April 22, the International Day of Mother Earth, was proclaimed as an official “day” by the United Nations in 2009. This day seeks to raise awareness of the different problems humans have caused such as pollution, global warming, overpopulation, and more! Now more than ever action needs to be taken to stop and reverse the harm done to our planet.
One way to introduce and talk to your classes about this topic is to brainstorm ways to help at home.
Reusa, reduce y recicla.
Ahorra energía y agua.
You can also teach a song to reinforce your conversation about El Día Internacional de la Madre Tierra.
Last but not least. I have two resources on Teachers Pay Teachers that can support your teaching:
I just started teaching many of my students in person. I didn’t even know some of them because I was just assigning lessons to their grade through Seesaw and Otus (the Learning Management System used by the school where I teach). I have seen others quite a bit during our Zoom classes, as they have been participating in the home learning program which includes live (synchronous) classes.
When I started teaching more of the students in person in January, I had the opportunity to rethink many of my lessons and also connect to what the homeroom teachers have been doing in their classes. Students across several grades have read the book “Your Name is a Song” by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, and I have seen it frequently in the library. I have always loved the title of this book and decided to read it myself and find ways to incorporate it in class. I’m sure what I’m sharing here is not new and that many teachers inspired by the title of this book have asked their students to create songs with their names. I have used this activity with grades K through 5, and, to my pleasant surprise, the upper elementary students really enjoy singing their names.
I never change my students’ names in Spanish class for various reasons: (1) I want them to be respectful of other people’s names and not using them as something they can appropriate; (2) I love hearing my students say their names; and (3 because our names are part of who we are!
I must confess that I sometimes have a hard time pronouncing some of my students’ names, but I let them know that I need to hear them say it again and try really hard to say their names the way they pronounce them. This can be especially challenging for me because I tend to use my (occasionally thick!) Spanish accent while pronouncing their names. But I think it is really important for them to hear me facing a challenge and for them learn to hear my Spanish accent with English words, and to make a special effort to listen and understand English that has a different cadence and sound. I think that maybe it even builds greater empathy and tolerance.
I have been using a simple activity where I choose a student volunteers, and, as a group, we ask the question in the picture using some American Sign Language (ASL) from YouTube tutorials.
What’s your name?
For the part that says “¡Me gusta tu nombre!”, we make the heart shape with our hands.
And for the part that says “¡Es una canción!,” we use the following sign:
And then the student sings a song with his/her name.
Using this activity has been beautiful and a great way to connect with students!
Having a variety of songs and videos to spice up your calendar routine is always a great idea, especially if you have it as a routine you do at the beginning of each class. A reader on my Facebook page asked me if I knew some songs for the days of the week and months, and I thought it would make it a great post to save time for some of you! Here are some songs that I find simple and catchy. Please feel free to share more links in the comments because I am sure I have missed some great songs too!
If you teach elementary students you know that they will make sure to remind you that it’s their birthday! And if they have a birthday in the summer, make sure to find a date during the school year to sing their birthday because they will come back the following year to let you know that you forgot to sing for them and you might have to do it twice. Here are some some songs that you might like to teach your students to celebrate their birthday. Also, stop by my TpT store to download the free birthday certificates to give to each of them after you sing the song.
Here are some songs that are great for elementary students:
This short version of the birthday song is great for preschoolers since all it says is “cumpleaños feliz”
This video is just too cute! The song is also great for lower elementary students. This video includes a karaoke version as well.
I love the tropical sounds in this video. It’s also very short and the pace is perfect for the children to follow along.
This is a fun video that allows children to sing a long. Simple and repetitive!
This one is by far my favorite song because it brings to the classroom rhythms from the Colombian Pacific. The sounds of the marimba and drums are vivid. The downside is that the song is long for elementary students. I used Youtube Trimmer to have it set up just where I wanted. I have been using this song with my 1-5 grade students and we all love it!
As part of my birthday routine I have a PowerPoint with a cake that we use to ask the cumpleañero (birthday person) who old he or she is. We count the candles until we get to the birthday person’s age. The candles appear one by one.
¡Hola! I am Carolina, a Colombian elementary Spanish teacher based in Boston, MA. Fun for Spanish Teachers is the result of my passion for teaching Spanish to children and my desire to inspire collaboration and creativity in a vibrant teaching and learning community. It’s the perfect stop if you are looking for songs, games, teaching tips, stories, and fun for your classes.
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.