I teach at an Episcopal school that acknowledges and accepts religious differences and I am so grateful that the school provides space for students to share those differences. But because it is Episcopal, around this time of the year all the Christmas decorations fill the walls and the rehearsals of songs for the seasons start too. This is something that also happens in Spanish class since during the last week of December we take a moment to gather around a big Christmas tree to sing villancicos.
This year I have a new student who is Jewish, and I appreciate that when we started singing Christmas songs he shared with me that he practices a different religion. I told him that it was his choice to stay in the group or find a “safe” space in the room when he needed it. His choice has been to stay in the group. Thinking about him, I went to my school library to find some books, but all the titles were in English. I chose a simple picture book that I could still connect with Spanish. He was surprised to see the book in my classroom and even more when I taught the song “Ocho Kandelikas”.
Here are the two versions I used:
This version is in Ladino language.
I also taught the class this little poem I wrote:
Click HERE to download the poem and posters!
The poem also led my students to want to know a little bit more about these celebration so I showed them the clips below:
If you are looking for more resources on this topic, I highly recommend you visit The Woke Spanish Teacher’s blog.
Find more teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers: