Monday, August 26, 2013

Learn Spanish with Ladybugs // Las mariquitas y sus colores

We have had so much fun lately learning Spanish with ladybugs around here!  In case you missed it, check out these posts to see how we have learned Spanish with ladybugs so far:

1. Make a Ladybug (Spanish Counting, the Color Red)
2. Spanish Prepositions with Ladybug
3. The Ladybugs and Their Spots (Spanish Counting, FREE Printable Ladybug Story)



Today we put together another fun story about ladybugs.  This story helped us learn our colores in Spanish.  You can print out a copy here and follow along with us!


As you can see from the photo, some of the pages in this printable have a ladybug that already has its color.  Other pages have a ladybug without its color.  Each page says, "Esta mariquita es..." (EH-stah mahr-ee-KEE-tah ehs...which means, "This ladybug is...) and then gives the color of the ladybug, or gives a blank for you to fill in with a color you choose.  Before reading the story, watch this video about describing the color of things in Spanish.  

In Spanish, adjectives have to agree with the noun they describe.  Since the word for ladybug in Spanish is feminine, mariquita, then the color words we use to describe the ladybug have to be feminine also.  Here is a chart of color words in Spanish to explain what I mean.

Color
Masculine Form
Feminine Form
red
rojo
roja
orange
anaranjado
anaranjada
yellow
amarillo
amarilla
green
verde
verde
blue
azul
azul
purple
morado
morada
pink
rosado
rosada
black
negro
negra
white
blanco
blanca
gray
gris
gris
brown
café
café
brown
marrón
marrón
gold
dorado
dorada
silver
plateado
plateada

Notice that if the color word in Spanish ends in an -o, then we change the -o to -a when describing a feminine noun.  For more about nouns and gender in Spanish, watch this video.

I did this activity with my two-year-old and he did so well!  As with most activities, you can adjust how you approach it depending on the age of the child you do it with.  I will share with you what the Little Guy and I did, and then at the end you can see more ideas for age adaptations.



First, I read the pages printed with colors.  Then I read the next pages that had the color names given, but no color.  In English I said, "Uh-oh! This ladybug lost its color!  The story says, "Esta mariquita es morada."  Then I might say something like, "Morada means purple.  Can you help me find the morada?"  Or "Here's the morada.  Can you color the mariquita morada?"  As you can see in the photo, I drew a circle around the body to show him where to color.  


I also let him try out different mediums.  We got out a purple colored pencil, a purple crayon, and a purple marker.  I pointed to each one and said "Here's a morada."  That way he could distinguish that morada referred to the color and was not the word for pencil or crayon.  


When you come to the pages with a blank, choose a color to fill it in.  You may have noticed before that Crayola colored pencils and crayons give the color in English, Spanish, and French, which is perfect for this activity!  You and your child can choose the color you like from the pile of pencils or crayons, and then look on the label to know how to say it and spell it in Spanish.  Remember, if it ends in an -o, change that to an -a since mariquita is a feminine word.


The last page of the story says, "Esta mariquita es mi color favorito.  Es..." which means, "This ladybug is my favorite color.  It is...."  Do the same as above and let your child choose which crayon or pencil is his or her favorite color.  Fill in the blank with the Spanish word, and let your child color in the ladybug.


After we finished all the pages, we stapled it together (nothing fancy!) and read it all together.  


For older children, you may want to get out some Spanish flashcards with the colors on them.  As you read them each page, point out the color word at the end and see if they can use the flashcards to figure out what color it is.  If you are using this story in your Spanish classroom, have the students use their Spanish-English dictionaries to translate the story on their own or in pairs.  Once everyone has finished translating the story and coloring in the pages, read together as a class.

Feliz coloring!



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