This morning when I packed another children's book into my bag for school, I decided that March was going to be Children's Books Month for my Spanish 5 class. Every school day in March, I will begin my Spanish 5 class by reading a children's book in Spanish. I am very fortunate to live within 10 minutes of the community library which has a huge collection of Spanish books. The photo above shows only a small section of the Spanish books, magazines, CDs, read-along stories, and videos available in Spanish at the library.
I have always loved reading children's books - to my children (in English) when they were young, after college when I found a separate Spanish library in town, and now with my students in all different levels.
I consider reading books as the #1 way to build vocabulary and increase fluency. Children's books have several advantages:
- they're interesting
- they have beautiful illustrations
- if students read those books when they were young, it brings back good memories for them
- grammar is not sheltered. Books written for young children have advanced grammar used in context in a compelling way. Exactly what my higher level students need to help move them along.
Yesterday in Spanish 5 (which in reality is Spanish 4 based on the hours of instruction they have had), I read "Si le das un panecillo a un alce" (If you give a Moose a Muffin). Today I read "Sapo en Invierno" (Frog in Winter). The students' interest and participation confirmed my decision this morning to make March "Children's Books' Month".
Yesterday the story contained the word "hilo" (thread) and today's story had "con un hilito de voz" (a small thread of a voz). The students were able to understand the expression today after I asked if they remembered seeing the word in yesterday's story.
Building vocabulary - for sure - and increasing fluency.
I'm a looking forward for March!