We visited Baden-Württemberg, the state in the south of Germany bordering France and Switzerland. This part of the country is known for its charm and beauty.
Here you see Lake Konstanz, or Lake Constance in English.
Germany is famous for its breads and cake. Here you see plum cake with plenty of whipped cream.
Many buildings from medieval and Renaissance periods are still in use, and the narrow streets invite people to walk or ride bicycles.
There is a lot of public art, and beautiful murals and sculptures are kept in excellent condition.
This part of Germany is proud of its history, but there are also many examples of modern art.
The landscapes are gentle and beautiful, and towns are clean and orderly.
Get your classroom ready
Get your classroom ready for a study of Germany with some books.
Check out our ideas for fairy tale themes — a lot of them work for a study of Germany.
We also have a lesson on Christmas in Germany.
Germany took part in both world wars.
- Elephango has basic background and maps.
- Google Earth visit to Germany
- Free Germany and German language resources from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Download a Power Point of German castles.
Now that you have some background, choose one of these lessons to dive deeper into Germany with math, history, and literature.
Many of the most popular and wonderful fairy tales come from Germany, where the Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, spent years collecting the stories people told to children. A study of Germany can include one or many of these stories.
The pictures we’re sharing here can help kids imagine the setting of the stories.
We have lesson plans for some of these stories:
Here’s a very long list of Grimm’s Tales. We have lesson plans for quite a few on this list, but it can be fun to read some of the less familiar ones with your class.
Knights and castles
Germany as a nation didn’t exist until the later 1800s. Before that time, there were many small kingdoms and duchies in the area that we now call Germany. There were many conflicts among the various divisions, and knights were important for defending the cities against their enemies.
We visited Rosenobel, a bastion that was part of the city walls. It was built in the 1600s, replacing an earlier tower.
We also visited a castle at Meersburg. This was a fortress, but people did live in the building. It is known as the Old Castle. There is also a New Castle, from the 18th century, which we might call a palace. Discuss the difference between a fortress and a palace with your class; both can be called castles, but they are not the same.
The castle had lots of armor.
It’s hard to imagine people wearing these metal suits to fight in, but German knights did.
The knights’ horses had special gear, too.
There were many weapons in the castle, too.
Here’s the kitchen of the castle. There was a large fireplace for cooking, and a sink that opened out of the wall to allow water to flow outside of the castle. The servants in the castle would have worked very hard to prepare food for all the people living there.
Being a knight was clearly not the only job in a castle, but it was an important one. Boys and young men would work their way up to knighthood by working as a page, a squire, and then becoming a knight. This was only an option for boys whose families could afford armor and horses.
- The Code of Chivalry
- Becoming a Knight
- An online quiz about the process of becoming a knight
Learn more about the Middle Ages.