Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mystery country bags- let's play detective!


Bags for Colombia and Perú


I am really excited about these bags! I had seen a similar idea on Pinterest for the 7 continents and thought, why not do that with Spanish speaking countries? My first graders have been learning about the South American map and countries there which speak Spanish so the timing couldn't be better. I started by getting out 9  one gallon size ziploc bags and labeling each 1-9. Then, I set about filling them with items and pictures which would give clues as to which country it is. I had showed my first graders a slide show with famous landmarks, animals, nature and locations a few weeks ago and we have been working with a large map depicting a host of things for each country which gave them some familiarity with the countries. I would say at least 2-3 things for each country were recognizable to my kiddos before we started this activity.
Bag for Argentina

So, into the bags went pictures of famous places such as Angel Falls and Machu Picchu, flags, money, animals such as llamas, toucans, Galapagos tortoises and crocodiles, foods that are grown in particular countries such as grapes, bananas, coffee, oranges, and more, and realia from a variety of countries that would fit in the bags, such as dolls and small trinkets representative of different places.
Bag for Bolivia
Where necessary, I looked up pictures on Google Images to print out such as the flamingos in the picture above or Messi for the Argentina bag. Each bag has about 5-6 things in it. Lastly, I numbered a bunch of index cards to correspond to the bags. I formed partners in class so that two kiddos could work together. Each pair received an index card with three country names on it- they had to look through the bag and circle the country that they thought everything belonged to.


After the partners made guesses for their bag, I collected the index cards and redistributed the bags so each partner group could "investigate" another bag. Before the end of the activity (which took approximately 40 minutes split over two class periods) I put up the index cards with the guesses and we looked at the bags together as a class, and discussed what we saw in the bags and what the tell tale clues were. They absolutely loved it and learned a lot, at an age appropriate level!

Below is a list of what I put in each bag (every country got a flag)...some of what I chose was dependent upon what manipulatives I already had:
Venezuela: a bolivar, a picture of Angel Falls, a toy anteater, a toy iguana, a toy rainforest frog, a toy cow, a picture of arepas, and a plastic orange
Colombia: a plastic empanada, a banana, a bus (chivo) a picture of coffee, a small mola bag, a toy toucan, and some silk flowers
Ecuador: a toy Galapagos tortoise, a toy marine iguana, a picture of Cotopaxi (volcano) a banana, a pineapple, a lemon, a toy lava crab
Perú: a toy llama, a toy scarlet macaw, a small arpillera, a quena, a plastic potato, 50 intis
Bolivia: doll from Bolivia, a small wooden box from Bolivia depicting the highlands, a plastic potato, a toy rainforest frog, a picture of flamingos, a picture of Lake Titicaca and the reed boats
Paraguay: a toy lily pad (to represent the Pantanal), a toy crocodile, a plastic ear of corn, a picture of a sloth, a picture of chipa guasú, a picture of the Pantanal
Uruguay: a plastic steak, a toy cow, a picture of Montevideo, a plastic fish (for seafood), a skein of yarn, a toy whale
Argentina: a plastic steak, a toy cow, a toy penguin, a picture of gauchos, a toy horse, plastic grapes, a picture of Messi, a picture of Argentinosaurus
Chile: plastic grapes, a toy fur seal, a toy whale, a picture of Easter Island, a doll from Chile, a plastic apple, plastic grapes, and a toy mountain lion

17 comments:

  1. ¡Me encanta esta idea! What a wide variety of items you had to come up with too! love it! :)
    Emilie

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    1. Muchas gracias Emilie! It was so much fun to do!!! Julie

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  2. Love the bag idea! I did something similar with my preschool students and put together a collection of photos, maps, facts, flags, etc. that would go perfectly with what you're doing. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/1uBEqmE
    There is also a free sample for Spain and Mexico so you can get an idea. http://bit.ly/1zCRRp7
    Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks for your comment and the links! Really cool! Julie

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  3. What a wonderful activity! Me encanta!

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    1. Thank you! My kids really have so much fun!

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  5. Love this idea! I work at an international school and this is a great way to start the year and introduce the home country of each student! Thanks!

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    1. Thank you, Yael! I love the idea of using it to introduce home countries!

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  6. It's an amazing idea to use , thanks for sharing

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  7. Where do you get the items you used in the bags?

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    1. The realia have been gifts or I have bought them myself; the plastic food and animals I have bought with my school budget (or my own money) at various places- Walmart, School Specialty catalog, Michael's, etc; I also printed out pictures of many things that I did not have but wanted represented in the bags.

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  8. This a great idea!! Have you done other countries? Spain, Mexico and the Central American countries? if you have do you have list of items for those bags? I am a new Spanish teacher. i greatly appreciate all your ideas!!

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    1. Hello Julia! Firstly, congratulations on becoming a Spanish teacher! Yay! Regarding your question, I have also made bags for México and Spain, and have been gathering items for Central America for a centers activity: here is what I have put in the bags, along with a running list for Central America/ Caribbean:
      México: small piñata, un molinillo, monarch butterfly (picture), una maraca, picture of Chichén Itzá, plastic taco, picture of Frida Kahlo, sea turtles
      Spain: picture of paella, windmill, fan, turrón package, plastic flan, Picasso's painting of Don Quixote, picture of Alhambra, pescado
      Costa Rica: picture of quetzal, play sloth, money from Costa Rica, picture of Arenal Volcano, una carreta (ox cart), blue Morpho butterfly
      Panamá: a small mola, picture of the canal, rainforest frog (I have some play ones), picture of a harpy eagle (national bird)
      El Salvador: pupusas, torogoz (national bird), El Tazumal,
      Guatemala: quetzal, Tikal, weaving, worry dolls, plastic mango
      Puerto Rico: coquí, güiro, El Yunque, parrot, quenepas

      I am still working on these! I will write more as I can, but I wanted to answer your question as best I could :) ~Julie

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