Lesson Plan: Health

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SUBJECT AREA: German – Beginning/Developing Level

DURATION: 1-2 hours

STANDARDS: all five C’s


Students will:

  • Learn Vocabulary and phrases as they relate to the human body and health issues.
  • Learn basic language structures of “giving advice.”
  • Experience working with historic materials.
  • Compare the German language in the 19th century and with today’s German.
  • Compare different ways of treating an illness today and a hundred years ago/ in Germany and in the United States.



(to follow a text book unit on health, body parts and/or doctor’s visit)

  • In classroom teams, students look at the list of body parts in the Amerikanischer Dolmetscher, “Der Mensch, die Theile des Körpers” (p. 50,51) and
    • identify vocabulary that they have learned before
    • identify words that might not be in use anymore
    • cover up the two left columns and then try to pronounce the word in the third column. What is the English word? The German translation?


Beginning students will read the text in transcription, more advanced students might prefer to use the original Fraktur.

Introduction: Brainstorm vocabulary of illnesses, especially related to colds


  • Dr. Chase – Rezepte und Hausarzt: “Erkältungen – Gesundheitsregeln für den Winter” (p. 133)
    • find words that have to do with a) body parts, b) illness, c) weather/ climate, d) clothing
    • review of Konjunktiv I: – identify all verbs in this form
    • The text could be used as assessment for testing grammar and vocabulary mentioned above, by giving students a list of words they have to fill in the right place in the correct form.
  • Dr.Wards Wegweiser: “Erkältungen” (p. 9)

Preparation: – make a list of cold medications that you know, look through German magazines and find adds for cold medicines. Make a classroom collage.

Students read the text and answer the following questions:

  • How should you deal with a cold, according to Dr. Ward?
  • What do you learn about the ingredients in this drug?
  • How does the drug work?
  • How did the three patients use the drug and how did it help them?

Follow-up discussion:

  • What do students do if they have a cold?
  • Which of the advice in the text have they used? What would they try?


Students will interview their parents, grandparents, or members of the community to find out what they do when they have a cold or what they do to prevent a cold. What home remedies did they use and what drugs did they take when they were children, etc. Students together write a classroom Ratgeber on how to deal with colds.


Introduction: Brainstorm greetings, phrases you use when visiting a doctor.

Preparation: Students read phrases in Amerikanischer Dolmetscher, “Mit einem Arzte”
(p. 139-141) and discuss which of these phrases might be old-fashioned.

Dialogue: Two students have a “doctor/patient” conversation. The patient comes to the doctor with a cold. He uses the Dolmetscher to express himself. Students talk with the book in front of them, since this was the way such a book was used historically. Students will get a feel for what it was like to communicate with the help of a phrase book.

© Max Kade Institute for German American Studies at the University of Wisconsin/Madison

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