Before you read, if you missed my last freebie, make sure you click here to visit my post to download a fun Christmas puzzle. This time I am sharing a fortune teller origami, known as “comecocos” in Spanish. This activity is geared toward upper elementary and middle school students. It will be a great way for them to talk about their holidays. Introduce and model the sentences in class before diving into making the “comecocos.”
During these last weeks of December before winter break, I’m sharing some activities and ideas for you to use in your classes. This first activity is a simple puzzle with basic Christmas vocabulary. It is a great way to review colors. After coloring and cutting out the pieces, you can describe one of the pictures of the puzzle and ask your students to find it. If using the black and white version you could say “dice “¡Jo, jo, jo!”, ask a volunteer to tell you the name and describe the colors she used to color it. You can also set up a timer and organize a competition around putting the puzzle together. Whoever wins the competition will have to name all the vocabulary in the puzzle. This is a simple activity that works great with grades K-1. There is no right or wrong way to put it together.
I can’t believe Christmas is around the corner! Many of us are teaching Christmas songs to our students, and what a great way to teach vocabulary in context.
Here is a group of fun songs I found on YouTube and that I think are perfect for Spanish learners. Some of the songs are more complex, and some have a great amount of repetition. You can choose the song according to the amount of time you have left to teach it to your students. This year I didn’t really plan in advance so I decided to go with same old “Noche de Paz” and I am surprised that my students still love singing this song!
Anyways, here are all the villancicos I have chosen for you!
1. Mi Burrito Sabanero, a version by Colombian singer Juanes. This is a traditional song known mostly in Latin America. Click here to listen to another fun version.
2. Cascabel by TinyTunes
3. ¡Feliz Navidad a Todos! by Little Baby Bum
4. Muñeco de Nieve by Los Niños Cantores de Navidad from Colombia
5. Tutaina Tuturuma is a traditional Christmas song from Latin America.
December 7th is an exciting day in Colombia! It’s the day when many people celebrate “LaNoche de lasVelitas” also known as “El Día delasVelitas.” Although the origins of this celebration are religious (as the night when many families welcome and celebrate “The Immaculate Conception”), it’s also seen as a way for families to welcome the end of year festivities in which many people, but not all, celebrate Navidad. Farolitos (luminaries) and candles are seen everywhere.
I have blogged before about the importance of this celebration in Colombia. Visit the links below to read my previous posts and find other activities to help you share with your students about this and other Christmas traditions in Colombia.
This is a simple way to make farolitos with your students. You will need:
1. Paper lunch bags
2. Led tea light – battery operated
3. Templates of different Christmas shapes
4. Tissue paper – preferably green and red
Use the opportunity to bring some language to the lesson. Visit my previous post with some ideas about questions for this activity. Talk about the colors and materials needed to make the farolitos.
You will need to prepare the templates in advanced and pre-cut the pieces of tissue paper.
1. Trace the shape on the paper lunch bag.
2. Cut out the shape. Younger students might need help to start cutting the shape.
3. Glue the tissue paper inside the paper bag.
4. Insert tea light
This is optional. Students can make designs around the edges of the bag.
5. Get ready to sing some villancicos while celebrating La Noche de las Velitas in class. Here is a great playlist on YouTube. I also recommend the “Mi Burrito Sabanero” version by Colombian singer Juanes.
Mamá Tortuga, who is also a Colombian bloguera has another awesome tutorial to make farolitos with your students. Please hop over her blog – rápido y no a paso de tortuga- to learn all about it!
December is a busy month in Colombia. Many schools close early in the month, and everyone gets ready to celebrate “la Navidad” with friends and family. Everything starts on December 7th with “La Noche de la Velitas,”a night for everyone to celebrate la Inmaculada Concepcion. You will find candles in many houses, and they will stay lit all, night and the celebration continues until December 8th.
From December 16 to the 24th, many families gather to recite prayers and sing Christmas songs next to the Nativity scence. This is called “Las Novenas” because it lasts nine days.
December 24th is a family night, when everyone awaits with joy the rebirth of “El Niño Jesús.” People share Colombian treats such as natilla, brevas, and manjar blanco to celebrate. The children that attended all the novenas without missing a might will get presents from the family hosting the celebration. This is the most important night when people stay up waiting for Niños Dios to arrive. Children have to go to bed before midnight to be able to receive their presents.
December 25th is the day when the children celebrate opening the presents “El Niño Jesús” left next to the Nativity scene, the Christmas tree, or under the bed.
All these celebrations lead to December 28th, “El Día de los Inocentes,” a day that is similar to April Fools in the United States. It is a day filled with jokes and fun.
And on December 31st everyone gets excited about the New Year and the resolutions it brings. Año Viejosare built in many places to leave the bad things from the previous year behind and make a new start. They are be burned at 12:00am. The five minutes before the year ends are crucial and frantic, with yellow underwear for good luck, suitcases filled to go around the block (to ensure you travel much), a dollar bill in your pocket (you probably get the reason for this one), 12 grapes with 12 wishes or resolutions, and many other exciting and fun thing for a new start to a new year.
January 6th is usually not a big day in Colombia, but it is in other countries like Spain. In Colombia, it’s the date that marks the end of the Christmas season which means it’s time to put away the pesebre for next year!