Learn Spanish through Literature // The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR

by | Jul 17, 2013 | Uncategorized

Try these 5 Learning-Spanish games at home with the book The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR!

I have not quite found a good system for finding library books in Spanish at our local library.  Sometimes I go online and try to narrow the search to Spanish books (it did not list only books in Spanish like I had hoped); sometimes I just walk between the aisles shifting my eyes right, then left, looking for the little bilingual sticker on the book’s spine.  Obviously I need a better system.  Wouldn’t that be awesome if we had a library that was all in Spanish!?  Or a bookstore?!  Until then, I will be satisfied with the little bilingual (Spanish/English) or Spanish book finds that happen to me haphazardly.  (Note: If you have any tricks for easy foreign language book searching, please comment below.)

One recent Spanish find we have at our house from the library is El Ratoncito, La Fresa Roja y Madura, y El Gran Oso Hambriento (Spanish Edition).  This book was written in English by authors Don and Audrey Wood, translated by Teresa Mlawer.  What a fun story!  A little mouse about to enjoy a ripe and tasty strawberry has a little visit with the narrator about big hungry bears that like to eat ripe strawberries.  The mouse has no need for words because the illustrations show perfectly his look of distress and worry at the thought of a bear eating his strawberry.  After some funny solutions thought of by the mouse, the mouse and narrator together discover a way to save the strawberry from the bear.  Read the book with your family to discover what happens at the end!  And after reading it, try these fun activities to extend your Spanish learning with this delightful book.

#1 ¿Dónde está la fresa?

Words to Know:
dónde (DOHN-day)—where
está (eh-STAH)—is
la fresa (lah FRAY-sah)—the strawberry
el oso (ehl OH-soh)—the bear
aquí (ah-KEY)—here
verde (VEHR-day)—green
rojo (ROH-hoh)—red
hoja (OH-hah)—leaf
el ratoncito (ehl rah-tohn-SEE-toh)—the little mouse
Game:  This is a fun game we played together after we read the story.  First, make a big fresa.  We

drew one on cardstock and decorated it with red and green glitter to make it look beautiful and delicious like the strawberry in the book. While we were coloring I spoke in Spanglish with Scachemo (Jefe was napping)…saying things like, “Here’s the verde (green) can you color the hoja verde?” Or “Look, this part is rojo.”  Or I “would point to the strawberry in the picture and say “rojo,” and then hold the red marker next to it and say excitedly, “¡rojo!”  Or you can just point to the strawberry and say “¡fresa!  However you decided to interact is great, just be repetitive and playful or excited when introducing new Spanish words and use any kind of non-verbal motions and signals you can think of—just like when you are teaching your baby his or her first language. 

Coloring our fresa.

All sparkly!

Next, take your strawberry outside for a hide-and-seek game.  This is how we played:  One person pretends to be the oso and “hibernates” (hides his or her eyes) while another person playing pretends to be the ratoncito and hides the strawberry from the bear.  When the osocomes out of hibernation he (or she) stomps around saying, “BUM! BUM! BUM! ¿Dónde está la fresa?” while looking for the hidden strawberry.  When the osofinds the strawberry switch roles and repeat! 

The “oso” looking for the fresa.

We tried disguising our fresa like the mouse
in the story, but it didn’t work!  That oso
kept finding the fresa!
#2 Red Light, Green Light

Words to Know:
rojo (ROH-hoh)—red
verde (BEHR-day)—green
Game:  If you have not played “Red Light, Green Light” here is how it works:  One person stands at the end of the yard or play area yelling “Green light!” or “Red light!”  The rest of the players stand at the other end of the yard or play area.  The object of the game is for those players to run as fast as they can to tag the person at the other end first.  Players can only run when “Green light!” is called and must stop if they hear “Red light!” called.  If you keep running after “Red light!” is called you go back to the starting line.  For younger players, no need to race—just have fun running and stopping.  Now for the Spanish part:  instead of yelling “Red light!” or “Green light!” simply yell out “rojo” or “verde.”  You could even have two papers or object to hold up (one rojo, one verde) to hold up as you call the color for a visual clue as you say the words.  This game is a great way to reinforce the new color words introduced with the story El Ratoncito, La Fresa Roja y Madura, y el GRAN OSO HAMBRIENTO

#3 Veo, Veo—NOUNS (Like the game I Spy)

Words to Know:
un (oohn)—a/an
un árbol (AHR-bohl)—tree
una (OOHN-ah)—a/an
unas piedras (pee-AY-drahs)—rocks
unos (OOHN-ohs)—some
una cuchara (koo-CHAH-rah)—spoon
unas (OOHN-ahs)—some
una llave (YAH-vay)—key
una escalera (eh-skah-LEHR-ah)—ladder
una cadena (kah-DAY-nah)—chain
una casa (KAH-sah)—house
un candado (kahn-DAH-doh)—padlock
una puerta (poo-EHR-tah)—door
una escoba (ehs-KOH-bah)—broom
una hamaca (ahm-AH-kay)—hammock
un sombrero (sohm-BREH-roh)—hat
unas flores (FLOH-rehs)—flowers
una sombrilla (sohm-BREE-yah)—umbrella
una chimenea (chee-may-NAY-ah)—fireplace
unas chinchetas (cheen-CHEH-tahs)—pushpins
una tetera (tay-TEH-rah)—teapot
una silla (SEE-yah)—chair
una mesa (MAY-sah)—table
una taza (TAH-sah)—teacup/mug
unas galletas (gah-YAY-tahs)—cookies
un mantel (mahn-TEHL)—tablecloth
unas cerillas (seh-REE-yahs)—matches
un cuchillo (koo-CHEE-yoh)—knife
una vela (BAY-lah)—candle
una servilleta (sehr-vee-YAY-tah)—napkin
un candelero (kahn-dehl-ERH-oh)—candlestick holder
Game:  For this game, take the book and flip through the fun illustrations and introduce the Spanish words for object you see.  Use the list above for a reference if you need.  You can start out with a few and add words the more you play this game (no need to overwhelm your child with learning too many words at once).  Try finding a page with lots to look at and teach two or three new words.  Then take turns saying to each other “Veo, veo…” and fill in the blank with one of the new words in Spanish.  The other person then says “Aquí!” when they find the object and point to it with their finger. 

#4 Veo, Veo—Colors

Words to Know:
amarillo (ah-mah-REE-oh)—yellow
anaranjado (ah-nah-rahn-HAH-doh)—orange
verde (BEHR-day)—green
azul (ah-SOOHL)—blue
rojo (ROH-hoh)—red
morado (mohr-AH-doh)—purple
negro (NAY-groh)—black
blanco (BLAHN-koh)—white
café (kah-FAY)—brown
gris (grees)—gray
Game: This game is just like the one above, except you insert a color after “Veo, veo…” instead of a noun.

#5 Patterning

Words to Know:
A ) el queso (KAY-soh)—the cheese                      
B ) el ratoncito (rah-tohn-SEE-toh)—the little mouse
C ) la fresa (FRAY-sah)—the strawberry
Game:  Print out this fun printable, cut out the pictures, and have fun making patterns!  You can start a pattern for your child and “read” it as you point to each picture: “queso, ratoncito, fresa…queso, ratoncito, fresa…queso….” and then ask your child, “What goes next?”  To which they can simply place the correct picture in the pattern or say it.  When they choose the right one say, “Yes! You’re right, the ratoncito goes next!”  You can make lots of different patterns, and depending on the age of your child, they can make some too!  Try some of these:




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