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.

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