Sunday, December 15, 2013

20 Ideas for Navidad activities for Spanish class

I received an email from a colleague asking me for ideas for class on the last day before Christmas vacation.  I responded with five ideas, and then decided to write a last minute list of resources on my blog in case others are looking for ideas too.  There are so many choices available in addition to what is listed below that you could have several days of activities. Just make sure to keep it comprehensible!

The first suggestion has to be to let the students help you create a story via TPRS style.  If Santa Claus is something your students want to talk about, tell about the problems he encounters in different houses or choose your structures, start the story, and the students will take it from there, under your guidance of course.

Commercials (can use with MovieTalk):
- Santa vs. Los Reyes (thank you @mryedinak for sending me this link)

- Los padres no existen

- The Journey - The link will take you to Kieran Donaghy's blog, Film English. There is a video about snowmen, along with lesson plans in English that you can change to your language.  As always, his blog is PACKED with great lessons, so I suggest you free up some time and explore his website fully.

The Journey is a John Lewis advertisement from a previous year.  Find Christmas advertisements from this year and other years that are just as endearing HERE.

Stories in Spanish
- the app Bookbox (or find it online at Bookbox) has two audio stories with subtitles.  They are "La Navidad de Santa", and "La Primera Navida"

Víctor - making buñuelos & snacking on Oreos
- Why not make buñuelos with your students? I made these with several times with my students because they're easy and delicious. This linked recipe uses a frypan but I also make them with my deep fryer.
 HERE is a variation with cheese.

- Ensalada de Buenanoche - I've never made this before but I saw it mentioned on a teaching forum last week.

- Rosca de Reyes - Click HERE to see a blog post by Carrie Toth that explains how she made this with her students last year.  Included especially for all the super ambitious teachers out there like Carrie.  :-)

Songs and Podcasts
 There are several versions of Juanes' El burrito de Belén on YouTube; or search for other traditional songs/villancicos.  One song my students enjoy when I take the Spanish club Christmas caroling (cancelled twice this year due to snow) is "Gatatumba". I did a google search and couldn't find a version with the words.  I have an old cassette tape from teacher's discovery from years ago that maybe, by chance, the previous Spanish teacher has stashed in a closet somewhere that you can listen to.

Most students have already heard the song Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano so it might be fun to sing along with a video of it. 

- Notes in Spanish podcasts, by Ben and Marina, have an several episodes related to Christmas:
Inspired Beginners: ¡Feliz Navidad! found HERE
Intermediate: La Lotería found HERE.
Advanced: Feliz Navidad found HERE.

- Audiria - Cómo celebran la Navidad los españoles, script included

- You may want to wait until January to show a video on The Three Kings Day/Día de los reyes magos.  HERE is a short clip in English.  I used a Spanish clip last year but I'm not sure which one.
- A few years ago I made a Powerpoint with multiple choice questions about Christmas time traditions in Spanish countries.  I put the students in groups of 3 and they discuss the answers among them and write them down.  After they have answered all the questions on the powerpoint, they switch their papers with another group. As I tell them the correct answers, I add information about the traditions.  It is a fun way to share a lot of information such as el gordo (la lotería), las posadas, new year's eve traditions (such as eating grapes or sweeping the house clean), and others.

BINGO - I'm not a big fan of Bingo because it is usually played with vocabulary only, out of context.  However, if it the last day before Christmas vacation, keeping students' attention can be extra challenging and this activity may fit the bill. You can personalize the vocabulary first by first teaching the words with TPR.

One word: PINTEREST!  Go to Pinterest and google Navidad and you'll find more than you can digest.  I suggest starting with Martina Bex's Navidad board found HERE.  

Other Activities
 - Years ago I printed pictures on cardstock and laminated them to represent the last words in each line of the "spanglish" version of Twas the Night Before Christmas that you can find HERE. Sometimes I take my class to the office or to a Spanish 1 class to perform the poem for them.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Thank you! I just wrote one a few weeks ago in which I included a downloadable infographic comparing La navidad en los EEUU y El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos- perhaps you might find it of interest! I use it with my 3rd and 4th graders, along with a variety of other activities I've developed, to compare and contrast in the target language.

    Mundo de Pepita, Resources for Teaching Spanish to Children