Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Astrid Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking

Astrid Lindgren is Sweden’s best-known children’s author by far. She has left behind a treasure trove of books, loved by generations of readers. Here in Germany her books are also very popular and you see them in all the bookshops. Astrid created a number of much-loved characters and she almost single-handedly produced a whole “nation-worth” of children’s literature. She was an amazingly creative author and an extraordinary woman in other ways as well. Take a look at the Wikipedia entry and see for yourselves.

When I arrived in Germany a little over four years ago I started doing supply teaching in British primary schools with age groups younger than I was used to teaching. I needed some “emergency” lesson plans that could be used at short notice. What to do? I produced some work sheets that I always kept handy. One of them was about Pippi Longstocking, based mainly on reading comprehension and involving drawing, which most children love. It was not particularly demanding, almost everybody could do it, and it gave me an opportunity to answer their questions about Sweden as well. The lesson served both as an ice-breaker and a time-filler.

Astrid’s most famous character, Pippi Longstocking, lived in a house on her own; she was very strong and could lift the horse she kept on the veranda; she also had a little monkey, who often sat on her shoulder. Pippi always did things her own way, which most of the time was exactly what well-mannered children would not dream of doing, children like her friends Tommy and Annika.

These are some professional illustrations.

And here are the instructions to the children, who were 7-8 years old at the time.

To enjoy the children’s attempts at drawing our rebellious young heroine, Pippi Longstocking, please press the button. It will make you smile!

Click to play Pippi Longstocking
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CanadianSwiss said...

Wow. That was great! Amazing how you see what they picked as words to illustrate Pippi. The last one must be on her way to becoming an artist :)

BTW: Happy belated Blog-aversary! I've been pretty lame lately, but I just don't feel much like writing right now. Winter blues, maybe? Dunno. It'll come back.

swenglishexpat said...

Thanks CS. There is one drawing somewhere in the middle where all the details follow the text, but that boy was also the cleverest in his class and did maths with the year above. Yes, the last one is my favourite, that girl was very good.

One day I'm sure you will feel the need to post again! :-)

Lynda said...

We are big Pippi fans in this house - I have a old collection of the original TV series (dubbed into german) and suspect I love them more than the children.

Sounds like an excellent lesson plan - mine would have come home with smiles on their faces.

swenglishexpat said...

Lynda - yes, her books are almost written for all ages. And they are also timeless, will never go out of fashion completely. Hej då! [hey dough , roughly] = bye-bye

Haddock said...

The Juniorette is a big fan of Pipi. Infact she is a big fan of most of Astrid's books.

swenglishexpat said...

Haddock - Yes, I was surprised to find how popular Pippi is in Germany. I suppose Astrid's books appeal to children in general irrespective of nationality. Children are children.

Bjebeje said...

Hi my brother, I didn't get that smilebox to run as I think it was supposed to. It kept turning the page over before the images had finished loading. Does it sound familiar or am I just inclined for pc trouble?
/ P