Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Tarjetitas para una buenísima maestra

The school year is winding down and what better way to show your Spanish teacher how much you appreciate her than with these cute 'tarjetitas'? Print them out along the guidelines and give your teacher a smile today! Download for free here

Frida Kahlo in the Elementary Spanish Classroom

Like me, perhaps you are fascinated and inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo. Her determination, creativity and artistic brilliance are amazing and have thoroughly affected both Mexican and world culture. Bringing Frida into the elementary Spanish classroom has become easier and easier with a host of kid-friendly resources that allow the Spanish teacher to provide an age appropriate view into her life and paintings. Here are some of my favorites:

*Frida's World is an app for tablets with lovely illustrations and a storybook kids can read and/or listen to. It also includes a cute coloring book which kids love!

*Patchanimals has just created this wonderful coloring page! Kids draw in their own face and color! How cool!

*Museo Frida Kahlo has an amazing website for kids to explore Frida's house. You can visit a variety of rooms in her house, each with interactive components which are a delight! Museo Frida Kahlo also has a Facebook page which posts daily....a great page to become a fan of if you are a Spanish teacher!

*What little girl doesn't love to play with paper dolls? These are beautifully rendered but hard for little hands to cut out so I've printed out 5 sets of these, cut them out myself and keep them on my activity shelf for fast finishers. Even the boys get into them! You can find them here.

*I love this video! Made in Argentina, it is a wonderful short clip about her life and art. Though my Second Graders can't understand everything, they are able to pick out a fair amount of vocabulary! And, watching this after an introduction to Frida's life, they have a context for what is shown.

*Frida by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Ana Juan is by far my favorite biography of Frida for kids. The illustrations are to die for and the text is clear and very kid friendly. I particularly like how it focuses on her childhood.

*Our very own printable minibook and Activity pack about Frida's life. Using simple sentences for each page, 'Pepita lee sobre Frida Kahlo' is a perfect way for kiddos to learn key facts about her biography in Spanish! Along with the minibook, our Activity pack features a host of fun activities to reinforce vocabulary in the story and have kids create their own short autobiography and self portrait. You can find it in our TpT shop here.

*Lil Libros offers this wonderful Frida inspired counting book which makes a great addition to your classroom library!

*In my Second Grade classes kiddos have the opportunity to indicate (and practice vocabulary!) how they feel about a collection of Frida's paintings using 'me gusta', 'me gusta mucho' and 'no me gusta'.  I have done this two different ways- hanging the paintings in the hallway so kiddos can go out to mark charts I've hung underneath each painting a few at a time while others are creating self portraits inspired by Frida. I've also had all the paintings laid out in our circle and kids rotate around the circle marking each chart as they go. The charts have spaces underneath each header (me gusta, me gusta mucho, and no me gusta) for check marks or x's. Kids love to do this!

Liked this post? Check out our post on bringing Celia Cruz into your classroom, too! Click here to read it!

How do you bring Frida Kahlo into your classroom?

Toma lo que te hace feliz minicartel

We've created this super cute miniposter for all you teachers who need a little smile in your day! Post it on your fridge, in the staff room at school or in your classroom....and take a slip each time you need a lift! Download it for free here! And, since the vocabulary is quite "elementary", wouldn't it be cute for your students?!

And don't forget to join us on Facebook for our 'End of the Year Online Party" where we are sharing ideas, resources, freebies, and lots of fun- let's help each other enjoy (and survive!) these last few weeks! 

Come join the party!

Mundo de Pepita, Resources for Teaching Spanish to Children invites YOU to our 'End of the Year Online Party'! Join us on Facebook as we celebrate (and survive!) the last few weeks of school. Resources, ideas, freebies, collegial support and lots of fun! See you there!

Join us!

'Memorama' (Memory) with a twist!

My elementary Spanish students love to play Memorama- and I do, too! It's a great game to review vocabulary, kiddos usually already know how to play (there are a few who don't, I've discovered!), and the prep is practically non existent once the cards are made. The bonus, of course, is that while kiddos are playing, they are learning game vocabulary such as 'Es mi turno', 'un par', 'yupi' and many more, enabling them to stay in the target language.

Over the years I have created many Memorama sets, some of which are always handy for my fast finishers to play with and others which I bring out during certain themes to reinforce the vocabulary we are focusing on. When we play as a whole group, I like to add an additional twist, an additional layer to our playing to kill two birds with one stone as it were.
Instead of setting up the game on a table or on the floor, I use a pocket chart to house the cards. I have written the numbers 1-20 on small squares of paper and affixed them to the pocket chart, leaving space between each number for the cards. How we play:
-I call on a kiddo to name a number- I then flip the corresponding card over and we name the picture.
-I call on a second kiddo to name another number- I flip that card over and we see if we have a match. If we do, '¡Yupiiiii! ¡Un par!. If not, 'Ay, ay, ay' or '¡Caracoles!'.
I continue in this manner for the duration of the game (I usually only play as a whole group for 10-15 minutes as my youngers tend to get squirrelly). We then count up the number of matches and I record how many...sometimes we play to get our best number of matches over the course of a few classes or we play in competition with other classes in that grade level. I love being able to incorporate numbers into the activity- as an alternative, you could affix letters of the alphabet or small pictures of well known vocabulary!

Looking for printable Memorama cards? We've got a set of FREE cards in our TpT store..find them here.

¡Vamos a hacer un sándwich! A fun dramatic play activity that can also incorporate STEAM!

We all know little kiddos love to play! Incorporating play into authentic language activities harnesses that energy, increasing motivation and enthusiasm for learning new concepts and vocabulary. I am very lucky to have a large collection of play food which we use on a regular basis. My Multiage students (K-2) have been reading our minibook 'El sándwich de Mateo' with Activity Pack (see it here in our TpT store) which focuses on the phrases 'más ___', 'gracias', 'por favor' and 'es demasiado grande'...Julieta makes Mateo a cheese sandwich but he wants more and more cheese until it's too big! Simple vocabulary, but important!

Manners printable minibook in Spanish for elementary school
Get it here!
To practice these phrases, I pulled out a bunch of plastic sandwich ingredients which we've used to retell the story. To make it even more fun, I've added more ingredients such as lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and, how high can we build a sandwich before it topples over????

The first class we played this, I had kiddos tell me what to put on next. All the ingredients were spread out on the rug, and I called on students to tell me 'lechuga por favor' or 'más queso por favor'. As the sandwich grew, kids started calling out 'es muy grande', 'es enorme', using previously learnt vocabulary from our 'Zoo' theme. It kept growing until, you guessed it, it fell over!

Talk about suspense and laughter! The next class, instead of me building the sandwich, I called up kiddos one by one while another student told him/her what to put on next. Serious fun and serious learning...and 100% engagement in the lesson! Love it!

How can you make this a STEAM / STEM LESSON? Ask students to predict beforehand how many ingredients can be stacked BEFORE it topples over. Record their answers on the board, or have small slips of paper ready for them to write their prediction on. Once the sandwich has toppled over, count up the number of ingredients, minus 1, and see whose predictions were correct (or close).

Looking for play food? Try your local Goodwill or garage sales or head over to Amazon which has tons of choices. Here's a link to a sandwich set!


Super cute Buen esfuerzo certificates!

It's always important to recognize our students for all they do! Learning a foreign language can be a challenge, especially for some students who may struggle to acquire vocabulary and concepts- encouraging them, supporting them can make all the difference. Let them know you value their efforts with this cute free downloadable '¡Buen esfuerzo! certificate...print, fill out, and give to your hardworking students! Download it here.