Archive for the ‘Language Learning Resources’ Category

Kids Learn Spanish with Familiar Books

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

 

Using familiar books and stories is an easy way for kids to learn Spanish.  We love to share well known stories and books with our students, as they can easily make language connections with topics they know.  All of the Eric Carle books are fantastic, and Oso Café is favorite that we use for so many different activities to teach Spanish to children.

 

Here are a few ideas that work well in our classes and at home:

 

1.  Freeze Dance:   use the animals from the book, and place them all over the floor.  ( Great templates at dltk.com).  Play music and give kids various commands.  When the music stops, have the children look for a particular animal and they must stand by it. Example:  Busquen el caballo azul.  Repeat various times.  This is a great way for kids to make color and animal identification.

2. Bean Bag toss:  See picture.  I found this awesome floor mat at Five Below ( www.fivebelow.com).  We use colored bean bags, and give kids commands to toss them on a particular animal.  Then we take turns having the kids give each other the commands.

3.  Yo Veo:   We reinforce the phrase from the book ” yo veo….”, then hand out visuals from the story.  The kids sit in a circle, and they go around the circle and say what  animal they see sitting next to them.  We exchange the visuals several times so that kids get a chance to use a variety of vocabulary.  Great production practice!

4.  Favorite Animal Drawing:   As a culminating activity, the kids choose one of the animals from the book and illustrate it.  They each take a turn showing their drawing and telling the class:  Mi animal favorito es el pato amarillo, etc.

 

These activities are simple and can be adapted for a variety of ages.  Children will learn Spanish while having fun with these simple, interactive lessons!

 

 

Learn Spanish with Kinesthetic Lessons

Friday, May 24th, 2013

 

Movement is an integral part of teaching Spanish to children and always a part of the Bilingual Fun lessons. Definitely at this time of the year, we really try to keep the kids actively learning.   Jumping games are a favorite and can easily be modified for the topic and age group.  This week as a review of colors, the Bilingual Fun kids did the “Rainbow Jump”… “El Salto del Arcoiris”.  Each child takes a turn and says the color as they jump over each one.  It is fun and active, and the kids are producing the language while using kinesthetic abilities.  We modified it in various classes by having older kids tell us if they wanted to jump on 1 or 2 feet… en un pie o en dos pies.  Also we added number flashcards and put the numbers in a reverse order, so they had jump and count backwards in Spanish.  The activity is repeated several times so that kids can continue to hear the vocabulary and each child has a few turns producing the language on their own. The kids love these activities and we add the jumping game with a variety of different topics.  Movement and repetition are so important when engaging kids and early language learning!   This a fun, easy Spanish activity that you can try at home with your own kids or in your classroom.  Outdoor options are fun too!

Teach Body Parts in Spanish – El Cuerpo

Friday, May 17th, 2013

 

All of our Bilingual Fun lessons  are structured to be interactive so that kids are learning Spanish through fun activities.  This week the classes had a great time reading the Eric Carle story De Cabeza a los Pies and acting out the motions using the body parts.  We did an extension activity that we call “Dibuja y Pasa.”  After the kids have learned and reviewed the body parts in Spanish several times and after reading the book, each child gets a piece of paper.  The teacher calls out a body part for them to draw:

“dibuja la cabeza”

Then the child passes the paper to the child on their right.  The teacher calls out:

“dibuja dos ojos”

Then the child passes the paper to the child on the right.  The teacher continues to call out body parts, and kids continue to pass their papers until the body is complete. When they eventually get their papers back, they love seeing how their drawing turned out!

We use the finished drawings for communicative activities:

“¿de qué color es la nariz?”

“¿de qué color es el pelo?”  etc.

The kids love sharing the drawings with the class and discussing the differences and creativity.  This is a great activity to teach and reinforce body parts in Spanish and to keep the lesson interactive and fun!

 

 

The Bilingual Rebellion: Tips to overcome it!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

 

After having a great discussion and Hangout on Google + with Spanglishbaby and Jeanette Kaplum, I wanted to follow up on the idea of battling “ Bilingual Rebellion”.    It was a great event and lots of people chimed in with tips and questions.   I was bummed that my video function wasn’t compatible for some reason, but my audio worked, so I shared a bit of my two cents on the issue.

 

If you are a parent or teacher raising or teaching bilingual children, you may face ‘the rebellion’ at some point.    Here are some more tips to avoid and get through this stage:

 

  1. Remain positive:  don’t discipline or correct kids all of      the time.  Use praise and positive reinforcement.  Kids will be more      motivated to speak when they don’t feel like it is a chore.  Keep things light!

 

  1. Restate in Spanish.  We have all been there… you ask the kids something in Spanish and they respond is English. Ay Caramba!  Without making an issue, simply restate their answer in Spanish and move on.       With our own kids, we often restate their answer incorrectly or   give a choice.  This encourages them to correct us and keep the conversation going.  Here is a sample conversation with my son yesterday:   Yo:  ¿cuántos minutos leiste anoche?  Hijo:       thirty- five.  Yo: Muy bien…      treinta y cinco o cuarenta?       Hijo:  treinta y cinco.

 

  1. Focus on Fun:   motivate kids by encouraging their  communication through themes that they are interested in or relevant to their lives:

Retelling stories:  Even if you read a story in English, retell the story in Spanish.  Talk about the characters, feelings, etc.

Guessing games… Estoy pensando en un animal que….

Think Quickly:  Nombra 5 colores… Nombra 5 animales… Nombra 5  juguetes, etc.

Number games/ Math games:  Use dice and do sumas/ restas.  Practice math drills and tables in Spanish.

Board/Card games:  all games can easily be modified to play in Spanish.   Easier ones for toddlers CandyLand, Chutes and Ladder,      Go      Fish… older  kids- Pictionary, Picturecka, Uno, War/Guerra, etc.

Imaginative play w/ dolls/stuffed animals-  set up a doctor’s office or vet or restaurant.  Let the conversation flow!

Active games:  Kinesthetic activities really stimulate some many learning styles.  Play catch w/ a beach ball and count as high as you can in Spanish.  Count by 2’s, or 5’s.  Put objects on the floor, have kids jump over them and say the color, or any topic you want them to practice. Play  “What time is it Mr. Fox? “ We say ‘ ¿Qué hora es Sr. Elefante?  Kids count the steps in Spanish and practice telling time.

 

4.  Exposure:  keep talking, reading, and listening to music.  Check out your local library for the International Juvenile collection and find some different books that peak your child’s interest. Most libraries have books on CDs and this is a great way for kids to enhance their language exposure.  Music:  singing enhances pronunciation and fluency.  Practice singing songs in Spanish that the kids know,and then have a concert and video them.  They will love watching themselves on camera.  My daughter taught her friend the lyrics to Celia Cruz song recently and they made up a little salsa dance routine.  Costumes and all!  We filmed it and they had a blast, singing and dancing, and then of course rewatching themselves several times.

No matter what, if you are passionate about your kids and students speaking and learning Spanish, keep doing what you are doing!  The rebellion stage eventually will pass and someday your bilingual kids will be thanking you for your dedication and patience!

Valentine Wordsearch in Spanish

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

 

Valentine’s Day is this week and you may be looking for some quick, simple activities for your kids who are learning Spanish. Here is a simple buscapalabras for elementary age kids.  As an extension activity, have kids make una tarjeta with the Valentine themed words and give to a family member or friend.   Kids will have fun learning Spanish with this fun, easy activity!

Valentine Wordsearch in Spanish, download here. :-)

 

Kids Learn Spanish with Candy House Decorating

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

 

Kids love to decorate candy houses!  Chances are, if you have children, you will be probably be doing this activity at some point during the holiday season!  Take this opportunity to sneak some Spanish into this fun, festive activity.

  • 1. Make colored patterns with the candies as you decorate the house ( rojo, verde, rojo, verde, etc)
  • 2. Practice house vocabulary ( el techo, la pared, la ventana, la puerta, la chimenea, etc)
  • 3. Count the quantities of candy on each section.
  • 4.Create a story or description about the family that lives in the house… La familia Manriquez vive en está casa bonita que está en el bosque…

Kids learn Spanish best when they are interacting and doing hands on activities.  Decorating candy houses are a great way to keep the language learning alive this holiday season!

Spanish Halloween Activities for Kids

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

With Halloween rapidly approaching, parents and teachers can easily use the holiday as a focus for reinforcing Spanish words and teaching new ones.  Whether in a classroom or at home, we would like to share some fun Spanish Halloween activities for kids.

Numbers and Feelings

  • Cut out pumpkins/las calabazas ( or Target dollar bins and Dollar Tree have them this season).
  • Write various numbers, or for older kids math equations on one side.
  • On the other side draw emotions.
  • Spread out on the floor or table and ask kids to find various numbers and/or emotions.
  • Reinforce  feliz, triste, enojado, sorprendido, bien, mal, cansado, etc.

 

 

Guessing Game/ ¿Qué falta?

  • Use a Pumpkin/ Una Calabaza or Sr. Papa for body parts reinforcement.
  • Review and practice los ojos, la nariz, la boca, las orejas.
  • Ask kids to close their eyes and take a part away.  Kids have to guess the word in Spanish.  Then switch and let kids hide the part.
  • Guessing is a great way to illict conversation and language production!
  • Here is an example of Sr. Papa and the ¿Qué falta? game. :)

10 Fantasmas…. 10 Brujas

Do your kids like to sing?  Here is a super easy song to help kids learn Spanish.  Sung to the tune of 10 Little Indians.

Download the lyrics and activities here.

 

Practice Your Spanish Skills with Trabalenguas

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Teach Spanish to children and adults with fun, rhyming tongue twisters!   This is a great way to test your pronunciation skills and practice the Spanish language.   In our Bilingual Fun classes, we use rhyming as a teaching technique to identify and learn the sounds of the language.  Kids and adults alike have fun practicing these easy tongue twisters/ trabalenguas.  Give it a try and don’t forget the Spanish vowel sounds… those are the key to correct pronunciation.

A E  I O U… el burro sabe más que tú.

Pepe Pecas pica papas con un pico,  con un pico pica papas Pepe Pecas.

Yo no como coco, y porque como poco coco, poco coco compro

Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal. En un trigal, tragaban trigo, tres tristes tigres.

Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril.  Rápido corren los carros, cargados de azúcar al ferrocarril.

 

 

Bilingual Music for Kids!

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Mister G Presents Tasty New Bilingual Songs:


Chocolalala

 

I love the title of this fun Cd!  Chocolalala is bilingual Cd filled with a wide range of musical styels from bossa nova to ska, funk to folk, rap to pop. Kids will love the 11 songs on this Cd which are easy to sing along with in Spanish and English.

 

Inspired by Mister G’s concert tours throughout Latin America, this new album has captivating Latin rhythms and melodies, that parents and children alike will enjoy.  Catchy and educational, the songs teach about counting, colors and nature, and celebrate the joys of eating chocolate, dancing and riding on the school bus with friends.

 

As a teacher, I love finding bilingual Cds that I can use in my classroom and introduce to my students. Chocolalala hits the mark!    Bailamos is a great song to teach and reinforce geography as it sings about different cities and counties.  My kids love Chocolalala, as it names many different foods, and is an excellent song to practice pronunciation and fluency.

 

This wonderful bilingual Cd, produced and engineered by Mister G, also features world class musicians, the voices of bilingual families, and performances by Miser G’s former elementary school students.

Be sure to visit www.mistergsongs.com and check out a local concert if you are in the area.

 

We have 2 copies of Chocolalala to giveaway!  In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month,  leave a comment here or on Facebook and tell us why you want your children to be bilingual.  We will choose 2 winners from those who leave comments.

 

 

Summer Word Search Spanish for Kids

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Fun Summer Word Search in Spanish

Teach kids Spanish with a fun Summer Word Search!  If you are looking for a quick, easy Spanish activity to keep your bilingual kids busy this summer, here is a fun Summer Word Search.  Additional activities that I do with my kids after they have completed the buscapalabras include:  make a picture using as many of the words as they can, label each picture, use the words as a writing prompt,  play charades with the words, etc.  Buena Suerte!

Download Buscapalabras here.

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