In preparation for this game you will need felt, pictures of soccer balls, pictures of famous soccer players from different Spanish-speaking countries, and a glue gun to put the felt pieces together.
Once the game is all put together, get ready to play it with students. The idea is to simulate a soccer game in class. Divide the class into two groups and assign a fútbol player to each time. Before playing the game introduce each famous player, and use this opportunity to show their countries of origin on a map and also the names of their teams.
The rules of the game are very simple. Each group will get set on the side of the “field” (cancha) that corresponds to their players. Invite one volunteer from each group to come to the middle. You can use flash cards or a bag filled with objects to represent vocabulary that you have previously explored in class. Show a card or object and ask a question related to it. For example: “¿Qué es? or ¿De qué color es la vaca?”
Whoever answers first will mark a “gol” for his//her team. Invite the class to shout together “¡goooooool!“. If they both answer at the same time or the game ends in a tie (empate), then they will have to go into overtime, referred to as “penaltis,” which in the case of this game means they will get a another turn. To keep track of their scores, I place pictures of a soccer ball on their side of the field each time they get a goal.
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
Since in many of my classes my students read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and also to support the butterfly unit they explore in their homerooms, I came up with an adapted version which I love calling “la versión criolla” of Eric Carle’s story. This oruga decides to take a trip around Latin America and tries different traditional dishes. I used a picture of a caterpillar, a big colorful map, and pictures of the different traditional dishes and places where they originate that la oruga visited. Children had fun learning about the different dishes, and it was also an opportunity to learn about geography and the butterfly life cycle in Spanish!
La Oruga Comelona
En un día en el que hace sol, la oruga sale de su huevo para cantar una canción:
“Tengo hambre, tengo hambre, debo crecer muy grande. Mis maletas debo empacar y por Latinoamérica me voy a viajar”
El lunes comió en Colombia un sancocho que la dejó como un ocho.
El martes fue a México, comió un pozole y luego se durmió sobre unas flores.
El miércoles fue a la República Dominicana, comió mofongo y se quedó dormida sobre un hongo.
El jueves fue a Cuba, comió tostones y se quedó dormida sobre un par de cajones.
El viernes se fue a Argentina, se comió unos alfajores que después le dieron dolores.
El sábado fue a Perú y comió ceviche como loca que otra oruga la confundió con una foca.
El domingo fue a Ecuador y sintió que comer una hoja sería mejor.
Después de tanto viajar, a su casa en Colombia tenía que regresar. Había ganado tanto peso que ya no cabía en la hoja de su árbol de cerezo.
¡Upa, upa, es hora de construir una pupa! Y después de tanta fiesta en su nueva casa decidió tomar unalarga siesta.
En la mañana, junto al sol, de la pupa una linda mariposa salió.
I was very excited when I received Sara’s music CD, “Más canciones en español.” My excitement took on a life of its own when I listened to her songs. What a sweet and lovely voice! It’s very nice to discover a new artist with a young voice and music that promote a fun learning environment while also teaching culture. Every day I realize there is so much talent out there 🙂 Many of the songs on Sara’s CD are traditional and bring alive diverse Mexican rhythms. Even better, this music CD is suitable for children who are just learning Spanish as a second language and children who are growing up in a bilingual environment. What a great teaching tool to have in Spanish class or at home!
One of my favorite songs is “El Dragón” which is very short and provides a lot of repetition that makes it easy to teach. Another one that is a fave – not only in my casa, but also in my classes – is “Los Pollitos.” Sara did a very nice job making this song enjoyable, inspiring children ask for it in every Spanish class.
I can’t forget to mention that my heart jumped for joy when I heard her version of one of the most beautiful traditional Andean songs in existence,“Carnavalito Humauaqueño.” This song is a “must have.” As with many of her songs, this one promotes culture and is perfect to support a unit about the Andes region. Plus, it will really get your students jumping!
This music CD is a treasure. I highly recommend it to parents and educators who are in search of beautiful songs that teach and promote cultural understanding. I am sure you will love it as much as my students and I do!
¡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.