Friday, May 30, 2014

Dirndl und Lederhosen: Traditional German Clothing

Our last vocabulary topic in German 1 is a clothing unit.  We look at a variety of vocabulary words, practice describing outfits, use the verb gefallen, practice shopping, and basically just practice describing things we already have and do in America.

I had some extra time this week so I put together something I felt was missing - a little bit of German culture!

It started earlier in the year when my AP kids did a reading from the Cornelsen AP workbook (which I highly recommend) that talked about Dirndl.  The boys had no clue what a Dirndl was (and as boys, I guess I wouldn't expect them to...), which made the reading more challenging for them.  I decided that deutsche Tracht was something I should incorporate into the clothing unit we do in German 1.

When I went through making this activity, I wanted something that gave a general overview, had some fun details, but wasn't too detailed or overwhelming for students.  We basically talked a little bit about everything, learning some words like Lederhosen, Bundhosen, Edelweisshut, Dirndl and Tracht.  I then gave students a cultural quiz - seven true/false statements that we then discussed one by one.

After that, we watched the following video about Dirndl:

There is a German version available as well (alas, I didn't find the German version until after we had watched the English one), so you can decide which version to use based on your class' abilities.

Next class, we'll talk more about Lederhosen and the Edelweisshut.  Deutsche Welle has a video (similar to the Dirndl one above, though with less of a focus on fashion) on Lederhosen that I plan on showing.

And just like the previous video, there's a German version as well.

Previously when we've had a World Language Fair, my Honor Society students had a craft table where they showed people how to make an Edelweisshut out of construction paper.  We'll be making these hats next class based on this craft page.  I will say that you will need to find the longest/biggest construction paper possible - for teenagers it'll be a tight fit once it's done.

If you're interested in a copy of the materials I used, they're available for FREE on TPT - just click here!

- Frau Leonard


  1. Frau Leonard:
    What a lovely blog you have and how smart to add a clothing unit to your discussion with the children. While these (dirndls and lederhosen) were "working" clothes, they have made it back into fashion now. It is fun to celebrate your heritage, by dressing up, but by especially learning the language. Prost!

    1. I've always loved Dirndls - alas, I don't own one :( Don't be surprised if I order one next Oktoberfest!

    2. Order Early!- Have a lovely summer