Indiana State University Newsroom

Students in introductory German class learn about culture, language

February 23, 2011

Lindsay Satterlund found a new way of engaging her Indiana State University language study students through practical applications of cultural study.

A graduate student working on a master's degree in teaching English as a second language, Satterlund designed a more practical activity to educate her German class students about the German cultural event, "Schuleinfuhrung.'

"It's an annual event in Germany where the incoming first graders are presented with a cone full of candy and school supplies," Satterlund said. "The cone is known as a ‘Zuckertuten', and can be home-made or pre-bought."

The students in Satterlund's first-year German class created their own Zuckertutens to be given to local children at Terre Haute's 14th and Chestnut Community Center.

"I approached the department about the idea of organizing something like this, and it was well received," Satterlund added. "Every student donated a dollar to cover the costs of creating the cones, and we will then be presenting them to the children."

The students used colored construction paper to make the cones, taping the bottoms to seal the cones shut. Each student then used markers to decorate the cones with German phrases and creative designs.

The activity afforded students an opportunity to understand some of the cultural differences between the United States and Germany. Each of the students then had the opportunity to give the cones to the children at the community center while explaining the tradition to them and enhancing their understanding of international customs.

Freshman French major Matt Bueker was receptive to the value of the lesson.

"There's more in the world than where we are. Activities like this give us a platform to expand our global knowledge and apply those cultural lessons to the children of America," he said.

Contact: Lisa Calvin, associate professor of languages, literatures and linguistics, Indiana State University, 812-237-2363 or

Photos: - Indiana State University students in an introductory German class taught by graduate teaching assistant Lindsay Satterlund make zuckertutes, a traditional gift for German youngsters that is generally filled with candy and school supplies. (ISU/Hollie Hiett-Myers) - Students in graduate teaching assistant Lindsay Satterlund's introductory German class at Indiana State University, made zuckertutes for children at Terre Haute's 14th and Chestnut Community Center and decorated the traditional cone-shaped items with German phrases and designs. (ISU/Hollie Hiett-Myers)

Writer: Scott Campbell, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or