Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Activities for the Spanish Classroom

Looking for a fun way to introduce St. Patrick's Day vocabulary?  Try this fun handmade memory match game.  It takes less than fifteen minutes to make and works great in any Spanish classroom from beginning readers to high school.

To begin, I grabbed a couple packages of these sparkly foam shamrocks from my local Deals.  At home, I got out my Word Reference app to double-check spellings and look up words I didn't know...for example I didn't know the Spanish word for Leprechaun!  Here is the list of vocabulary words I chose:

trébol (TREH-bohl) = clover/shamrock
trébol de cuatro hojas ( KWAH-troh OH-hahs) = four-leaf clover
duende (DWEN-day) = leprechaun
olla de oro (OH-yah day ORE-oh) = pot of gold
arco iris (AHR-koh EE-rees) = rainbow
suerte (SWEHR-tay) = luck
suertudo (swehr-TOO-doh) = lucky
afortunado (ah-for-too-NAH-doh) = lucky
Irlanda (eer-LAHN-dah) = Ireland
irlandés (eer-lahn-DEHS) = Irish
verde (BEHR-day) = green

Once you have your list of words chosen, simply write each Spanish and its corresponding English word on the back of each clover.

To play the game, lay out each clover face-down.  Have students take turns turning over two clovers at a time.  If they turn over a Spanish word and the matching English word they have a match!  After finding a match they can have another turn.  The child with the most matches wins!

I played this game with my brother and sister, both of whom are in high school, and we had a blast.  Obviously the game is geared more towards children, but since the vocabulary was new to them it was still a challenge.  This game can be used with any set of new vocab and works great for those students who prefer not to practice vocab with flashcards.  

With my little kiddos at home, I chose ONE new St. Patrick's Day word to teach them and made a coloring sheet for it.  You can print one for your own kiddos here.  This new word is also in our Color of the Month book, which you can also print out and color.  Below is the one my two-year-old colored.  He really enjoys coloring these days and works to stay in the lines (on his own accord).  I let him choose his own colors and medium.  It is fun to see his creativity at work.  If your children or students color one I'd love to see a picture of it!  You can post it to my Facebook page to share here.

If you would like more St. Patrick's Day activities in Spaish check out these awesome resources!

Check out these bilingual activities for celebrating St. Patrick's day from Mommy Maestra.
Spanish Playground has a great list here of FREE St. Patrick's Day printables.
Modern Mami has also compiled a great list of activities and crafts for St. Patrick's Day here.

Arco Iris Activities & Free Printable

It wouldn't be spring without a few rainbow activites, right?  There are so many great rainbow activities out there to try with your kiddos or students, and of course they provide great opportunities for learning colors in Spanish.  Arco iris (AHR-koh EE-rees) is the word for rainbow in Spanish.  You can check out some of my favorite rainbow activities on my rainbow pinterest board, and see below for the rainbow activities we have been doing as of late.  Don't forget to print out the free printable at the end!

This first project is one that I have wanted to do for a while now, and am finally getting around to it.  You can use the concept for any new vocabulary you are trying to teach or learn in Spanish that is relatively simple to draw.  If your kiddos are learning their colors in Spanish, have them practice with this fun activity:

Start by drawing a rainbow with seven arcs.

Next, write out a Spanish color word guide for your child to reference.  Listed here are the color words in Spanish, and you can check out this chart I made for pronunciation help.


Have your child write out the word in its own color for each arc.  This repetition will really help them practice the meaning and spelling of the word; and since it's art it won't seem tedious, but fun.

Have them try lowercase, uppercase, cursive, or a mixture.

When it is all finished, you will have a great visual reference for Spanish colors to hang in your home.  Put it close to where you have Spanish lessons so the kids can use it when they need to remember the names of colors.

Here you can print the rainbow coloring sheet you see in the picture.  You can use it for the color word project above, or just a fun coloring sheet for younger children.  The letters are great to use for handwriting practice too. 

We have been watching this fun Spanish song about the colors of the rainbow, be sure to check it out.  If you are having trouble viewing it, you can watch it here on YouTube.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Color of the Month Activities: Verde

We have had fun this month exploring the color green.  Here is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to practice talking about the color green in Spanish.

Collect some newspaper ads.  Grab a pair of scissors and tape.  Hang a big sheet of paper or posterboard on your refrigerator.  With your child spend time looking through the ads for things of the color green.

Here are some great phrases you can use in Spanish:

¿Dónde está algo verde? (DOHN-day eh-STAH AHL-goh BEHR-day) = Where is something green?
Veo algo verde aquí. (BAY-oh AHL-goh BEHR-day ah-KEE) = I see something green right here.
¡Busquemos el color verde! (boo-SKAY-mohs AHL-goh BEHR-day) = Let's look for the color green!
Lo pegamos aquí. (loh pay-GAH-mohs ah-KEE) = We will glue/tape it here.

¿Te gusta el color verde? (tay GOOS-tah ehl koh-LOHR BEHR-day) = Do you like the color green?
¿Cuál es tu color favorito? (kwahl ehs too koh-LOHR fah-bohr-EE-toh) = What is your favorite color?
¿Qué color es? (kay koh-LOHR ehs) = What color is it?

¿Es esto verde? (ehs EHS-toh BEHR-day) = Is this green?

El rubio and I did this activity the other day after breakfast.  What's fun is that the green collage can stay there all month for us to add to.  We can see it from our kitchen table and continue to talk about it and the things we have glued to it.  Just like the phrases in the color green book we read at circle time, we can talk about the things on the poster.  For example we have a green fish glued up there and we can say: "El pez es verde."  (The fish is green.)  Or while I am fixing dinner I can hand el rubio a green crayon and say: "Dibuja algo verde."  (Draw something green.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

SER vs ESTAR Practice Exercises, Paragraphs, Worksheets

If you are in high school Spanish, or if you have taken it before, you know that SER vs ESTAR is one of the tricky grammar points to master.  In English, there is only one "to be," and it comes in the forms of am, is, or are.  We say:

I am tired.
He is from San Diego.
We are going to the store.
They are tall.
I am nice.
It is two o'clock in the afternoon.

However, in Spanish there are TWO ways to say "to be."

SER means "to be" when we are talking about personality, physical characteristics, time, origin, nationality, or profesion.  Looking at the sentences above, with which ones do you think we would use SER? *answers below

ESTAR means "to be" when we are talking about feelings, emotions, temporary states (like being sick or happy), location (like Where is the bathroom?), and reactions (like, Wow that coffee is hot!).  We also use ESTAR to form the Present Progressive tense (-ing sentences like, He is working), and we use it when we have a past participle we are using as an adjective (like, That seat is taken).  Can you identify which sentences above would use ESTAR? **answers below

Check out these videos for more grammar explanation and practice!

And here are some online quizzes and paragraphs that will check your answers for you so you can see how well you are understanding the concepts!

*(2, 4, 5, & 6)**(1, 3)

You Might Also Like...

Learn More HERE

Check it out HERE!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Color of the Month: Verde

March is here!  Where we live, we gain sixty-nine minutes of daylight by the end of the month.  I am pumped.  Even though our temperatures for this time of year have been way below average, we still have had fun crafting and coloring all things spring.  Goodbye hearts, hello shamrocks!

We chose green for our color to learn this month. And by we I mean me.  But hey, if I don't get excited about the color of the month, who will?  I thought it would be fun to write a story to read each day at our circle time.  Yes we have circle time with just the four of us.  I guess it seems a little silly, but the routine and repetition has really helped some of the Spanish stick in my kiddos' heads.  I love to hear them walk around singing songs from our circle time routine.  Just tonight I heard el rubio singing, "tengo veinte años."  Which means, "I am twenty years old."  He's three.  But he thinks it's funny to say he's twenty.

I digress.  Soon I should blog about what we do at circle time, until then, here is just a part of our morning routine: our color of the month story.  Below is a video (and here is a {FREE Printable} for you) so you can read along with us!  In some ways I am reluctant to put videos out there of me speaking Spanish--but I want other non-native Spanish speakers to know that we can do this.  Even if your accent is not perfect, if you mess up on gender, or if you don't know a word, just HABLA!  Your kids won't learn Spanish if they do not hear it spoken.  I keep reminding myself: better for them to hear a funny accent in Spanish than no Spanish at all.

I would love for you to link up your own activities and ideas for learning the color VERDE!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Black & Blanco: Spanish and Art for Kids

I love art and I love learning Spanish. Put them together and just try to keep me from doing a happy dance. Art is hands-on.  Art is visual.  Art is a great way for kids to learn and express themselves.  That is why I love using art to teach my kids Spanish!

A while back I was introduced to a book series put out by the San Antonio Art Museum.  I love this series for how it uses pieces of art from the museum and blends them with bilingual text to engage kids in learning about art and Spanish.  You can read them like a story, or use them much like an I Spy book, discovering colors, textures, sizes, shapes, and other treasures.  We will be sharing Spanish learning ideas for each book in the series.  Our first post presents Black and Blanco: Engaging Art in English y Español.

 A great feature of the book is the index in the back of all the textiles, sculptures, and paintings used.  It lists the name of each piece, the artist's name, the type of media, and date.  It is like a first art history book for kids.  I love the diversity of art used, and the variety of media.  If you do not have access to many art museums, books like this are a perfect next-best choice for exposing kids to art.  You can read the manta we chose to copy is actually a poncho woven in Chile circa 1920.  

After reading through the book a few times, then keeping it handy for fun Spanish practice we decided to copy some of the fun art pieces we saw in it.  The first project was a manta or blanket.  We tried to imitate the woven look by trying this fun weaving project for kids.  We used felt to make it feel more like a blanket, but you could also use newsprint, magazines, or regular paper. 

Fold the piece of felt in half and cut from the folded side to nearly the edge of the other side without cutting clear through.  My boys are young, so I did all the cutting parts beforehand.  Older children could probably do this step independently. 

Next cut strips of whatever compliment color you choose.  Obviously we chose negro and blanco for our colors to mimick the blanket in the book.  

As with any Spansih projects we do, I try to speak in Spanish as we go and teach the kids phrases or words to go along with it.  With this project I did that, but I wanted to make sure the kids really came away from the fun knowing what blanco and negro meant.  To accomplish that we did a blanco and negro scavenger hunt.  I set out a white basket and a black basket and we searched around the house for white things and black things to put in them.  This activity worked great for my boys who like to learn by being active!

So many wonderful pieces of art fill the pages of this book, I know we will come back to it again and again to learn about different forms of art.  You can see in the picture below how hard it would be to choose among all the differnt pages.  Many possibilities for practicing art and Spanish!

Lastly, we made black serpientes like the one we saw in the book.  I remember doing a project like this in elementary school, although we used bigger paper then.  With my boys I just grabbed the only black paper we had.  The bigger the paper, the longer your snake.  Draw a spiral on the paper, cut it out, and you have a snake!  We decorated ours with white marker and crayon.

Follow my Black & Blanco Pinterest board for more ideas on how to make the Spanish and art in the book come to life!

**Disclosure: I received free copies of these books; however, all opinions are my own and I only share products that I think my readers could really use and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Un día en la vida // A Day in the Life Linky #2

I have loved taking pictures for a long time.  And I love sharing them.  Pictures are a peek into our life, and I dare say I like them even more than videos.  They capture one moment and hold it still making it seem like it is something timeless.  Over here at For the Love of Spanish I wanted to create a space where we can look into the lives of people around the world--to learn from each other, to travel for free, to widen our minds to what it means to live a day.  I hope you can join in and share a bit of your part of the world.  Click here if you need more info.  Happy day to all of you!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Counting Snowmen in Spanish // A contar muñecos de nieve

It is the first day of March and you would think it would be time to blog about la primavera.  But no.  We are expecting 3-5 inces of snow tonight.  Soooo, in honor of that, here are some fun counting pictures you can use to practice counting in Spanish.  You can print the off as flashcards, or put them in a Power Point or Smart Board presentation for your classroom.  Maybe embracing the winter weather will make it go away more quickly?  Wishful thinking.

Ask your kiddos or students: "¿Cuántos muñecos de nieve hay?"  Have them count the snowmen in the picture and answer with "Hay . . . muñecos de nieve," or "Veo . . . muñecos de nieve."  Have fun counting!

¿Cuántos muñecos de nieve hay? = How many snowmen are there?
Hay . . . muñecos de nieve. = There are . . . snowmen.
Veo . . . muñecos de nieve. = I see . . . snowmen.

So in this picture you would ask in Spanish, "How many snowmen are there?" The child would count one and say "I see one snowman."  This is the only instance in which the answer is singular and it would sound like this: "Veo un muñeco de nieve."  The number uno changes to un before a masculine singular noun (such as snowman).