Friday, November 1, 2013

Teaching Animal Names in Spanish

There are a plethora of ways to teach the names of animals in Spanish.  For younger kids they tend to have an interest in animals.  Here are some ideas that I have used...

Books are a great way to introduce vocabulary.  I have used this book for counting animals. And this one to review animal names with an introductory activity and to teach possession.  Here is a list of other books that work well with the animal theme...

De la cabeza a los pies
Sali de paseo
Oso polar, oso polar, ¿qué es ese ruido?
Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí?
Oso panda, oso panda, ¿qué ves ahí?
Veloz Como El Grillo
Harry, el perrito sucio
Elefante Tiene Hipo
Los animales no se visten /Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
El loro tico tango
Un Recorrido por la Selva

Spot It Junior Animals is a great game to increase vocabulary!  I have to admit that I was worried that this game wouldn't deliver, but it worked out great!  Even if the student doesn't know all the vocabulary you can help them learn the names by having the list of animals in Spanish in front of them.  The goal of the game is to spot the same animal on two different cards.  If the student can't remember the name of the animal then he can point to it and then look for the word.  I have found that just playing one round of this game helps the kids learn the names very quickly!!  It's amazing!

Este Alce es Mio is a great book to talk about pets and to practice expressing possession.  Here are instructions on how to use this book to further vocabulary learning.

Imperial Toy makes the cute animals you see if the picture above. I can't find a link online where they are sold, but from their website it looks like places like Fred Meyers and Target carry them.  These are great animals.  They are nice a squishy and light up when you bounce them. I use them to teach animal names (I have a dog, dolphin, bear, penguin, bunny, lion, chick, snail, fish, pig, owl, spider, and seal.).  They are also great for teaching prepositions by placing them around the house and talking about where the animals are located.  I have also used them with plastic food.  I place each animal by a certain food and then we talk in Spanish about what each animal likes to eat. 

Hopefully, these ideas will get your creative juices flowing on how to make learning animal names fun!

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