I’m pretty sure in my public school teaching years, I taught basic Spanish to every age group out there. There’s one tip that doesn’t change no matter what age group I’m teaching: Use children’s literature to help you learn Spanish.” I tell parents of babies, elementary age, high schoolers, college students, adults and senior citizens the same thing. Children’s literature for the most part is basic Spanish. So I’d encourage my students to go to the library pick up a basic bilingual or all Spanish children’s book and read it.
Learning Spanish Using Children’s Books & Cd’s or tapes (for us oldies)
My preferred tip is this:
Grab a children’s book in Spanish on tape (yes, back in the day that’s what we used) and just listen to it. Don’t try reading the book just listen to it being read to you. And even better if it’s a book you’re already familiar with the storyline.
Once they listened to it, then pick up the book and read along with the tape.
Finally, turn off the tape and read it on your own.
Cooking & Teaching Your Kids Spanish with Children’s Books
I finally got into the groove of homeschooling and I now I felt like I could officially add Spanish to my son’s school day. I’ve racked my brain on how to go about this and the most hands on and fun way I came up with is by using all Spanish books or bilingual books in Spanish.
We’re going through Aesop’s Fables in Spanish but I thought I mix it up some and so we checked out this bilingual book from the library called Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya.
We read the book last week and since it was such a fun book to read full of lot’s of possible activities we focused on it for two weeks. Today we incorporated baking into our Spanish speaking lesson. And last week, we incorporated a craft into or Spanish speaking lesson using this book.
This fun book as I mentioned is bilingual so each page does a great job of translating the words in Spanish also at the beginning of the book theirs a list of all the words used and how to pronounce them. My kids were thoroughly engaged as I read and right before I closed the book by oldest said can we make a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. In Spanish, a Pineapple Upside-Down cake is called a Volteado de Piña.
We didn’t have all the ingredients on hand so we waited until today when I went grocery shopping to bake away. At the end of the book there’s a recipe for a Pineapple Upside-Down cake. I was a bit leery about using that recipe but we did anyways and it was amazingly delicious! And my boys pretty much made the cake all by themselves.
Usually for these types of activities I tell my children whose Spanish language skills still need lots of practice (but they are beyond the basics) that our activity will be done in Spanish. I give the instructions in Spanish. They can ask questions or discuss the activity in Spanish and my preference is no English be used doing our short activity. I thought I was going to have some resistance but surprisingly enough my oldest who probably struggles the most with Spanish asked if we could continue speaking in Spanish when daddy got home.
If your Spanish is still at a basic level stick to going through the ingredients in Spanish and throw in “mezcla” which means mix, every now and then into your cake making activity.
- Milk – leche
- sugar – azucar
- egg – huevo
- butter – mantequilla
- cherries – cerezas
- pineapple – piña
You can also count while your mixing: uno, dos, tres, cuatro…. Have them mix until you get to diez and then you mix until you get to 10, of course counting in Spanish. My kids really enjoyed doing this and it was great practice for my 3 year old who is still in process of learning his numbers.
Surprisingly enough our cake ended up looking like the mess of a cake the ocho animals made in the book thanks to me. Or maybe I should stick to saying that the cake looks like this because we wanted it to resemble the mess of a cake in the book, ha, ha, ha. Yea, I like that better.