A collection of eleven simplified German fairy tales, taken from the Brothers Grimm, with running glossaries and questions for comprehension.
Type of Material:
Text with (non-interactive) questions about the content.
These texts are accessible for all levels of readers. The language is straightforward but the disjointed nature of fairy tales can make comprehension difficult.
Any Web browser
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The fairy tales are intended to provide a vocabulary-enriching and grammatically challenging reading experience. They represent an opportunity for: reinforcing grammatical constructions; discussion in the classroom; writing assignments; and learning both about the fairy tale genre and the conventions of classical literary German.
Target Student Population:
Intermediate German learners and above.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Although grammar is introduced with each exercise, all the reading selections presume a familiarity with basic German grammar and vocabulary.
The introduction (in English) is witty and accessible, though perhaps overlong. The individual stories are both brief and broken up into subsections by interpolating groups of the comprehension questions, so that the texts are not too intimidating. The running glossaries along the right side are also very helpful.Nicely presented: vocabulary first, text with glosses in manageable chunks next, and after a few sections comprehension questions. A full set of resources, including a nice introductory essay, for someone who wants to work with one of these fairy tales.
The glosses are not marked in the text. The comprehension questions address the narrative progression of the fairy tale, but not the confusion or issues of meaning that the fairy tale engenders.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Fairy tales are short texts and written in straightforward manner, with relatively standard German and well-formed sentences. They move quickly and describe relatively easily understood action. They are a good choice for that reason. The mixture of familiar and relatively unknown stories is a good strategy for keeping reader interest high
The lack of interactivity means that there's nothing especially engaging in the presentation.
As the introduction notes, fairy tales are not a child's genre. They require a fair amount of sophistication to find meaning in them; without that effort, they are little better than made-up texts designed to exercise the week's vocabulary items.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is reasonably attractive in its use of color and simple illustrations, and navigation is reasonably easy, with only a title page and the links to introduction and story pages.
Links back to the title page are given only at the very bottom of the story pages, some of which are quite long--the fact that the stories and glossaries are organized in long, non-dynamic tables that do not use the page space efficiently makes these pages arguably much longer than they need to be.The site is not particularly aesthetically pleasing. There are few instructions, although they may not be needed.
Other Issues and Comments:
Search by ISBN?
It looks like you have entered an ISBN number. Would you like to search using what you have
entered as an ISBN number?
Searching for Members?
You entered an email address. Would you like to search for members? Click Yes to continue. If no, materials will be displayed first. You can refine your search with the options on the left of the results page.