Novel – Nordseepirat – Robert – Ch 1 – German – Level 1-2

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22 thoughts on “Novel – Nordseepirat – Robert – Ch 1 – German – Level 1-2”

  1. Just for more background information.
    -The book is called Nordseepirat (North Sea Pirate)
    -This chapter is called “Die Legende” (The Legend)
    -I am using four different fonts for the title, the place, the legend, and the rest of the story
    -I will add footnotes and a glossary for words that are not high frequency, like “Henker” (executioner).

    Any and all comments are appreciated: proofreading, editing, general comments about plot, character, level, etc.

    BTW, I’m pretty far along with chapter 2: “Schiffsjunge” (Cabin Boy)

    Thanks for looking at this.

    1. I absolutely love this story and can’t to find out what happens next. You truly are a master storyteller!!

      I did find a few errors/typos. If you want, I can copy your writing into a word document and highlight the things that would need to be fixed. Would that work for you? Or do you prefer a different format for doing this?

          1. And some of them were precisely where I was trying to find a simpler (i.e. higher frequency) way of saying things – and went back and forth on what would work.

      1. By the way guys, just in case you haven’t noticed, Robert’s story is in German.

        Come on, somebody translate it. I know that Chapter One is kind of long, but, maybe the German speakers involved here, Robert, Martin and Brigitte can divide it into three parts and each do one. People want to read it!

          1. Wait! I translated the first chapter this morning and sent it to Ben. I will send Martin and Brigitte Chapters two and three, then they can work on those.

          2. Look at all of us eager beavers – isn’t teamwork great!!! I look forward to finding my assigned chapter in my inbox soon.

  2. What a compelling chapter! Congratulations, Robert. I couldn’t stop reading. And so well written!
    A few editing suggestions:

    Ich bin der Leiter: better to say “der Käpt’n/der Kapitän/der Anführer”
    Stadtherren: die Ratsherren
    die Männer, nicht an denen: die Männer nicht, an denen
    die Piraten töten werden: die Piraten töten wird
    an einem vorbei, an zwei vorbei: either “an einem vorbei, an zweien vorbei” etc. or better “am ersten vorbei, am zweiten vorbei” etc.
    steckt seinen Fuß aus: streckt seinen Fuß aus or vor/stellt ihm ein Bein
    tritt gegen den Fuß: stolpert über den Fuß/stolpert
    Dürfen die elf Piraten frei gehen?: Dürfen die Piraten gehen? or Sind die Piraten frei?
    Er gibt einen Zeichen.: Er gibt ein Zeichen.
    Deutschklasse: No problem, but more idiomatic would be “Deutschunterricht”
    zum Land zu schwimmen: better “an Land zu schwimmen”
    bringt ihn unter das Wasser: drückt ihn unter Wasser
    Die Welle nimmt ihn mit sich, und er kommt unter das Wasser.: first part ok, you could also say “reißt ihn mit sich”; I would leave the unidiomatic rest or write “zieht ihn unter Wasser”
    Ist er unter dem Wasser?: Ist er (noch) unter Wasser?

    I’m eager to read more. What is the general idea of the plot? Will there be a connection to the legend? At what level do you intend to use the book?
    Robert, I think you are waking the pleasure of writing in us.

  3. Brigitte and Martin,

    Thank you for taking a look at this and for the compliments.

    I had already made a couple of the corrections you two spotted; it’s often difficult, though, to see your own mistakes because you know what is supposed to be there.

    I’m trying to write this for level 1 (probably late level 1), so some unidiomatic language and errors will come about because I’m trying to find a different way to express the idea. The goal is to limit the vocabulary to 300 words, preferably the highest frequency. Obviously, some technical vocabulary will be necessary, but I’ll footnote that.

    As far as the plot goes,
    2 – when Geoff surfaces, he finds himself alone in the middle of the North Sea, gets picked up by Stoertebeker’s ship and becomes the cabin boy
    3 – while on the ship, Geoff learns about a pirate’s life and the history of the “Victualien Brothers”
    4 – the crew goes raiding down the coast of France to Spain [historically they really did go that far], and Geoff experiences that aspect of life; Stoertebeker takes a St Vincent medallion as a prize [also historically attested, figures into the story later ]
    5 – the ship returns home, and Geoff sees that the pirates have friends and family on land; they donate goods to help the poor
    6 – the pirates return to raiding in the North Sea and Baltic, bringing their conflict with the Hanse to a head
    7 – the pirates are captured and taken to Hamburg; the chapter ends with the execution, but Geoff (he isn’t among the condemned pirates) picks up Stoertebeker’s medallion and runs; he leaps off a pier into the harbor
    8 – and returns to the present in time to be rescued by a life guard; at the end he puts Stoertebeker’s medallion around his neck as a memento, telling his girlfriend that it’s just something he picked up somewhere

    This book doesn’t have the same focus on character and won’t have all the “hooks” into other studies as the knight book* , but I hope to embed lessons about character along the way. It’s really more of an escapist adventure story than the other book.

    *College Board approved my AP Syllabus, which builds an entire semester around this book, using it as a jumping off point for exploration of medieval society, art, architecture, literature, food, clothing, etc.

  4. …using it as a jumping off point for exploration of medieval society, art, architecture, literature, food, clothing, etc….

    If a curriculum for one year at the upper levels that is contiguous around just one novel, it would be a major achievement.

    1. This already takes up a full semester in my AP course; I could easily make it last all year, but I have to recognize that not all students will find it equally engaging. (I’m pushing some of them with a semester, but by fourth year we have a good enough relationship that they hang in there.)

      I actually appreciate the opportunity College Board gave me to re-write my syllabus. The Six Course Themes helped me organize and elucidate a number of things that have emerged organically from my teaching about the Middle Ages. There are other things to do, but they are tweaks and finesse and flourish.

      1. ..not all students will find it equally engaging….

        I am done with coddling their sorry little asses about reading materials. What we have is what we have, and if it boring to them so be it. We need to just accept that we have shitty readers right now and make them read what we put in front of them. So what if it’s not compelling. We will eventually get compelling materials but we don’t have them now. I am talking about levels one and two mainly here. I came to understand from Dr. Krashen’s visit here that there is plenty of compelling reading out there in authentic literature.

        I really feel the need to set the record straight on this point, where we in this space just spent weeks talking about getting the right quality of reading materials in an effort to avoid boring the kids. When someone like Robert, as true and devoted and gifted a teacher as are out there, as good as they get, comes along and through a lot of sweat comes up with something like this novel, the kids should embrace what he has given them with thanks and appreciation. It is the TV culture again, ripping the heart out of education.

        Those kids are beyond lucky to have someone like Robert as a teacher. He has put incredible effort into the German soccer league idea and on developing his entire German AP curriculum out of whole cloth. You need not worry about those kids, Robert. Is it a Los Angeles thing?

        My general comment here is that we need to put a bit more hammer down about whiney kids and readings. Yes, we want to come up with better materials, and we have initiated that dialogue here and it will bear results in time (how can it not with the crap out there now?).

        But the point is, don’t fear those kids. You should have heard me in my 8th period class yesterday. For the entire class, I had put up with less than a stellar response to a read and discuss (Reading Option A) class about a short story by Nicole Weaver that I had asked her to write just for those Latino kids, and they had a kind of whiney thing going on and I slammed my open hand down on a stool and told them, out of sheer frustration, that I will not in my classroom ever allow a child to complain about anything we do in that kind of whiney tone of voice.

        I didn’t say it to the two perpretators, I just said in general to the class. I knew it was good because the quality of the anger didn’t have any meanness in it, I was just stating my truth with some hutzpah. They got the message.

        Tomorrow I am going to continue into that story, not really in a snow plow technique but plowing through it surely enough, and they will pay attention and they will show respect. Of course we need better materials, but, since we don’t have them, we will take what we have and we will use it and they won’t complain. Good lord, when are we going to get over this being all things to all students thing. It’s ruining some of us.

        1. Thank you, Ben – you are SO wise!!!
          and ROBERT: thank you for this story! I can’t read the German, but I will give it to my daughter to read (she spent her junior year of hs in Germany and has gone back there every year since – 5 years now, and has exhausted all the German classes at our local university – but wants to major in German; has to start looking into other schools now! All her close friends are native German speakers, so that is all she speaks when she is out with them!) She wants to start working on Norwegian now!!
          I really wish my students and their parents would look into study abroad opportunities (I’ve even supplied them with FREE scholarship info and FREE programs – but many do not want their kids to go anywhere!! The mindset here of learning a new language/culture is so different from that of other countries’. I think that mentality leads to the apathetic and disrupting/whiney behaviors that we all experience in our classrooms.)

    1. Drew, es tut mir leid, dass ich so lange nicht geantwortet habe.

      For everyone:
      -As a class reading, this is second semester level two
      -As an individual reading, this is second semester level three and above; my level three students are reading this easily on their own, and the four/AP students are breezing through it

      BTW, the ESL/ELD teacher at my school rated the English version at the same level and is excited about using it as something to engage the boys in her class.

  5. Chapter 1 tells the legend as it has come down to us, and killing the Henker (executioner, for you non-German speakers) is part of the legend. The next-to-last chapter is my invention, based on 1) working Geoff into the story and 2) “explaining” how the legend arose. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    BTW, as I considered weaknesses and strengths in other readers, one of the things that I concluded was that there needs to be a “hook” right at the start. If we spend time “setting the scene” and giving background information, we lose the reader – especially the reluctant reader. Once the reader is engaged, then background information can be added. Even then, though, it can’t come all at once or seem didactic; it has to emerge organically as needed.

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