ESPAÑOL CON LINA - GRADES 3, 4 & 5 volume ... - Park Day School

ESPAÑOL CON LINA - GRADES 3, 4 & 5 volume ... - Park Day School

volume 3 of 5



3 RD -­‐ ¡La ropa, el cuento de la cucaracha Mar4na, música y mucho más!

What to wear, a tradi4onal Puerto Rican folk story, music and lots more!

At the start of the New Year,

3 rd graders worked on a unit

about clothing and getting

dressed. Through a series of

different activities, they learned

how to name and identify a wide

assortment of clothes using

some TPR signing for both verbal

direction and the naming of basic

items of clothing, particularly

clothes they wear on campus on

a daily basis. For example

slippers (pantuflas)! A number of

3 rd graders pushed the envelope

and asked how to say and write

words like tuxedo, spy coat and

armor. Their favorite clothingrelated

activity was something

called “Este es mi estilo” (this is

my style). Students took turns

being “fashion directors” telling

their classmates what to put on.

They used the informal

command politely with

accompanying hand gestures

saying, “Por favor ponte (please

put on)... and then selected

articles of clothing from a pile. I

provided a wide assortment of

clothes in addition to rubber

boots, a rain coat, pajamas and a

rebozo (long shawl). Rebozos

are worn in Mexico, traditionally

by indigenous women and for

years have been worn by women

of all classes as substitutes for

sweaters or capes. Frida Kahlo

was often seen wrapped in a

rebozo. Playing dress up was a

blast for them and they came up

w i t h a l l k i n d s o f k o o k y


We segued into story-telling,

reading, writing, singing and

exploring words with the letter

“h”. I introduced the kids to a

very popular childrenʼs story

(cuento) from Puerto Rico. La

cucaracha Martina (Martina the

cockroach) is a widely known

tale throughout the Caribbean

with several different versions

and has been adapted to

students of all levels to convey a

wide variety of messages. 3 rd

graders worked on a map of the

Caribbean, wrote a few

paragraphs about Martina,

learned an original song full of

animal characters and explored

words starting with the silent

letter h (hache). The main theme

in “La cucaracha Martina” is the

little roachʼs tireless search for a

beautiful sound in a world of

cacophony and noise.

" Throughout the story the

phrase un hermoso sonido is

repeated again and again. The

word hermoso served as a

spring board to explore many fun

and common words that also

start with the silent h. Words

such as helado (ice cream),

hormiga (ant), hamaca

(hammock), huellas (footprints),

huevos (eggs), harmonica

(harmónica) and a dozen others.

The kids have enjoyed adding

more animals to the cuento that

arenʼt in it. The two latest

additions are a moose and a

hippo. My goal for them is to do a

little performance of La

Cucaracha Martina after spring


to their collection of facial


and pochismos! Thatʼs Spanglish,

just in case youʼre wondering!


Letʼs get dressed, Guess

Who? Rosetta Stone &

Chicano lit!

4 th graders hit the ground

running in January with the

perfect follow-up to their fall unit

on the weather... la ropa

(clothes)! They had numerous

activities on this subject,

including vocabulary games on

the white board, syllable word

puzzles, collage art, lotería

(bingo), word search work

sheets, and interactive TPR

exercises connecting the kinds

of clothing we wear for different

parts of the body depending on

the weather. From the full body

we zeroed in on just the head

and face! We segued into a unit

all about identification using the

game ¿Adivina quién? (Guess

who?), as a way to explore

many of the features that make

each one of us unique. The kids

increased their vocabulary of the

face and head by making their

own drawings with labeling and

keeping a list, adding words like

moreno/a (brown-skinned), pelo

rizado (curly hair), pelo lacio

(straight hair), trenzas (braids)

pecas (freckles) and calvo (bald)

amongst quite a few other words


For hi-tech Spanish fun, 4 th

graders have been excitedly

t a k i n g t u r n s e v e r y w e e k

alternating between the A and B

groups to work on Rosetta Stone.

Before getting started, the kids

have to say the three basic words

in Spanish connected to this

great online linguistic activity:

microphone (micrófono),

headphone (audífono) and, of

course, password (contraseña).

At the beginning of March I

introduced the 4 th graders to the

cuento (story) “Chato and the

Party Animals” by the well-known

California born Mexican American

author Gary Soto. In March we

celebrate César Chávez Day so I

thought it appropriate to introduce

the kids to some lively bilingual

Chicano childrenʼs literature.

" They learned a little bit about

the concept of being a Chicano

and a Chicana and how the

Spanish spoken in Chicano

communities is flavored with its

own colorful idioms as a result of

the blending of cultures. The kids

have compiled a list of fun words

and phrases, some of which are

daily slang expressions, not just

in Chicano communities in the

US, but in Mexico as well. The

cuento is about friendship,

inclusion, celebration and


" The kids are beginning to

work towards an enactment of

this story some time in the spring

with plenty of play acting, singing,

5th Grade... On a

roll with Rosetta

Stone &

Simple Present



Contraseñas (passwords) are

all the rage in español! The 5th

graders have settled in nicely

with their Rosetta Stone

program learning which picked

up speed at the beginning of

January. Both Lesley and Alex's

A and B groups take turns every

week in the large class settings

to work on their Rosetta Stone

Spanish while I conduct

separate lessons and activities

with alternating smaller groups.

Some of these activities include

number games up to the

thousands, which the kids really

enjoy. Other activities expand

and reinforce some of the

vocabulary and grammar the

students are learning in Rosetta

Stone. In February, 5th graders

were introduced to the

somewhat tricky concept of

conjugation! Through a series of

tiered activities that build on

each other, the kids have caught

on about the importance of

conjugation and are beginning to

use the tools they have

acquired to construct their own

sentences in very creative ways.

Our main focus has only been

on regularly conjugated verbs

that end in AR - verbs such as

dibujar, cantar, ayudar, trabajar,

estudiar and many others.

Some of the activities the

kids have worked on to hone

their conjugation skills involved

Verb Wheels, little windows and

doors art projects (puertitas y

ventanitas), an interactive

pronoun song, comprehension

and sentence construction

games on the whiteboard, word

puzzle games, flash cards and a

verb conjugation game where

kids take turns pretending to be

the endings of verbs using

various visual props.

In addition to our focus on

regularly conjugated AR verbs,

5th graders were also introduced

to the very important irregular

verb TO BE, which they also

learned to conjugate. They

worked on a "yo soy" (I am ) art

project combining words with

paper strip designs. They chose

their favorite descriptor words

from a “characteristics chart”

containing many cognates, to

express the qualities and

character traits they see in

themselves. Afterwards, the kids

took turns sharing their work and

reading the adjectives they had

selected to describe themselves.

I heard many wonderful

combinations! A lot of healthy

self-esteem and inquisitiveness.


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