The Refrigerator Story (Matava) – German – Robert Harrell

Our first reading in German comes from Le Chevalier de l’Ouest:
Hi Ben,
Attached is a TPRSesque reading that arose from class discussion of Anne Matava’s “The Refrigerator Story”. This class likes killing off people. Ryan is a student in the class who has cooking just before German. He had some muffins that he had baked in class that day, so the PQA discussion of Ryan’s cooking ability transferred over quite naturally into the story. I explained to the class that the last question (Why does Tiny Daryl cry?) could be taken to a higher level of thinking and got – in German – some very creative answers; it gave my stars a chance to shine while slower processors could state simply, “because he shot Ryan”.


Tiny Daryl geht nach der Schule nach Hause. Auf dem Weg bekommt er großen Hunger. Er geht in das nächste Haus ohne zu klopfen und nimmt eine Pistole aus dem Kühlschrank. Nimmt er einen Kuchen oder eine Banane aus dem Kühlschrank? Nein, er nimmt eine Pistole aus dem Kühlschrank. Nimmt er die Pistole aus dem Küchenschrank oder aus dem Kühlschrank? Ja, er nimmt die Pistole aus dem Kühlschrank. Nimmt Tiny Daryl die Pistole aus dem Kühlschrank oder steckt er die Pistole in den Kühlschrank? Das stimmt! Er nimmt die Pistole aus dem Kühlschrank, steckt sie in die Hosentasche und geht weiter.
Dann bekommt Tiny Daryl großen Durst. Er geht in das nächste Haus ohne zu klopfen und nimmt Kool-Aid aus dem Kühlschrank. Nimmt er Coca Cola oder Kool-Aid aus dem Kühlschrank? Genau, er nimmt Kool-Aid aus dem Kühlschrank. Nimmt er Kool-Aid aus dem Ofen? Nein, er nimmt Kool-Aid aus dem Kühlschrank. Tiny Daryl trinkt das Kool-Aid und geht weiter.
Tiny Daryl hat immer noch Hunger. Er geht in Ryans Haus ohne zu klopfen und nimmt Munition für die Pistole aus dem Kühlschrank. Dann legt er sich auf das Sofa und schläft ein. Ryan kommt nach Hause. Er geht in das Haus ohne zu klopfen – es ist ja sein Haus – und sieht Tiny Daryl auf dem Sofa. Er nimmt Steak, Karotten und Kartoffeln aus dem Kühlschrank und kocht sie. Ryan ist ein guter Koch. Er lernt kochen von Frau Roman in der Schule. Dann weckt er Tiny Daryl auf und gibt ihm das Steak, Karotten und Kartoffeln. Tiny Daryl sagt: „Lecker!“ und schießt vor Freude die Pistole in die Luft, aber die Kugel [bullet] fällt Ryan auf den Kopf. Ryan stirbt.Tiny Daryl weint.
Wer hat Hunger auf dem Weg nach Hause?
Isst er in dem ersten Haus?
Was nimmt er aus dem Kühlschrank im zweiten Haus?
Worauf legt er sich im dritten Haus?
Was nimmt Ryan aus dem Kühlschrank?
Was macht er damit?
Warum weint Tiny Daryl?



8 thoughts on “The Refrigerator Story (Matava) – German – Robert Harrell”

    1. Yeah, aren’t we lucky??? Thanks Robert for posting this. Usually, as a German teacher, I always feel like the odd woman out. They hardly ever have any German materials at conferences, and workshops almost always focus on Spanish. But not on this site! I feel so privileged to be able to learn from you and have actual samples in my target language.

  1. Interesting. I’ve never seen the circling built into the actual reading itself. I’ve always thought of that as belong to the storyasking part and never transferred it over to the reading. Thinking about it, though, this is a nice way to get additional reps and expand the reading without blowing out the students emerging vocabulary. Nice trick.

  2. I have a question about scripts. I read in I think PQA in a Wink that it is okay to speak L1 when talking about some of the cute answers provided by students as long as the target structures are in L2. My question is, when doing a script by Anne or Jim or one you make yourself, the underlined parts that are variables that students decide, do you translate those into L2 when storyasking? Or do you just say them in English as you’re doing the story? A while back when doing a story, a student suggested “lumberjack” I had to look it up because I had no clue how to say it. I was looking at the “Table Manners, part 1” script and noticed that some of the underlined variables were “spitting tobacco”, “cutting her fingers and toenails” “cuts off her hands and feet and puts them on her mom’s bed”, etc. Most of the underlined variables in the scripts, my students have not learned. I feel that when doing a script, when taking their answers and putting them into L2 you’re just creating an overload of structures when the purpose was to only teach the 2-3 target structures.
    So, in the case of the table manners story if students suggest “spitting tobacco” would you say:
    1. La madre de Gloria se molesta porque Gloria está escupiendo tabaco durante la cena.
    2. La madre de Gloria se molesta porque Gloria está spitting tobacco durante la cena.
    With 2, you’re adding another structure and vocabulary word they may not know depending on the time of the year you do this script. I want to start doing more of these scripts but I don’t know what to do with the student-created variables, put them in L1 or L2?

  3. I translate the “cutest” answer into L2 for them and put it on the board. It turns out that they really remember those crazy words/phrases because they really want to – otherwise they wouldn’t have suggested them. I recently had “Zwetschken zerquetschen” (to smash plums) – that’s a tongue twister even for me as a native speaker and, yet, they all remember it.

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