, called "Der Lehrling," is based largely on the free unit provided by College Board. I first did these activities three years ago, had success (and my students had fun doing it), so we did it again this year.
The overall premise is that students are given an "internship" at a local marketing company that wants to produce a new soft drink. During their internship, they will study marketing (video and print ads), create a new soft drink, and then create a marketing campaign to promote their drink.
The unit provided by College Board has most of what you would need to do this unit, including rubrics and a student packet. I would highly recommend taking a look at it. I only want to talk in detail about some aspects of the unit as a means of facilitating teachers who want to try this out for the first time.
- I break students into groups of 3-5 (depends on class size). These groups will be working together throughout the entire project.
- Before I even introduce the idea of creating a new soda, the first part of the "internship" consists of studying ads. It's important that students become aware of the way people respond to different print and video ads - it'll definitely help them plan out their own versions later on.
As homework the night before, ask students to bring in two ads from magazines. It doesn't matter what the product is at this point. With their groups, students complete this worksheet for the ads that they brought in. Go through some of the ads together (or analyze some German ones you might have).
I also like to include commercials. I usually pick a couple for us to watch and analyze as a class. I recommend finding German commercials (via YouTube) for products like Fanta, Pepsi, Coke and Red Bull. (I usually do drink specific commercial ads as a transition into the rest of the project.)
There's also a great activity available on TES for the 10 Worst German TV adverts. Students can now see what does and doesn't work.
- When students make the "new sodas," they're basically mixing current sodas together in different amounts to get a new flavor. I briefly explain what they'll be doing and ask students to sign up to bring different sodas. I recommend that every member of a group bring in something different, but that they should also consult with other groups to try and get a larger variety. Tell students at least a few days in advance of when they'll start mixing - students forget to bring in the soda!
On your end, there are some materials you'll want to have handy when they actually start mixing: paper towels (one roll per group); funnels; lots of plastic cups (for mixing samples and tasting); plastic spoons; food coloring (just for fun). If you have a smaller class, you might also want to bring in an extra soda or two (try to bring in something weird that no one else would have thought of - I brought in this pineapple flavored soda I found).
Students will probably need a whole class period to mix and try different combinations. Warn them to make small samples of each drink - they don't want to waste all their soda on a combination that tastes horrible. They'll also need an empty container to put their "final" drink in. Usually it works out that they've used up enough of one of the drinks they brought in that they can dump out the rest and use the freshly emptied container.
- Students will need at least a couple of days to make the labels for their drinks as well as the ads. Warn students that the ads should in some way demonstrate what we talked about when analyzing ads earlier.
- Once students have turned in the ads, I like to show them to the other German classes. Each class gets to sample the sodas (this is entirely voluntary - some students might shy away from blue soda), and then judge the product on taste, the label on how it looks, and the ads on how persuasive they are.
After this part of our "professions" unit, we move on to analyzing German resumes. Ultimately the unit ends in them writing their own Lebenslauf and having a job interview with me - and on their Lebenslauf, they need to include what they did during this "internship" and answer any questions about it that come up in the interview :)
- Frau Leonard