Friday, December 17, 2010

Fun activities with the Advent calendar

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
If you are a Spanish teacher in the United States, make sure you acknowledge that you might have children who come from different cultural backgrounds and celebrate different holidays. However, you can share with your children that Navidad is celebrated by a majority of people in Spanish speaking countries.

The advent calendar is great to review a lot of the vocabulary you have introduced in your classes:

1. First you need to make sure you eat all the chocolate before you take the calendar to your class. (Yes, I know this will be a challenge for most!!)
2. Precut small images with the vocabulary you would like to review. For example: farm animals, colors, numbers, shapes, or even the name of a song you have sung in class. Make sure they fit in the calendar.
3. Place the numbers from 1 to 25 in a bag.

Invite a volunteer to pick a number from the bag, then find it on the calendar, open the tiny window, and tell you the name of the picture. If the children have enough vocabulary, you can invite them to make sentences using that picture.

You can use the calendar to count backwards, by 2's, by 5's, by 10's, and also to sing a number song!


A song about farm animals in Spanish: La finca del tío Ramón

La finca del tío Ramón / Uncle Ramón’s farm
En las montañas de Colombia está la finca del tío Ramón,
En las montañas de Colombia está la finca del tío Ramón.
En la finca hay una vaca y la vaca hace mú.
En la finca hay un perro y el perro hace guau, guau
En la finca hay un pato y el pato hace cuac, cuac.
En la finca hay una oveja y la oveja hace baaa.
En la finca hay un gato y el gato hace miau.

Uncle Ramon’s farm is in the Colombian mountains,
Uncle Ramon’s farm is in the Colombian mountains.
There is a cow on the farm, and the cow goes moo.
There is a dog on the farm, and the dog goes woof.
There is a duck on the farm, and the duck goes quack.
There is a sheep on the farm, and the sheep goes baaa.
There is a cat on the farm, and the cat goes meow.
Uncle Ramon’s farm is in the Colombian mountains,
Uncle Ramon’s farm is in the Colombian mountains.


•Find Colombia on a map.

• Show a farm and the different animals. Introduce Tío Ramón (Uncle Ramón) and tell them that he lives on a finca (farm). Introduce the different animals and tell them the dog makes a different sound in Spanish. The dog says “guau, guau”.

• Have children make the sounds of the different animals when you name them in Spanish. You can also ask them the colors of the animals to link to the lesson on colors.

• Animal bag: Place different animals in a bag. Blindfold a child and ask him/her to reach in the bag and pull out an animal. Have the child guess the animal. Other children can give cues about the animal.

• Animal dice: Use a square shaped box and place pictures of different animals on every square. Have the children throw the dice while naming the animal and saying the sound it makes.

Easy pumpkin face craft

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Materials: Felt, scissors, pumpkin, velcro and very creative children!
We had fun making a face for our pumpkin. With this activity children can review/reinforce knowledge of parts of the face in Spanish:

Los ojos (eyes) , la nariz (nose), la boca (mouth), la cara (face)

Place the different parts on the pumpkin while you ask your students the questions about them: 
¿Qué es?
¿Dé que color es?

This activity also supports one of the songs (traditional) we have on one of our music CD’s, "Jump into Spanish which has the following lyrics: 

Mi cara
Mi cara redonda tiene ojos y nariz,
Tiene una boca para cantar y reir,
Con mis ojos veo todo,
con mi nariz hago achis,
con mi boca como ricos helados de maní.
My face
My round face has eyes and a nose,
It has a mouth for singing and laughing,
I see everything with my eyes,
I sneeze with my nose,
And with my mouth I eat yummy peanut ice cream.

Have fun singing in Spanish!


Halloween Song: Cinco Calabazas

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This song  is perfect to review feelings and emotions. I love teaching it to my second graders.
I cut out five paper pumpkins so the children can show their faces (see picture above). They each pick a feeling in the song, while the rest of the class chants/sings the song. Each child has to show the face that matches the feeling they picked. They love doing it over and over again and have a lot of fun seeing their friends' facial expressions.

Cinco calabazas sentadas en su casa,
una calabaza se siente muy cansada.

Cuatro calabazas sentadas en su casa,
una calabaza se siente asustada.

Tres calabazas sentadas en su casa,
una calabaza se siente enojada.

Dos calabazas sentadas en su casa,
una calabaza se siente muy frustrada.

Una calabaza sentada en su casa,
una calabaza se siente sorprendida.

Cinco calabazas sentadas en su casa,
y cuando sale el sol se sienten muy felices.

Author: 1-2-3 Spanish Together™ ©2009

Have fun singing in Spanish!


Los números - Numbers

Monday, September 13, 2010


· Place objects in a box and have the children count.

·Place numbers from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 on the floor and have the children organize them.

· Make a line of numbers on the floor and give turns to the children to jump next to the number you call.

· Use a flyswatter and invite a child to find a number and point at it with the flyswatter.

· Use a numbered dice and have the children count the dots on the dice.

For more fun music and ideas visit www.funforSpanishTeachers.com

GIVEAWAY: Two Colombian puppets to spice up your lessons!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I am always looking for puppets to use in my Spanish classes. Children love them, and they make everyone more engaged in the class.

During my recent trip to Colombia, I found these two lovely hand-made Colombian puppets that I fell in love with because they are very easy to handle and also because one of them has the Colombian flag, which makes it even more authentic.

THE GIVEWAY!!!! -United States only!
Many of us are getting ready for that first week of school, looking for ideas and ice breakers for that first class.

Here is how to enter:

1. First, make sure you are our friend on Facebook.

2. Simply share with us any short and simple activity you plan to use in your first Spanish class. Feel free to enter in Spanish or English. You can post your activity here or on our Facebook page.

Giveaway ends on September 5th at 10:00 pm Eastern Time

Only one entry per person. No anonymous entries are permitted. The winner will be chosen randomly. We will announce the winner on September 6th. Entries submitted after 10:00 pm Eastern Time on September 5th are not valid. We will give the winner 48 hours to claim their prize.

First Week of School: Two Songs for Teaching Greetings & Introductions

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Song # 1: Hola amigos - Hi Friends

Hola amigos ¿cómo están? (Hi friends -boys-, how are you?)
Muy bien! (Very well). 
Hola, amigas ¿cómo están? (Hi friends -girls-, how are you?)

Muy bien! (Very well).

Bienvenidos amigos (welcome(boys)),

Bienvenidas amigas (welcome (girls))

Bienvenidos, bienvenidas, la, la, la,
Bienvenidos, bienvenidas, la, la, la.

• Use a friendly puppet to introduce the song. Have a short interaction with the puppet:
You: Hola, ¿cómo estas?
Puppet: Muy bien gracias
Puppet and you: Bienvenido, bienvenida a la clase de español .
• Pass the ball in the circle asking each student “Hola, ¿cómo estas?” and giving them the opportunity to answer “muy bien gracias”.
Invite students to volunteer using two puppets with the same question and answer.
• Make instruments with recycled materials such as cereal boxes, milk bottles, and spoons. Have students sing the song while playing instruments. Divide the class in two groups. Ask one side of the class to sing “hola, ¿cómo estas? And have the other group respond “muy bien”

Song #2: ¿Cómo te llamas tú? / What’s your name?

 Click here to sample or buy song

A, E, I, O,U
¿Cómo te llamas tú?
(What’s your name?)
A, E, I, O, U
Yo me llamo Julián
(My name is Julián)
A, E, I, O, U
¿Cómo te llamas tú?
(What’s your name?)
A, E, I, O, U
Yo me llamo Alana
(My name is Alana)

• Bring a puppet to class. Introduce it by saying “Yo me llamo ….”(my name is), and then say “¿Cómo te llamas tú?” (what’s your name) pointing at the puppet and have the puppet respond to you.
• Have a puppet ask the children in class ¿cómo te llamas tú?
• Have the class stand up in a circle. Throw a ball while asking “¿cómo te llamas tú? They should respond by saying “yo me llamo...” or simply say their name and throw the ball back to you, and then proceed to sit back down.

• Variation:
The student with the ball responds to the question saying “Yo me llamo…” and then throws the ball to another classmate asking “¿Cómo te llamas”. Once their classmates answer, the student who had the ball previously can sit. The game continues until they are all seated.

¡Feliz regreso a la escuela!

Why Teach Spanish with Puppets?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I like to use puppets a lot in class to greet the children, sing songs, introduce/ review topics, etc.
To introduce/review a theme I use a "caja mágica" (mystery box) and have the puppet chat with me about what could be inside the caja mágica. We make animal sounds if I am trying to introduce an animal.

For example:
Me: ¿Qué hay dentro de la caja mágica?
Puppet: Una vaca (making the mooing sound)
Me: I open the box a little bit and then I say, "no, no es una vaca" . Este animal es muy pequeño.
Puppet: Pequeño, pequeño
And then we keep giving cues until someone in the class shouts the right answer.

*Puppets are fun
*Children may feel more comfortable talking with a puppet in a foreign language, than to the teacher.
*Using puppets invites children to be more open to use the target language.
*Teaching with puppets helps transport teachers and students out of their routine.

Tips for using puppets in class

Hold a puppet looking at the children, even if the puppet is talking to you.

When using two puppets who are having a conversation, angle their faces so they are looking at the children.

When your puppet is speaking with the children, make sure to look at your puppet friend.

When your puppet speaks, make sure to make it move its mouth with rhythm with the syllables.
Do not open its mouth too wide.  Click here to find more tips!

I also have found great tips on YouTube:

Have fun!

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