Challenge each other
Get your pupils to set challenges for their exchange partners, for example, ask them to find products in their house that come from the other country or see who can learn the most words from the other language in one day. You could also set a thematic challenge and ask each pupil to ‘upcycle’ an everyday object, such as a milk carton, and share the different ideas they come up with.
Hold a bear picnic
Unfortunately Alex and Ben, our UK German Connection bears, are no longer able to travel to Germany and England but there’s no reason why their friends from each school can’t virtually connect. You could even hold a virtual teddy bears picnic!
Regional cooking challenge
Set your pupils a challenge to bake and decorate a cake to represent their partner country. You could even set up an online voting poll and allow the pupils to choose their favourite entry. Alternatively, pupils can write recipes for regional delicacies for their partners to try cooking (using simple ingredients of course!) or have a go at cooking food from the other country.
Pupils come up with their favourite words from their native language to share with each other and request words they would like to learn in the other language. These could be the strangest idioms, the hardest to pronounce words or the latest colloquialisms. Collate these to create a virtual collaborative vocabulary bank – it can be used later when pupils go abroad or you could even set them a challenge to use as many of them as possible in a letter to their partners!
Are any of your pupils budding entrepreneurs? Set a challenge for your pupils to come up with a new invention or idea: this can be done in teams with pupils from both countries. Each group has the challenge of communicating virtually to come up with a team idea and presentation, which they then pitch to the teachers or the rest of the class, who judge which team they would like to invest in or whose product they would create.
Create a bingo grid of items for each pupil to spot at the shops or in their gardens. Do you commonly find ‘Spargel’ and ‘Kohlrabi’ in the UK? Are parsnips easy to buy in Germany? Which animals and plants can be spotted in pupils’ gardens? A fun game that can lead to some interesting conversations about differences and similarities between the countries.