Favorite Music for Spanish Class

I remember ten years ago it was so difficult to find good music to teach Spanish to children, especially at the elementary level. I am so glad that talented teachers have created new music to enrich our classes. Here is a list of my favorite singers in random order:

11. Sonrisas 

14. This space is reserved for Shakira and Pitt Bull when they write their first song collection for teaching Spanish to kids!

Happy singing!

Talking About “El Día de los Muertos” in Your Class

El Día de los Muertos is widely celebrated in Mexico and Guatemala as well as in other countries in Latin America.  It is a very important celebration meant to remember family members and friends who have passed away and are not with us anymore in this world. It is generally a very happy and colorful event that involves a lot of art, food, music, and most importantly, time with family and friends. 

In Mexico, the holiday is celebrated over the course of three days that coincide with Halloween. Many cultural historians have noted that El Día de los Muertos is a Mexican form of the Catholic All Saints’ Day, and it thus mixes European and indigenous roots, a particularly rich feature of Mexico and Latin America in general (mixing of traditions). This is a great opportunity to let our children know that, while it’s a colorful holiday complete with skeleton characters, it is not something that should be simply equated with “Mexican Halloween.” Perhaps it can serve as a chance to point out similarities and differences between things, a kind of early opportunity to explore comparisons and contrasts in a formal way in the classroom, and to encourage families to do the same at the dinner table or in the car. 

November 1st is the most important day to celebrate in Guatemala and it is known by the Catholic name as El Día de Todos los Santos. The Guatemalan celebration is also filled with joy and in towns like Santiago Sacatepequez, where it includes flying big kites that represent a way to communicate and be in contact with the dead.

Here is a short song that by the Scherzo band from Querétaro, México.

Al sonar las doce de la noche 
Las calaveras salen a pasear,
Muy contentas se suben a su coche 
En bicicleta y también a patinar. 
Tumba, tumba, tumba vacía 
Ciérrate ya que viene la fría,
Jajaja que risa me da,
Jajaja no me alcanzará.

Have fun celebrating in class!

Parachute Time in Spanish Class

Here are some fun activities to try in Spanish class:

• Have the children move around the room while saying marcha (march)¬ and have them stop by saying para (stop). Do the same with the other actions: salta (jump), arriba (put hands up), abajo (put hands down), adentro (go inside the circle), afuera (go outside the circle).

• Use a parachute for active play or a sheet, and have the children do the previous actions. Place an object in the middle of the parachute/fabric, preferable an object related to the themes explore before (numbers, colors, animals, etc) to link the lessons.

Use this song while playing with the parachute!

Marcha, marcha, marcha,
Marcha, marcha, marcha 1-2-3.
Arriba, abajo, arriba, abajo
Arriba, abajo 1-2-3.
Adentro, afuera, dentro, afuera,
Adentro, afuera 1-2-3.
Salta, salta , salta,
Salta, salta, salta 1-2-3.

March, march, march,
March, march, march 1-2-3.
Up, down, up, down,
Up, down, 1-2-3.
Inside, outside, inside, outside,
Jump, jump, jump,
Jump, jump, jump 1-2-3.

Visit 1-2-3 Spanish Together on iTunes for more fun songs in Spanish!

Have fun!
Fun For Spanish Teachers

A Chant That Teaches Greetings and Introductions in Spanish

Chants are a great way to provide space for repetition and also put sentences that sometimes could be boring to practice into a rhythm and context. Plus, chants help memory! 

I learned from Mama World that this song is called “Ambó Ató,” and it  is based on a traditional song that has its origins in France and later was translated and sung in many Spanish speaking countries.

The rhythm of this song is very catchy and can easily be used to involve everyone in class.  Just create new sentences and replace the main sentences in the song and get ready to have your class singing.
This is an example of how the song can be used:

Have fun singing in Spanish!

A Song to Welcome The Fall: “Hojas, Hojas”

Fall will be here soon! What a great opportunity to play with colors in Spanish. Here are some idea to use this song:

Imitate the sound of the wind and the freshness of the fall to introduce this activity.
Use pictures of different seasons and ask the class “¿es verano?”, “¿es primavera?”.
Give time for answers and go through every season until you get to “otoño”.
Introduce the word “hojas” and then sing the song while throwing plastic fall leaves in the circle. Have children explore different colors and help by naming them.

Have fun singing in Spanish!

ABC en Español

ABC en Español is a website created by Lauren Peacock,  a Spanish teacher  who writes her own songs and makes her own videos that go along with her songs. She has a great collection of resources for teachers to use with their students. To learn more about her teaching resources, visit www.abcenespanol.net.

Las Frutas
Rosa La Foca
Las Calabazas
El Gusano TuTu
Have fun singing in Spanish!

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