Are you one of the 1 in 20 people who live within the “danger range” of an active volcano? (I’m looking at you, Puyallip.) Yikes! I💗 being outside (as long as it’s not next to an active volcano). And I love being able to talk about nature in Spanish! Especially about the places we’ve been in Washington (including to the volcanoes Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens) because there is such a wide variety of natural features to experience here.
To help you and your kids get started describing the world around us, I’ve included activities with nature vocabulary. The activities include acting, drawing, conversation, stories, and games so there is something for everyone. And, of course, instructions on how to use the activities and videos with examples!
This is the third chapter of my second workbook. These lessons build on previous lessons, so I highly suggest starting here if you haven’t completed the previous lessons yet. An earlier lesson included some nature vocabulary also.
Download the FREE printables and instructions here:
How I Taught My Kids Nature in Spanish
Total Physical Response (TPR)
Turns out there are a few signs for “run” and “walk” in ASL. I let Aidan choose which signs he wanted to use. Of course they were the ones that I thought were more complicated. I’m not very coordinated, so I wanted the easy ones! At least there was only one sign for “puts“!
Before we started the script, I reminded Aidan to repeat each action 3 times. Then I was able to ask him the questions while he was still doing the action that went with the questions. Having your kids act the sentences while you ask the questions is a great way to help them learn the vocabulary!
Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA) aka Conversation
When I asked Aidan the questions from the script, he answered correctly and sometimes incredulously (you know I don’t walk to school, Mom🙄). Not as much fun. I like it when kids make up stuff! It’s funnier and more entertaining. But I did have fun with Aidan when we got to the question about what do you put in your room. He’s not supposed to have food in his room, but my office is downstairs and his room is upstairs.
I’ve been working *a lot* between working on things for this blog and my regular teaching job, and I discovered he’s been sneaking food into his room. I asked him a lot of yes/no questions like “Pones Cheez-Its en tu dormitorio?” He said yes, so at least he was being honest!
At the end of the PQA script is a mini-story outline. I think this is fun to do with the kids! And it’s great listening and reading practice.
When we made the story, Aidan had elaborate ideas. I had to remind him he didn’t know any of those words in Spanish, and we needed to keep it simple. Some of his ideas we simplified together. Other times, I just let him explain his ideas and then simplified them with words he knows.
For instance, one idea was that Cheez-it (the character – yes, my son is obsessed with Cheez-Its) walks to the door and then waits all night and runs out when a person from the zoo opens the door.
There are a lot of words there I haven’t taught him yet in Spanish, but the idea can still be shown. This is how I showed his idea with words he knows:
Cheez-it camina a la puerta de la jaula en la noche. En la mañana, una persona camina por la puerta y Cheez-it corre rápido a una jaula pequeña.
We added a couple of words (door and cage) which works, but if your kids have complicated ideas too, try and simplify. Sticking to the script will help!
I have included the story we created as an example and/or another reading activity for you and your kids. The printable is called Mini Story Example. If you use the mini-story script that I provided in the lesson to create your own stories with your kids, you can add it to your own Spanish library.
When I read the first version of the story Andrés y sus perros in Spanish to Aidan, I had Aidan show the signs for the verbs corre, camina and pone as I read. When we read the second version, he got stuck a few times with what the words meant. I showed him the signs, and he quickly remembered the meaning of the words. Using actions is super helpful!
Game – Las carreras
The game for this lesson is Las carreras (the races), and kids are supposed to play against each other. But Alex is way behind Aidan in the lessons so doesn’t know these words yet. Aidan would’ve been thrilled to play against Alex, but there would’ve been a lot of yelling. Like from me because their competitiveness drives me crazy! I have pictures of the game in progress on this post to help you see how it is played.
Aidan really likes games, so we decided that I would time him for each sentence, and if he beat the timer then he would win. He wanted a minute per sentence, and he easily finished before the timer was up each time. I’m so glad we found a way to make it work for just him. I’m sure he’ll choose Cheez-Its as his prize. 😄
Movie Talk and Workbook
I think the video for the movie talk is funny (and so does my colleague), but when I showed it to Aidan he told me it wasn’t funny. It was weird. I’m going to try it next year with my students and see what they think. Even though he wasn’t a fan of the video (dachshunds are in it – how can you *not* like it?!), I’m glad he watched it so he could hear Spanish and have a visual for the vocabulary!
The movie talk and workbook will be available as soon as I create a store. Fingers crossed that it’s soon!
What I Learned
The game Las carreras can be played with one person competing against the clock. Next time I might make it a little more challenging and say 45 seconds instead of 60.
Whether you like being outside or not, these activities are a great way to help kids start talking about the amazing world around them!
Did you do these activities? Or know anyone who wants to teach their kids how to talk about nature in Spanish? Please share with the buttons on the left!
Do your kids put anything in their rooms that they aren’t supposed to? Tell me about it in the comments below!