Luz Verde, Luz Roja – But With Verbs!

Luz Verde, Luz Roja – But With Verbs!

Inside: How to play Red Light, Green light to learn verbs in Spanish.

 

At first, I started out just playing “Red Light, Green Light” in Spanish, which is also fun. You simply yell “¡Luz verde!” and everyone runs toward you, and then yell “¡Luz roja!” for everyone to freeze. If anyone moves, tell them “regresa” and they go back to the start line.

My students, though, love to play outside and after a couple of rounds there wasn’t enough vocabulary to keep them learning. We decided to turn it into a verbs game. When we play it this way, whoever is “it” calls out a specific action to perform, like “baila.” Everyone advances, dancing. When “¡Luz roja!” is called, everyone freezes and anyone who moves is sent back. So simple, but it’s amazing how they never tire of this one! Often I will stand at the front and yell out what action to do (so I can control what they’re practicing) and the student who is “it” just concentrates on saying “luz roja” or “para” and catching unlucky moving friends.

This is adaptable for whatever you are working on and can of course work for any language. Here are some variations:

You can use simple, basic verbs: camina, corre, nada, baila, etc.

Or more complicated terms: conduce un carro, juega futbol, toca la guitarra, etc.

If you’re learning animals: nada como un pez, corre como un caballo, salta como un conejo, vuela como un pájaro, etc.

Note: You may wish to change the way I conjugated these verbs. I kept it simple, since most of my classes that are practicing these words are beginners. It would technically be more appropriate to use the affirmative Uds. command form since these are being given as plural commands. I adjust based on the class. 

 

LUZ VERDE

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Our Favorite Bilingual Pictionary

Our Favorite Bilingual Pictionary

favorite bilingual pictionary

As you build up your Spanish library make sure you have this one: Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever / El mejor libro de palabras de Richard Scarry. It is a must for for every Spanish/English-speaking family with little ones. In fact, I just walked over to the computer here with it, and Janio gave me an extremely hopeful look: it is one book he always asks for.

If you aren’t familiar with Richard Scarry, you are in for a treat. He has wonderful little stories, but even better are the detailed, imaginative drawings. He manages to pack every page with interesting illustrations without being overwhelming.

Many Spanish language resources are full of Spanish picture dictionaries and flashcards, but I think it’s much better to have real literature in your hands. Most of the dictionaries’ illustrations that I’ve seen are lacking or too busy. This may not be a dictionary, technically, but it’s much more engaging and worth your money than most illustrated dictionaries.

I love this book because even though my Spanish vocabulary is fairly extensive, as my son gets older there are more and more words I realize I don’t know. (Crane? Windmill? Boxcar?) We pretty much camp out on the trucks, trains, and farm pages right now, but hopefully I’ll get to study words for the grocery store and house one day too.  If you are wanting to teach your baby or toddler Spanish, but feel nervous about a limited vocabulary, this should help tremendously.

 

The Best Buenos Días Songs for Kids Learning Spanish

The Best Buenos Días Songs for Kids Learning Spanish

Inside: Buenos días songs and song lyrics.

Greetings songs and good morning songs are the perfect place to start, whether you’re learning Spanish at home or teaching a class. My favorite version is this one:

 

 

Buenos días Song Lyrics

 

 

The traditional Buenos días song lyrics, which are in the videos above, go like this:

Buenos días, buenos días.
¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo estás?
Muy bien, gracias, muy bien, gracias.
¿Y usted? ¿Y usted?

Spanish Playground had the great idea of singing it like this, to avoid the mix of tú and usted in the songs:

Buenos días, buenos días.
¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo estás?
Muy bien, gracias, muy bien, gracias.
¿Y tú, qué tal? ¿Y tú, qué tal?

Another idea I’ve heard is to incorporate the days of the week, if you’re teaching a class. Then the song could go like this (credit to Jane Vander Beek):

Buenos días, hoy es __________.
¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo estás?
Muy bien, gracias, muy bien, gracias.
¿Y, usted? ¿Y, usted?

 

I also have a Buenos días preschool lesson with activities, printables, links to vidoes, and games, if you would like more ideas! I love starting off classes with a greeting song. Saludos are really important in Hispanic countries, and tie in authentic culture.

Of course, replace buenos días with buenas tardes and buenas noches when the kids are ready. I find using actions or a prop like this helps:

Buenos días greeting cards for preschool Spanish lesson

Here are some additional song options:

 

 

 

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