3 class periods of 45 minutes each
The student will use a traditional German folksong to:
Internet resources: Text and audio recording of Die Lorelei Map and photo of Loreley location Information about author and composer English translation of German text
Die Lorelei is a well-known and often performed German folksong.
The words were written by the exceptional German poet Heinrich Heine
(1799-1856) and first published 1827 in Buch der Lieder
(Book of Songs), his 'most famous collection of lyrics' which
were 'chiefly inspired by his unrequited love for his Uncle's
Heine's poetry has 'natural rhythm and melodic charm,' and Die
Lorelei 'achieved the simplicity and depth of folk poetry.' The
music was composed by Friedrich Silcher (1789-1860), a composer, poet,
music teacher, publisher, and choral director noted for his
encouragement of German folksong singing.
Die Lorelei (Loreley Rock), located near St. Goarshausen (between Bingen and Koblenz), rises ruggedly and steeply to a height of 133 meters (399 feet) above the surface of the Rhein River. The stoney ridges, projections, and shallows combined with a strong river current makes this a dangerous place. The Rhein is a major inland waterway, and over the centuries numerous boatmen, especially the unattentive, have lost their lives here.
Students will learn to understand the meaning of Die Lorelei.
Imagine a man guiding a small boat in the fast-moving Rhine river past treacherous rocks. Add a view of a golden-haired maiden combing her hair on a rocky ledge high above the water. She awaits the return of her knight from battle.
Provide text and play audio recording of Die Lorelei.
Request students to read poem and list unfamiliar words.
Have students read poem aloud and discuss its meaning one line at a time.
Show map of Germany and identify the location of Loreley Rock.
Have each student do the following:
Have each small group of students complete the following Cloze test:
Ich ________ nicht, was soll es bedeuten, daß ich so traurig bin,
ein ______________ aus uralten Zeiten, das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
Die Luft ist ________ und es dunkelt, und ruhig fließt der Rhein,
der Gipfel des ____________ funkelt im Abendsonnenschein.
Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet dort ________ wunderbar,
ihr goldnes Geschmeide blitzet, sie kämmt ihr ________________ Haar.
Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme und singt ein Lied __________;
das hat eine wundersame, gewalt'ge ______________.
Den ________________ im kleinen Schiffe ergreift es mit wildem Weh;
er ____________ nicht die Felsenriffe, er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh.
Ich glaube, die Wellen ________________________ am Ende Schiffer und Kahn;
und das hat mit __________ Singen die Lorelei getan.
Correct word (correct form) - 2 points
Correct word, but incorrect form - 1 point
Total possible: 24 points
Die Lorelei is written from the perspective of a person observing both the maiden and the boatman. Ask each student to answer (in English) one of the following two questions:
Also ask each student to describe (in German) the location and height of Loreley Rock.
(See references, Links (in Procedure Steps), )
Reinhardt, Kurt F. Germany: 2000 Years (F. Ungar, New York, 1961) 580-583