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.


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