Authentic Spanish Songs with Commands

Authentic Spanish Songs with Commands

Inside: Authentic songs in Spanish with commands (or mandatos). 


Here I’ve collected authentic songs examples of commands. When students hear language over and over, in context, they pick up the forms more easily. If you teach explicit grammar, it’s much easier to explain verbs when the students already have examples you can reference. 

This list is heavy on the affirmative commands, so I will keep looking for more negative examples. (If you’re looking for more lists of Songs in Spanish by theme and category, I have a TON you can browse through or save for later.)


Spanish Songs with Commands


1.  Madre Tierra – Chayanne


A positive, environmental-themed song that has positive tú commands, mainly in the chorus. Preview the video below for the dancing, and use the second video instead if you need to. 




2. Te Mueves Tú, Se Mueven Todos – Ha*Ash, Reik, David Bisbal


So many great examples of commands here- positive, negative, tú form, nosotros. Such a fun one, to!



3. Dímelo – Marc Antony 


Dímelo by Marc Antony is nice because there aren’t many lyrics, and everything gets repeated. The song includes a negative command (no me dejes), a positive one (ven), and a positive with two pronouns (dímelo). 



4. Di Que No Te Vas – Morat


This one isn’t as packed with mandatos as the other songs here. Mira and di get repeated over and over again, so it may work as a very introductory song with an example of a regular and irregular verb in the tú command form. 


5. Dile al Amor – Aventura 


This bachata classic has your commands in the 3rd-person form (speaking to Love, actually). And soooo many reps of dale and dile


6. Abrázame


Abrázame has a lot of examples of commands with the pronoun attached at the end (abrázame, quédate, dame), with infinitives + pronoun. If you want to make that connection or contrast the examples, this song would be helpful.



7. Dímelo – Enrique Iglesias


You’ll need to preview and make a decision on this one. The original video is DEFINITELY not school-appropriate… BUT, the lyrics are perfect for commands. Your call!



9. Recuérdame – Coco (Carlos Rivera)


Who doesn’t love a song from Coco? The only command is “recuérdame,”  but you’ll hear it again and again. And…. Coco.


10. Olvídame y Pega la Vuelta – Jennifer Lopez y Marc Antony


Cheese it up with these duets. The second one has more negative commands!



11. Sé Chévere – Sr. Wooly


Not strictly “authentic,” but THE BEST SONG EVER for commands. Your students will love you for showing this one. 



What Spanish songs with commands did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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Spanish song with commands


The Best Spanish Podcasts for All Levels & Learners

The Best Spanish Podcasts for All Levels & Learners

Inside: The best Spanish podcasts for learning at home.


Most people will tell you that the best way to keep up your Spanish is to use it. That’s certainly ideal, and conversation will improve your fluency in speaking. However, there’s nothing that will affect your proficiency like getting language into your head. 

For those of us who are non-native speakers, podcasts are a perfect solution for learning more. As a non-native teacher and parent of bilingual kids, speaking all day isn’t enough: I need good input too! While I love my Spanish shows on Netflix, the flexibility of podcasts can’t be beat: up your proficiency while commuting to work, folding laundry, or exercising. Win-win!

Here are awesome podcasts, whether you’re a beginner or looking to brush up on your skills. 

The Best Spanish Podcasts (for Free)


Personally, I get frustrated when I think I’ve found a great new resource and then realize it’s not free. I don’t mind paying for quality; I just like to know up front. So here are your totally podcasts in Spanish with totally free audio that stands on its own (even if transcripts or other perks are paid options). 


1. RadioAmbulante

Levels: Intermediate to Advanced. 

Produced by NPR, the stories in this podcast are compelling with top-quality production. Topics include currents events and cultural themes, with a special emphasis on Latin America, Spain, and the U.S. You can search episodes by theme and country. 

I recommend this podcast for learners who can converse comfortably in Spanish, but need to keep up their skills or are teaching advanced classes. 

Transcripts in Spanish and English are included.  



Levels: Intermediate to Advanced. 

Going to the Listado de episidios is the easiest way to start navigating this extensive site. All of the episodes can be listened to on the site, and include a transcript. 

Although the site offers “Spanish 101 lessons”, they are really grammar lessons in Spanish and would be very difficult for beginners on their own. There are a ton of videos on YouTube as well.

The only cost for the site is if you want to purchase their audiobooks. 


3. Spanish Obsessed

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

Lisa and Rob co-host this podcast, which has dozens of well-produced episodes. Even the very first levels are conversation-based, and all episodes include transcripts. Rob is a learner and Lisa is native speaker (from Colombia, which tends to be an easier accent for beginners in my opinion). They have a nice pace and a relaxed way about chatting together.

Translations, exercises and downloads are for purchase, but once you sign up you get access to the podcasts.  



4. DuoLingo

Level: Intermediate 

I LOVE that DuoLingo decided to focus on stories for their new podcast. It’s a little different, in that it switches back and forth between Spanish and English. I am not sure what to think about that, but I appreciate the compelling nature of the Spanish, and that it’s not a translation back and forth. The speed and language are great for intermediate learners. 

Transcripts are included, too!



5. Español Automático

Levels: Intermediate to Advanced

Another excellent option from Spanish native speakers, this one features podcasts centered on themes or certain grammar structures. This is a good one for learners who speak and understand, but want to refine their skills or fine-tune weak spots. 

Here’s a link to see all the podcasts at a glance (easier than navigating from the home page). 



6. Notes in Spanish

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

A mix of Spanish and English, Notes in Spanish focuses functional language you hear “on the street.” This is not straight immersion-style, but rather teaches important, every day phrases at the beginning, with pauses so you can repeat the after the speakers. At the beginner level, there is more explanation than conversation. As you move up, it becomes more natural conversation.

You’ll find that Ben and Marina, the hosts, are very relaxed and assuring. Ben is a learner, and Marina is a native speaker.

You will want to listen to this podcast in order, as each episode refers to previous episodes. Once you get to the iTunes stores, it’s VERY easy to go from episode to episode, which I like, and the website is easy to navigate. 

7. Profedele

Levels: Intermediate to Advanced

This is another new Podcast, with 12 episodes so far. Each episode focused on a different topic. If you teach by unit, these are helpful as you can probably find something to align with what you’re studying. 

Each podcast comes with a transcript in Spanish, and can be streamed on YouTube or Cloudstream.



Partially Free Spanish Podcasts


It’s hard to find podcasts for true novices. Your best bet might be following a channel on YouTube like Dreaming Spanish, which you can slow down (when you click on the settings button in the lower right corner) and where you’ll still have some visuals. But here are my best suggestions for those who’ve learned some but are still getting started. 


1. News in Slow Spanish

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

(Though beginner levels are technically offered, they seem to be grammar modules primarily in English– keep that in mind.)

When they call this one “News in Slow Spanish,” they actually mean it: the speakers are clear, slow, and enunciated. I like the option of speakers from Spain or Latin America, and each episode has the transcript below. More difficult parts are bolded, and hovering over those phrases shows a translation.

With the basic, free access, you can still listen to current news clips. The transcripts, grammar, quizzes, and a few more features include higher subscription costs. 


2. Coffee Break Spanish

Levels: Beginner to Intermediate – Advanced

Coffee Break Spanish produces high-quality podcasts, beginning with lessons for novices and more conversational as the levels move up. The site is a little tricky to navigate, and it helps just to go to iTunes or the Android version, to access all the free podcasts in one place. 




3. Podcasts in Spanish

Levels: Intermediate – Advanced 

It was unclear on the site what the levels meant, but Level 1 already seemed to be intermediate. If you want worksheets and transcripts you have to pay, but all of the audio is free. There are a TON of audio files here. 




More Spanish Listening Resources


Here I’ve collected resources that aren’t podcasts, but still are helpful to know about!


1. Spanish Proficiency Exercises

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

Totally free, this is a very organized site with clips of native speakers addressing specific topics.  Each topics will have a variety of speakers with different accents, answering the same questions. 

Includes transcripts in both English and Spanish. 



2. Practica Español

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

Wow. This site is new to me, but it is incredible. It contains some Spanish lessons and a huge database of news articles. When you click on “Noticias,” you can choose levels A, B, or C to only see articles and audio that fit what level you need. This is one of the few sites I’ve seen that truly has novice-level reading and audio based on actual news topics, not just explanations or grammar.

Additionally, most articles have a real news clip in Spanish, with comprehension questions, and then related some grammar and vocabulary in context. Definitely bookmark this one!


3. Spanish Listening

Level: Beginner to Advanced

These video archives of native speakers are really easy to search: grammar, level, topic, or country. 


4. Curiosamente

Level: Advanced

Created by native speakers, for native speakers, this is a YouTube channel that explores fascinating questions like “Why is the sky blue?” and “Why do we have Deja Vú? 



Did I miss any of your favorite Spanish podcasts? Let me know in the comments!


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Spanish Easter Traditions: Ideas & Resources for the Classroom

Spanish Easter Traditions: Ideas & Resources for the Classroom

Inside: A round-up of classroom iresources for Spanish Easter traditions.


La Pascua– Easter in Spanish– is a big deal across the Spanish-speaking world, whose history is closely connected to the Catholic church. The month of Lent culminates in Semana Santa, which commemorates the last week in the life of Jesus. In Spain and many Latin American countries, Easter is a bigger deal than Christmas, with deeply rooted traditions.

I’ve included a mix of religious and non-religious activities. In my opinion, it’s important to acknowledge the religious roots because they makes sense of many cultural traditions. I think you can do this without pushing religious beliefs, but I’ve tried to include non-religious options if you have to be careful to stay secular. 

Let’s not re-invent the wheel for ideas in the classroom! I’ve gathered some awesome resources, for all ages. 


Spanish Easter Traditions

 easter in Spanish class

Fun Ideas


Here’s an overview of ideas for teaching about or celebrating Easter traditions in Spanish. As you scroll down, you’ll see the videos, links, and expanded resources you might want to use. This is just the condensed version:


  • Learn about cascarones by making them, watching how-to videos, or seeing how they’re made and used throughout Latin America.
  • Re-use those plastic eggs for a variety of activities! Do scrambled sentences inside, use for maracas, or make a matching activity.
  • Read infographs and watch videos to learn about the cultural traditions surrounding Pascua. Compare/contrast traditions with those in the US. 
  • Tell or storyask a story based on Easter themes: cascarones gone wrong between friends, something Spring-based (mention that in South America seasons are reversed).



Printable vocabulary coloring sheet from Spanglish Baby:

Conejo Finger Puppets (scroll alllll the way down to the songs section to see the Conejito song!)

Conejo Finger Puppets Search from Spanish Playground

Conversation Questions from Spanish Playground

Semana Santa Coloring Pages (Religious)



There are lots of infographs you can use with Easter. These are fun to to prompt discussion and give the students a chance to see what they can understand from an authentic resource.


Credit: Twitter



This is only a portion of the original infograph. See the original here


Visit my Easter in Spanish board on Pinterest to find lots more realia!

Spanish Easter Traditions


The following videos are designed for Spanish learners who want to know more about traditions in Spain and Latin America.


An Interactive Video on Semana Santa

This one is so cool! You’ll learn all about foods and celebrations all over the Spanish-speaking, and the students get to pick which ones to study first. 



Semana Santa, Spanish Easter



Procesiones y Semana Santa



Bilingual Intro to Holy Week



Activities with Eggs


Make cascarones! You can have your students paint them or color with markers, fill them with confetti, and maybe even take everyone outside to break them on each other.

Throw Away Your Textbook has some good tips for doing cascarones, as does Mundo de Pepita

Use plastic eggs to do this scrambled sentence activity from Señora Chase. The nice thing about this one is that you can tie the sentences into whatever theme/story/song you are working on, but it feels Easter-y/Spring-ish because of the eggs.

Use another version of scrambled sentences Totally Comprehensible Latin, with whole sentence strips inside the eggs. This is a dictation & listening activity that can be done in pairs. It takes a little work upfront, but then you only have to supervise once it get going!

5 Ways to Use Leftover Plastic Eggs from Secondary Spanish Space: lots of fun ideas here!

Make maracas from plastic eggs with this SUPER-EASY craft. 



Videos on Cascarones


See how cascarones de huevos are prepared in a Mexican market. 


How-to in Spanish:


How-to, as explained by a kid:




Videos On Alfombras


Las Alfombras en Honduras (introduced in English):



Detailed video of the Alfombras de Aserrín process:


Alfombras from Guatemala:



Semana Santa Resources


Make alfombras with DIY Sand Alfombras 

Browse these photos of real-life Guateman alfombras

Semana Santa vocab at a glance. (Visiting this site downloads an audio file– you can choose to block it.)

Semana Santa Webquest in English

La semana santa en Guatemala from Estudia Feliz. This story includes preterite and imperfect as a teacher recounts her experience while traveling there, and she has more printable resources on her site. 



Authentic Videos on Semana Santa


Here are authentic videos that introduce Semana Santa celebrations in different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. 


Semana Santa in Peru



Semana Santa in Spain

Be aware that the outfits worn on these processions look like the KKK. The capes are meant to symbolize rising to heaven. You will definitely want to preview, and discuss with your classes before using them. (Good opportunity to discuss how culture shapes our reaction to images and symbols.) 




Semana Santa in Guatemala












De Colores –  A famous & traditional song that works well with spring vocabulary. 


El Conejito Blanco: So cute, and non-religious for those who need that!







I would love to hear about your favorite resources too! Let me know in the comments what else you would add to the list.


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National Foreign Language Week: The Best Resources for Schools

National Foreign Language Week: The Best Resources for Schools

Inside: Ideas and resources for National Foreign Language Week


National Foreign Language Week was founded in 1957 to help make students understand the importance of studying a second language. (I prefer the term World Language Week, but didn’t get to choose it myself. So I’ll use the term that Google can find!) This is the perfect week to shine the light on your Spanish program: parental and administrative buy-in always helps.

First, I’ll list a few ideas from other teachers for celebrating the week. Then, I’ve collected videos and articles that talk about the incredible benefits of language learning, to share with your classes or school community. There’s no substitute for letting the magic of Spanish speak for itself– through authentic communication, stories, and music in class– but sometimes a handy video or visual helps!


National Foreign Language Week Resources


Suggestions from fellow teachers for awareness at school:


11 Fun Facts About SpanishInfographic More Fun Facts About Spanish by


Resources on language learning:


1. How Learning A New Language Makes You More Tolerant



2. Sorry STEM, Google Just Made the Case for More Foreign Language Education

This is an AWESOME article about how “The soft skills valued in leaders are byproducts of foreign language acquisition.” Language learning isn’t just good for you and the world: it develops skills valued by future employers.


3. How Languages Evolve


Learn a little about the history of languages with this video:


4. The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain


An excellent 5-minute introduction to the science and benefits of bilingualism.


5. Speaking A Second Language Makes You Smarter


I haven’t been able to verify the research behind this video, but it lists a lot of benefits I’ve personally experienced. 


6. How Languages Are Connected


This is a beautiful graphic that shows the origins of the world’s major languages.

Click to see the full, original print from Minna Sundberg


7. How Learning Languages Affect Our Brain:


How Learning Languages Affects Our Brain #infographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan

Spanish Bug Books for Toddlers and Kids

Spanish Bug Books for Toddlers and Kids

Inside: Spanish bug books for kids. 


My kids are really into bugs. Sometimes I’ll find them turning over rocks in the yard to see what treasures they’ll find underneath. I’ve had to study up to learn a lot of the names myself! Today I’ve collected my favorite books about bugs in Spanish, to read as a family. (Looking for more books? See my posts on 50 Bilingual Books in Spanish and English, and 50 Authentic Picture Books in Spanish.)

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


Spanish Bug Books for Kids


Insectos! (Dk Readers En Espanol. Level 2)

Here’s a general guide and easy reader for bugs in Spanish. I like the DK readers for non-fiction, and this one will be helpful if you have a curious child or a learning the names together. 




..Sabes algo sobre insectos?/ Do You Know about Insects? 

This is another general guide, with good realistic photos and facts about insects in Spanish. 




La araña muy ocupada (Spanish Edition)

My kids really enjoy this book, which is a delightful introduction to how spiders spin webs. The spider and her web are raised, and little hands love to feel the growing web. 




La abeja de más (Spanish Edition)

A funny fictional story about a colony of bees who discover an unknown bee has entered their hive. This is a fun look into the inner workings of a hive, the queen bee, and worker bees. 



La vida de la abeja (¡Mira cómo crece!) (Spanish Edition)

Here’s a close-up look in the entire lifespan of a bee, from egg to adult. 




La oruga muy hambrienta/The Very Hungry Caterpillar: bilingual board book (Spanish Edition)

This is one of our very favorites, and a gentle introduction into the lifecycle of a caterpillar and butterfly. It’s hard to get better than Eric Carle! 


National Geographic Readers: De la Oruga a la Mariposa (Caterpillar toButterfly) 

Here’s a non-fiction look into the lifecycle of a butterfly, witch good photos and explanations. As a non-native Spanish speaker, it’s so helpful to have the technical terms for me to learn!





La Mariposa

Butterflies are just the backstory to this touching book about a boy who doesn’t speak English in his new school, but it’s a beautiful story with beautiful pictures. 



La Mariquita Malhumorada (Spanish Edition)

Another Eric Carle treasure that’s been translated into Spanish, this one follows a grouchy ladybug who meets lots of other insects and finally learns some manners. It’s also a good peek into a ladybug’s life.





La luz de Lucía (Spanish Edition)

This story is about a little firefly who learns to accept her own uniqueness and shine her light. 





Non-fiction Guides to Specific Insects in Spanish


If you are looking for specific guides or want to have a collection about different insects, you may want to check out these titles!














If you’re looking for more activities to do with bugs in Spanish, I have a bilingual game pack, with picture cards to play Memory, Go Fish, Bingo, and a mini-book. Check it out for some extra bug fun!


Spanish Valentine’s Day Inspiration: Bulletins Boards and More!

Spanish Valentine’s Day Inspiration: Bulletins Boards and More!

Inside: Spanish Valentine’s Day bulletin boards and decor: inspiration for decorating your Spanish classroom in February.


I have a confession. Last year, I made my bulletins board in August. And there they sat, all year. I didn’t switch them out once. 

The world did not end, and my students learned plenty of Spanish. But there’s still something feel-good about changing the scene, freshening up the room, and drawing attention to new language.

If you are low on time, no worries! I’ve got some easy ideas for decorations as Valentine’s day rolls around this year. And just in February– when winter is dragging on– some red and pink really brightens thing up. 

If you ended up here looking for Spanish Valentine’s Day printables, see my huge post on Día del amor y amistad printables and classroom activities!


Spanish Valentine’s Day Bulletin Boards


Let’s start off with a tour of some fun bulletin boards! (Click on the name or image to visit the original creator.)


1. Mis Clases Locas – El amor está en el aire


How eye-catching is this one? And Allison made sure to laminate everything, so it can be re-used from year to year. Especially with the banners that hang on a string, bringing this out every February would be a snap. 


2. A Whole Llama Love – Gloria Dempsey

I saw Gloria’s post in a Spanish teacher’s group and fell in love with it. How could you not? I think she used the hearts below from Living Mi Vida Loca, which are free printables. 

llama bulletin board

I loved this one so much I went back and made the phrase “A WHOLE LLAMA LOVE into a free printable you can download right here. I freehanded the llamas, but I have a free llama picture file if you want to project them on the board so they’re large enough to trace. 

a whole llama love bulletin board


3. Hearts Board – @missteachercadet

This is so sweet and simple enough that you could have one of your classes do the hears themselves! It also doubles as a handy vocabulary reference throughout the month.


4. Collage board – Spanish Mama

This is about as low-prep as they come! Just print onto whatever paper color you like, mix and match, and done! Tomorrow I will be linking to the files to make this– there are a bunch of options to choose from!

Spanish valentine's day bulletin board


5. Kid World Citizen

If you ever create bulletin boards or displays in a common area in school, this is great idea. You could collect from different classrooms too!

valentine's decor in Spanish


6. Conversation Heart + Envelope – Sra. Davila-Madwid

Don’t have time or space to do up a whole bulletin board? Try something like this awesome door decoration! I love these bright colors. 


6. Candy Heart – Srta. Spanish

Another variation on the conversation hearts theme, this time with a way for students to add their ideas. Love it!


Spanish Valentine’s Day Decor Freebies


1. Hearts Banner – Living Mi Vida Loca

This is the free printable the internet has been going nuts over. Print onto colored paper, string together and go! 



2. Terms of Endearment- Spanish Mama

We all know terms of endearment are huge in Latino culture, right? Bust them out in February with this list I made. If you go to the post, the download also includes an ink-friendly version with a lighter background. 





Spanish Valentine’s Day Decor to Buy


1. Poster – Señora Lee

I love this idea because it works for people like me– who aren’t switching out our bulletin boards every month! She suggest simply buying a dollar store frame, and switching out the posters as needed. So nice, because you can save everything from year to year. 

valentine's decor in Spanish


2. Valentine’s Banner Decorations – Mundo de Pepita

Here are some darling decorations that provide comprehensible language too. In four different languages, terms of endearment are presented in the shape they refer to (media naranja, for example). I love anything watercolor, and these are so pretty!

mundo de pepita decor


3. Poems from The Engaged Spanish Classroom

These adorable poems are easy enough for even novice learners to do. When they are done, you could put them up as a decoration, too, to display student work and add a splash of Valentine’s color to the room.




Do you have a bulletin board or decor that you’d like to add? Leave your idea or link in the comments below!

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Spanish Valentine's Day Bulletin Boards


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