Rivendell Spanish Language

Cinco de mayo and el mercado

It was fun celebrating cinco de mayo and making maracas. The Preschool, YK and MK enjoyed learning the Mexican hat dance as well. Listening to stories in Spanish and reciting poems and songs helps students to understand the culture and build their vocabulary.

Older kids practiced phrases and dialogue to use in a mercado or Mexican market. They made crafts to sell and signs to advertise their products listing the price in pesos. The crafts were amazing. We have such talented and creative students at Rivendell. The experience is always a highlight of the year. We will miss our graduating 5th graders, but I’m confident in their abilities to succeed. I encourage students to keep their Spanish skills sharp with language apps like Duolingo, reading bilingual books available at the library and communicating when ever possible in the target language. I hope you have a fabulous summer.

Cuentos y dichos

Older students have enjoyed learning some chistes (jokes) and dichos (sayings) in Spanish. It is a fun way to build their reading and comprehension skills. The story “Waiting for the Biblioburro” helps students understand how fortunate they are to have access to books in our wonderful Rivendell biblioteca (library) In other parts of the world, students have very limited access to books brought by camels, burros, elephants, and boats. Students are learning to appreciate the struggles of immigrants as they experienced new foods, language and culture. Literature such as “Abuelo”, “Abuela”, “Amelia’s Road” allow children to relate to the feelings and emotions of others.

Exploring Spain

Students have done a great job exploring the culture and customs of Spain in our school wide topic study of Europe. It has been fun to build our language skills and knowledge of this beautiful country. Students learned that the guitar and flamenco dance originated in Spain. They acquired new vocabulary through traditional Spanish literature such as Medio Pollito , Don Quijote de la mancha and The Story of Ferdinand. Middle kids created the Fuente de Cibeles in Madrid and castles.

Older kids learned a new card game called Manos nervioso. It is a fun way to practice numbers in Spanish and develop quick reflexes. We look forward to learning more about Carnival celebrations and practice reading, writing and speaking in Spanish.

Felices Fiestas

What a fun time of year! Students are learning about ‘Fiestas de invierno’ or winter holidays. We are recognizing the diversity in celebrations and customs around the world. Many holidays incorporate ‘luces’ or lights in their traditions.

The younger kids listened to the story of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ in Spanish and did some role playing with the characters. They practiced vocabulary for body parts and animal names.

Day of the Dead

Learning about Día de los muertos or Day of the Dead, helps us understand other cultures and celebrations.  Many people confuse this celebration with Halloween.  Day of the dead is a time for families to remember their loved ones by making altars, decorating their homes with flowers, favorite foods, candles and pictures of the deceased.  Most families celebrate on November 1st and 2nd.  They may take food to the cemeteries and clean the tombs, light candles and sing songs.  Students made some fun crafts to celebrate this fiesta.

Learning Spanish – Aprender español

Students are happy to be back in school. We are learning Spanish through chants, literature and rhymes. Preschool and YK have practiced some call and response phrases. MK and OK are reading and writing in Spanish. It is fun to build vocabulary and comprehension through stories and cultural understanding. September 15th through October 15th, we will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Enjoy these pictures of students in Spanish classes.

Verano – Summer

This spring has certainly been a new learning adventure. Teaching Spanish online is not ideal. I love speaking with my students and having opportunities for peer conversations. Thank you for your patience and perseverance with online learning. I miss everyone and wish our graduating 5th graders the best. If you want to keep your Spanish skills sharp this summer, please check out the link to 10 Spanish apps for kids.


Fiesta Fun

Students have had fun celebrating Groundhog’s day, Carnival, and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Preschoolers and YK enjoyed some rhymes and listened to Huevos verdes con jamón, (Green eggs and ham) in Spanish. MK presented a choral reading in Spanish about the marmota (groundhog) seeing his shadow. For carnival, students sang along to the traditional Brazilian song “Mama Paquita” and danced in a conga line. Experiencing the culture through literature, dance and music gives meaning to the language. Enjoy these fun pictures.

Flurry of Vocabulary

Students are back at work building their language skills. Preschoolers and younger kids have discussed common greetings and animals. They are practicing describing animals using color, number and size words. Middle kids are listening to stories in Spanish and reading sentences to match the story line. Their translation skills are really improving. They are learning a choral reading about Groundhog’s Day. Older kids are focused on applying their vocabulary to writing descriptions about snowmen. They are improving their verb conjugations and sentence structure skills. Games are a great way to practice dialogue, grammar and build vocabulary. Students received a card with a body part name in Spanish. They had to draw that part to help create a snowman. They also worked in partners to read clues in Spanish about different snowmen and match them correctly. See pictures below from theses activities.

It has been a busy winter and students are speaking, reading, writing, and listening in Spanish. If you want to help your student improve their skills here are some ideas. Duolingo is a great free app for your phone that reviews vocabulary. Freerice.com is another program to practice language skills and provide food for the needy. The library is a great resource for bilingual books and media. Buena suerte and enjoy!

Latin American Market was Fabuloso!

What a fun experience for the school! Students enjoyed walking around the commons listening to the sounds of vendedores shouting “Compralo,” seeing the beautiful crafts, smelling the delicious treats and spending their pesos. It was a fiesta of the senses! On Monday, fifth graders presented a skit in Spanish about a family visiting a mercado. Their pronunciations were outstanding. The effort, enthusiasm and energy were inspiring. I love the way Rivendell students rise to the challenge! Working with these remarkable students is a joy.

Suzanne’s 5th grade Spanish skit
Sarah’s 5th grade Spanish skit