Spanish Christmas Activities: The Ultimate Round-up of Classroom Ideas

Spanish Christmas Activities: The Ultimate Round-up of Classroom Ideas

Inside: A round-up of classroom ideas for Spanish Christmas activities. 

The week before winter holidays can be a bit crazy right? You might be at the end of your rope and out of ideas, but no worries! I’ve scoured the internet for the best Christmas and winter-themed ideas, and gathered them here for you. 

Obviously, the guidelines on Christmas-themed plans will vary from school-to-school. Some of you at religious schools can celebrate it; others will need to present more neutral lessons. Because it’s entrenched in largely-Catholic Hispanic culture, you might present it as culture. 

With all that in mind, I’ve tried to gather a variety so there’s something for everyone. If it’s not already obvious, I’ve also tried to note whether certain resources are religious or not. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Spanish Christmas Activities

merry christmas in spanish

Easy & Fun Ideas

 

  • Ask or tell a funny Christmas/winter story: mishaps of Santa, a kid who discovers Santa isn’t real, or build a story around a familiar character like the Grinch.
  • Choose a song and just focus on a few keywords (like Navidad). Do a really easy listening activity like Draw, Listen, Check
  • Lots of teachers do the traditional turkey or leaf crafts. This of course is easy to adapt to the Spanish classroom: students write things they’re thankful for, in Spanish, on the leaves or feathers.
  • Introduce Hispanic traditions like Las posadas, Los tres reyes, or traditional foods. 
  • Retell the original Christmas story. Use a picture book, draw as you go (a la Story Listening), or use a video from below as your visual.

#authres

There are lots of infographics, songs, and video clips you can throw in during the winter holidays. These are fun to to prompt discussion and give the students a chance to see what they can understand from an authentic resource.


Credit: Easy Spanish 


Credit: Azteca Noticias

Visit my Christmas in Spanish page on Pinterest to find lots more Navidad realia!

 

Songs

 

If you have a younger crowd, I’ve got a great list of Christmas songs in Spanish for kids. Below, you can find my   top picks for a variety of ages, both religious and non-religious. 

Feliz navidad from Michael Bublé and Thalia
I love, love, love this version! Non-religious except for the word “Navidad.”

 

Mi burrito sabanero 
This is a great dose of culture, comprehensible language, and Christmas that will be new for most of your students. Definitely religious, with religious images.

 

Noche de paz – If you’d like a familiar Christmas carol in Spanish, this is a good pick.

 

Báte, báte chocolate Perfect in case you need a highly comprehensible winter-themed non-religious song (hot chocolate, anyone?)

 

Ocho candalias Great song for including Hanukkah in your winter plans. 

 

 Ideas for Older Students

 

Lotería de Justino 
Movietalk Resources from Aprendemos Juntos (INCREDIBLE and free resources based on a MovieTalk on the Spanish lottery short film)

Los pingüinos de Madagascar
MovieTalk resources from Aprendemos Juntos (another CI-packed resource)

El tío de Nadal 
from La maestra loca (Hilarious, + authentic culture.)

Volver a casa MovieTalk Resources
from Aprendemos Juntos

navidad inesperada
 MovieTalk Resources from Aprendemos Juntos 

Juego de navidad
from Aprendemos Juntos

Rosca de reyes
from Cynthia Hitz

Podcast for Beginners: ¡Feliz navidad!

Podcast for Intermediate Students: ¡Lotería!

Navidad mini-unit
(IPA-style) from Get Your Learning On

General Spanish Christmas Resources

 

Freebie Christmas Card Printable in Spanish from Mommy Maleta

Spanish Christmas Cards from Mommy Maestra

Bilingual Gift Tags in Spanish from Mommy Maestra

A Spanglish Christmas Poem from Family Life in Spain

“Ojo de Dios” Craft from Bilingual Eyes

 

MovieTalks

 

There are some amazing short films that make for great MovieTalks– this is one of those times you can get the best of #authres and CI.

If you’re new to MovieTalks, read about them here. Basically, you narrate a short film in language the students understand, discuss, and possibly type up a reading.

Commercial from Spain for the 2015 Christmas Lottery  (There are tons of activities to go along with this! Lotería de Justino  Activities from Elena Lopez)

 

Commercial from Spain for the 2016 Christmas Lottery

 

Los tres reyes

 

Commercial for Christmas with llamas!

 

 

 

Christmas Stories

 

Narrate these videos in simple Spanish, or using the original versions with more advanced students. 

Re-telling of the Original Christmas Story (audio and subtitles in Spanish)

 

Santa Story: Very clear Spanish and story (audio and subtitles in Spanish).

 

 

#authres Movies

 

IKEA Commercial: Kids writing letters to Los tres reyes. 

 

Report on Free Birds in Spanish:

La historia de Thanksgiving, en español:

 

 

Christmas Spanish Activities 

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Spanish Christmas Activities

 

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Expressing Thanks and Saying Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish

Expressing Thanks and Saying Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish

Inside: How to say Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish, thank you in Spanish, and you’re welcome in Spanish. 

 

Greetings are one of those things in Spanish: being polite, warm, and expressive is right up there with syntax and grammar. Thanksgiving itself isn’t a holiday usually celebrated outside the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, but if you’d like to wish Spanish-speakers a Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish, you can say it like this: Feliz día de acción de gracias. 

(Or, if you want to be hip and modern and say Happy Turkey Day, you’d say Feliz día del pavo.)

Acción de gracias is old word with religious connotations, and churches will sometimes have a services that’s called Culto de acción de gracias— literally, a meeting for the action of giving thanks. I’ve heard the variant of Feliz día de acción de gracia, but it doesn’t seem to be as common.

 

Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish 

 

happy thanksgiving in spanish

 

Gracias is one of the most commonly-known Spanish words, but there are lots of variations if you want to use richer language to express gratitude itself. Niceties, of course, are huge in Spanish, and this sort of language goes a long way in developing relationships within Hispanic culture. 

There’s a certain formality of speech in things like thank-you’s and you’re welcome’s, and plenty of ways to say both. I’ve gathered a list of each for you, and tried to stick to phrases that are fairly universal. (There seems to be lots of regional slang for you’re welcome: graciela, no hay pedo, mereces, etc. But I figured you don’t want that hanging up in your classroom.)

If you’d like to post the graphics in your classroom, you can download them for free! I even included versions with lighter backgrounds to save printer ink. 

 

Thank You in Spanish

 

thank you in spanish

 

 

You’re Welcome in Spanish

 

you're welcome in spanish

 

 

 

If you are interested in Thanksgiving in Spanish activities for the classroom, I’ve gathered lots of great ideas for you. You can also see my Thanksgiving songs in Spanish, for kids!

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The Best Thanksgiving Songs in Spanish for Kids

The Best Thanksgiving Songs in Spanish for Kids

Inside: Thanksgiving songs in Spanish for kids.

As you prep for the holidays, I’ve collected some Thanksgiving-themed songs for Spanish learners. They’re hard to find, as Spanish-speaking countries outside of Puerto Rico don’t celebrate the day. But here are my favorites!

(Also see my Thanksgiving in Spanish activities and resources post.)

 

Al pavo, pavito

This one is also a little game– if you click to the song on YouTube it has this explanation in Spanish: A group of kids (uneven in number) walk in a circle four times. Then, they stop and everyone hugs (in twos). The one who is left out runs after the others once they yell: “pavo, pavo, pavo!” The first one who is tagged has to chase the others, or be the one left out in the next round.

 

Día de acción de gracias

 

Yo soy un pavo

 

Canción de gracias y por favor

 

Te damos gracias (religious song)

 

What Thanksgiving favorites did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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Thanksgiving in Spanish: Your Mega-Collection of Classroom Ideas

Thanksgiving in Spanish: Your Mega-Collection of Classroom Ideas

Inside: A round-up of classroom ideas for Thanksgiving in Spanish.

Are you wondering how to handle the week of Thanksgiving in Spanish class? If half of the students are gone anyway, should we hand out a bunch of worksheets and call it a week? I’m not one to judge: I know it’s what an exhausting time of year it is.

Thanks to embracing comprehensible input, I no longer view holidays as isolated themes– time to teach some random vocabulary that won’t come up again until the next year. Nope! As long as we make in comprehensible, any theme can work for any student. That said, I do think it’s okay to accept that a few days of the year won’t be as content-packed as the others. If you’re going to do something like a craft, holidays are a good time to do them.

But let’s not re-invent the wheel. I’ve gathered some awesome resources to make the most of the week, with a little bit of everything, for everyone.

Here are some ideas for a typical Thanksgiving week:

Monday: Story, MovieTalk, and/or discussion. Pick one of the videos and infographics below, and plan your classes around it– even if you have different levels! Just adjust your own language to each group.

Tuesday: Craft day or hands-on day, if you’re planning to do one. From Monday, you probably used terms like turkey, so you can bring them around again today. Pick songs to play in the background; talk about one if it’s helpful. With younger classes, a mini-book might work well.

Wednesday: Game day. Go easy on yourself this day; it’s probably a weird half-day. Celebrities, Mafia, or Categorías are all perfect for crazy schedules and ancy students! If you have younger ones, Ponle el sombrero en el pavo or Pavo, pavito might be fun.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Spanish Thanksgiving Activities

Easy & Fun Ideas

 

 

  • Ask or tell a funny Thanksgiving story: a turkey who tries to avoid ending up one the dinner table, a family member who tries to enact a vegan Thanksgiving, or mishaps on the way to spend the holiday at the cousins’ house.

 

  • Choose a song and just focus on a few keywords (like gracias!). Do a really easy listening activity like Draw, Listen, Check

 

  • Lots of teachers do the traditional turkey or leaf crafts. This of course is easy to adapt to the Spanish classroom: students write things they’re thankful for, in Spanish, on the leaves or feathers.
  • If you can, take it up a notch to make it more input-based: generate some options and talk about them. Brainstorm things that students are thankful for, boil them down to common themes among the students, and categorize in “necessities” and “luxuries.” Make it Comprehensible has a great explanation for how to set up and guide this sort of discussion so the students are getting lots of input.

 

  • Retell the original Thanksgiving story. Use a picture book, draw as you go (a la Story Listening), or use a video from below as your visual.

 

 

 

#authres

There are lots of infographics, songs, and video clips you can throw in during Thanksgiving week. These are fun to to prompt discussion and give the students a chance to see what they can understand from an authentic resource.

Credit: Speaking Latino

Credit: Infografias en Castellano

Visit my Thanksgiving in Spanish page on Pinterest to find lots more Thanksgiving in Spanish realia!

 

Songs

I have a whole post just on Thanksgiving songs for kids, if you’re teaching a younger crowd. This first song is nice because it uses the “Doy gracias por…” refrain that is part of many of the mini-books and crafts teachers like to do.

Día de acción de Gracias

 

If you’re looking for older kids, I love Mercedes Sosa and Gracias a la vida is a classic. Gracias has good repetitions of “gracias por…”, and Fonseca’s positive song Gratitud fits in perfectly if you’re doing a grateful-for theme. Or try this great Latino Thanksgiving playlist.

Gracias a la vida by Mercedes Sosa

 

Gracias – Silvestre Dangond & Juancho de La Espriella

 

Gratitud Fonseca

 

For Kids

Doy Gracias Mini-Pack (If you would like to purchase ready-to-go materials, I recommend this one from Mundo de Pepit! $3)

Free Spanish Doy Gracias Mini-Book

Free Bingo & Memory Games from Spanglish Baby

Free Doy Gracias Activities from Mrs. G Dual Language

Color-by-Number Turkey from Mix Minder

Five Crafts for Kids from Spanish Playground

Older Students

Spanish Turkey Glyphs (If you want to save time and purchase an activity, I recommend these glyphs from Sol.Azucar, available for a variety of proficiency levels. Students get to relax and color, plus lots of comprehensible input! $3)

A whole month of free Thanksgiving projects from La Profesora Frida

5 Ideas for Thanksgiving in Class from Sol.Azucar. I like the “Que linda manito” idea, especially!

Info in Spanish from Illinois University 

Free Activity Sheet to go with a reading of the Celebra día de acción de gracias con Beto y Gaby from Santilla

 

MovieTalks

These would make great MovieTalks for a Thanksgiving in Spanish day. You narrate the stories in language the students understand, discuss, possibly type up a reading, and voila– you have a high-interest, language-packed activity. 

 

 

Salt, sugar, cooking terms

 

Re-tell the Story

 

Retell the original Thanksgiving story, perhaps choosing a character from the perspective of the Native Americans, and one from the perspective of the Pilgrims. You could use this video for visuals (definitely address that it’s a simplified version– it glosses over the complicated story of colonization and it’s impact on native people in the Americas). If you like, contrast it with the version below.

 

 

#authres Movies

 

How Latino immigrants are adopting the holiday of Día de acción de gracias:

 

La historia de Thanksgiving en español (very much from the perspective of the Pilgrims, but fairly comprehensible with subtitles):

 

Report on Free Birds in Spanish:

 

La historia de Thanksgiving, en español:

 

 

 

Thanksgiving in Spanish 

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The Classic Spanish Songs You Need to Know

The Classic Spanish Songs You Need to Know

Inside: The best classic Spanish songs, with YouTube videos.

Some songs run in your veins. They take you home, your heart swells with memories, and maybe you can’t help but go grab your dancing shoes. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’ve gathered a list of those songs here: those traditional songs in Spanish everyone should know.

To be be down-to-earth and real, reggaeton and bachatas are totally my guilty pleasures.

I use many pop Spanish songs in my classes (and love them)…. BUT–

It’s important to give our kids and students the music of decades or centuries, too

We’re talking the classic songs in Spanish, or from before Spanish was the official language. This music connects us to the present and the past. And music is so entrenched in Hispanic history and culture, you won’t have to look far. (If you’re looking for Spanish folk songs for children, I’ve got a list of those as well!)

 

13 Classic Spanish Songs

 

You don’t have to dissect or study the music, if you don’t want to. It’s okay to simply listen to and love the these songs, together with your family or classes. They speak for themselves, as great art does.

So grab your dancing shoes, maybe a box of tissues in case the nostalgia kicks in, and let’s go!

 

1. Guantanamera

 

2. El condor pasa

 

3. Bamboleo

 

4. México lindo y querido

 

5. La bamba

 

6. Los caminos de la vida

 

7. Sólo le pido a Dios

 

8. Caballito nicoyano

 

9. Cielito lindo

 

10. María Isabel

 

11. La gota fría

 

12. Si vas para Chile

 

13. El solar de Monimbó

 

Now you tell me what I missed! Comment with your favorite traditional songs in Spanish below.

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classic spanish songs

Image credits: Simonovstas / shutterstock.com

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2017 | Multicultural Kid Blogs We are so excited for our sixth annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and giveaway! Through the month (September 15 – October 15), you’ll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can enter to win in our great giveaway and link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage!

September 15
Embracing Diversity on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About Dominican Republic

September 18
Spanish Mama: Nazca Lines – Exploratory Art Project

September 19
Hispanic Mama: Fun Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Your Children

September 20
Inspired by Family

September 21
Spanish Mama

September 22
Mundo Lanugo

September 25
Spanish Playground

September 26
All Done Monkey

September 27
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

September 29
Pura Vida Moms on Multicultural Kid Blogs

October 2
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes on Multicultural Kid Blogs

October 5
Spanglish House

October 6
Mama Tortuga

Don’t miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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