Deutsch 101-326 an der Universität Michigan


German on the Web
Learning Strategies

German Dept.
Max Kade House
German Club
PONS online dict.
L.E.O. online dict.
Wortschatz Deutsch



Guidelines for content of role-plays

We want to encourage and not stifle your creativity, but it is nevertheless important for you to bear in mind that the content of your role play needs to be something that is appropriate for the entire class to see. In general, please ask your instructor if you are in doubt as to whether something you're planning to do is appropriate, and please be receptive to his/her suggestions in this regard! Here are a few more specific guidelines.

  • German-related content: Your role play must have some connection to German culture and/or to the texts and videos covered in your German class(es). It should not consist substantially of a translation of an aspect of American or British culture into German.  Concrete examples:
    • OK (but possibly not very creative): a Jeopardy episode with German-related answers and questions
    • OK: James Lipton (from Bravo's Inside the Actors' Studio) conducting an informed interview in German with a German filmmaker or actor
    • OK (but possibly not very creative): an episode of MTV's The Real World set in Germany in which the characters' behavior and ideas are closely based on the content of your German class this semester
    • OK: isolated references to an American phenomenon in a role play whose content is otherwise substantially "German"
    • Not OK: a German version of "Twas the Night before Christmas"
    • Not OK: a German version of an English song, poem or play,
    • Not OK: a German parody of an American advertising campaign or an American TV show
  • American Politics: Please avoid references to current/recent American politics in your role play.
  • Violence: References to the kind of absurd violence that occurs e.g. in Struwwelpeter might be entirely appropriate (and quite amusing) in a German class, but graphic violence is not appropriate in a classroom setting. Neither is sexual violence of any kind, including stalking or vendettas against former lovers.
    • If your role play includes weapons, these should very clearly be props and not real!
  • Appropriate vs. inappropriate humor: The Holocaust and Nazism are not appropriate topics for jokes in a German class.  In general, please bear in mind that what may be acceptable or at least permissible in e.g. The Every Three Weekly or a Mel Brooks movie, which people can choose to read/watch or ignore, is not necessarily acceptable in a classroom setting where all students have a right to a learning environment in which they feel comfortable.
  • Racism, sexism, homophobia: Please be sensitive to these issues.  In particular, your role play should not perpetuate hurtful stereotypes.
  • Substance abuse: Obviously drugs and alcohol can be funny and are a part of life, but it would not be appropriate for your role play to turn into a glorification of alcohol or drug use, given the serious substance abuse problems on this and other college campuses.  If your role play includes scenes depicting drug use or drinking, it should be clear that no laws are actually being broken, i.e. that it just looks like you are drinking alcohol or using drugs, but that you are not actually doing so.  In particular, please note that actual drugs and alcohol may not be brought into any classroom.


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