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Teaching Spanish with Music- All Kinds

Music, or la música, can be the best part of learning to speak Spanish!  Hispanic music is just so fantastic because there are so many types of it; there truly is something for everyone.  Try a free sampling of Latino music on, a free radio streaming site.  Itunes is always a great place to start searching for Latino music and artists.

My personal favorites, mis favoritos son . . .

Putumayo Anthologies- Latino Contemporary and Latino Children’s Traditional Music the best in cultural exposure.  You get different Hispanic cultures, stories, and music in the many thematic anthologies.

Luis Orozco traditional acoustic guitar children’s songs

Juanes- One of the biggest names in Latino Pop.  From Columbia

Alejandro Sanz

Camarón de la Isla– one of Spain’s modern, flamenco greats

Musica can really be everything.  Geography, culture, people, history, art, and literature can be taught along with it, as it should be.  Listening skills also zoom the more a learner listens to native Spanish music.  So, enjoy.  Disfrútalo.

Free Spanish Earth Day Vocabulary Podcast

April 20, 2010 · Posted in Middle School Spanish, Spanish Songs, Spanish Vocabulary · Comment 


Earth DAY in Spanish is el Día de la Tierra. Teach, review, or practice relevant, current vocabulary with numbers, shapes, and colors, and even letters with the three R’s of Earth Day: Reducir, Reutilizar, Reciclar.

El Día de la Tierra

Learners can describe plastic and glass bottle, boxes, magazines, and newspapers in Spanish, and then they can sort them into the categories of plástico (plastic), vidrio (glass), and papel (paper). They can go home and count the recycling items there, categorize them, and report on the numbers!

Free Spanish Earth Day Vocabulary

  • El Día de la Tierra= Earth Day
  • el 22 de abril= Aprill 22
  • the environment= el medio ambiente
  • biodegradable= biodegradable
  • renewable energy= la energia renovable
  • to reduce= reducir
  • to reuse= reutilizar
  • to recycle= reciclar

It’s vital that we all do something to save the earth, salvar la tierra, this Earth Day.

Click here for a  Spanish Earth Day Lesson: A Gouin Series

Click here for Spanish Día de la Tierra songs

Click here for Spanish Earth Day Vocabulary Matching Sheet

Carnaval is here!

The most fun is to be had with Carnaval! Know what Carnaval in Spanish speaking countries is?  It’s the Spanish version of Mardi Gras, but each of the twenty Spanish speaking countries has its own interpretation and cultural touches, or flourishes.  For a few days before the first Tuesday of February parades, parties, dances, and often costumes and masks take over.  Carnaval celebrants celebrate in a big way before the austere season of Lent begins and lasts until Easter Sunday.  Click this link for a Carnaval Lesson for secondary students.  Click this link for a Carnaval lesson for younger learners.

Here is some basic Carnaval Vocabulary

  • el desfile= the parade
  • la carroza= the float
  • los papelitos= confetti
  • la disfraz= costume
  • la máscara= the mask
  • el baile= the dance party

A great song performance about Carnaval

Spanish Game: Prepositions & the Pool

Practice those Spanish prepositions, location words, with the pool!  Use basic Spanish prepositions and a picture of a swimming pool to play a great game full of repetition, but fun.

Goal: Learn Spanish prepositions well enough to recall and say or write them.

Materials: 1.  a list of basic Spanish prepositions.  See previous post on this site.  2.  index cards: one Spanish preposition per card.  Enough cards for entire group of students necessary; repeats are fine. 3.  a picture of a bright blue swimming pool on an 81/2″” by 11” piece of paper (Use plenty of Spanish to describe this.)  4.  Spanish prepositions song.  See previous post


  1. Practice saying, chanting, & singing the Spanish prepositions to the chant and song
  2. Pass out 1 Spanish preposition card to each student
  3. Place the swimming pool picture, la piscina, in the middle of the circle of players, en el centro.
  4. Teacher counts- uno, dos, tres.  Then all players reveal their card.  The teacher chooses the first player to say the Spanish preposition on the card, demonstrate it with la piscina, or even say a Spanish sentence with the preposition & the pool.  This player chooses the next player, and so on.
  5. Players all switch cards.

Once you have a class set of cards, the possibilities for card games are endless.  Use your own ideas, experience, and creativity to come up with even more.  Charades are fun and all sorts of races are exciting too.

Spanish Pool Lesson: Prepositions & the Pool

It’s time to go to the pool and jump in, or va a dentro.  The pool, or la piscina, is the best place to teach, practice, or review Spanish prepositions.  Those pesky little words, prepositions, that show location can be hard to remember.  In English there are about 50, such as at, around, about, behind, beyond, in, out.

Spanish Preposition Chant

Chants are the best way to remember short words.  Check out the chant below

en, debajo, dentro, fuera

delante, detrás, arriba, abajo

al lado, derecha, izquierda,

!las preposiciones!

*English translation

on, below, inside, out

in front of, behind, up, & down

besid, righ, left

the prepositions!

Spanish Pool Vocabulary

  • The pool= la piscina (la pees-eeh-nah) /la alberca
  • The bathing suit= el traje de baño (el traheh de banyo)
  • The towel= la toalla (la toaya)
  • The water- el agua (el awah)

Spanish Phrases

1.  Está . . . .  la piscina. He/she/it is  . . . the pool.

2.  Va  en la piscina. He/she/it goes in the pool.

3.  Nada en la piscina. He/she/it swims in the pool.

Use #1 to practice those preposiciones: Está al lado de la piscina.  Está delante de la piscina.  Está debajo del agua.

Spanish Fruit Lesson: Beginners & Young Learners

Fruit, or la fruta, is so much fun!  The colors, tastes, & textures make la fruta a hit for Spanish learners.  You can cover so much descriptive ground: colors, shapes, sizes, preferences, comparisons, verbs, & prepositions  in Spanish.  Be sure to use it: the real thing, or plastic fruit which adds its own funny feel.

La Fruta Song

**to the tune of the song  “I Want Candy”

Me gusta fruta
1, 2, 3, ¡Che!
Me gusta fruta
4, 5, 6, ¡Che!

Manzana, naranja, fresas y pera
Che, che che
Banana, sandía, uvas, limón
Che, che che

Me gusta fruta
1, 2, 3, Che
Me gusta fruta
4, 5, 6,  (shout your favorite fruit.  Grita tu fruta favorita)

English Translation
I like fruit
1, 2, 3, Che!
I like fruit
4, 5, 6, Che!

Apple, orange, strawberries, pear
Che, che, che, che
Banana, watermelon, grapes, lemon
Che, che, che, che

I like fruit
1, 2, 3, Che
I like fruit
4, 5, 6,  (shout your favorite fruit)

La Fruta Lesson

Language Outcome Goals: For older students or those who have had some Spanish all of the above are realistic.  For the younger and the beginning set, start with Spanish colors, and/or shapes and sizes.  Always use an everyday conversation question: ¿Te gusta la fruta? (Do you like the fruit?),  ¿Comes la fruta mucho? (Do you eat the fruit much?)


  • Fruit, or plastic fruit.  Picture flashcards with the fruit and the Spanish vocabulary
  • Context: You’ve got to create or provide the surrounding Spanish language that brings the fruit vocabulary to life.  A brief story including the target vocabulary with lots of pictures and gestures, a puppet dialogue including the same, and Action or Guoin series, a recipe for fruit salad or fruit smoothies, a beginner’s reading on fruit in Latin America, etc.
  • Song or chant with fruit:  Chants for older students.  They still love them.  Songs are always great.
  • Activities! Ask students to choose, point to, touch, and put, escoge, señala, toca, pon. Endless possibilities¡
  • Language task for learners: A conversational question and answer based on the fruit that all learners use and practice a lot.

Spanish Family Vocabulary, Phrases, & Song: La Familia

La familia is the next theme to explore right after Mother’s Day, el Día de la Madre. Everyone talks about their family, so learning Spanish family members is a must, as well as a couple of everyday questions and answers.

La Familia Vocabulary

  • la madre= the mother
  • el padre= the father
  • el hermano= the brother
  • la hermana= the sister
  • el abuelo= the grandfather
  • la abuela= the grandmother
  • el tío= the uncle
  • la tía= the aunt
  • los tíos= the aunts & uncles

Spanish Q & A

  • ¿Cuántas personas hay en tu familia? En mi familia hay . . . personas.

How many people are in your family?  There are . . . people in my family.

  • ¿Con quién vives? Yo vivo con mi madre, mi padre, mi hermana y . . . .

Who do you live with?  I live with my mother, my father, my sister, and . . .

La Familia Song
¿Cuantas personas hay?
**To the tune of Row Row Your Boat

¿Cuántas personas hay en tu familia?
Madre, padre y los hijos
¿Cuántas personas hay en tu familia?
Abuela, abuelo, y los tíos

English Translation
How many people are in your family?
Mother, father, and the children

How many people are in your family?
Grandmother, grandfather, and aunts & uncles

Click here for a lesson for young learners

Spanish Earth Day Activity: Recycling & Sorting

The great thing about teaching & learning Spanish is that a holiday or an important celebration can be used for so many different activities, and for several days before and after it passes. So, Earth Day, el Día de la Tierra, has more in store. Here is a hands-on Spanish Earth Day activity.

Recycling & Sorting Spanish Activity: Hands-

Recycling materials- plastic bottles, newspapers, magazines, boxes, glass bottles. Have one or two big tote bags full of it all.
Basic signs: PLASTICO, PAPEL, CARTON, VIDRIO. (plastic, paper, cardboard, glass)
Watch that can time students in seconds

Spanish Recycling Chant- Use your own beat and hand claps.  Students come up with the best beats!

  • Plástico, papel, cartón, y vidrio
  • Plástico, papel, cartón, y vidrio
  • Yo reciclo, yo conservo

1. Teach the recycling categories in Spanish, PLASTICO, PAPEL, CARTON, VIDRIO, using the recycling materials & the chant above.
2. Split students in to groups, and assign each group a pile or recyclable materials.
3. LANGUAGE TASK: Students are to sort the materials while they are timed. They are then to COUNT THE MATERIALS IN SPANISH & REPORT HOW MANY ARE IN EACH CATEGORY IN SPANISH.
4. The group that does the task completely in Spanish and the fastest wins.

**There are so many derivative activities: describing a material with color and shape, sorting and counting, home practice with counting and describing recycling materials at home, creating Spanish recycling fliers and mini-posters.

**See tomorrow post using an Earth Day Action Series: a sequence of short sentences using the same verb conjugation.

Spanish Christmas Materials: Santa Claus in Spanish for All ages

La Visita de Papá Noel

La Visita de Papá Noel

Santa’s Visit in Spanish from Foreign Language House is a versatile unit of Christmas vocabulary, reading, writing, singing, and even coloring activities for all ages of novice, or beginning Spanish speakers.  Learners will remember and retain the holiday vocabulary in the simple reading about Santa’s visit to a house.  There are so many varied post-reading activities that there is something for everyone from kindergarten to the twelth grade.

Check out Santa’s Visit in Spanish.

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