Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Receta para salsa tipo pico de gallo

The yumminess....a simple recipe which transports my Mexican friends back home :)

dos jalapeños picados (two jalapeños, chopped)
tres jitomates picados (three tomatoes, chopped)
una cebolla picada (one onion chopped)
dos dientes de ajo picado (two garlic cloves, chopped)
jugo de un limón verde (juice of one lime)
una rama de cilantro picado (a sprig/branch of cilantro, chopped)

Mezcla todo y ¡ya! (Mix all ingredients together and there you go!)

After my kiddos tasted the salsa, I had them fill out an exit slip indicating how they felt. You can download it here.

I love this video illustrating how pico de gallo is made- even though they may not understand every word, the visual representation is great!

Our own Olivia illustrates this recipe in our printable minibook 'Olivia hace salsa'! Find it here!


My Fourth Graders have been reading 'Olivia hace salsa' and this week are enjoying the real thing! It's quite a feat to make enough salsa to feed a whole class, let alone four classes (have to do it in stints lol), but boy is it worth it. Many of my kiddos have only had jarred salsa, which has its merits, but fresh salsa can't be beat! After eating the salsa, I had them fill out an exit ticket indicating how they feel about the salsa :) It's been a yummy taste test treat!

FOR THE WHOLE CLASS of 20 kids, here are approximations of how much I use of each ingredient:

*7-8 tomatoes (chopped)
*1-2 large onions (chopped)
*3 jalapeños, sometimes more (chopped)
*4 cloves of garlic, minced
*2 limes (their juice)
*cilantro, chopped

*1 bag of Santitas brand tortilla chips (these have been approved by my wheat free, nut free parents so I use them without worrying about allergies)

Mix altogether- I give each kiddo about 3-4 chips and a spoonful of salsa- it's just a taste, but they can go home and make more! :)

Illustrate the recipe! Salsaaaaaaaaa!

My Fourth Graders are engaged in our Salsa theme, reading 'Olivia hace salsa' (our printable minibook..find it here in our TpT store), and using plastic fruits and veggies to 'make' salsa in class. Part of the theme is for my kiddos to illustrate the ingredients (this is a way for me to assess also whether they have acquired the vocab). Here is the activity page they use to illustrate: Ilustrar los ingredientes
Next week we will be making salsa for real...which not only provides a cultural experience, but each kiddo will have to fill out an exit ticket indicating how they liked the salsa (me gusta, me gusta mucho, no me gusta)- there is always an opportunity to use those favorites!

my kiddos reading the book and acting out the story

Practicing Manners Vocabulary Authentically

I am a huge fan of kids using manners, so incorporating activities and situations where they are necessary to use is important to me. But, as we all know, sometimes it's challenging to create authentic situations for vocab usage, rather than artificial ones.  Here are a few ways I provide those opportunities:
*At the beginning of each class I choose a helper (secretario/secretaria) for that day. That kiddo gets to choose a stuffie to hold, all with names, from a basket I have in my classroom. Of course, in order to get the chosen stuffie, the kiddo has to ask for it using 'por favor' and then has to say 'gracias' once he or she gets it. In the older grades, two kiddos go to the basket, one making the choice and the other giving the stuffie to him/her. This second person of course needs to say 'de nada' once the other has said 'gracias'. This stuffie is the biggest perk of being the helper!
*I give out birthday pencils for each birthday- I have a range of colors, so the birthday boy/girl needs to request which color they would like along with 'por favor' and 'gracias'.
*During our greeting activities in Third Grade, I offer a selection of props kiddos can use (fake mustaches, different types of phones, loads of masks, puppets, etc). Kiddos need to ask for the prop of their choice using their manners.
*Classroom requests (may I go to the bathroom, may I get a drink, etc) need to be accompanied by 'por favor'.
*A number of activities/projects we do offer choice- choice of color of paper for a book cover, choice of art materials for crafts, choice of manipulatives for imaginative play, etc- all asked for politely!
*Any replaying of a song, video, game, etc needs to be asked for using manners.
*If a child sneezes and I say 'Salud', the kiddo needs to respond with 'gracias'.

And of course, I model this vocabulary as well! I am very conscientious about using please, thank you, and you're welcome all through class, every class. nice to be polite!