Spanish Carnaval is almost here!

CARNAVAL LESSONS & ACTIVITIES

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
  • el disfraz= costume
  • la máscara= the mask
  • el baile= the dance party

Spanish Valentines

February 12, 2012 · Posted in SPANISH CLASS NOW, spanish holiday activities · Comment 

It’s coming up- el 14 de febrero.  Here are a couple of ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Spanish:

Feliz Día de San Valentin

Feliz Día de Amor y Amistad (Love and Friendship)

Check out these cute Spanish Valentines.

Instant Handouts, Power Points, Materials!

Need Spanish materials immediately?  Buy a Key to the House membership at foreignlanguagehouse.com. You can browse, choose, and instantly download any digital document or power point on the site.  Straight to your own hard-drive, and you have it forever!

You can always re-download them if you need them again too.

El Día de San Valentín-Happy Valentine’s Day in Spanish

It’s coming up- el 14 de febrero.  Here are a couple of ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Spanish:

Feliz Día de San Valentin

Feliz Día de Amor y Amistad  (Love and Friendship)

And, get your free Spanish, printable valentines HERE.

Los Tres Reyes Magos- The Three Wisemen- Today!

Check out the gorgeous Tres Reys Magos parade from Madrid last year.  Today or today is the time for spectacular parades and fiestas all over the Hispanic world to celebrate the official end of the Christmas holidays with the visit of the Three Wise Men. Children write letters to the Reyes attesting to their good behavior and deeds so that they will receive candy and treats from the Reyes left in their empty shoes.  So much fun for all!

A simple Spanish reading and lesson on the visit of Los Tres Reyes Magos brings some celebration to learners.

A paper shoe template put out for the Reyes is also handy.

Free Gracias or Thank You’s for the Holidays

December 19, 2010 · Posted in spanish holiday activities · Comment 

We’re diving in to the holidays, or las Navidades, and you’ll need to know how to say thank you, give thanks, and write thank you notes in Spanish.

  • Gracias- thanks
  • muchas gracias= thak you very much
  • te agradezco el regalo – I’m grateful for the gift

Here are some simple,  free Spanish thank you notes. For children, or anyone really, the illustrations can be colored.

Free Spanish 5 de Mayo Activities

El Cinco de Mayo is almost here!  ¡Viva México!  ¡Viva Juárez!  Who was Juárez?  Benito Juárez was the Zapotec Indian general who lead the Mexican troops to victory.   Celebrate the vital Mexican victory of the Battle of Puebla with Spanish speakers and learners.

Click Cinco de Mayo Activities for a free set of Cinco de Mayo handouts.

Click Cinco de Mayo Vocabulary for a free podcast for Cinco de Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo- The Battle of Puebla for Spanish I

Isn’t it time that everyone learns about the real reason Cinco de Mayo is celebrated?  Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, the Sixteenth of September is.  Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican forces over the French army at the Battle of Puebla.  It was a major turning point in the fight for Mexican independence that went on for five more years.

Here are the movers and shakers of 19th century Mexican history and Cinco de Mayo

  • Benito Juárez: The popular Mexican President of the Mexican Republic who inspired Mexican Independence from European domination.  Juárez was a Zapotec Indian.
  • Ignacio Zaragoza:  The Mexican general who won the Battle of Puebla.
  • Emperor Maximillian:  The puppet of the French government who was placed as the Mexican Emporer
  • Empress Carlota:  Maximilian’s wife

See Cinco de Mayo for Spanish I.

Spanish April Fool’s Fun

April Fool’s Day in Spanish?  Sure, there is fun to be had. But the true Fool’s Day in the Hispanic world is December 28th, el Día de los Inocentes.  So bring el Día de los Inocentes into April and have some fun!

Fool’s Day Spanish Vocabulary

  • bromar= to joke
  • la broma= the joke
  • el chiste= the joke
  • engañar= to fool
  • el engañado= the fooled one
  • prestar= to lend
  • devolver= to return an object

History & Culture

El Día de los Inocentes, or Day of the Innocents, commemorates the biblical tragedy of the massacre of male infants ordered by King Herod. Hispanic culture has interpreted the tragedy in a way to make it less so.  Los Inocentes became those fooled by pranksters.

In another specific practice, lending- prestar- and returning- devolver have become central to pranks in Mexico. If you lend something out in Mexico, you may not get it back for a while.  If you do, you’ll get a traditional note with candies and treats. In Spain media hoaxes take place on December 28th.

Click Spanish Fool’s Day Freebie for your free printable handout.

Practical Applications

Practice your Spanish with lending and returning activities!  Bring in some fun with candy and treats upon returning borrowed items.  For Fool’s Day activities, click here.

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

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