Today I will be reviewing not one book, but a whole series of books that I think are excellent for teaching vocabulary and for using in unit studies in Spanish.
When I came across these tiny books last summer I was hooked! Published by Larousse, these "encyclopedias" offer great information in simple language that help Spanish learners acquire knowledge and vocabulary. The first one I ever used was the one on insects. It gave just enough information to interest my students and was a great jumping off point to delve into the world of insects. Since then I have been slowly collecting these treasures.
One of the great aspects of these books is that they work with older elementary kids that may have lost their love for simple picture books. I have even read these books to junior high kids. They didn't balk in the least, but were rather fascinated by the information and illustrations. The language is simple enough for advanced beginners, and yet there is enough new vocabulary that students don't feel like the books are too babyish. They have been great for my slightly older students who have graduated from the simple storybook.
The only problem with these books? Many of them have gone out of print. That's why I check back often (normally on Amazon) to see if a few of the topics I lack have become available by other sellers. The ones that are in print are a great price...normally less than four dollars!
Here is a list of what is available on Amazon:
Los Cinco Sentidos
Caballeros y Castillos
Hadas y Princesas
Los Animales de la Sabana
As you can see, it is a long list. I am not even sure that I have found them all! So pick a topic and read to your students! Such a great way to increase their knowledge of the world and the Spanish language!