Español in the Jungle: Free Spanish Unit One

Español in the Jungle: Free Spanish Unit One

Inside: Free Spanish worksheets and lessons for kids.

I am so excited to post the first unit for my Español in the Jungle series! I am in the process of putting together units for parents and teachers who may not speak Spanish fluently– or at all! I came up with this idea because I would eventually like to introduce a third language to my kids. I don’t speak French, and can’t afford classes or tutors at the moment. There are tons of free resources on the internet, but without knowing French myself, I don’t exactly know where to begin. I want a way for us to learn together, without relying solely on technology.

My units are designed especially for parents who would like to begin Spanish with their kids, but are not fluent speakers. You can begin from scratch, right along with your children! Essentially, I have done the work of breaking down beginning Spanish into a sequence that builds into games and stories, and allows you to take advantage of free internet resources in a logical manner. There are a lot of worksheets, videos, and games out there that are wonderful– but it can be difficult to know how to use them. As I find new resources, I’ll simply add them to the list of ideas for each unit.

The Español in the Jungle series is for:

– Homeschooling families who want to study Spanish together

– Families whose schools don’t offer Spanish

– Spanish teachers and tutors looking for ideas

The characters in the units live in the jungle, because that’s where learned Spanish and fell in love with it. I base my lessons on movement, games, storytelling, and songs, and include some worksheets and links to worksheets as well. I recommend going with what interests your children, and using the activities that are age-appropriate. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or suggestions!

free spanish worksheets for kids

Español in the Jungle: Unit 1  introduces basic greetings and two verbs, and is a free printable with 9 pages of ideas and activities. Here the links to resources that go with this unit:

Buenos Días Song

Pronunciations from LingoHut

Buenos Días, Buenas Noches Game

Greetings Matching Worksheet

Greetings Worksheet

 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Books in Spanish for kids

songs in Spanish

movies and shows in spanish

BINGO for Language Practice

BINGO for Language Practice

Bingo is one of the oldest tricks in the book for language instruction. It is so simple, so effective, and my students beg for it.

To use this sheet, here’s what I do:

1) I pass out the blank sheets to the students, and I call out the words for whatever set we’re learning. If we’re learning adjectives that describe emotions. I would call out “triste” and they would choose a random square in which to draw a sad face. Here they are having to produce the word by hearing it. If it’s a more advanced class, I could make it more complicated and say, “El bebé está triste.”

2) To play, I simply call out the words or phrases we drew and the students places a chip on that space. (They get excited if we get to use foreign coins for chips.) A complete diagonal, horizontal, or vertical row wins. Here the review moves much more quickly because the students are only having to recognize a word by hearing it.

That’s all! This can take a long time to make, but I like that they are spending a lot of time with the vocabulary. We often keep the sheets for a quick 10-minute game to review the words throughout the unit.

I am wary of games and programs that mix lots of English into the activities. I’m always encouraging my students to remember that Spanish is not English, translated: it is a different language. Anytime an activity can take place with full immersion, the better. There is always at least one student who tries to just write the meaning in English, and I never allow this unless there’s no way to represent the word. Again, I want my students to be thinking in Spanish. Encouraging them to simply sketch the word they hear keeps English out of our activity.

This isn’t necessarily something I’d do with my own kids in Spanish, unless they just love to draw. We would probably play a regular Bingo game, just using Spanish. BUT… if I am able to realize my dream of learning French and introducing it as their 3rd language, I will be busting this one out someday!

BINGO Printable

BINGO Printable – Fewer Boxes

Happy downloading!

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Books in Spanish for kids

songs in Spanish

movies and shows in spanish

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

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Books in Spanish for kids

songs in Spanish

movies and shows in spanish

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:

 

 

 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Books in Spanish for kids

songs in Spanish

movies and shows in spanish

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