Saturday, January 31, 2015

Arriba y Abajo {Plus a vocabulary game}


This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}



Anytime you read a book to a child it is an opportunity to teach.  Recently, I invested in several of Oliver Jeffers' books in Spanish.  They will become a springboard to teach and cement extra vocabulary.  Here is what I did with the book Arriba y abajo:

Arriba y Abajo is a sweet story about a penguin who wants to fly.  In the end, the flying adventures make him realize that he would rather be with his friend, the little boy in the book.

First of all, I picked out the words that I thought would be important to introduce to my students.  Here is my list which are mostly opposites along with a description of which picture each word is in the Go Fish cards below (scroll down to see link):

arriba-up (little guy pointing down)

abajo-down (little guy pointing up)

tocar and jugar- to play (Each has a different meaning.  Tocar is to play an instrument and jugar is to play a game. While the word "tocar" is not in the book there is a great illustration of each of these actions-see above)  (Tocar-a tuba and jugar-backgammon like in the story)

juntos-together (penguin baby and mom)

solo-alone (penguin baby by itself)

volar-to fly (little guy with green cape)

aterrizar-to land (helicopter landing)

las alas-wings  (pilot wings)


I created cards of the above vocabulary and we played Go Fish with them to solidify the meanings in their memory.

I make sets of four to play Go Fish.  I also can use the deck for Memory if I pull out some of the cards as you only need sets of two for each word.

{Close up of one of the cards I made}

To make the cards I cut up the graphics from the below file and put them on 3 by 5 index cards cut in half or these bulletin board cards I found at JoAnn's.



Here is a link to the graphics for the cards:

Friday, January 30, 2015

María Tenía una Llamita


This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}


We are all familiar in the United States with the song "Mary had a Little Lamb". But how about María Tenía Una Llamita? Set in Peru, the text follows the original rhyme (It is printed in both English and Spanish) except it is no longer a lamb and María is dressed in the traditional clothing of the area.



While this book is simple in its language, I find it invaluable for introducing to the youngest of children the concept of different cultures. Even the fact that there is a llama instead of a lamb throws some kids into confusion as there are many young children that have no experience with what a llama is. So we spend some time talking about this "new" animal.  I also point out other visible cultural differences like the clothing of the teacher and students, the open-air market, and the traditional musical instruments. This book also provides an opportunity to take a look at geography.  There is a simple map in the book that labels a few places in Peru. There is also a page with several clocks that show the passage of time in the story, and you could introduce the "top of the hour" and how to say it in Spanish.

This is one of my favorite books for introducing younger kids to South America and is not to be missed!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Plumas para Almorzar



This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}


Plumas para Almorzar meanders through a garden with a cat as the antagonist of the story. The unlucky feline is in search of a meal of tasty bird. However, he only succeeds in getting a mouthful of feathers.

Plumas para Almorzar would be a great addition to your Spanish library especially if you are teaching a unit on nature, birds or flowers and plants. On each page the book names the bird and flowers pictured while telling the story in rhyme. Here is the list of birds consolidated on the back cover...



Some of the plants labeled in the book are tomatoes, pine trees, tulips, lilacs, and the list goes on. This coming summer or fall I am thinking of creating a unit on plants and flowers and including this book as part of our reading. It would be a great opportunity to teach the parts of a flower and the life cycle of plants.

A bird unit would be another way to use this book. Here are some outside resources to go along with Plumas para Almorzar.

Spanish Plant Unit
Make a paper bird and talk about the parts in Spanish.
Parts of a Plant Fold-n-Learn in Spanish and English.
Plant Life Cycle Unit
Bird Unit for older elementary

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cerdota Grandota



This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}



Cerdota Grandota is a great book for younger elementary-aged kids. Set on a farm, the book visits several of the animals and describes them using opposites. The text also rhymes so you can use this book to introduce the concept of rhyming words. Also, on a few of the pages kids are encouraged to count how many animals there are.


With Cerdota Grandota as a starting off point you can do several activities to teach opposites. I make cards with pictures, and we play Memory by matching the opposites. You could also play Go Fish with the same cards after they have learned most of the words.  The goal is for them to ask for the opposite word from the card that is in their hand. Another thing I do with opposites once the words have been memorized is to call out three words. The students then say back to me (in order) the opposites for those words.  For example:

I say, "alto, fuera, flaco."
They say, "bajo, dentro, obeso."

I say, "limpio, sucio, sucio."
They say, "sucio, limpio, limpio."

This activity is a lot of fun and challenging! My goal is to go faster each time and try to trip them up. The students' goal is to be able to give me the opposite words quickly and in order.

Here's a list of the opposites that are used in the book...

flaco
obeso
rápido
lento
dentro
fuera
saltarino
quietecito
arisco
mansito
alto
bajo
sucio
limpio
joven
viejo
claro
oscuro
grande
pequeño

Have fun!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Llevé a la Luna a Pasear


This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}


There are some children's books that are so incredibly beautiful and rich in language that they are not to be missed. Llevé a la Luna a Pasear is one of those books.  In the story a little boy takes the moon for a walk. They encounter clouds, howling dogs, dew on the ground, and their reflections in a stream. The language of the book is rhythmic with rhyming words throughout.

What I love about this book is its rich vocabulary. Reading Llevé a la Luna a Pasear would be an excellent start to a unit on nature.  Take a look at all the vocabulary provided...

la luna
las nubes
el algodón
la hierba
los petirrojos
el nido
el rocío
el cielo
la orilla
la luz

At the end of the book there are two pages of information: one describes in Spanish the phases of the moon and the other gives information on nocturnal animals.

There are also a plethora of animals pictured in the story that you can focus on and provide vocabulary for...

los perros
las ovejas
la ardilla
el búho
el conejo
el erizo
las vacas
el zorro
la polilla
la abeja
la mariquita
el saltamontes
la hormiga
los petirrojos
el caracol
la oruga
la gallina
el cisne
el gato
el murciélago
los luciérnagas

It would be a fun activity to try to find all the above animals in the illustrations once your students are familiar with the words. Call out the animal in Spanish and see if they can find it.

Don't miss this book! So beautiful and a goldmine of vocabulary for your students!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pinta Ratones {With a Learning Activity}


This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}




Pinta Ratones is a great book to use when teaching colors to kids in Spanish. What makes this story better than your average "color book" is that they aren't just named, but rather a plot line makes the introduction of the primary and secondary colors more interesting.  Three white mice find three jars of paint that they mix to make orange, green, and purple. They then proceed to paint paper in all the colors but leave one spot white so they can hide from the cat.  There is a bit of humor even in the book when the mice get messy from the paint and wash themselves in the cat's water dish.



Normally when I read this book to elementary kids I do a color mixing activity.  This activity is my favorite to do since the results are like magic as the colors mix. I also like it because it uses simple materials that you probably already have on hand. Also each child can do the color mixing in his or her space and be able to see the results up close and personal. Here is another link to the printables to use with this activity.

So if you are teaching colors in Spanish  Pinta Ratones and the above activity are the way to go. Have fun with color!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

De Vuelta a Casa



This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}




I love Oliver Jeffers' stories and read them to my students often. De vuelta a casa is no exception.  This cute story is about a little boy who gets stuck on the moon with a martian. They figure out how to fix their ships and eventually are able to return home. Their method of escape from the moon is humorous and downright cute.  With this book you can introduce some of the main vocabulary by making card to play Go Fish or Memory.  See here for an example from one of Jeffers' other books.

Vocabulary

el avión
despegar
el cielo
la luna
la linterna
las baterías
aterrizar
el marciano
volver
la Tierra
el mar

I am also planning on using this book in an upcoming planet unit that I am preparing. Because there is a martian in the story it is a great opportunity to teach kids the names of the planets in Spanish. Also, the names of many of the planets/heavenly bodies correlate with the days of the week! So you can even branch out at teach those!  Here is a list to help...

Mercurio
Venus
Tierra
Marte
Júpiter
Saturno
Urano
Neptuno
Plutón

lunes- la Luna
martes- Marte
miércoles- Mercurio
jueves- Júpiter
viernes- Venus


Saturday, January 24, 2015

La Casa Adormecida


This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}




I love using children's literature that has repeating phrases when teaching my Spanish students. It gives them a chance to hear a word or combination of words over and over which aids in them learning more vocabulary. La Casa Adormecida provides a tremendous amount of repetition in each page. The premise of the plot is a house full of nappers that pile onto one bed. With each page, the list of sleepers is repeated with another character added.

Here is the list of characters that decide to take a nap and are disturbed by the final arrival (the flea):

La abuela
El niño
El perro
El gato
El ratón

La pulga

La Casa Adormecida is an excellent teaching book for language learners. One of the concepts you can focus on are prepositions like...

sobre
encima de
debajo de

The word "sobre" is the one used in the book, but I have downloaded, colored, and laminated the characters from the book so that we can practice these prepositions. In Spanish I give my students instructions on how to arrange the characters on the bed.  Here are some examples:

"Pongan la abuela sobre el gato."
"Pongan la pulga sobre el perro."

You don't necessarily have to put them in the order the book does.  Actually, there is humor in putting them in an order that doesn't make sense like putting the grandma on top of everyone else. After arranging them in the bed I can then ask my students questions about the characters' location. Who is under the flea? Who is on top of the boy?


Another activity that can be done is math related. I teach my students the words for "feet" and "paw" (el pie y la pata). We then proceed to count the number of feet or paws in the house. I give my students footprint stickers and paw print stickers. We then go through the process of counting out how many feet and paws to put on a piece of paper to correspond with the number in the book.  A great way to review numbers!

La Casa Adormecida is definitely not to be missed! My students have loved this book and the activities that I do with them.

Friday, January 23, 2015

El Loro Tico Tango


This post is a part of the series, 31 Days of Spanish books for kids. Check out the other posts. {Affiliate links used. Thanks for supporting this blog!}


{As of the writing of this post this book is out of print, but it is well-worth the effort of finding it! From time to time books go back into print or they can be found cheaply on the used market.}

My students have loved El Loro Tico Tango! It is a great rhyming book about the tropical forest that introduces kids to different animals and fruits. It also has a moral lesson. Being greedy leads to losing all you desired and maybe even some friendships, too. Tico Tango starts to steal from his fellow jungle-mates. Each time a robbery occurs another fruit is added to the list of goods. In the end, Tico Tango has to apologize in order to maintain his friendships and gain a little fruit to eat.

Here is a list of the animals and fruit that are covered in the book:

el loro
el perezoso
el mono
la serpiente
la rana
el jaguar
el lagarto

el mango
el limón
el higo
la cereza
las uvas
la papaya
el dátil

Here are some other ideas to go along with the book especially if you are doing a jungle unit:

Homeschool Share (in English) 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oso Bajo el Sol



This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}



Oso Bajo El Sol is a short and sweet book with beautiful illustrations. Each page talks about what bear likes to do in certain weather conditions. For example, when there is wind he loves to fly a kite. When it rains, he likes to sing. I tend to use this book with my early elementary students as we introduce a unit on weather and the seasons.


Here is a list of the weather words that are in the book:

el sol
llueve
viento
el hielo
la neblina
la tormenta
nieva
la luna
lluvioso
soleado

At the end of the book all four seasons are listed with an illustration of Oso in each time. While a simple story this book offers lots of things to talk about and name in Spanish in the illustrations. If you are teaching weather and seasons to young kids then this book is not to be missed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Froggy Se Viste


This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}




If you are planning on teaching clothing vocabulary to kids then you absolutely need Froggy Se Viste! Not only is there humor in the story line, there is also a ton of vocabulary of clothes. What makes it a great teaching book is that the clothing vocabulary is repeated over and over again in a delightful (not boring) way. In the story, Froggy wakes up in the middle of the winter and decides to go out and play in the snow. Each time he reaches the great outdoors his mom reminds him that he forgot to put something on. So he heads back inside to take off part of the clothing so that he can add the missing article. In the end, it all becomes too much for Froggy, and he decides to go back to bed.

Here is a list of the clothing vocabulary that is in the book:

las medias
las botas
la gorra
la bufanda
los guantes
los pantalones
la camisa
la chaqueta
la ropa interior

This book would also be great to use in a frog unit or to introduce weather and seasons.

There are lots of great Froggy books out there that you can use for teaching purposes. Check them out!