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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