Thursday, November 10, 2016

Spanish File Folder Guessing Game

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A few years back, I found an old game at a garage sale in which you have to guess where the family members are located in your opponent's house. It is a GREAT game for talking about the rooms in the house, using the verb "estar", and discussing family members. However, I only had one game for two players so I never could use the game in groups. So I decided to make my own! While this project is a lot of prep, the work is worth it as your students will spend about 10-20 minutes completely in the target language, and the games can be used over and over again. So let's take a look at how the game is played...

{See the photos as a reference.}
Each person has a game board/folder with two houses on it. One house is where the player arranges family members in certain rooms. The other house is for recording where the family members are in his or her opponent's house. To set up, each player places all eight family members (grandpa, grandma, dad, mom, brother, sister, dog, and cat) in one of the houses. They lay the other set of family members off to the side. Then the players take turns asking yes/no questions about each other's houses like...

Is the dad upstairs?
Is the dog downstairs?
Is the mom in the bathroom?

They keep going back and forth with questions until all of the second set of family members are placed correctly in the second house. The first player to figure out where every family member is in his/her opponent's house wins.

To play the game, each person needs a playing board that has two pictures of the same house, two sets of family members, and I also include a card that helps my students with vocabulary and forming the questions (photo #6).

In order to make the boards you will need the following items to make this game:
To assemble the boards:
  • Print out the houses (two houses per game folder). Make sure you print a size that will fit in a file folder after it is laminated. Laminate them.
  • Print out the family members (two families per game folder) and laminate them. Make sure that the family members are printed out to a size in which they can fit in the rooms of the house.
  • Adhere two houses onto the inside of a folder (See the picture below). I used glue dots or you could use liquid glue. Make sure you DON'T center the houses but rather put them off to the side so that you can put the envelope of playing pieces (photo #5) and the vocabulary list (Here's the list) (photo #6) in the folder.
  • Use glue dots to adhere the envelope to one of the sides of the file folder.
  • Print out a vocabulary list and/or a list of possible questions to use during the game. Laminate it and put it on the other side of the folder. 
  • Adhere the clear part of the Velcro dots to the rooms in the house with the E-6000 glue. I put only one or two dots in each room. You want as many dots in the house as family members. I used 8 people (grandpa, grandma, dad, mom, brother, sister, dog, cat). You can kind of see the dots in photo #4.
  • Adhere the white side of a Velcro dot to each family member using the E-6000 glue. 
  • Let dry.
  • Play the game!
NOTE: The Velcro dots already have an adhesive on them, but I used the E-6000 glue to make the game extra durable.

I have my students use the top house to place their family members while the bottom house is where they place the people once they figure out where they are located on their opponent's board. The file folder makes an excellent "shield" so that the opponent can't see where the family members are placed.

I have a feeling that the possibilities could be expanded for this type of speaking game. For example, you could have pictures of an empty fridge and have students converse until the fridge is full with the correct foods. Or you could have a simple street map in which students have to guess where the different buildings are in their partners' city. Another idea is to have faces in the file folders and players have to guess what the face of their opponent looks like (hair and eye color, hair length, facial hair, etc.). So many ideas you could use to help your students work with the vocabulary they are learning!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All Things Winter for Spanish Teachers

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Winter is fast approaching so now is the time to get ready with some learning activities that go with the season.

Froggy book and activities- Froggy Se Viste is a great book to share with your younger students during the winter months. There is a ton of clothing vocabulary related to the cold.

Winter books- a list of great books in Spanish to read during December, January, and February.

Of Ice Blocks and Penguins- A cute way to review prepositions.

Polar animals unit- A full unit with books to read, activities to do, and a free printable.

Christmas teaching-Ideas for December!

Christmas gifts for bilingual kids-Ideas for those kids in your life that are learning more than one language. {NOTE: This post also contains ideas for kids that speak languages other than Spanish.}

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Teaching the Sounds of "C" and "G" in Spanish

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Lately, I have been noticing that my students struggle with knowing which sounds to use when they see words that contain "C" and/or "G". Both of these letters are "vowel dependent" meaning the vowel that comes after them dictates their sound. To learn more about how "C" and "G" behave there are two great videos online:

The Letter G
The Letter C

I used these following units from Teachers Pay Teachers to create decks of cards. One deck has "C" words, and the other contains "G" words. I made two cards for each word so that I could play Memory, Go Fish, and the slapping game with my students. (With the slapping game, I lay out the cards on a hard surface and call out a word and they have to put their hand on the card before other students in order to capture the card. The student with the most cards at the end wins.)  These cards also double as flashcards in which your students can practice reading the words. These cards are great for early elementary kids. Here are the units I used:

GE and GI Words
GA, GO, GU Words
CE and CI Words
CA, CO, and CU Words

Another great tool is the story El Nabo Gigante, which contains a plethora of "C" and "G" words. Here is my post on how to use this book to work with these words. Here are a few other books that have a higher frequency of "C" and "G" words:

Carros, Camiones, y Aviones
El Ratoncito, La Fresa Roja Y Madura Y El Gran Oso Hambriento

There is also a Crazy Eights game available here that specifically focuses on these words! This would be for slightly older students who are reading Spanish for the most part, but struggling with the sounds of these two letter.

By taking a little extra time to focus on these words, it is my hope that my students will gain a better understanding of their sounds as they read the language.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Activities for Teaching Food Vocabulary

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Here is a collection of ideas to teach your students vocabulary related to foods: games, books, and more!!

Books and Activities

El Nabo Gigante is a cute story about a turnip that is almost too big to harvest!

Arriba, Abajo, y Alrededor is great for teaching vegetables and prepositions!

How about having your students make "food people"? The instructions are here.

I recently purchased these two books by Adam Rubin in Spanish. They are cute and hilarious!! Must reads for a food unit! 

I always have on hand play food when I am teaching. There are tons of sets on Amazon...check them out here!

I use these baskets of fruit and veggies to work on colors, food words, and categories (veggie vs. fruit).


KLOO Game in Spanish- This post has several games mentioned in it, but the KLOO game has a whole deck related to foods. This sentence-building game is really well done and helps students with the structure of the language. It also teaches them new vocabulary as they play.

Fast Flip is a game I recently picked up at the store. You can also find it here. It is fast-paced and helps students learn some of the names for different fruits. It is also a good review for younger kids on the numbers 1-5. I make my students call out the fruits and numbers in Spanish.

Slamwich is another fast game in which you play with cards that have pictures of different ingredients that go in sandwiches like lettuce, peanut butter, tomatoes, cheese, etc. I make my students call out the items in Spanish as they lay down cards.

Have fun teaching foods to your students!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth {Book Activities for Spanish Learners}

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There are just some children's books I read that are so endearing that I immediately have to share them with my students. Como Lavar a un Mamut Lanudo is one of those books, because don't we all need to know how to wash our woolly mammoths?! This precious book takes you step-by-step through the process. Fill a bathtub. Add bubbles. Add a mammoth. You get the picture. So here are a few activities you can do with your young Spanish students after reading this book...

Younger students can count the steps (There are ten of them.) mentioned in the adventure of mammoth washing. You can also have them count in Spanish the useful items (that can clean your mammoth) on the back cover. Another idea would be to count how many times the "pato" shows up in the story or count the leaves in the illustration of the messy mammoth at the beginning of the story. Here is a coloring page to go along with the book in which your students can count the bubbles.

With the story you can do a  review of body parts and the learning of a few new ones your students may not know like tusks, hooves, and wool. Teach and review the words and then call them out to see if they can find the parts one one of the pictures of the mammoth.

There are a ton of actions words in the story...have your students get out a piece of paper (after you have read the book to them) and call out one of the steps in cleaning a mammoth. Can they draw the steps that you call out? Along the same lines, can you call out two or three of the steps in Spanish and have your students tell you if they are in the correct order or not. The steps could also be written out on cards to see if your students who are reading Spanish can put them in order.

This book lends itself well to doing some bubble painting! Here are some simple instructions for this cool art activity. After the painting are done and dried, you can talk in Spanish about the bubbles represented in the art and work on noun/adjective agreement...

Burbujas moradas, burbuja grande, burbuja chiquita, burbujas verdes, etc.

Have fun learning all about giving woolly mammoths baths!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Teaching Homophones in Spanish

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A few weeks ago I did a post on homographs (Words that have double meanings.) and provided you with several free printables you could use to teach them. Today let's take a look at homophones, words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. These can be particularly tricky for students especially the words that only differ by an accent mark.

First of all, I created flashcards for the homophones we are going to work on. Here are all the files. These cards will be used to play games like Memory. I will also use them to play the slapping game with the definitions given in worksheets #2 and #3 (see below). Basically, I will lay out the cards and call out a definition in Spanish. The first student who puts his/her hand on the correct card wins it. The object is to get the most cards in the group. If you are doing this with a classroom full of kids you will need enough sets of cards for each group. Groups of five or so tend to work well. These cards can also be used for a guessing game: I choose a card and the students call out definitions (see the worksheets below) in Spanish to guess what I am holding.

Here are the worksheets...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fall Activities for Spanish Learning

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With autumn approaching soon I thought I would consolidate all my posts of learning activities in Spanish related to the fall. The books, activities, and resources are perfect for the colorful months of September, October, and November.

Chumba La Cachumba is a traditional song that introduces telling time with skeletons.

One of my favorite books for teaching emotions along with a printable activity for the fall.

A pumpkin unit in Spanish!

How about some shape monsters to review colors, body parts, and shapes?

Bats at the library? A delightful book about the joys of reading.

Enjoy learning through the fall!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Teaching Words with Multiple Meanings

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As students of a language get more experience with its vocabulary, they can then branch out into learning multiple meanings of words. Homographs are words that are spelled the same way but have more than one meaning. For example, "perezoso" means "lazy", but it is also the word for "sloth". "Sierra" is both a mountain range and a saw. This fall I will be doing the following activities with my high school students to increase their vocabulary. Below you will several free printables I have created: flashcards that can be used in games and several worksheets. Many of these activities can be used with younger students as well.

I created these flashcards so that I could teach my students the words and double meanings. These cards could also be used to play Memory or Go Fish. I am also planning on using them for what I call the "Slapping Game" (more on that later in the post).

Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
Set 4
Set 5
Set 6
Set 7
Set 8
Set 9
Set 10

Here are three worksheets you can use. The first one is just fill in the blank. The other two are definitions in Spanish where the student has to provide the word for.

Worksheet 1
Worksheet 2
Worksheet 3

With the definitions I plan on playing the "Slapping Game" with my students. You need a set of cards for each group of students (Groups of five work well.). Have the students lay out the cards in front of them. You call out a definition for one of the cards (You can use the definitions in the worksheets). The first student to put their hand on the correct card gets to keep the card. The object of the game is to get more cards than your opponents.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mixing Art with Learning Spanish

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Last year I was able to do artist's studies with some of my more advanced students. I would show them a work of art from Latin America or Spain and then ask them questions in Spanish. We would speak in the target language about the painting's colors and objects. We would talk about what was happening in the picture and even what my students would ask the artist about the painting if they had a chance. If you would like to see how I did these picture studies, go to this post which also contains a free printable of all the questions in Spanish you can use for any work of art. 

This year as I get ready for classes I was pondering how I could do a similar activity with students who may not have as much Spanish under their belts or who are younger and can't take some of the "darker" or bizarre pieces. Then I came across this book, Come Look with Me: Latin American Art. Each two-page spread has one piece of art on the left-hand side and then on the right there are a few questions (in English) about the work of art kids can answer and a description of the artist and his or her life (also in English). 

The book has the following artists in it with one piece of their work displayed:

José Posada (Mexico)
Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguay)
Ramón Frade (Puerto Rico)
Fernando Botero (Colombia)
Diego Isaias Hernandez Méndez (Guatemala)
Xul Solar (Argentina)
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo (Mexico)
Amelia Pelaez (Cuba)
Rufino Tamayo (Mexico)

...and a few more.

So how am I going to use this book? I am going to take my beginning or younger students and ask them the same set of questions for the paintings. Once they do well with these questions we can move onto more detailed ones. Here are the questions:

  • Nombra los colores.
  • Cuenta_______________ (any set of objects in the picture like animals, balloons, etc.)
  • ¿Dónde está la escena?
  • Nombra unas acciones en el cuadro.
  • ¿Cuál parte (no) te gusta de la obra?
  • Dáme dos palabras para describirla.
If you would like to use more examples of Hispanic art you can go searching on my Pinterest board of art for Spanish teachers by clicking here.

Also, there is a whole series of these books! You don't necessarily have to use Hispanic art to use Spanish to talk about the pictures (although it is an nice addition of culture to your lessons).

Monday, July 25, 2016

¿Dónde Está la Oveja Verde?

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Today let's take a look at ¿Dónde Está la Oveja Verde?, a cute book in search of a little green sheep. This book is great for younger kids that are bilingual or learning Spanish. With it you can teach and/or review colors, prepositions, and opposites. Let's take a look...

Since several of the colors are mentioned in the book, this would be a great time to teach colors. Here is a free pattern to use to make different colored sheep. This would be great to use in conjunction with prepositions in the book (abajo, arriba, lejos, cerca).  In Spanish, you can ask your students to position the sheep according to your instructions. For example, "Pongan la oveja roja cerca de la amarilla."

Another aspect of the book is to focus on opposite words. In the book there are the following opposites: flaca, gorda, abajo, arriba, asustada, valiente, cerca, lejos. I love this traditional song that works with opposites. I have done it with my students in the past and they have loved the challenge of it! You start out easy having them say the opposite of what you say by making the list of three words the same (blanco, blanco, blanco), but then make it more difficult by mixing up the words. Here is a video by Luis Pescetti demonstrating how it is done:

Here are the words to the song:

Yo conozco un juego / I know a game
que se juega así. / that you play like this.
Cuando yo digo blanco, / When I say white,
Uds. dicen negro. /you say black.
Cuando yo digo negro, / When I say black,
Uds. dicen blanco. /you say white.
Este juego va a empezar; / This game is going to start;
no se vayan a equivocar. / don’t make a mistake.
Blanco, blanco, blanco / White, white, white (leader)
Negro, negro, negro / Black, black, black (group)
Blanco, negro, blanco / White, black, white (leader)
Negro, blanco, negro / Black, white, black (group)

Another option is to do a drawing activity with sheep by describing the sheep using the vocabulary in the book. Here are some ideas of what you can say and have your students draw...

La oveja azul se baña.
La oveja flaca va hacia arriba.
La oveja anaranjada juega en las olas.
La oveja asustada está lejos.
La oveja blanca está en la luna.
La oveja negra va en coche.
Esta oveja toma el sol.
La oveja valiente va abajo.
La oveja morada baila bajo la lluvia.

La oveja verde está dormida.

Finally, I know you have heard of counting sheep so why not get your kids counting...even skip counting! Here is a link to some low-cost printables to do just that.

If you are looking for more learning activities to go along with Spanish children's book, check out this post. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Froggy Se Viste

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Froggy Se Viste is one of the best books to use in a clothing unit in Spanish. I have used this book repeatedly over the years to introduce and review clothing vocabulary. Let's take a quick look at learning activities you can do with this story...

Although Froggy Se Viste is set during the winter, you can use the book to discuss the four seasons and different weather situations. This cute, printable "Dress-A-Frog" set would be useful as it contains clothes for each season and weather cards. You can have students pick a weather card. In Spanish, you can discuss what the weather is and the potential season. Then you can have the student dress the frog accordingly. After "Froggy" is dressed you can then have students tell you what he is wearing in Spanish. There is also this free set of Froggy with his mom.

Another possibility for this book is to go over body parts. For example, call out an article of clothing that Froggy wears and have your students tell you what body part that piece of clothing is used on. To extend this activity, you can use Mr. Potato Head. See this post on how I use this toy to teach/review body parts and clothes in Spanish. See below for different sets of Mr. Potato Head that have clothing for winter and summer. If you work with Mr. Potato Head you can incorporate reflexive verbs into the activity. You can talk about Froggy using the verbs: vestirse, quitarse, ponerse, mirarse. You can also use those verbs to ask your students questions about what they put on in the morning or in the winter, etc.

With this book, you can add in some science by studying the life cycle of frogs. There are two units on Teachers Pay Teachers that I have used to teach the life cycle and parts of a frog.

Have fun with Froggy!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Abuelita Fue al Mercado

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If you are looking for more book activities in Spanish, see this post!

Let's take a trip around the world today in Spanish! Abuelita Fue al Mercado is a rhyming book about a grandma who travels the world shopping for items related to each country she visits. This book offers up some great learning opportunities in geography, numbers, and working with sizes. Let's take a look...

Because the abuelita goes to a country on every continent (except Antarctica), this book would be the time to introduce the continents and familiarize kids with the countries that are visited (Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, China, Switzerland, Kenya, Russia, Australia, Japan, and Peru). I love this World Foam Map Puzzle even though it is in English. As my young students are putting the map together I point out in Spanish the continents and the countries. Another activity I do with them is to call out a place and have them put their finger on it. I also teach my students the four points of a compass (north, south, east, and west). I then in Spanish tell them to go from (for example) Russia to Peru with their fingers. They then have to tell me what major direction they went in. If you want a children's atlas in Spanish, this one is my favorite! You can read more about it here.  Another learning option is to write or have pictures of the items bought on index cards. Can your students remember where the items came from and tell you in Spanish? Can they find the correct country on the map?

Abuelita Fue al Mercado is a counting book as she buys one item in one country and then two in the next and so on and so forth. You could also do simple addition with the book. For example, abuelita bought six drums in Kenya and four lanterns in China. Have your students add those numbers in Spanish. Can they add up ALL the items to see how much grandma bought?

I try to  incorporate a listening activity with drawing activity whenever I can. For this book, you can call out a number and and item from the book and see if your students can draw it. The number and item don't have to match what is in the book. You can say, "cinco gatos" for example instead of the two that are in the story.

Spanish Playground has a great activity that involves working with vocabulary related to sizes and Matryoshka dolls. These dolls are featured in the book so head on over to Spanish Playground and take a look at this great activity in Spanish!

And finally, below you will find resources for the book including some other "go-along" books you can read to your kids. For example, one of the items that abuelita buys are llamas so be sure to check out the Spanish books on them.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Se Venden Gorras

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Se Venden Gorras is a classic book that you can use to reinforce colors, actions, and prepositions in Spanish. Let's take a quick look at what you can do with this book when teaching Spanish...

A fun activity to do with this book is TPR (Total Physical Response). There are several actions within the story that you can ask your students to perform through giving commands in Spanish. Here is a list of the actions you can use...

Dormirse, despertarse, tocarse la cabeza, buscar a la derecha (a la izquierda), buscar a espaldas, levantar la vista, señalar con el dedo, apretar los puños, dar puntapiés, quitarse la gorra, tirarla al suelo, arrodillarse

With these actions, you can also play Simon says.

Remember the old game, Barrel of Monkeys? This would be a great time to play that game and practice counting in Spanish. 

This is a great printable you can do with your students. Give them instructions in Spanish on how many blue caps, red caps, etc. they need. Then also tell them in Spanish the order of the caps (you can make up a new order that's different from the book) that go on the peddler's head. Here are some more printables that are similar in which you can do a sequencing activity in Spanish.

Here are some free printables for the book. Yes, they are in English, but be creative and think of ways you could use them in Spanish. 

Here's such a cool idea...have your students recreate the story with actual manipulatives! This idea comes from Magical Movement Company. You can find it here.

CLICK HERE for more book activities.

Monday, June 20, 2016

De la Cabeza a Los Pies

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Animals and movement. What could be better for young children? I adore many of Eric Carle's books and have used them over the years in teaching Spanish. De la Cabeza a los Pies offers a wonderful opportunity to get kids moving and learning.

As far as vocabulary goes there are animal names to learn and body parts. Each page of the book features an animal like a penguin, seal or camel doing a certain action. The text is simple and somewhat repetitive to help kids absorb the language better. Here is a look at some learning activities you can do with this book:

Play Simon says in Spanish. Since there are a plethora of actions in the book you can use them to play this simple childhood game. Here is a list of possibilities...

Girar la cabeza, doblar el cuello, alzar los hombros, saludar con los brazos, aplaudir con las manos, golpearse el pecho, arquear la espalda, menear las caderas, doblar las rodillas, dar patadas, pisar muy fuerte, mover el dedo del pie

Another option with these actions is to call out the animal in Spanish and see if your students can do the action the animal did in the book. This requires a bit of memory so it might be a better activity after you have read the book a couple times to them. Along the same lines, you can call out a body part and see if they can point to it on themselves. 

Another activity I like to do along with this book is to use songs related to body parts. Diez Deditos is filled with wonderful songs and rhymes in Spanish for kids. It contains two to three songs that would be a great go-along for De la Cabeza a los Pies. Here is the song book for the CD which is incredibly helpful because not only do you get the words, but there are suggested actions for the songs.

Check comprehension by saying a sentence outloud about one of the animals...for example, "El mono saluda con los brazos." or "El cocodrilo gira la cabeza." If the statement is correct, then the students say, “Claro que sí” (a repeated line from the book). If the statement isn't correct, they say, "Claro que no".

If you are looking for graphics to go along with the book to make cards with, here is a link from Teach Beside Me. These are in English, but you could cut that part out or leave it. If you make cards, you can then have students select a card and say what the animal and action is in Spanish and then have them act it out.

Monday, June 13, 2016

El Nabo Gigante {Book Activities}

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Whenever I can use a story or a children's book to help my students learn it is so much more enjoyable. There is something about a story that sucks kids in and once you have their attention you can teach them more than through straight memorization or lecture. Let's take a look at a great book about a farming couple who grow a giant turnip. How will they ever be able to get the huge veggie out of the ground? El Nabo Gigante is a delightful tale of problem-solving and a group of farm animals.

First of all, there is a plethora of vocabulary to teach your students...lists of animals and veggies. Some of the colors are touched on in the story which can be a springboard for reviewing the colors with beginners. Also, three of the four seasons are mentioned which means you can review and/or teach those words.

Another opportunity with this book is to teach the parts of plants. Please see my post on the plant unit I use with my students.

Another great aspect of this book is that there are tons of words with the letters c and g. I take time to focus on these two sounds with my students that are learning to read Spanish. You can do this one of two ways...First, of all I create cards with some of the words from the book. {See the list below if you would like to make your own cards.}

Then I either teach my students the phonetic rules for c and g or I read off the cards and see if they can come up with the rules. In case you need a refresher, here are the rules.

  • The letter "c" makes the "s" sound when it is followed by "e" or "i". It makes the "k" sound when it is followed by "a", "o", or "u".
  • The letter "g" make an "h" sound when followed by "e" or "i". It makes the hard "g" sound (like in the word "gorilla") when followed by the other vowels.

Here is a list of words from the book you can put on cards for your students to practice reading:

"C" words: cama, crecer, arrancar, cintura, campesino, torcida, canarios, cocina, encima, cinco, ratoncito, cuello, cerditos, vaca, cabeza

"G" words: jugosa, gansos, agujero, gigante, gallinas, gatos, guisantes

Here is a drawing activity: At the beginning of the story you will notice that there are several animals that are described. For example: seis canarios amarillos, cinco gansos blancos, cuatro gallinas pintas, tres gatos negros, dos cerditos barrigudos, and una enorme vaca

Using this vocabulary, give your students instructions on what to draw, but mix up the vocabulary. So for example, say "tres cerditos amarillos" or "cinco vacas pintas" and see if they can draw them correctly.

You can also work with ordinal numbers with this story. On this page (just below) you can discuss in Spanish who is first, second, and so on.

Here is a great story sequencing activity (you would just need to write the cards in Spanish instead.) to go along with ordinal numbers.

And finally, you can always do a cooking project after reading this book. Make a stew with the vegetables mentioned in the book!

If you would like to read about more book activities in Spanish, visit here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Learning through Spanish Children's Books

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I absolutely love using stories as a teaching tool! I have used them with my own sons when they were little, and then eventually, started using them with my Spanish students. Over the next several Mondays in June and July I will be posting about children's books in Spanish along with learning activities to go with them. When you read a story to a child you not only can develop their vocabulary in the language, but you can also teach them about the world around them. 

Here is a list of the books I will be looking at. The link in parentheses will take you to the actual post filled with learning activities for each book. Please be aware that those links won't work until the posts are live.

I also have on the blog several others books I have highlighted and compiled activities for. Here is a list:

I am hoping through some of these posts you can pick up one of these books, read it to kids, and then do some great learning activities with them!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Teaching Emotions in Spanish

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Emotions can be tough vocabulary to teach, because of the lack of activities to go with the subject matter. Over the years I have slowly added ideas to my repertoire for teaching feelings. Here is a collection of ideas for you to use.

I recently bought these cards. My students are intrigued by the faces and find them funny. I had my husband at one point draw these faces onto ping pong balls. You can see my post about them here. I use these cards and the ping pong balls to talk about feelings in the target language. For example, with the ping pong balls I will put them in a bag. Each student picks one out and tells me how he or she is feeling according to the face on the ball. With the cards, you can print out labels with emotion vocabulary words on them and have the students match the word with the picture card as a review activity at the beginning of class.

 I do like the cards as they are larger than regular playing cards. I will, however, say that there are several cards in the deck that give the words for all the feelings in different languages. So for example, there is a card with all the faces from the deck with the Spanish words for those emotions underneath them. There are similar cards for French, German, Polish, etc. There are 25 of these language cards which may not be useful to you except for the one language you are teaching. I still feel that  they are worth it for me to have as visual aids. I believe there are thirty emotions cards (just with one face on it) total. So if this makes sense: 30 emotion cards (see the first two pictures in this post), 25 language cards (see the third picture) for a total of 56 cards.

Así Me Siento Yo is by far the BEST emotion book out there for kids. {And please, if you come across another, let me know!} The illustrations are beautiful and clearly depict the emotion even if kids are still learning the vocabulary. Here are two posts with feelings activities that you can do with your students after reading the book. This first one is great during the fall, and the other would be a great spring activity. There are free printables on each post.

If you are working with younger kids this set of bricks would work well when introducing feelings.

Another activity I do with my students involves these stick figures from Spanish Playground. You will notice that the printable has descriptions under each figure, but sometimes I turn this into a listening activity for my kids. I will describe what the person is wearing, how they are feeling, and even the weather (which kids normally draw above the a sun for example or clouds). The students then must draw all the items in. It's a great way to review lots of different vocabulary!

And finally, if you have students who can read try the Caramba game. It can review all many different sets of vocabulary including emotions. Lots of fun!