Spanish Parts of the Body Songs for Kids

Spanish Parts of the Body Songs for Kids

Inside: Spanish parts of the body songs: a list for kids on YouTube.


Here are my favorite songs for learning the parts of the body in Spanish. There are lots of games that work well with this theme, too, like Simón dice. Once your classes know the basic parts of the body, brain breaks are super easy to do! Give commands like “tócate la cabeza” or “cierra los ojos,” and stay in the target language more easily. 


Spanish Parts of the Body Songs


1. A mi burro


This authentic song in Spanish includes some body parts (cabeza, cuello, corazón) . It also repeats “le duele” a lot, if you’re teaching how to express that something hurts. 



2. Cabeza, hombros, rodillas y pies


Most kids already know this one in English, and it’s a fun one to teach as the pace gets faster and faster. 



3. Saco una manito


To learn about hands, this is a sweet classic. It’s nice to use right before story time or circle time when we want everyone sitting with hands in their own space!



4. Todo mi cuerpo


These lyrics are similar to “cabeza, hombros, rodillas, pies,” but with more high frequency parts. As always with Calico Spanish, the song is easy to understand. 



5. Baila la cumbia


Get in some culture with this fun mix of cumbia and body parts!


spanish body parts songs

15 Powerful Spanish Songs About Immigration

15 Powerful Spanish Songs About Immigration

Inside: Spanish songs about immigration: a playlist. 


While researching for a post on immigration, I decided to look into songs. And wow– I came across some amazing music. These shouldn’t be missed, so I’m devoting a whole post to them. 

I think it’s hard to teach a unit on immigration. If you have a large population of immigrant families, the topic obviously hits close to home. For other classrooms, the temptation to apply stereotypes and generalize is huge. If our resources are lopsided, just one story gets told: it’s easy for students to walk away assuming every undocumented immigrant has a similar back story, or that most immigrants are undocumented.

In reality, people move countries for varied reasons, and under many circumstances. With these songs, I hope to offer more than “one story,” so your students can connect to varied artistic voices and perspectives.

(If you’re looking for more lists, see my Songs in Spanish page.)


Spanish Songs About Immigration


I attempted to attach a level to each song– hopefully it’s accurate. By saying a song is novice-high, I don’t mean that a NH student will immediately understand every word. I mean that with some teacher support, the song will be useful and largely comprehensible. The students could read it over it and get the gist. 

(PLEASE be mindful that several songs here will be difficult to watch, especially for families that have been affected by deportation experiences.)


1. Pobre Juan


Maná wrote this song in 2002, around the time that border crossings were at an all-time high. It’s written in story-form, and heavy. Maná says this: 

Pobre Juan” … es una triste realidad que sucede todos los días, una historia de Juan y miles de inmigrantes mexicanos y Latinoamericanos que fallecen en la lucha de cruzar la frontera (y) fallecen o desaparecen.

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up, narrated in past tense.)



2. Fronteras – Gaby Moreno 


While not officially an immigration song, the themes (“fronteras,” “esperanza,” and “yo pertenezco aquí“) lend themselves well to the topic. The song shows scenes and stories from Guatemala, which is where was Gaby Moreno was born before relocating to the U.S.

I like using this one because it offers hopeful language and music, while showing beautiful scenes and strong characters from Guatemala. 

(Level: Novice-High and up, mostly present tense.)



3. Un Besito Más – Jesse y Joy 


This one is powerful. Un Besito Más shows the story of a couple attempting to make a new life in the U.S. after crossing the border, and the terrible complications of children who have citizenship being separated from undocumented parents. It’s written from the perspective of a child who stayed in the U.S. after her parents were deported.

(Level: Novice-High and up. Lots of imperfect tense and present tense.)


While working with this song, I made some slides with screenshots from the video that narrate the story, using mostly past tenses. Feel free to use! (The editable version is available as part of my Voces de los inmigrantes Song Pack.) 



4. ICE El Hielo – La Santa Cecilia


Ice El Hielo gets a bit more political, and was produced as part of the #Not1More series. The video shows vignettes of Latino immigrants living the U.S., who later get taken by ICE and deported. Hard to watch, for sure, but reflects the reality and uncertainty of living and working without documents here. 

(Level: Novice-High and up, with support. Mix of tenses.)


I also made some slides for this one, using simple language for novices, in the present tense. Feel free to use! (The editable version is also available as part of my Voces de los inmigrantes Song Pack.) 



5. Ave Que Emigra


Another Gaby Moreno favorite, this song describes her personal experience of emigrating to the U.S. 

“Recuerdos desde mi infancia
Que a veces parten el alma
Mi Guate nunca la olvido
La llevo siempre conmigo…”

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up, due to some low-frequency phrases. The video works well for discussing present life vs. past experiences.)



6. A Las Tres – Enanitos Verdes 


A Las Tres is written from the perspective of an immigrant working far away from his family, and sending money home to support them. This is a powerful perspective on the conflict of wanting (or needing) the opportunities found in the U.S., while yearning for home. 

(Level: Novice-Mid and up. Mainly present tense and comprehensible phrasing.)


7. Mis Dos Patrias – Los Tigres del Norte


Los Tigres del Norte have several immigration-themed songs (Mojados Tres Veces, Jaula de Oro), but I included this one because it explores a lightly different theme: actually living in the this, as a new citizen, and feeling split between two identities.

(Level: Novice-High and up, I think. With some support upfront, the song is pretty accessible.)



Songs 1-7 are available part of my Voces de los inmigrantes Song Pack. Check it out if you’d like some ready-to-go printables and activities, or keep scrolling!


8. Papeles Mojados – Chambao


If you want something outside the typical Latino-US box, here’s your immigration song in Spanish. 

(Level: Intermediate- Mid and up.)


9. Pa’l Norte – Calle 13 


Use this one with caution in class– preview for sure. It’s one of the most provoking songs out there, both in the video and lyrics. 

Hoy me voy Pa’l norte sin pasaporte
Sin transporte
A pie, con las patas
Pero no importa este hombre se hidrata
Con lo que retratan mis pupilas
Cargo con un par de paisajes en mi mochila
Cargo con vitamina de clorofila
Cargo con un rosario que me vigila
Sueño con cruzar el meridiano

(Level: Intermediate-Low or Mid and up, with lots of metaphorical language.)



10. El Inmigrante – Calibre 50


Piensan que por que brinque la linea
Soy un narcotraficante
Ya basta de mil humillaciones
Nomas por ser “inmigrante”
Estoy cantando por toda mi gente

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)


11. El Mojado – Ricardo Arjona


El Mojado takes on the term “wetback,” though it’s worth noting that the word in Spanish doesn’t carry quite the same connotations. He describes the experience and anxiety of living without papers in the U.S.

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)


12. “Shock” in Arizona – Ana Tijoux


A song of protest to abuses of power and discrimination in the American southwest. 

(Level: Intermediate-High and up.)



13. Lágrimas del Corazón – Grupo Montéz De Durango


A tribute to the fathers who leave their children behind to work and send money home, the lyrics switch between a son and a father who are apart. 

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)


14. Bandera – Aterciopelados


A gripping commentary on immigration, privilege and power. 

(Level: Novice-High and up.)



15. Clandestino – Manu Chao


Reggae-style, this song tells the story about being termed “cladestino” for not having papers. Contains the word marihuana

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)




What immigration songs in Spanish did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. 

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Spanish songs about immigration


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 with 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


Authentic Spanish Songs with the Subjunctive Mood

Authentic Spanish Songs with the Subjunctive Mood

Inside: The best Spanish songs with the subjunctive mood. 


The subjunctive is one of the harder forms to master. I still mess it up, especially when speaking about the past! 

But let’s not make the mistake of leaving it entirely to Spanish 3 or 4. You can still slip it in (¡Que tengas un buen día!), and this song list is ready whenever you’d like to emphasize the subjunctive mood. 

(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.)

Let’s take a tour of our top picks!


Spanish Songs with Subjunctive


Songs in the present subjunctive are at the beginning, and you can find the imperfect subjunctive near the end of the list. 


1. Sueños – Diego Torres


This is a really happy, catchy song full of the subjunctive mood. (Mostly in the context of “quiero que…”)


2. A Dios Le Pido – Juanes 


One of the most iconic Juanes songs out there, the subjunctive here is triggered by a request/desire. This one is PACKED with subjunctive verbs!



3. Azul – Natalia Lafourcade 


Azul has themes you could discuss at length with advanced classes. You’ll find the subjunctive triggered by the form of “tengo miedo que…”



4. Ojalá Que Llueva Café – Juan Luis Guerra


Here you can find a lot of the Ojalá que + verbs, in the context of a social-justice oriented song. 


6. Sólo Le Pido a Dios


With Sólo Le Pido a Dios, you’re exposing your students to the subjunctive while giving them an amazing dose of the best of Latino culture. There are many, many covers of this song. I’ve included a few below– it might be nice to listen and compare versions. 






6. Que Suenen los Tambores – Victor Manuelle 


It’s almost impossible to listen to this one without dancing. There’s a ton of the subjunctive mood, mixed in with a lot of commands.



7. Exigimos – Doctor Krapula


I am *not* very good at branching out into diverse genres, so here’s my attempt. If your class like punk rock, they’ll love this one and it’s message of making the planet & world a better place. 



8. Sería Feliz – Julieta Vengas 


If you’re moving into the imperfect subjunctive, this is a good one to start with. Includes examples of si ______, sería feliz. 



9. Si No Te Hubieras Ido


There are lots of version of this one! I’m including my favorites. It’s only one line that has the huberias ido phrase, but it’s a memorable one and might be a good introduction to the imperfect subjunctive. 




10. Si Yo Fuera un Chico – Beyoncé


This will definitely be a conversation starter and a memorable way to learn “fuera.” There’s a lot of conditional, as well .




What subjunctive songs did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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Awesome Spanish Songs for Upper Elementary Classes

Awesome Spanish Songs for Upper Elementary Classes

 Inside: Spanish songs for upper elementary students: a clean & comprehensible playlist. 


Many Spanish teacher struggle to find good resources for upper elementary students. For students in 4th-6th, especially, most song options either feel baby-ish or have themes that are too mature. 

So my latest challenge is finding songs that are appropriate, fun, and comprehensible for these ages!

You can also explore my page Songs in Spanish for Kids to Adults


Spanish Songs for Upper Elementary


If you have any suggestions, or cautions about the song I’ve chosen, let me know! I’d like to hit twenty song for this list. 


1. Un Poco Loco – Coco


Here’s a catchy song from the ever-popular Coco. The entire song may not be comprehensible, but the line “un poco loco” certainly will be.



2. Soy Yo – Bomba Estereo


Soy Yo actually features a protagonist who’s upper-elementary-aged, with a positive message and video. AND it has good high-frequency words! 



3. Vivir Mi Vida


One of the best songs for novices out there, this one works for elementary students too! If you ever teach voy a + infinitives, there’s no better song: reír, bailar, vivir, gozar, llorar. If you use this one, be sure to grab Vivir Mi Vida FREE Activity Sheet .



4. Fronteras – Gaby Moreno 


This is one of my eternal favorites. The music, video, and lyrics are just beautiful. Tons of high-frequency words, especially in the yo from: rio, bailo, tengo, voy a, puedo, sueño, pertenenzco.



5. Yo Contigo, Tú Conmigo – Alvaro Soler


Minions + awesome music + high-frequency words = yes please!  


6. Los Pollitos Dicen


This one IS meant for little kids, but it’s also authentic. So I use it even with high schoolers, always assuring them that we’re learning it because it’s a classic in Hispanic culture. It almost always go over really well, and I have a freebie to go with it that doesn’t feel baby-ish at all: Los pollitos dicen Free Activity Sheet. 




7. Hola Amigo – Basho & Friends


Basho and Friends is one of the few people creating learner songs that feel “older.” He has a ton of options on his YouTube, and you should find that your older elementary students enjoy his style. 



8. Puedo Ir Al Baño – Sr. Wooly 


I promise this will be a huge hit with your classes. Seriously.



9. Nuqui (Te Quiero Para Mi) – ChocQuibTown 


I love ChocQuibTown, and love including their music to add some diversity to my music selection. The video is as gorgeous as the the music.  



10. Me Voy Me Voy (Vázquez Sounds)


Featuring young teens and a female lead singer, this one is comprehensible with repetitions in the past tense. According the the blurb under the official video in YouTube, the video is a metaphor: “Luchar por un mundo mejor, nos lleva a salir de nuestro universo.”



11. Mi Niña Dulce


I *think* this works as a 4-6th grade introduction to cumbia! If the shirtless band members are too much in the first video, the 2nd might be better. This song is VERY fast– consider slowing it down in the settings button in the lower right corner. 




12. La Bamba


Here’s a great one if you want to mix current songs with old classics. 



13. Querido Tommy – Tommy Torres


For the most, I think most teachers are looking for non-romantic when it comes to 4-6th grades. However, if you don’t mind a bit of a love story, this song is SO good and models letter-writing. 



14. Madre Tierra – Chayanne


Happy, positive music with environmental themes. I recommend using a choreographed video like the one below, since the dancing in the original video won’t work for class. 



15. Waka Waka – Shakira


Waka Waka is a Shakira classic that stay appropriate and will definitely appeal to any spots-lovers in your classroom. Your students will always know how to say “Esto es...” after this one!



16. El Mismo Sol – Alvaro Soler


I wouldn’t use the original video (and beware kids might look it up at home– a bit of sensual dancing). The lyrics are great, though! 



17. Ojalá Que Llueva Café – Juan Luis Guerra


The language in this song may not be quite as comprehensible, but it’s a fun way to introduce merengue. Kid World Citizen has a fun post on this!



18. Limón y Sal


The original video is kind’ve weird, so I would show this one. Julieta’s music is great because she has such a clear voice & accent. 



19. Los Caminos de la Vida


This is a classic that is appropriate for elementary, with a good comprehensible chorus. 


20. Internacionales


Great storyline & world culture, with somos repeated over and over! (You briefly see a man with a cigarette at minute 2:33.)



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


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The Best Authentic Spanish Songs with Reflexive Verbs

The Best Authentic Spanish Songs with Reflexive Verbs

 Inside: Authentic Spanish songs with reflexive verbs: a classroom playlist.


I have collected lots of LONG Spanish music playlists… but sometimes teachers are looking for something specific. If you are looking for songs packed with reflexive verbs / pronouns, here’s your more targeted list!

(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.)

Let’s take a tour of our top picks!


Spanish Songs with Reflexive Verbs


Of course, always preview, and let me know if you have any suggestions or comments about the song here. 


1. ¿Con Quién Se Queda El Perro? – Jesse y Joy


Here’s a great song about a couple breaking up and having to decide who gets the dog. You’ll get good examples of pronouns, especially in the chorus. (The official video is great, but contains one scene at 0:20 you probably won’t want to show in class– if not, use the lyrics video below.)



2. Me Voy – Julieta Venegas 


Julieta Venegas has a nice clear accent, and I love her songs. The chorus is great for introducing reflexive verbs in the context of “yo.”


3. Y No Hago Más Na – El Gran Combo


So many reflexive pronouns in this classic Spanish song, and even ordered to explain the events of a day. 

If you want some more explicit highlights of the grammar:



4. Di Que No Te Vas – Morat


I really love Morat. This song is actually not full of reflexive pronouns– it’s mostly just “no te vas“– but that line gets repeated over and over again. If you teach object pronouns first, and then reflexives, you could compare and contrast with the lines that are full of object pronouns. If you teach reflexives, just focused on the chorus– they’ll never forget te vas!

If you teach through CI without much targeting, just enjoy. 


5. Te Mueves Tú, Se Mueven Todo


This song is super-fun, and the second video includes a lesson on how to to the dance (not G-rated– preview and see what you think). 



6. Cuando Me Enamoro – Enrique Iglesias y Juan Luis Guerra 


Juanes is another iconic Latin singer and Es por ti is one of his best love songs. I love this live version. 



7. Sin miedo a nada – Alex Ubago 


If you are looking for all sorts of pronouns together, this song provides lots of examples of both, to compare and contrast. Or just enjoy this Spanish classic!



8. Maquíllate – Mecano


If you like repetition, this one’s for you! A tongue-in-cheek song about make-up.


9. Somos novios – Andrea Bocelli y Christina Aguilera


Unlike most of the other songs listed here, this one focuses on “nos _____.” If you want a classic, use this one!



In researching this post, I came across more resources for reflexives. I’m just including them in a list here in case you need some more ideas!


What romantic song did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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