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.
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!
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
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 www.FunforSpanishTeachers.com
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 www.FunforSpanishTeachers.com
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.
¡Hola! I am Carolina, a Colombian elementary Spanish teacher based in Austin, Texas. 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.