TIS THE SEASON AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO STAY CONNECTED than to send your friends, colleagues, and loved ones a card! We've created three E CARDS in Spanish you can download for free and send via email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more! Let's fill cyber space with joy and fun!
MY ELEMENTARY SPANISH STUDENTS LOVE SONGS that involve movement, and I love them, too! Actions and acting out songs reinforces the vocabulary presented in context via the song, and provides that all important movement component little squirrels need. Since it is the holiday season, my Kindergartners are having loads of fun with 'Burrito Sabanero', a long time favorite of mine....here's how we're incorporating it in class:
*MY GOAL FOR THIS VILLANCICO with my Kindergartners is to expose them to the song, without expecting them to learn every word. I concentrate on the repetitive lines 'si me ven, si me ven, voy camino de Belén' for their initial exposure. For the movement component, I made a printable donkey hobby horse (double sided) and attached it to a yardstick- you could use any hobby horse available or find a picture of a donkey in a magazine or online and attach it to a yard stick. Choose a student to "ride" the donkey and hit play- while everyone is tapping their toe, the rider gallops around the circle. Stop the music after the first stanza and hand the donkey off to another student, stopping the music again after the next stanza. Continue in this manner until the end of the song. You can then either play the song again so that everyone has a turn, or play the song/game over the course of a few classes to ensure turns all around.
MY KINDERGARTEN SPANISH STUDENTS are a wiggly bunch, and as much as they love to sing José Feliciano's song 'Feliz navidad' during December, adding another layer with musical instruments really focuses them, and provides an additional cultural component to the song. I do confess: I got this idea from our Music teacher, the magnificent Mr. Dyer, tweaked it a little to ensure I could do it entirely in Spanish, and ¡Ta-chán! The fun ensues!
START BY GATHERING TOGETHER a bunch of instruments from Spanish speaking countries (beg, borrow or steal!)- your school music teacher is a great resource, as are many gen ed teachers who have a stray maraca hanging about. Over the years, I have collected quite a collection, taking advantage of yard sales, Good Will, and others, but work with what you have.
PUT THE INSTRUMENTS OUT in the middle of your circle or in front of your students so they can see them and take a minute to point out various ones and where they are from. Here are the ones I have:
NEXT, HAND OUT AN INSTRUMENT to each kiddo. I find this avoids bickering over certain instruments if I hand them out, rather than having kids choose for themselves. Establish a 1...2, 1..2...3 rhythm with the instruments- this is what they will "play" during the song (feliz- two syllables, hence 1...2, and navidad- three syllables, hence 1..2..3). Next, practice the rhythm saying 'feliz navidad' as you practice.
HIT THE MUSIC AND BEGIN PLAYING FELIZ NAVIDAD... each time José Feliciano sings the words 'feliz navidad' have the students play the rhythm. When not playing the instruments, have your students hold them quietly in their laps (I put up my hand in a 'stop/ alto' gesture so they know when to stop- this is also great to help them with self control, so you are also building social skills :) ). My kiddos love this! Each class I redistribute the instruments so they get to play a variety over the course of a couple of weeks. Have fun!
HERE IS A QUICK VIDEO OF THE RHYTHM (please forgive my singing voice!):