Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)
Review: Sings the songs learned so far, ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant.
Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with our movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo,corre and salta, Duck, Duck, Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!
Lesson 5 Numbers in Spanish Activities
Introduce numbers 1-5 with the song Cinco monitos.
Act out the song Cinco monitos with props or finger puppets. You could choose someone for mamá, and someone for el doctor. Use props like a phone or stethoscope if you have them. Sing or play the song, and let them act out. To make it super-visual, lay down a sheet for la cama, and they act out saltando and se cae.
Once numbers 1-5 are down, choose a song for the numbers 1-10, or 1-20. There are many to choose from on YouTube (linked below!) You could also sing to the tune of One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians as Uno, dos, trespollitos (or monitos!). Finger puppets are provided in the activity pack for either way. You can line up the students, and they lift their puppet finger as part of the song.
Play an alternative to”Musical Chairs.” Hand out enough number cards for everyone (it’s fine if some students have the same numbers). Play music and the students can dance or walk around. When the music stops, call out a number. Whoever has that number sits down. The last ones standing win.
Supplemental Numbers in Spanish Resources:
Another cama song like Cinco monitos, with numbers 1-10 this time:
Song for learning numbers 1-20:
Authentic children’s song in Spanish (Chocolate) that repeats 1, 2, and 3:
Another classic children’s song in Spanish with counting:
And one more authentic song in Spanish with numbers!:
Click to purchase the whole unit. You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!
Show and discuss the mini-story Pablito no duerme.
To prep the story, you might gather some common items children sleep with and talk about them, or have the kids bring a special item they like to take to bed. You could also do a class graph: ¿Duermes con un oso? ¿Duermes con una manta especial?
In this story, the little boy asks for several things before going to sleep. After telling the story, it would be fun to act it out with props, and have a child pretend to be going to bed. You could change some of the details (for example, his mom doesn’t give him a cookie– she gives him an apple).
Play a version of Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?, to get in repetitions of duerme, despiértate, and busca. To go along with the unit, we’ll call it Gallina, gallina, ¡busca tu pollito! Here’s how to play!
A small cut-out of a pollito (a small object will suffice if you don’t have that prepped)
A chair, facing away from the rest of the group
Teacher picks one child to be the “gallina.” The rest of the class sits in a circle or in chairs.
Teacher tells the gallina: “¡duerme!” with the pollito under the chair.
One student is picked form the group to walk up and quietly grab the pollito, then sit back down with the pollito hidden.
Teacher tells the gallina: “¡despiértate!” The gallina has to guess who has the pollito.
The class chants: “Gallina, gallina, ¿busca tu pollito?”
The gallina gets 3 chances to guess who has it.
If the gallina can’t guess, the class says where it is. Then pick another student!
Show and tell the story Los pollitos y su mamá. This is a long story! Review the vocabulary and make sure that everything is already familiar for your students.
A nice, clear song with buenas noches repetitions:
Includes buenos días, buenas tardes, and buenas noches:
Pocoyó episode on going to bed, that goes along well with the story Pablito no duerme (also has a pato, which the kids should recognize as they listen!). You could listen to the original and pause to talk about it, or turn the sound down and narrate the video yourself .
Peppa Pig episode on nocturnal animals (especially fun if you have my Unit 4 packet, which studies nocturnal animals!):
Peppa Pig episode on a sleepover with friends. The language is complicated, so you might have to narrate quite a bit:
A silly, highly comprehensible song that teachers me gusta/no me gusta:
Click to purchase the whole unit. You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!
In Unit 4, I also have extension activities for reinforcing good morning and good night activities in Spanish. There are PPTs, printables, and a mini-book that study nocturnal animals versus those that eat during the day.
Inside: Lyrics and activities for the song Cinco monitos.
Cinco monitos– Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed– is a fun song for little (or bigger!) Spanish learners. Use it to teach numbers 1-5, and beginning phrases like la cama, no más, la cabeza, and se cayó.
Coming back to school after the winter break can be rough. Create a lesson or two around New Year’s traditions, and you can kick off the new semester with fun activities centered on Latino culture.
As explored in my New Year’s in Spanish post, there are a ton of good-luck rituals in the Hispanic world. From wearing the right underwear to stuffing down 12 grapes a midnight, there’s a little bit of everything! And there’s plenty of interesting traditions to capture your students’ attention.
Or consider a real-world task like making resolutions and/or wishes. There are plenty of #authres to make these sorts of activities even more meaningful.
Below, I’ve gathered all kinds of resources, so there should be something for everyone. Enjoy!
Spanish New Year’s Activities
Make New Year’s resolutions! Perhaps begin with a funny story about someone who has high hopes for the new year and sets intense goals, and then what actually happens Jan 1. OR go the inspirational route about someone who truly does turn over a new leaf (the Grinch, maybe). Then at the end of the story, students come up with their own resolutions.
Prepare a list of famous characters/people/celebrities. Then, write up one or more resolutions for each person. Show the list of people to the class, and read the resolutions out loud, while the students try to guess whose it is.
Make 12 wishes for the New Year, and write each one in a grape. (Following the tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight, and making a wish for each one eaten.) This is an output-heavy activity, so it might be best to brainstorm and give options for the students to choose from, or use for a more advanced class and then discuss.
For younger students, prepare “grapes” with a wish for the New Year written down. After talking about each wish, have the students pick just one wish for the next year. Then vote for favorites and do a graph to see what the most popular wish is!
Research superstitions to bring good luck on New Year’s, and compare them between countries/cultures.
Have students choose one word for the New Year, as explained here.
Inside: A round-up of traditions for New Year’s in Spanish.
When it comes to Hispanic New Year’s traditions, it’s all about bringing on the good luck. In most places, the partying begins on New Year’s Eve among family or friends, and most of the rituals take place at or around midnight. Then, the fiesta continues into the wee hours of the morning (along with plenty of fireworks to ring in the new year).
New Year’s in Spanish: 10 Good-Luck Traditions
As you’ll see, most of these traditions have to do with ways to make wishes for the year to come. Some of them are for the day of New Year’s Eve, and some must occur right at midnight. Read on to learn about these fascinating rituals across the Spanish-speaking world!
1. Eating 12 Grapes at Midnight
Many people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight, making a wish for each grape eaten. They must be eaten quickly (as the bell tolls, or in the first minutes of the new year), which is quite the task as Spanish grapes have large seeds. This tradition originated in Spain, though Mexico and other Latin American countries do this one as well. Read more about origins of the lucky green grapes of Spain here.
2. Wearing Yellow Underwear
Believe it or not, this is a very strong superstition! The color yellow represents good luck in many Hispanic countries, so many people sport yellow underwear as the new year rings in. In many countries, yellow or white is the color of choice for clothing on New Year’s; while red underwear means romance awaits.
3. Walking Around the Block with Suitcases
For this one, people walk around the block or the house with a suitcase for traveling opportunities in the New Year. Perhaps after stuffing down grapes, lentils, and champagne, you grab the piece of luggage right after midnight and get moving.
4. Burning Muñecos
In Ecuador and other places, people set up effigies (muñecos) after Christmas, and burn them for año nuevo. In some places, the doll is a generic form meant to represent the old year and burned as a way to say good-bye to the past. In other places, the effigies represent unpopular political figures, celebrities, or leaders.
5. Eating Lentils
At least in Chile, some people eat lentils right as the new year comes in, to usher in prosperity. Others eat it as a midday meal, saying that the round lentils resemble coins.
6. Holding Money at Midnight
Some people want to have money or coins (some insist on silver) in hand, as midnight strikes. This is also supposed to be good luck for a prosperous new year.
7. Drinking Champagne
As in many places, champagne is the drink of choice when welcoming the new year. The Latino twist is to drop a gold ring into your champagne glass, to bring in money. Fruit like strawberries or cherries is said to bring new love, or fidelity by a gold ring. Some say you must drink the entire glass and pull the object out, or it won’t work.
8. Cleaning the House
Cleaning the house thoroughly is an expression of “out with the old, in with the new.” Similar to burning muñecos, it symbolizes getting rid of the old year’s energies and welcoming in the next one, hopefully with good energy. Some people even put on only new clothes, to avoid bringing the past into the next year.
9. Throwing Water Out the Window
This is another ritual of throwing out the bad things from the past year, and starting the new year fresh. Some say that if the water falls on someone you don’t care for, bad luck will fall on them.
10. Standing on One Foot
Literally, this is a way to start the year “on the right foot.” As the clock strikes midnight– perhaps while stuffing down grapes– stand on your right foot!
Inside: My top recommendations for Spanish shows on Netflix.
I speak Spanish all day with my kids and as a teacher, but I need good input too! And lucky for me, there are more and more great shows to watch. Here are a bunch of suggestions (most of which I’ve personally watched).
As a semi-introvert, my ideal evening just might be curled at home with a good show. Not surprisingly, a good series is one of my favorite ways to learn more Spanish.
Below, I’ve included a brief commentary where I could, However, if you’re wondering about ratings, please be sure to click on the title and get a better idea of the content. Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!
This is a GREAT show. The drama of the main two character wasn’t actually my favorite: what makes the show are the endearing supporting characters. I love the aesthetics, clever dialogue, and lively personalities throughout. Set in Spain.
Often compared to Downton Abbey, El tiempo entre costuras is a mini-series based off a novel. Set during the Spanish Civil War, it follows a seamstress unlucky-in-love, who gets caught up between spies in Franco’s Spain. It has gorgeous scenery and costuming. This is one of my very favorites, and I’ve used it in class along with a study of the Spanish Civil War. Set in Spain and Morocco.
This was one of those shows I initially wrote off, then totally got into. The first episode is fairly explicit but gets a tamer as the series goes on. It’s quite the study in family disfunction, and turned out to be more complex, funny, and memorable than I expected. Both my husband and I have enjoyed it (I watched El tiempo entre costuras alone, haha). Set in Mexico.
Here’s your really well-done telenovela that even my action-loving husband couldn’t stop watching. Full of intrigue and mystery, it’s got plenty of the novela qualities– but with a solid story and characters to back it up. Like Velvet, the supporting characters are the best part of the story. (If you’re not finding it on Netflix, search Grande Hotel.) Set in Spain.
This was a hard show to watch, but one we both really liked. It’s an extensive series based on the life and rise of Pablo Escobar to power. A lot of the events shown were new to me, and filled in some gaps in the complicated relationship between the Colombian public and Escobar (even though it’s not a historical documentary). It was interesting to watch together, as my husband remembers much of the story from his childhood the nearby Peruvian jungle. Set in Colombia.
I just started this one and it looks really good. Difficult themes– life during the conflict between the FARC and the national military, re-integration after life as a guerilla, child soldiers– but still good. It manages to deal with those heavy themes while maintaining hope and everyday moments. Unlike many of the other series in this list, it gives a in-depth look into everyday life for working-class families in Latin America. Set in Colombia.
Starring the iconic Kate del Castillo as the first lady of Mexico, Ingobernable begins as her world is turned upside down and she finds herself running for her life. Accused of assassinating her husband, she must find her way outside her life of wealth and power, to prove her innocence. Set in Mexico.
From the creators of Gran Hotel and Velvet, this show is packed with favorite actors from both shows, as well as El barco and El internado. It follows 4 women who work for a cable company in the 20’s.I was a bit put off by the jarring modern music combined with a really gorgeous set, but enough of my friends like it that I think I’ll give it another chance. Set in Spain.
Confession: I haven’t watched this one! That’s pretty much Spanish-teacher sacrilege, I know. However– I have a lot of friends who LOVE it and swear by it. Set in a boarding school, it’s a mystery series. Set in Spain.
This one is set to come to Netflix on January 28, 2018. It’s a Dr. Who-type show and supposed to be really good! It’s a time-travel theme about two students who join forces under the direction of the Time Ministry of Spain, to go back in time and correct mistakes. This should be great to show in class– lots of history and art, set in Spain.
It’s a reasonable criticism that too many shows/movies paint Latin America as full of drugs, violence, etc. And this show was hard to watch for the violence, same as Pablo Escobar. I did think it was well-done though, and we both got into it (it was a really interesting background to Kate del Castillo’s documentary “The Day I Met Chapo”). Set in Mexico.
15. Sobreviviendo a Escobar
Just to continue right along with narco-theme series, Sobreviviendo Pablo Escobar was a fascinating follow-up to Pablo Escobar (and Narcos). Set in Colombia.
Another Spanish mystery, El barco follows a group of young people on a boat during a global cataclysm, who believe themselves to be the only people left on earth. We got really into this one initially, though my interest waned a bit with the extreme drama every episode, hah. If you liked El internado and Gran hotel, you’ll probably like this one! Set in Spain (sort’ve… they’re in the ocean most of the time).