Lesson 9: Simple Questions in Preschool Spanish

Lesson 9: Simple Questions in Preschool Spanish

Inside: A preschool lesson that introduce asking and answering questions in preschool Spanish, through comprehensible stories and input.

Lesson 9 Goals: I can answer very simple questions about myself.

Target Structures: busca, ve, eres, soy

Click here to see the week-by-week listing, and to access my overall unit plans. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far and do the ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant. If you are incorporating calendar time, ask about the day, the weather (¿Hace frío o ¿Hace calor?)

Lesson 9 Activities

Activity 1

In the previous eight units, the students have heard es many times. Today, we’ll start working with eres a bit, and try it out with our animal words.

Gather or make some farm animal masks (they’re included in a Unit 3 purchase). Call up a student to try a mask on. Point to them and say, “¡Eres una vaca!” You can ask them questions, too: “¿Eres un pollito? Eres un elefante?”

At the beginning, I don’t worry about answering with soy– sí o no is a good start. If you use this activity over several classes, you can add in asking the class: “Es un caballo?” Throw in other questions, of course, if you want: “El caballo dice muu? Es verde or marrón?” Then go back to the student, “¿Dices muu o nii?”

Activity 2

TPR ve and busca (attach motions to them). There are lots of little games you can play to practice these words. Here are some ideas:

  • Play “I spy” for ve. (If you want, you can play by saying “Veo un…” or “Veo con mi ojito pequeñito…”) Incorporate the colors, and big/small to give clues.
  • Hide some objects in the room. Say, “Uno, dos, tres, busca!” and they try to find them.
  • Have one student leave and give a small object to someone in the room. The student comes back, and everyone chants, “Uno, dos, tres, busca!” The student guesses who has it. You can give clues about which student it is by saying clothing colors.

Activity 3

Project and tell the story La gallina que busca a su pollito.

 

Activity 4

Story-tell using authentic books in Spanish. Oso pardo, oso pardo and ¿Eres mi mamá? would go well with lessons 7-9.

You *can* read the story in the full text, and let the kids see what language they recognize. I recommend narrating the book yourself, using only vocabulary that the students know. Since your students are probably non-readers, you are telling the story; they’re listening and enjoying the pictures.

If you’d like to hear the full story in Spanish, there are some read-alouds from native speakers below. You can always mute the sound and narrate yourself, too!

Stories for Activity 4:

 

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If you like this lesson, click to purchase the whole unit! You’ll get an editable skit, a printable mini-book, and more.

Learn Spanish with Kids: How to Start at Home

Learn Spanish with Kids: How to Start at Home

Inside: How to learn Spanish with kids, at home.

“Oh, I would love for my kids to learn Spanish. Your kids are so lucky!”

I hear this one often. Really, ask anyone if they’d like their kids to speak a second language and the answer will be YES. Of course we would. But then-

We barely remember high school Spanish. I took German. We can’t afford a tutor. I have no idea where to start. 

Don’t let excuses like this stop you from learning Spanish with your kids! The goals can be simple: exposure, fun, some new songs and new words. The earlier you can start, the better.

 

How to teach to teach your kids Spanish at home

 

Beginning early attunes the ear to new soundshard-wires the brain differently, and sets words and patterns into the long-term memory. It is one of those few things where the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to learn. Most students in the U.S. show up to their foreign language class in high school with zero practice– and what could be their most enjoyable, practical subject becomes something they are scared of and forget two years later. It’s never too late, either: learning a foreign language has amazing effects on adults as well.

Before I share my ideas, here are some don’ts.

  • DON’T be self-conscious. Learning a language for adults can feel awkward, but set a relaxed, fun tone anyway.
  • DON’T give up if you miss a week or two. Those songs and words stay in little minds longer than we think.
  • DON’T make perfection the goal. Do what you can. A little bit every day is great.

So, where to start? Here are some simple, easy ideas to teach your kids Spanish at home without spending money!

 

1. Learn Spanish with Kids Through Songs

 

If you only take one thing away from this post, it should be this one: learn and sing songs in Spanish. Songs are the BEST way for non-fluent parents and children to learn, and will keep sounds and phrases in the long-term memory longer than any App or game could. I have lists of songs on YouTube by theme, and recommend these CDs:

Diez Deditos/ Ten Little Fingers

De Colores and Other Latin American Folk Songs

You can know zero Spanish yourself, and still learn words, pronunciation, and phrases along with your kids. It’s much more important for children to know the sounds of the language than how to read it (Spanish phonetics are far easier than in English) and this is the very best way for them to develop an ear for the language. If you learn one song a month, you will have over 10 songs memorized in a year. Watch them together, and sing them in the car or as part of bedtime.

 

2. Find Spanish Resources Online

 

Use free apps and websites to learn and practice. DuoLingo App  is great for older students who can read and perfect for busy adults, in case you want to stay one step ahead. I’ve also collected awesome lists of free online Spanish resources for kids, free online Spanish resources for older students and adults.

 

How to teach kids Spanish at home

 

3. Go By Topics in Spanish

 

It can be overwhelming not knowing where to start. Choose a theme that interests you (food, colors, animals) and learn the words that go with it. It’s okay if you only do 3 or 4 topics a year! Learn some greetings, numbers 1-10, colors, and some foods. I have boards by topic on Pinterest so you can find links, activities, printables, and more by theme. Lingo Hut is a free site where you can search by topic, and at Quizlet you can make study lists and hear the pronunciation.

 

4. Learn Spanish with Your Kids Through Books.

 

Invest in some books or check them out from the library. If you took some high school Spanish but don’t feel comfortable producing language on your own, books are a good start. These two are my favorites:

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever / El mejor libro de palabras de Richard Scarry

¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)

You could also check out my list 50 Authentic Books in Spanish for Kids:

 

And 50 Bilingual Books in Spanish for Kids:

 

Picture Books for Kids in Spanish and English

 

5. Set Specific Language time to Speak Spanish as a Family

 

Pick a certain time during the week (maybe dinnertime on Thursday nights), where the whole family is specifically trying to practice what they’re learning. It could mean saying please, pass me, and thank you in Spanish, and using the food terms you know. Don’t wait to use Spanish because you aren’t fluent! Use what you know.

 

6. Use Props to Learn Spanish with Kids

 

Kids learn best when using real objects. If you are learning fruit, practice with the real thing. Another way to use props is to get a new stuffed animal or puppet, and introduce it as a Spanish-speaking ________. Have conversation or puppet play this way. This can sometimes help with a resistant learner or shy student who would rather act out speaking Spanish than speaking it directly.

 

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7. Play Games in Spanish

 

I love games! Learning Spanish with young kids should be a pleasant, successful experience, not stressful. I like using picture cards so English isn’t even part of the game. Play Bingo, Go Fish, or Memory. I have some game sets by theme for sale here, or free download here. If you feel uncomfortable saying the words in Spanish, practice your pronunciation at Lingo Hut, or cue up the words at SpanishDict. For extra practice, call out the words and have your kids draw the pictures themselves.

 

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8. Teach Your Kids Spanish with My Free Lessons

 

So far I have created three units in a series I names Español in the Jungle (I set the characters and stories in the Amazon rainforest). I designed these for parents (homeschoolers or families supplementing school) who are not native speakers, but remember a bit of high school Spanish or are willing to do a little prep of their own. Remember, speaking a foreign language is good for us adults too!

I have fables told in simple Spanish and also have a Preschool Spanish Series with plenty of links and freebies.

 

 

9. Make a Notebook to Track New Words

 

Let your kids make notebooks where they store what they’re learning, if they’re old enough. Use a composition notebook or three-ring binder and record new words and activities so it’s all together. I also have a Blank Pictionary and Illustrated Words Book that you can purchase to create personalized illustrated dictionaries.

 

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10. Learn Spanish with Kids through Movies and Shows

 

Sarah from A Life with Subtitles explains how to set your Netflix to Spanish, and I have a list of shows in Spanish on Netflix for kids.

 

Netflix Shows in Spanish for Kids

 

I hope this helps! It takes some work to get a Spanish routine going in your family, but it’s worth it. Learn Spanish with your kids, and you’ll never regret your decision to get started!

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Our Favorite Greetings Songs in Spanish

Our Favorite Greetings Songs in Spanish

Inside: Spanish greetings songs for kids, with “Hola, ¿cómo estás?” and other greetings.

 

If you’re wondering where to START in teaching your kids Spanish, almost every teacher starts with greetings. If you only make it through one topic in learning Spanish as a family, learn greetings. Your students will go into Spanish 1 with at least one week they can feel confident in! The songs this week teach things like “good night,” “good morning,” “how are you?” and “what’s your name?”

 

 

Spanish Greetings Songs

 

 

These are perfect phrases to work into your family vocabulary when you say hello in the morning and kiss goodnight.

 

1. Buenos días / Good Morning

 

 

2. Buenas noches / Goodnight

 

 

3. Buenos días, ¿cómo estás? / Good Morning, How are You?

 

 

4. ¿Cómo te llamas?

 

 

5. ¿Cómo te llamas? / What’s Your Name?

 

 

Don’t forget that I have created complete units that cover greeting and beginning Spanish! Also, check out my greetings Pinterest board below. I’ve created theme-specific boards in case you are looking for anything particular.

 

Follow Spanish Mama’s board Los saludos / Greetings on Pinterest.

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10 Spanish Christmas Songs Your Kids Will Love

10 Spanish Christmas Songs Your Kids Will Love

Inside: 10 Spanish Christmas songs for kids, on YouTube.

 

I love Christmas. I also love that it spans our two cultures (between the U.S. and Peru). Some of the songs my husband sang as a kid in Spanish, I sang in English. This list is a mix those songs (translated) and some I only learned after learning Spanish.

 

(I have a whole page with Spanish songs for kids, by theme, if you are looking for more songs! For Christmas in Spanish activities and resources, I’ve also got you covered. )

 

Our 10 Favorite Spanish Christmas Songs for Kids

 

There are many different versions of these songs, so I’ve just collected my favorites here. I tried to find a mix of religious and non-religious examples so there’s something for everyone. If I missed anything essential, let me know in the comments!

 

 

1. Noche de Paz / Silent Night

 

 

 

 

2. Mi burrito sabanero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Feliz Navidad

 

 

 

 

4. Navidad, navidad / Jingle Bells

 

 

 

 

5. Mira como beben los peces en el río

 

 

 

 

6. Ya viene el niñito

 

 

 

 

7. El niño de tambor / Little Drummer Boy

 

 

 

 

8. Rodolfo el reno / Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

 

 

 

 

9. Campana sobre campana

 

 

 

 

10. Niño lindo

 

 

 

 

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Spanish Christmas songs for kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spanish Nursery Rhymes: The Best Songs on YouTube

Spanish Nursery Rhymes: The Best Songs on YouTube

Inside: Spanish nursery rhymes on YouTube.

I remember this clearly: we’d just brought our new baby home. I rocked my roly-poly half-Peruvian son, back and forth. And I wanted to sing.

The thing is, we’d decided to raise our kids in Spanish even though I’m not a native speaker. Everything rushing up was in English– poems, fingerplays, songs. I quickly realized that mothering in Spanish required homework.

I needed to learn to sing to my kids in Spanish. I needed to know the songs so well that they were part of us, so we could sing in the car, in the rocker, while we changed diapers.

Nursery Rhymes in Spanish on YouTube

If you are looking for more resources for your Spanglish family, I also have collections of songs for kids in Spanish, 50 books in Spanish and English for kids, 50 authentic books in Spanish for kids, shows on Netflix in Spanish for kids, and resources for learning Spanish online.

 

Spanish Nursery Rhymes on YouTube

 

This list focuses on songs you can find in English and Spanish. (If you are looking for traditional Hispanic nursery rhymes, I have those too!) I feel like these nursery rhymes are the best of both worlds: I get to pass on my childhood favorites, and we’re all staying in Spanish. Win-win. My kids know these in English as well, from Grandma’s house, and I sing them in English sometimes. I think they just assume it’s normal to sing songs in several different languages, depending on where you are.

Have fun with these– learn as a family and enjoy! Please leave a comment if I missed any of your favorites.

 

Itsy Bitsy Spider / Incy wincy araña

 

Hickory Dickory Dock / Hickory dickory dock

 

Wheels on the Bus / Las ruedas del autobús

 

Cuckoo the Frog Sang / Cucú cantaba la rana

 

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star / Estrellita, ¿dónde estás?

 

Five Little Ducks / Cinco patitios

 

Three Little Kittens / Tres gatitos

 

Five Little Monkeys / Cinco monitos

 

Did I miss any of your favorite Spanish nursery rhymes? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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