Happy 2015! Read on for a summary of Spanish class activities in December and January…
Diceimbre 2014 /December 2014
In December, students in all grades had a wonderful time learning about vocabulary for the holidays and special traditions like Las Posadas. We took advantage of the beautiful Christmas decorations in the St. Peter’s library to illustrate and practice new words and phrases including
- la Navidad – Christmas
- Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas
- el arbolito – Christmas tree
- el regalo – gift
- los ornamentos – ornaments
- las luces – lights
- la estrella – star
- la calceta de Navidad – stocking
We sang “Feliz Navidad” and “Noche de Paz” (Silent Night). Students made their own paper “arbolitos de Navidad” and enjoyed coloring and labeling various Christmas scenes and pictures while listening to traditional Spanish Christmas carols and music.
Students read and acted out several bilingual/Spanish language books about Christmas and Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter. Read more about Las Posadas here: http://www.catholic.org/clife/advent/story.php?id=48757
- The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie de Paola
- One Baby Jesus: A New Twelve Days of Christmas: Un Niño Dios by Patricia A. Pingry
- La Primera Navidad (The First Christmas)
- Nacimiento de Jesus (The Birth of Jesus)
- Las Posadas: Christmas in Mexico
- Las Posadas
Enero 2015/January 2015 and Beyond
During January and into the second half of the school year, we’ll be reviewing and applying the content we have already learned, such as greetings, calendar activities, feelings, colors, seasons, weather, etc. Ana (un ratoncito – mouse) and Pepe (un gatito – cat), our Spanish class puppet friends, will make appearances with our younger students to help model and review questions and topics such as “¿Cómo te llamas?”/What’s your name? and “Me llamo _______”/My name is” and “¿Cómo estás?/How are you?.” Additionally, I’m looking forward to introducing the following new units to students in all grades in January:
- La Ropa (clothing) – The winter months are a great time to review and apply what we’ve learned about weather and the seasons and the body and to discuss the types of clothing we need to stay warm.
- ¿Qué te gusta? – What do you like? – Learning about foods and what we like/don’t like is always a favorite. We’ll take the opportunity to talk about what’s healthy and good for our bodies as well.
Special Topics: Geography of the Spanish-Speaking World
For students in grades 2-6, we’ll also be applying geography and social studies concepts by reviewing maps, los continentes (the continents), cardinal directions (norte, sur, east, and west), and landforms. This will allow us to compare and contrast ¿Qué hay in Carolina del Sur? (What is there in South Carolina) and other Spanish speaking countries. The students have already learned a funny rap about how many continents there are and will learn other songs as well. We will also spotlight several Latin American countries, including México, Perú, and Argentina, along with Spain, especially Madrid. For each each country/place, we will learn about specific cultural aspects, including la bandera (flags; a great way to reinforce and practice colors and shapes), art/artists, foodways, history, traditions, landforms, etc. Doing so will allow us to interweave language functions into real-world and engaging content that overlaps with students’ academic content outside of Spanish class.
It’s helpful to keep in mind that learning a foreign language is a long process that is best viewed as progress along a continuum of proficiency. Repetition, repetition, repetition – it’s key to retaining new language. Though I don’t always say it explicitly in these posts, know that in each lesson we are reviewing and applying all the vocabulary and content and communicative functions that have come before. It’s exciting to see how far the kids have come!
Stay tuned for more details coming soon. Thank you again for the gift of teaching these darling kids! They make each day in the classroom such a joy and so much fun.