Nibi is Water is a beautiful picture book written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson and translated intoAnishinaabeKwe by Shirley Williams and Isadore Toulouse. This book was written for babies and toddlers and is a wonderful resource for preschool and kindergarten world language classes too. By bringing this book to your classes, you are not only sharing the powerful message of protecting water and what nibi (water in AnishinaabeKwe) means for the Ojibwe but also to use it as a tool to provide authentic language input for your students. And the most important thing! Buy the book if you can to support the author. It’s also great when you can add it to your own classroom or school library.
I highly recommend that before engaging with the book to give input to your students, you give some background information about the author. I believe this short clip is great to do so. The clip is obviously in English, but it is important for students to understand why the book was written and help the author spread the message about the connection between water and her culture. Remember that world language classes should be a space not only limited to learning about the culture of the target language you are studying and learning day to day, but to connect with the world as a richly interwoven tapestry of languages, cultures, and traditions. Our classes should be a space to nurture global citizenship!
Some suggestions for using this book:
1. After watching the video with your students, read the book to provide additional context. I added the high frequency word “puedes”. For example:
Page 1: La lluvia es agua.
Page 2: La nieve es agua.
Pages 3 & 4: En el agua puedes chapotear y remar.
Pages 5 & 6: En el agua puedes nadar. Puedes tomar el agua.
Pages 7 & 8: Puedes hacer crecer las plantas o hacer encoger un suéter.
Pages 9 & 10: Con el agua te puedes bañar y cepillar.
Pages 10 & 11: Puedes lavar los platos o bajar (descargar) el baño.
Pages 12 & 13: Puedes salpicar o tomar.
Pages 14 & 15: Puedes darle agua al perro y al gato. Puedes ver al oso en el agua.
Pages 16 & 17: Puedes dar gracias y respetar.
Pages 18 & 19: Puedes dar amor y proteger.
Page 20: Nibi es agua.
Page 21: Nibi es vida. El agua es vida.
I use painter’s tape(Amazon affiliate link) to add text to any book I want to adapt and make it comprehensible for my students. This type of tape sticks to the book without damaging it if you decide to remove the tape in the future.
2. The illustrations are just amazing! Use them to talk about the different animals and colors in the book.
The end of this month is fast approaching! There are so many great things that we can do in our classes, but with limited time, especially in the elementary classrooms, we have to choose intentionally.
If you are still deciding what to do, I’m sharing some options with you here. The list includes resources for elementary, middle and high school students! Some of the resources are on my blog and others are available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
This year I decided to take a different approach on Valentine’s Day and focus on activities for the Random Acts of Kindness Week promoted by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
I used this video with some of my classes as the basis for conversation. Just like many world language teachers do with clip talks/chats, I wrote a script based on the story and pre-taught some of the vocabulary using tools such as Quizlet and WordWallwhich, by the way, my students love because it gives them different possibilities to practice words at their own pace without the pressure of competing with other peers. I love it too!
Going back to the script, these are the words and phrases I focused on:
Colorea el mundo con actos de bondad, bondad, colorea, agarra, le da, tiene, come, corre, camina, se cae, llora, duerme, and chistosa (I put this last word on the list because, even though it is not a high-frequency word, I still wanted my students to learn it).
Here is the script:
Hay un niño y una niña. El niño tiene hambre. La niña tiene hambre.
El niño agarra una manzana y un sánduche.
La niña está sorprendida. La niña agarra un banano.
El banano está malo. La niña está triste.
El niño le da la manzana a la niña.
La niña agarra la manzana. La manzana es roja.
La niña come la manzana. La niña tiene colores.
La niña camina. El señor corre. El dinero se cae.
La niña agarra el dinero. La niña le da el dinero al señor.
El señor agarra el dinero. El dinero es verde. El señor tiene colores.
Hay una abuelita. La abuelita camina con una maleta.
La maleta se cae. El señor agarra la maleta y la pone arriba.
La abuelita está feliz. La abuelita tiene colores.
Hay una mamá y una bebé. La bebé llora. La abuelita lee.
Las personas no están felices. Las personas está enojadas.
La abuelita mira a la bebé. La bebé llora más. La abuelita tiene una idea. La abuelita es chistosa.
La niña está feliz y la mamá está feliz. La mamá tiene colores. La bebé tiene colores. Las personas tienen colores.
La mamá mira la computadora. La abuelita duerme. La bebé duerme. ¡Todos están felices!
¡Colorea el mundo con actos de bondad!
During the video
I paused the video and asked questions related to what we were watching, but also based on the script I wrote. I also made sure to ask the children after every situation “¿Es un acto de bondad?” to reinforce the title of the video.
I didn’t do a lot of extension activities this time, but as a closing activity, we brainstormed some acts of kindness that later were used in the craft shown in the picture below. Each child chose a picture, wrote on the cover of a paper heart, and inside wrote their name and a sentence explaining why they chose that word. Some of the children shared their words and read their sentences to the class. I was surprised to see that many of them wanted to share. My home learning students also got to participate through an activity on Seesaw, and the results were beautiful!
This is a simple idea to help bring the topic of kindness to a world language class. I placed their actos de bondad on a bulletin board that is currently in one of the classrooms where I teach.
I am sharing general ideas for teachers based on how a “typical” school year might look in a Preschool and Kindergarten Spanish class. All the ideas I’m sharing here are geared toward programs that meet once or twice a week. In this schedule, there is not that much contact time with the students in the target language, so some of the concepts should be recycled and taught in a spiral way. In other words, if you teach numbers during the first month or two of the school year, continue to make time throughout the year where students may continue to be exposed to the vocabulary. For example, count apples in September and have them guess how many hearts you have in a bag in February.
I like using my students as a guide to know how long I should be exploring the content, but make sure to always go back to it and weave it throughout the school year.
In the spirit of full disclosure, please note that many of the suggestions have links to resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store or affiliate links to Amazon. I invite you to also explore many of your local libraries to find some of the books suggested below. The activity packs that are available on Teachers Pay Teachers have teaching tips, suggested ideas, and games.
I hope this serves as a good starting point to help you create your own curriculum. You might also find new ideas here that you would like to incorporate into your existing curriculum. Click HERE to download your document. Please make sure to click on the pictures to see the links.
¡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.
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