La Noche de las Velitas in Colombia {Freebie}

Every year on December 7th, Colombia celebrates “La Noche de las Velitas” (also known as El Día de las Velitas), a night filled with candles and joy to celebrate Virgin Mary. This night also marks the beginning of all Christmas activities in Colombia. 

What a good opportunity to bring some culture to your Spanish classes. Use a map and invite your students to find Colombia. You can also use Google Earth to make the trip more interactive and use a play passport for the trip. Share with them some information about this important celebration. Here are some useful resources for teachers to learn about the celebration:

La Fiesta de la Luz (Historia)
The Beautiful Noche de la Velitas in Bogota

Some videos of the celebration:

 Families get together to light the candles outside their homes. It’s a long night filled with happiness, fiestas and tons of Colombian goodies.

In the main parts of the big cities, people gather together to watch fireworks and shows.

Click here to view pictures
Invite your students to decorate the flag or the map of Colombia  with the candles! 
 Click HERE to download the freebies! 
Conversation tips in a FLES class
1. ¿Dónde se celebra la noche de las velitas? ¿En Costa Rica o Colombia?
2. ¿Dónde está Colombia? ¿América del Norte o América del Sur?
3. ¿Quién celebra la Noche de las Velitas? 
4. ¿De qué color es la bandera de Colombia?
5. ¿Qué lengua se habla en Colombia? ¿Inglés o español?

Los Cucos Amarillos- A game that teaches about a Colombian tradition

Wearing yellow underwear is a unique tradition that some people in Colombia, and other places where Spanish is spoken, have on December 31st during “La Noche Vieja” on New Year’s Eve. It is believed that wearing yellow underwear will bring good luck in the new year. This tradition is known in Colombia as “Los Cucos Amarillos” or “Los Cucos de la Suerte.” “Cuco” is a word used in some places in Colombia to refer to underwear.

Through this game children will learn about this fun tradition and three simple common expressions in Spanish: ¡Qué buena suerte!, ¡Qué chévere!, ¡Qué mala suerte! You will need good luck to play the game well, of course!
Download the freebie HERE!

¡Buena suerte!


A Visit to The Zoo in Cali, Colombia

Teaching about zoo animals is one of my favorite units. This time, I visited the zoo in Cali, Colombia, and I collected a few videos of animals native to Colombia and South America. Comparing the various zoos that I have visited in different countries and cities in the US, the Cali zoo is by far my favorite. Not that I’m biased or anything! But, seriously, it is first rate. First of all, the weather is great and makes it possible for the zoo to have species from all over the world. The zoo is very well organized and has plenty of information for visitors to learn about each species. Any self-respecting zoo has a lion, a jaguar, and a bear, but this zoo also has Andean condors, Andean spectacled bears, and monkeys that are endemic to, or can only be found in, Colombia.
To use these videos and pictures, I advise you to first take a virtual trip to Cali, Colombia, using Google Earth. Then, download the map of the zoo and plan your visit with your students. On the zoo’s website you can find some pictures and videos of some of their animals.
Here are a few videos I took during my recent visit to the zoo. Feel free to share them with your students! Teaching with authentic resources always gets the children excited about the language and different cultures.

el cóndor de los Andes
la guacamaya
la llama

el mono

el oso de anteojos 
Have fun visiting the zoo!

 All the videos and pictures here are property of Fun for Spanish Teachers and are available for classroom use only. Please contact me directly if you wish to use them in a different way. If you use them in a blog post you must give credit to my site 

Visiting a Supermarket in Colombia

Every year when I travel to Colombia to visit my family, I try to take as many pictures and short videos as I can to share with my students in my classes. They are always curious to know about Colombia and always get very excited to see what I have to share with them. I’ve taken a few of those videos and pictures and am sharing them with you here so you can share them with your students too!

The supermarket is always a very fun and interesting unit, especially because I love teaching about a variety of fruits that are common in Colombia but not so well-known in most of North America. It is also an opportunity for students to compare the markets in their own cultural settings and that of Colombia. We have traditional markets where small, family farmers travel to the big cities to bring fresh products, but we also have supermarkets like Carrefour, Exito, and La 14. On this trip, I took a video in a Carrefour supermarket in Cali, Colombia. I am always very excited about the amounts of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables I can find at great prices. You can find everything you need in a supermarket here – fresh food, clothes, everything you need for school, refrigetators, iPads, computers, etc. You don’t need to go to different places, you will find everything in one place!

A Mall in Cali, Colombia
Picture: los tomates

Picture: los bananos y los aguacates

Picture: la piña

Picture: la sandia y la guanabana

Picture: el mango

Picture: la papaya

Have fun teaching in Spanish!
The pictures here are property of Fun for Spanish Teachers and are available for classroom use only. Please contact me directly if you wish to use them in a different way. If you use them in a blog post you must give credit to my site 

Bring La Feria de Cali to your Spanish class!

At this time of the school year we are looking for fun and quick lessons to use in our classrooms. This is very simple and provides you and your students with a window on a small piece of a very diverse culture.

Many towns and cities in Colombia have their own celebrations during the year. The last celebration of the year happens in Cali, the city where I grew up. Every year from December 25th to 30th the city hosts La Feria de Cali, a big celebration – like a carnival – that attracts people from different parts of the world. It is a celebration where the Caleño culture is on exhibit.  From Salsa singers to horse lovers, there are many types of people and activities to celebrate, and it appeals to people of all ages. The city is decorated with big and beautiful lights, and every neighborhood gets ready to party and celebrate before the year ends. The first day of the Feria opens with a big Cabalgata (horseback parade)When the Cabalgata ends, people fan out to different spots in the city to dance and be with friends.

Bring la feria de Cali to your Spanish class:

1. Use a map to find Colombia and then Cali. If you have access to the internet, use GoogleEarth to make it more fun and show actual pictures of Cali.

2. Show actual pictures of the Feria and the Cabalgata.
3. Invite the children to create their own horses using a coloring page or using paper to create their own.
4. Have your own Cabalgata in your classroom.
5. End the class with a Salsa lesson!

Links with information for teachers

Have fun dancing!