Thursday, October 25, 2012

La Ropa (Clothing) Lesson Plan

We just finished up our unit on La Ropa (clothes).  As I've mentioned in previous posts, we do most of our units on a 2-week schedule, 3 days per week.  However, my lesson plans could easily be condensed to a 1-week, 5 day schedule or stretched into a 2-week, 5 day per week schedule.  Also, these Spanish unit lessons are not the only Spanish we practice throughout the week.  I use these units to focus and build vocabulary and grammar studies, but we also spend a good amount of time reading in Spanish, doing the Spanish version of MEP Math, watching Salsa TV, playing computer/card games in Spanish, and completing the units/activities from Scholastic's Let's Find Out in Spanish.


la camiseta, la camisa, los pantalones, los vaqueros, los pantalones cortos, los calcetines, los calzones, las pijamas, el vestido, la falda, el sombrero, la gorra, el traje de baño, las botas, los zapatos, la chaqueta, el abrigo, la bufanda, los guantes, el uniforme, el traje, el suéter


  • Use the phrase "aquí está" to tell where items are located
  • Demonstrate the understanding of singular/plural words by using "es/son" correctly to name items
  • Use the verb "ir" to say where articles of clothing should be worn
  • Use the verb "llevar" correctly to tell in which season items of clothing should be worn.
Day 1
I printed two sets of clothing pages from the MES ESL website (page 1, page 2), cut them apart (without the English words), and laminated them.  For our 1st day, I started with half the vocab words.  I went through our closets collecting the items of clothing we would be learning that day.  I began our lesson by showing a picture of each piece of clothing, saying the name, and having the boys repeat it.

Next I had the boys take turns finding pieces of clothing in the pile I had gathered.  I would say, "Busca _____________."  When they found it I helped them say, "Aquí está ______________."

We finished our first day's introduction off by reading the book Ropa Sucia by Joanna Emery which we had checked out from the library.

 Day 2

We began day 2 by reviewing the vocab I had introduced on day 1.  I held up pictures of the vocab words and asked, "Qué es? or Qué son?"  The boys took turns telling me what each picture was by saying, "Es _____" or "Son ___________."

We repeated the same activities from day 1 to introduce the new vocabulary and finished the lesson by reading Los Calcetines de Jenny by Carol Murray, again from the local library.

Day 3

I'm all about combining review activities to cover several topics in one fell swoop.  On day 3 we were able to review our clothing vocabulary along with a review of body parts by playing "Dónde Va?"  For this game the boys took turns drawing a card with a picture of an article of clothing.  They would say the name of the picture, then I would say, "Dónde va(n) ______?"  They had to answer "________va(n) en ______." with the part of the body the clothing should be worn on.

Next we read the bible story "José y la túnica especial" (Joseph's Coat of Many Colors) from La nueva Biblia en cuadros para niños by Kenneth Taylor.
I really like this Bible because the stories are nice and short.  Since my kids are familiar with most of the stories, they can understand the gist of the story even though they may not understand every word.  The book has wonderful illustrations and simple comprehension questions at the end of each story.  After reading about José, the boys colored a coat of many colors on a coloring page.

Day 4

On day 4 we began reviewing the vocabulary by playing the boys' new favorite game, Spotlight.  For this game, I put the vocab picture cards on shelves, the floor, and in random spots in my closet.  I turn out the light and have the kids find the cards with a flashlight.  They take turns finding a picture card and saying what it is.  "Es un(a) ____." or "Son unos(as) _____."If they can name it, they get to keep it.

Next we played with paper dolls that I printed and laminated from the Making Friends Paper Dolls website.  We discussed articles of clothing as we made football players, baseball players, and lots of other fun people.

We finished off day 4 by reading No quiero ponerme esa ropa by Carles Cano, also from the local library.

Day 5

Our vocab review for day 5 was BINGO.  Easy Spanish BINGO is a link to my article about a super-easy way to make re-usable BINGO.  I used the clothing picture cards I already had made.

Next we worked on creating clothing catalogs.  I had little booklets already printed and ready along with labels of our clothing vocabulary.  The only thing the kids had to do was go through catalogs, find each piece of clothing, cut it out, and glue it on the page.  We left out the whole price part.  We'll save that for another day.
Click to open a PDF of this file
                                                                        Click here for a PDF of the blank pages

Day 6

For our final day concentrating on clothing, I had a fun little project planned, but first we had to do a little thinking.  I already had laminated cards for the 4 seasons up on our school wall.  I took them and placed them in the pocket chart along with a label that read, "cualquiera estacion".  The boys took turns drawing vocab picture cards and placing them in the season where they would be worn.  For each one I would say, "Cuando se lleva ______?".  The boys had to respond with, "Se lleva _______en _______."

Click for a PDF of all 4 seasons

Our last project was a clothing scavenger hunt.  I had a list of clothes with specific colors/patterns on a clipboard for each child.  We headed off to a nearby thrift shop and set out to find all the items on our list.  My five year-old had a lot of fun with it, and the three year-old was bored after checking off 4 items, go figure!

Next up la casa....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

El tiempo de hoy (Today's Weather) for Your Pocket Chart

Today I thought I'd share a couple of teaching tools with you that we use each day that we have "school".

Weather Cards for a Pocket Chart in Spanish.

Click the picture above to access and print a PDF of the file I used to create the cards.  There are 12 cards and a heading that reads, "El tiempo de hoy".  To use, simply print, laminate, and cut apart.

How we use this tool

Each day after we say the Pledge of Allegiance the boys go outside to "chequear el tiempo".  When they come in with their report, I hold up a card and ask them if the weather is whatever is on that particular card.  For example I'll say, "¿Hoy hace sol?"  If they answer "sí", we put that card in the pocket chart under the heading of "El tiempo de hoy."  If they answer "no" we put it to the side.  Once we have gone through all the cards the boys take turns telling me about today's weather.  For example if it is a sunny, breezy, cool day one kid might choose sunny.  He will say, "El tiempo de hoy hace sol."  Then my other son will say, "El tiempo de hoy hace aire."  

Weather Graph

How we use this tool

The pictures on the bottom of this chart match the pictures in the weather cards for continuity.  I have the chart in a clear, plastic page protector hanging on the wall next to our pocket chart.  Before we started using this graph each one of us made a prediction about which weather column would have the most days.  We wrote our names with dry-erase below our predictions.  Each day after we discuss the tiempo, the boys take turns filling in the squares for that day's weather.  When the chart is full we will see if anyone's prediction was correct and discuss why or why not.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More Goodies for Your Pocket Chart (Days and Seasons)

We use our pocket charts every day, and below you will find links to two files that I use in our pocket charts.  The first is cards for the 4 seasons (las estaciones).  We don't use these cards every day, but every now and again we will talk about the season we are in currently.

The second is cards for the days of the week (los días de la semana).  Each day we sing los días de la semana to tune of "Ten Little Indians."

Click on the pictures below to open PDFs of the files.


Days of the Week

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Importance of Setting Goals

Have you taken the time to think about and actually write down goals for your children's education?  I am a big believer in setting goals, and I feel setting educational goals is an important part of planning for your children's future.  Once you have a clear focus of exactly what you would like your children's education to achieve, you can figure out the direction in which you need to travel to get there.  Knowing the desired outcome of your child's education can help you decide between public school, private school, homeschool, or afterschool.  If you choose to homeschool or afterschool, having clear goals can help to maintain focus, decide on an educational model, choose curriculum (or create your own), and prioritize/manage your time.

A couple of months into our homeschool aventura, I realized that there just wasn't enough time in the week to do everything that we were doing--well.  Something had to give.  With my boys being ages 5 and 3, we couldn't fit in learning all the memory work of Classical Conversations, Spanish, Math, Reading, Gymanastics, and Piano.  In order to prioritize our studies and activities, I spent a couple of days thinking about my goals for the kids.  I wrote them down then shared and discussed them with my husband.  This is what I came up with:

 Long-term education goals

  • To be rooted in faith
  • To be grounded in humility
  • To know and love God, his people, and his world
  • To have a love for learning, both academic and applied
  • To have a practical knowledge of the world
  • To have a world-view mindset, seeing themselves as part of a bigger picture
  • To be (at least) bilingual
  • To be critical thinkers and problem-solvers
  • To be solid in their beliefs and be able to defend/share them with others
  • To understand the fruit of hard work

Short-term education goals

  • To enjoy learning
  • To have a strong reading foundation and a love for books and reading
  • To appreciate and understand basic Spanish
  • To learn the history of our world and how it reflects God's glory
  • To have a picture of the world in their minds
  • To have an appreciation for numbers and an understanding that math reflects an orderly Creator
  • To communicate effectively in both written and oral forms
  • To be respectful and use good manners
  • To have an appreciation for/basic understanding of art and music
  • To use the scientific method to make discoveries and answer questions about the world  
  • To play and work well with peers

Once I had a solid list of goals, it was easy to decide which activities we could let go by the wayside and which ones needed additional focus.  Okay, so maybe it wasn't easy to decide, but it was definitely easier.  Reading, Math, and Spanish became top priorities, Piano and Extracurriculars secondary priorities, and CC a lower priority.  Instead of investing so much time into practicing the memory work for each of the 7 CC subjects, I decided to focus on the parts of CC that my son enjoyed the most and that I thought were the most beneficial at this age: the Timeline, History sentences, and Math facts.  I'll throw in the Science information with projects here and there, but I don't feel the pressure to have him memorize it all anymore.

On my to-do list is to further develop our goals by breaking them down into yearly goals, pre-K, Kinder, 1st, etc.  My "goal" is to have pre-K thru 1st grade completed by the end of this school year in order to help me plan out next year over the summer.  I plan to reassess our goals and activities each semester, and as the boys get older they will be able to make their own input.

Last February I came across this inspirational article from Southwest Airline's Spirit magazine, entitled Luck & Desire.  The article recounts the story of Rob Summers and how setting goals helped him to overcome paralysis.  I highly recommend checking it out!

If you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear from others about the types of goals you have for children!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Great Spanish Review Activity (Actividad de repaso)

I just came up with this fast review activity the other day.  It turned out to be a huge success, and really got the boys speaking Spanish!  I cut out 6 shapes out of 6 different colors of construction paper (star-estrella, circle-círculo, square-cuadrado, triangle-triángulo, rectangle-rectángulo, oval-óvalo).  On top of the shapes I placed pictures of family members as well as our body parts flashcards.

I would say, "¿Dónde está _____?(either one of the family members or a body part).  The boys would take turns finding that object.  Once they found it they had to say, "__________ está(n) en _______ (shape) _________ (color)." For example: "¿Dónde están los abuelos?"  "Los abuelos están en el óvalo azul."

It only took them a couple of times practicing before they could say the sentence without help.  It ended up being, not only a great way to review previous vocab (family, body parts, shapes, colors), but also to practice grammar and speaking.

Body Parts (El Cuerpo) Lesson Plan

We spent the last two weeks learning about body parts and had lots of fun in the process.  Here is a breakdown of our lessons:

Day 1

Introduce Vocabulary

We began our lesson on body parts by pointing to each part as I said it.  After every 4 or 5 words, I went back and reviewed the previous few words.  

Next we sang, "Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas y Pies" (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) while performing the actions.  Here is a link to a Youtube video of the song.

To complete our introduction to body parts, we played Memory Match with body parts flash cards I created using Microsoft Word Clipart and business card paper.  I always print 2 copies of the flashcards, and we use them in so many ways.  Memory Match, Go Fish, and BINGO to name a few.


We colored and read "Mi cuerpo es mi amigo," a make and take book from Scholastic's "25 Spanish Science Minibooks" book.  I downloaded the entire Science Minibooks for $1 during Scholastic's dollar days sale, which I believe happens twice per year.

Day 2

Review Vocabulary

To begin our vocab review, we played "Simón dice" (Simon Says) then sang "Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas y Pies" a couple more times.  


Together we read our Scholastic Let's Find Out magazine, "Yo y mis 5 sentidos."  We did a couple of the worksheets on the 5 senses that went along with the magazine.  I wrote an entire post about Scholastic's Let's Find Out that you can read here.  It's one of my favorite resources. 


We worked together to complete this online listening quiz from Oye Language Skills.  The site is free unless you want to use it between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.  Plan ahead!!

Day 3

Review Vocabulary

To begin, we played Go Fish with the same body parts flashcards that I mentioned above.  Next I got a small basket and a handkerchief to cover it.  I placed Mr. Potato Head body parts in the basket and had the boys take turns putting their hands in the basket and guessing which body part they felt without looking.


We watched the Scholastic video "Mi Cuerpo" that goes along with our classroom magazine subscription.

Day 4


For our grammar I introduced the concept of how to say something hurts in Spanish, "Me duele."  We sang the song, "Dolor de la cabeza" off the Sing, Dance, Laugh and Eat Tacos 2 CD by Barbara MacArthur.  Once I felt the kids were relatively comfortable using the grammar (and completely annoyed by the song), we played "doctor."


I let the kids play around with the online game, "El cuento de todo sobre mi" from the Scholastic Let's Find Out website.

Day 5


I had 8 x 10 pictures of the boys printed, one of their front and one of their back.  I created body part labels using Microsoft Word and Avery address labels.  I had the kids label all the parts of their bodies (with a little help).

Next we played Spotlight, which turned out to be the kids' very favorite activity.  I put the body part flashcards in random places around my closet.  Then we went in with the lights out and a flashlight.  The boys took turns shining the flashlight and trying to find a body part card.  Once they found one, if they were able to name it, they got to keep it. 


We read De la cabeza a los pies by Eric Carle and performed the actions as we read.  I'm a huge fan of Eric Carle, and this book is one of our favorites!  Throughout the book children are encouraged to get their bodies moving just as they see animals doing.  As most Eric Carle books, De la cabeza a los pies is highly repetitive, great for language learners.

Day 6


On the final day of a unit I usually let the kids choose which activity they would like to review with.  My kids chose the Spotlight game.  There's just something exciting about using a flashlight to search for hidden gems in the dark!

Our last body part activity was to make a monster (monstruo).  I had pre-cut shapes of different body parts for the boys to choose from.  The boys picked out body parts and glued them onto construction paper to create their own monsters.  To review colors at the same time, we discussed the name of the body part along with its color while the boys worked.

Coming up next time.....La Ropa (clothes)