Lesson Plan: The Good and Successful Citizen

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SUBJECT AREA: German – Beginning to Refining Level

DURATION: varies

STANDARDS: all five C’s


Students will

  • Learn a wide variety of vocabulary relating to citizenship and values.
  • Learn to describe and interpret a picture.
  • Experience working with historic materials.
  • Learn what was expected of a “good” American citizen a hundred years ago.



Students will brainstorm geography and travel vocabulary, verbs of motion, terms of direction


Students will analyze the following pictures from Der Geschäftsführer: pages 125, 127, 129, 157, 244.

  • Which of these drawings depict a virtue or goal, a danger or failure, a uniquely American quality?
  • Compare pictures 127 and 129 in detail. What is different in these two pictures?


Students will read the above mentioned three sections from the Taschenbuch über die Vereinigten Staaten für Einwanderer und Ausländer: and discuss the following questions, in English or German:

  • Who might have been the authors of this text? Was it originally written in German? Why or why not
  • Compare the “Pflichten eines guten Bürgers” with the lists of privileges and duties, created above. What are the differences or similarities?
  • In “Lerne Englisch,” do the authors propose English as an official or national language? Why or why not? What are the authors’ arguments for learning English? Do you think the same arguments for learning a foreign language hold true today?

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

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