Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


All About Penguins Resources for FLES Spanish

MY ELEMENTARY SPANISH STUDENTS LOVE PENGUINS! I could probably do penguins all year long and they would be happy lol and given we are always looking for themes and activities that motivate our students, harnessing the love of penguins is definitely a win-win! And, penguins can either be the focus of an entire theme, part of a larger one, or even randomly in the year (I have found I can insert penguins whenever and they go bonkers lol). Here are some resources, links, and ideas to make them part of class, center stage or as a supplement:

Penguin Activities for FLES Elementary Spanish for Kids

*KANSAS CITY ZOO PENGUIN WEBCAM: I frequently have this live webcam of penguins from the Kansas City Zoo up on my whiteboard when kids come in- I am continually amazed by the conversation generated by this simple cam, from counting penguins, to noting what they are doing, to their emotions, temperature, and so on, it never gets old. You can see more webcam links on my blog post here. For the penguins, you can start by asking simple questions such as "What color are the penguins?" or "How many are there?" or "Is this penguin (point to one) swimming or standing?" etc. Feel free to exclaim over what the penguins are doing (this really fosters reactions from kids, and gives them the vocabulary to do the same)- "Look, that penguin is jumping into the water!" or "Wow, how cute!", etc.

*PINGÜINOS, LISTOS, ¡A BAILAR!: This song from Pinkfong is one of my Kindergarteners' favorites-we get up and dance to it and they just can't get enough!

*1 A 10 PINGÜINOS: Another fun song, this one with numbers to 10:

*MOVE LIKE A PENGUIN: A simple but fun activity is to have kids move like a penguin, such as "walk, slide, swim, dive, etc'. As with all movement activities, it's a good idea to establish/review appropriate behaviors in the classroom prior to kids moving to avoid unsafe action. You can find a set of photos to go along with actions in our Penguin Activity Pack mentioned below!

*EL PINGÜINO EMPERADOR: This video ties in really well with the above activity, as it features a series of movements along with simple facts.

*CAMINANDES: This video is great as a VideoWalk-featuring a guanaco and penguins, it is both hilarious and endearing! Stop strategically throughout the video to ask questions about the action and what is seen in the video to practice and reinforce vocabulary and structures you are working on in class. I also do a second run through when showing videos without pausing; this helps with "crowd control" lol

*PEPITA Y LOS PINGÜINOS DE CHILE ACTIVITY PACK: For your youngest learners, don't miss our super fun mini book & activity pack featuring the penguins of Chile! Simple activities geared for littles, this is a great motivating theme-Click here to grab it!

Penguins of Chile Spanish Activity Pack
Click here
*LAS PARTES DEL CUERPO: I have frequently seen activities where students learn the parts of a penguin's body (or any animal for that matter), which can be a fun way to incorporate some science in a lesson. Consider, however, focusing on the verb and the quantity rather than the body parts themselves, which may not be high frequency vocabulary. Focusing on having kids provide the verb and other high frequency vocabulary, for me at least, is an easy way to shift an activity like this. You can find this activity, plus others in our Penguin Activity Pages resource here! And don't miss our January 2021  magazine issue El pingüino penacho!

Penguin Activity Pack for Spanish Class
Click here

Caga Tió A Catalan Christmas Tradition

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF CAGA TIÓ (ALSO KNOWN AS TIÓ DE NADAL), THE POOPING CHRISTMAS LOG, PART OF CHRISTMAS IN CATALUÑA.... after being inspired by a number of wonderful teacher colleagues, I decided to make my own for my classroom. Years ago I used to talk about this tradition, but have gotten away from it for a long time, so am excited to bring him back-and this time as a real log! Below is the process of how I made mine, along with a bunch of resources so you can include him in your classes, too!

Tió de Nadal or Caga Tió A Cataluña Christmas Tradition

SO, THE LOG... we were lucky enough to have an awesome True Value right by our house which we patronize all the time, and, like at so many small town businesses, we are friendly with the owners, so we stopped by and got a birch log off their pile out back for free- thank you Vic! Any log will do, I am sure-ours is about a foot long, and maybe 8 inches in diameter. I used a smaller branch to saw two legs on a diagonal (yes, I did the sawing!), which my husband then screwed into the bigger log. I cut a wine cork in half and painted it red, then glued it to the face along with drawing on eyes, a smile, and rosy cheeks. The hat I made out of felt, using glue to affix the black portion to the red- super simple DIY!


OF COURSE, YOU MUST FEED HIM...I love that he is often fed healthy foods, like mandarin oranges, nuts, and other snacks. Here is a very well done short video of him "eating" (no need to show the very end which is a PSA) here.

And a quirkier version:

 THIS VIDEO IS QUITE CUTE AND COULD SERVE TO SHOW HOW TO HIT TIÓ  WITH STICKS... and then delivers presents via his posterior! (I like how gently they hit him...I think we seem to get the idea that you whale away at him when described as "beating the sh** out of him" rather than this much sweeter demonstration-after all, it is a kid's tradition, right? Click here.


TO HELP YOU MAKE AN INTRODUCTION OF TIÓ DE NADAL IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE, you can download our set of visuals FREE in our shop-click here.

I am in LOVE with this super short video, featuring Tió de Nadal, the Three Kings, and Santa Claus. Perfect for a quick brain break or to start/end class just for fun. Click here!

and for even more fun, don't miss our Caga Tió mug! You can find it by clicking here

Have fun!

Holiday Multilingual E Cards to Celebrate the Season 2018

THEY'RE HERE! THIS YEAR'S HOLIDAY E CARDS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES are ready for you to spread some festive cheer this season! A few (the ornaments hanging from fir boughs) were inspired by a fir tree in our front yard, and all I illustrated using a new app I discovered, Procreate, which I just LOVE! To download each card, just click on the link below the image-you can then send them virtually, post on Twitter or Facebook, or print out to share!

Find our 2017 collection here and 2016 set here!

Feliz navidad llama E Card in Spanish
Click here to download
Frohe Weihnacten E Card
Click here to download
С новым годом Russian New Year's E Card
Click here to download
Joyeux Noël French E Card for Christmas
Click here to download
Feliz Janucá Hanukkah E Card in Spanish
Click here to download
Wishing you a beautiful season of light! :)