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Contributor: Erin Robertson

Language of text: German
Type of text: Poem
Author or source: Goethe
Intended age of students: Key Stage 3
Source reference: A translation into English can be found here: at

Ian Bostridge singing Erlkönig (composed by Schubert)

One of many YouTube versions of Erlkönig - this is the one that I use
Please also see attached files.

Attached files:
1. PowerPoint for lesson on Erlkönig with embedded video/weblinks and suggested activities on the final slide (pictures were removed to ensure that there are no copyright issues).
2. Differentiated sequencing activity for students to do when listening to the poem.

File nameFile typeSize
Erlkönig PPT version with embedded video..pptxNo description310.87 kBInfo
GOETHE_-_ERLKÖNIG.docxNo description73.81 kBInfo

Ideas to get you thinking....
1. Listen to a  YouTube clip - Schubert's interpretation of Erlkönig.
2. Use simple adjectives to describe the song / music before seeing the lyrics (Ich finde das Lied........)
3. Students predict what the story is about (pick from a number of options.....Ich denke, es geht um......) 
4. Watch a YouTube clip animation of Erlkönig.....1st time they just watch and listen, 2nd and 3rd time they sequence the differentiated texts into the order that they think id correct.
5. Highlight any words that they know , wiggly underline what they can work out and they can choose 5 words to look up.
6. Discuss again what they think it is about again - in tables and then as a group (same slide as before can be used).
7. Shared reading of the poem to improve pronunciation (sound spelling link) in pairs.
8. Challenge in pairs: to come up with a modern day version either a rap, storyboard, poster or play.
9. Students showcase their interpretations to the rest of the group.

This is My favourite poem from my own studies of German. The story is dark, spooky, eerie and a real blast of German culture.

Creating their own adaptation of the story in a way of their choosing; improving accuracy of pronunciation;

Topics or themes:
This was created to increase the amount of authentic literature that students meet and also encourage creativity. It can be done at the end of a year / topic quite neatly.

Adjectives, opinions, present tense could all be potentially highlighted here.

Reading for gist; making links between spellings and sounds; sequencing based on very little prior knowledge; coping with the unfamiliar; looking for what you do know etc.

How much time required:
1-2 lessons minimum

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