Earth Day and National Poetry Month are both celebrated in April. What a perfect time to link these two celebrations in Spanish class with this poem by Elvira Nogal. I really like this poem, but unfortunately don’t have enough information about the author. If you do, please feel free to contact me so I can include it in this post. For now, I will keep enjoying every line in it!
I love that this poem is simple and easy for children to understand! You can use TPR with every verse.
Ana Maria was born in Colombia and she currently lives in the United States. She is the founder of Spanish Plus Me, an initiative to promote the introduction of the Spanish language to children through the use of songs, movement, and fun.
There are many ways to incorporate Earth Day into Spanish class. As a way to review or explore new vocabulary, even to add Global Education, and raise awareness through Spanish class.
One of the biggest challenges I faced a few years ago while doing a 30-minute Spanish class for beginners was trying to find a simple and short Spanish song for Earth Day that would allow me to introduce basic vocabulary and phrases. Despite many great options out there (beautiful videos with great messages), I couldn’t find a fit for my specific needs regarding time and amount of vocabulary included in the lyrics. I decided to compose my own song to make sure I was targeting the vocabulary I needed and that the song was simple enough for my students to sing along.
Mi Tierra is the name of the song I composed, and it is now available on my album, Short + Fun Spanish Beats. I also have created some activities to get the best out of it in the classroom, and I will share some of them with you. I hope the following ideas can help you make it a memorable and fun Earth Day celebration that raises awareness for your students.
Prior to playing the song, familiarize yourself with the lyrics and the vocabulary.
Mi Tierra / My Earth
también es verde
Tiene muchos animales, tiene muchas plantas
La voy a cuidar, voy a reciclar
Mi tierra es azul, también es verde
tiene mucha gente
La voy a
cuidar, voy a reciclar
Review or introduce
Show the students an image of our planet. If there is technology available I recommend Google Earth.
Talk about color, shapes, who and what lives on Earth, and brainstorm ideas to take care of our planet: reduce, reuse, recycle
Read aloud the lyrics of the song while emphasizing the key words. Then ask the kids to listen to the song and raise their hands when they hear words they know. Play the first verse and stop.
Review the words in the second verse and repeat the exercise. For students who can read, you may project the lyrics on the board and have them point at the words they recognize.
Colors: Usually the first vocabulary kids learn in Spanish class includes colors. Finding familiar vocabulary in a song will help the kids to feel confident about being able to understand the lyrics, singing and using additional vocabulary. Singing will help your students to practice pronunciation and retain what they have learned.
Depending on the amount of time available for the class and the age of your students, you can try the following activities:
Make circle shapes attached to popsicle sticks in green and blue, or paint your students’ palms: one blue and the other one green. Then ask them to raise up each shape or painted hand whenever they hear to the word in the song
Add blue and green colors to an Earth drawing (Check out the guide to sing “Mi Tierra” on my TPT store for pre-made coloring and cutting out activities)
TPR (Total Physical Response): Representing the words with gestures and body movements is the best way to remember the vocabulary and also making it fun for the kids.
For this song you can play around with different options to use body movements. You can choose some words to use American Sign Language (example: tierra, azul, verde, recycle), or create movements to represent some of them (animals, plants, people, take care, cities, and towns).
I usually create the movements and then teach them to the kids, but I sometimes like to give them a couple of options to choose from. They are also creative and happy to help you come up with the gestures or movements to connect with the words. For example, they might like to make lion claws or roaring faces, or imitate a monkey when singing about animals.
Pop-up activities: My students love pop-up activities, and we do them with different songs on the album, and also with this one. You can divide your class in different groups, depending on the amount of students and the amount of words you think they can identify. Assign a word to each group and make tally points to count when they pop up (raise their hand or say the word aloud, whatever you prefer) as they listen to the assigned word while you play the song.
This exercise is great to help them to attune their ear to the pronunciation of the words, and to pay attention to the words in the song, as well as making it easy to identify other words.
Thank you to our guest blogger Ana for sharing your knowledge, songs and experience with all our readers. Please make sure to stop by her website to learn all about her and Spanish Plus Me.
Earth Day is around the corner and what a great opportunity to connect it to Spanish. Here are a few resources I have found, and I think are great for elementary school.
Visit Rockalingua to download the free resources that go along with this video.
Online Free Spanish has tons of great activities to celebrate Earth Day in Spanish class, from coloring pages, matching games to word search puzzles. Yes, they are online! No need to print!
Google Earth is one of my favorite resources to use for taking virtual trips in class. How about visiting some protected areas in Spanish speaking countries? I highly recommend you visit the Cocora Valley and Tayrona National Park in Colombia.
Have a fun Día de la Tierra celebration!
¡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.