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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Projects reflect German culture

Students form deeper connections to German culture through the German CPR project.
Students+works+for+the+project+are+displayed+on+a+cabinet+in+Turner-Gibbs+room.+
Sunny Zhang
Students’ works for the project are displayed on a cabinet in Turner-Gibbs’ room.

Learning a new language does not encompass just learning the language itself, but also the culture in which the language takes place. 

The German Cultural Participation and Research Portfolio (CPR) is an assignment that students enrolled in every level of the German world language course partakes in.

“It’s a month-long project where you do a certain amount of projects to meet the point requirement. I think this project is pretty cool and interesting since it’s different from just watching a movie in class. We actually have to get out there and do it so I’d say it’s really helpful and fun,” junior Aymen Ahmeed said.

Students are provided with a list of a variety of projects to choose from such as creating a map, painting, watching a movie, making an itinerary, learning a dance and cooking a meal. Points for projects are assigned based on the amount of German language or culture that students will be exposed to while completing the CPR. 

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“I like that there’s a variety of choices to choose from that all have different amounts of points assigned. I get more freedom to choose to do the options that interest me,” junior Aubrey Castro said.

The CPR project strives to give German students an opportunity to to apply what they learned in class to real-life situations. Out of the wide section of projects to choose from, cooking is a favorite among the students. The option of cooking a meal is worth 20 points and for this project, students cook a meal including an appetizer, the main course, drinks and dessert. 

“I really like cooking and I feel like it’s been helpful learning not just about the culture of Germany but [also] other German speaking countries such as Austria. I feel like it has helped me to connect with the class more because in order to do some of the projects, like cook a meal, I would have to read instructions in German and then I would learn how to translate in my mind,” senior Ellison Thompson said. 

Cooking helps immerse students with the language in a different way than in the classroom. 

“My favorite is probably cook a meal because I don’t usually cook. It was a pretty fun experience to go outside and buy materials to cook. It was definitely different from a normal school project and I got to experience a different [type] of learning,” sophomore Leo Qian said. 

Other popular choices include recreating art pieces and planning a trip to a German-speaking country. 

“I think by far my favorite was planning a trip to a German speaking country. I didn’t plan a trip to Germany itself but I [planned] a trip to a small country in a small country in Africa. And Vidya is also a German speaking country. It was great to learn how German applies to the entire world,” sophomore Frank Tang said. 

Because of the pandemic, the option of attending Deutschlager, an immersion camp in Big Bear, has been crossed out. 

“I’m really sad the immersion camp we used to go to every year. It was an entire weekend with the students were they tried to speak only German, and we would do a bunch of activities. It was a lot of fun. So I’d like to do that again. But unfortunately, I had to take that one off even though it was my top,” German teacher Leah Turner-Gibbs said.

At the end of the project, students write an action connection reflection sheet for each project, detailing what the student did, what they’ve learned and how it relates to German culture and class. 

“Instead of just hearing me tell them in class, I think that it’s important that they’re getting to connect with [the language] on their own so that they understand what they did, and then they connect it to what we’re learning in class and then ask questions like ‘how does that connect to my own culture?’” Turner-Gibbs said.  

Based on years of positive feedback from her students, Turner-Gibbs plans to continue giving this project while making edits to the list of choices.

“I like to see students getting excited about participating in something involving foreign language or world language and getting to know another culture, I think the students really do a lot more learning and reflecting on this so I think it is worthwhile and I plan to continue doing it,”  Turner-Gibbs said.

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About the Contributor
Sunny Zhang
Sunny Zhang, Staff writer
Hi my name is Sunny Zhang, I'm an 11th grader and a Staff writer for The Hoofprint. Outside of school, I have a wide range of hobbies from drawing and dancing, to reading and watching K-dramas. I also love animals and recently started attending boxing classes for self defense.
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