christmas – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: christmas

Prompted by various requests for simple Spanish Christmas songs and my own desire to teach Y2 a song that didn’t involve too many words and too much ‘blending words together’ I decided to collate 10 possibilities (with thanks to LiPS for reminding me to do this!)

Mi burrito sabanero
I love this song and so did one of my Y3 classes last year who learned it and sang it in our ‘Christmas around the world’ LKS2 performance. It’s a Venezuelan song writtern by Hugo Blanco that was famously recorded by La Rondallita and then by Juanes and is all about the little donkey on his way to Bethlehem. Y3 particularly liked the ‘tuki tuki tuki’ part but enjoyed the repetition of the lines too which meant that they didn’t have too many words to learn.Here are the lyrics – https://www.letras.com/villancicos/1613730/

Vuela Vuela
This is a beautiful song that remembers the Christmas star that led to Bethlehem and talks of a wish for a world with no more war, hunger, poverty or loneliness, a peaceful world. Really simple and a lovely sentiment.
This version is great for little children as it has characters in it https://youtu.be/nymD4tp_emw but here’s an alternative.

Copo de nieve
This one isn’t strictly about Christmas but it’s a lovely song to sing at this time of year especially if you don’t want to have a ‘religious’ song. Would be lovely to use with Nursery or Reception and let them dance like snowflakes!

Soy un muñeco de nieve
Another one for the very littlest – and a great one if you’re not allowed to sing at the moment! More of a rhyme spoken to music, children can join in by pointing to themselves as if they are the snowman showing his buttons, mouth, nose and so on.

A las doce de la noche
This song talks of the midnight when the baby Jesus was born. The cockerels all sing and wake the singer to announce the birth of Jesus. The singer takes Mary some pears as a gift and declares that he loves the baby. A sweet little song with a good rhythm.

En Navidad turrón y mazapán
Another song with a great rhythm is En Navidad turrón y mazapán. This one is good as the lyrics are clear and repeated twice with rests at the end of each line which makes it clearer than in some villancicos where one sentence ends and another starts! This is obviously a very popular song for performance as there are multiple videos on Youtube of little ones dressed as Christmas trees and mini Santas singing it! I like the version below as it has widgets or pictogramas to explain the meaning but if you’d prefer a version without them, here’s one (fast forward to 1:27 to avoid the chatting!) https://youtu.be/hymnI_DKOnk

Cascabel
Spanish version of Jingle Bells. I particularly like this version as it has an echo section in the middle where the chorus is sung line by line with spaces to echo it back. This allows those who can’t recall all the words or struggle to fit them in to concentrate on just one line at a time.

Dulce Navidad
An alternative version of Jingle Bells in Spanish which replaces Jingle Bells with Sweet Christmas. This version is repeats the chorus and verse twice before there’s a final verse about Santa Claus being old and confused and delivering last year’s presents including chewed chewing gum and a punctured football!

[The more widely known version of this is Navidad Navidad hoy es Navidad; this however has three verses with lots of words. It’s here though if you’d like it https://youtu.be/Z0qYQSvGSdw]

La Marimorena
This one is a more traditional Christmas song. As you can see from here https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=4198 there are many verses and alternative verses but the chorus is lively and simple to join in with. I love the flamenco clapping – it makes me want to dance! The version below is long but gives lots of opportunities to sing the chorus and has ‘sing with the colour’ lyrics! You could split into groups and each take a verse – one way of getting around ‘don’t sing altogether’ if that’s the rule in your school! This version is shorter and has people singing but no lyrics on the screen. https://youtu.be/CSaoK1Aceb0

¡Feliz Navidad!
I couldn’t leave this one out! Very very simple – but it’ll get stuck in your head and may drive you slightly loco! This version is animated but if you’re a fan of Michael Bublé here’s the one for you 😉 https://youtu.be/J4DQC-M9O5c (that song starts after 44 seconds)


And one more bonus!
Decoremos el árbol de Navidad
Perhaps not to sing but this is a cute song for tidying up at this time of year with the repeated ‘Fa la la la la, la la la la’

Earlier today I saw someone share that they had made an Advent calendar using AdventMyFriend. Not liking to actually sit and do just one thing, I decided to investigate and have a go myself whilst watching TV.

Below is the result!

Click the image to go to the calendar.

Really easy to do too!

1. Choose your background
2. Give your advent calendar a title and click on Day 1 (or any other day – you don’t have to do them in order!)
3. Decide if you want to add an image or a video to show behind your door.
4. I added a video. Add a message too then click OK.
5. That door now has a tick to show it’s ready. Keep going until they’re all ticked.
6. Once all the boxes are ticked, click preview to check it works then SHARE!

One you’ve finished, you can share your calendar to most social media platforms as well as sharing via email and embedding it into a website or blog.

I’m thinking that I’ll make another one with Christmas traditions from around the world. In the meantime, you’ll have to wait until December 1st before you can look behind the first door of the one above! Why not make your own in the meantime?

Thanks to José García Sánchez in the Secondary MFL Matters Facebook group for this lovely infographic/ map of European present givers. Whilst Christmas is past for most, Spain and those who follow the Orthodox calendar have another day or so before they receive their gifts on 6th January or Epiphany. I’ll certainly be thinking of activities to use this next year, perhaps preparing comprehension questions based around practising name of countries and / or nationalities but I’ll also be using it as soon as we go back to school as a way of eking out one last activity from the array of Christmas cards and greetings we received as part of our eTwinning projects.

Below are some images of our cards, temporarily taking over the Achievement Tree!

La lotería de Navidad

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Sorteo-Navidad-Foto-EFE_MDSIMA20111127_0145_4For many, Christmas in Spain really starts today with El Gordo, the special lottery draw.

The prize is big and, unlike other lotteries, it is not won by a single person but shared amongst thousands of people. Also, unlike other lotteries,  the numbers are sung by school children as you can see in this clip from the BBC.  

“You don’t buy it you don’t win…simple as that” said Costis Mitsokakis the only man in his village not to win four years ago. I wonder if the makers of this year’s advertisement had that story in mind when they came up with the story of Justin?

I love this video and used it in assembly a few weeks ago to talk about giving without expecting anything in return.

Stop press:

The winning tickets for this year’s El Gordo was sold in Roquetas del Mar, Almería. You can watch the whole thing here on the El País website. The winning number — 79140 — appeared on 1,600 tickets, with each ticket holder winning 400,000 euros.

 

Christmas in Mexico

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My ‘angelito’ from Chignahuapan, home of the glass ‘esferas’ that hang on ‘arboles’ around Mexico.

Want to know about Christmas in Mexico?

Here are some useful links:

Why Christmas? offers a simple description including key events.

Read this article to find out about Christmas in Mexico, including the unique Noche de los rabanos in Oaxaca.

Find out about Christmas in Mexico here and then ‘turn the page’ to compare it with the celebrations in Spain. In which ways are they different?

Mexican Christmas recipes anyone?

And here’s a cute video with some facts and singing!

This article explains the importance of the poinsettia to Aztecs who called it cuetlaxochitl which means “mortal flower that perishes and withers like all that is pure.”

Here’s a story about The Legend of the Poinsettia:

https://youtu.be/pp8TSgpTSUI

And another story, this time about Las Posadas.

This site has links to lots of articles if you want to explore more, but I’ll leave you with a couple of Mexican Christmas songs.

The song that is sung during posadas:

A short radio programme with some suggestions of carols from the childhood of Betto Arcos en Veracruz, including  Los peces en el río

And how could I not include Feliz Navidad?

 

Christmas in Spain

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Loving this short summary of key events over the Christmas/New Year season in Spain!

Christmas in Spain in 30 seconds

Xmas in Spain12 grapes, coal and red underwear? Watch this video to understand Christmas in Spain in 30 seconds! 😉 #XmasInSpain ⛄

Posted by Spain.info on Thursday, 17 December 2015

Some other related posts:

El pequeño petirrojo 2.0

Los Reyes Magos

A few years ago I posted a different Christmas carol in Spanish in the run up to Christmas – the 10th day was Fum Fum Fum and you can go back through the previous 9 days from there.

A lovely retelling of the Christmas story in Spanish and in video form too

A bit of Bublé singing Feliz Navidad or a version on iPods/iPads/iPhones

The story (in Spanish) of how Father Christmas thought about moving Christmas to July

Mi calendario 2015

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calendarioHaving a number of pupils who don’t celebrate Christmas, and to alleviate ‘Christmas saturation’ I tried to come up with a different activity for the last week of term for my pupils.

Most of WPS have spent the last half term looking at days months and numbers so a calendar sprang to mind. And I recalled making a 3D one years ago…

I couldn’t find the template so I searched online for a dodecahedron net, and then for 2015 calendar tabs in Spanish, and then made my own.

‘Ingredients’

  • dodecahedron net copied onto card – dodecahedron
  • copy of Spanish calendar tabs for 2015 – (you’ll need to reduce it to half size I discovered unless you print it straight from the site in which case it’s the correct size!)calendariolaboral2015
  • scissors
  • glue
  • felt tip pens
  • LOTS of patience!

‘Method’

I gave each child a net on thin card and asked them to decorate each pentagon to form a background. Some chose a pattern, some tried to draw a suitable picture for the month, others just coloured.

Then they cut out the net – I’d made all the bits to cut really obvious by using dashed lines but still children cut off the tabs!

They cut each month out and stuck one month per pentagon onto the net.

Then the fun began! You need to fold all the pentagons inwards, and all the tabs too.

Sticking it all together starts off easy as you make a basket shape with the base but gets more and more fiddly as you have less space to grip and hold flaps so that they bond. My advice is to make sure the you do a tab or two at a time and hold them until they are firmly stuck. The last few joins will be more flimsy as you can’t apply pressure but if you try to leave a pentagon with several flaps, you should be able to just tuck them in and hope for the best!

Here’s my finished example:

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I’ve since discovered this preprinted dodecahedron calendar calendario-deca-2015 on the same site – it wasn’t there last week! However, I prefer my version as this has capital letters for the months and days and having battled with children all term to stop ‘correcting’ the date that is written on the board when they copy it into their books, I’m not going down that road!

And there is also a Calendario rombico calendario-rombico-2015 which looks interesting! You need to follow the instructions here to make it!

Whilst the bottom strip on the calendar tabs is not needed, it fits beautifully with the unit we’re studying as we’re in the middle of discussing festivals and dates, and the calendarios will be  great for practising saying the date in Spanish after Christmas break. However, having spent my lunch hour ‘rescuing’  a large pile of them, I don’t want to see another one for a while!

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 21.40.17It’s nearly Christmas again so out comes my favourite story – El Pequeño Petirrojo.

Checking back, my previous posts have lost all the links/content so it’s worth sharing again I think. Added to that, this year there are new ideas and added fun!

El Pequeño Petirrojo is the Spanish translation of Little Robin Red Vest by Jan Fearnley (read here by Emilia Fox) I first discovered it whilst watching The Tweenies with my boys and then on a Spanish Tweenies video La Nochebuena that my parents bought me back from Spain in 2004(ish) In this particular episode, Santi Claws, as Jake calls him, picks up the Tweenies from their houses on Christmas Eve and takes them to the North Pole where he tells them the story.

It’s the story of a little robin who washes and irons his seven warm vests the week before Christmas. Each day he puts on a different coloured one and goes out into the cold, only to meet another animal who complains of being cold. And each day, he gives away his vest to the other animal, until he is left on Christmas Eve with no vests left, cold and alone! The story ends happily though as Father Christmas comes along and takes the robin to the North Pole where Mother Christmas knits him a very special red vest that will always keep warm.

I immediately saw the potential of this story in my classroom. I taught Kindergarten to Year 6 at the time and could see how it could be used with all these age groups. Initially, I downloaded clipart pictures of the animals and made flashcards, then drew different coloured vests. I laminated them all and told the story with these, moving the vests from robin to rabbit, mole, frog etc. It’s a great story as you can count the vests over and over, discuss the colour of the next vest and guess the next animal. It’s good for repetition – the refrain ‘Tengo frío’ is soon taken up by even the youngest children, who also like to join in with Gracias (good manners!) and it encourages concentration and memorisation as the children try to recall what happens next. And there’s the ‘moral’ element too – the robin showed the true spirit of Christmas by giving selflessly to help others, and was rewarded with his very special red vest.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 21.41.15A few years after I started telling the story, I made a Powerpoint with animations and sound files. I was helped at the time by the lovely Bev Evans who shared one of her many talents by making me the coloured vests clipart. She sadly died this year so this Christmas it was particularly poignant as I opened the file and started telling the story.

I began collecting the animals that are in the story a few years ago but never got a full set, and they were merely props; I still relied on my trusty laminated vest and animal flashcards. I had a two year break from using the story whilst in Switzerland and last year still didn’t have a full set of animals.IMG_0270

Years ago, Jackie Berry, a fellow primary language teacher from ‘down south’, made me very jealous when she shared pictures of a little knitted robin and vests that someone had made her. And this year, Jackie moved to France and decided to sell her primary resource collection. I was more than happy to give a new home to the vests and robin. In fact, I was ecstatic. And, spurred on by now having vests, I completed my animal collection.IMG_0278

Additionally I recently purchased some PE bibs with mesh pockets into which you can put cards.

So this year we moved on to El Pequeño Petirrojo 2.0!

In one classroom the projector was broken so I couldn’t show the presentation so went straight for the trusty flashcards and laminated vests to present the story. In the other class, I started with the presentation.

The second ‘reading’ of the story involved 10 children acting it out as I read the story and the class joined in with the repeated parts. Each actor (7 animals, the robin and Father and Mother Christmas) had a bib with their character card in the pocket. Additionally all the animals had a cuddly version of themself to hold, whilst the ‘pequeño petirrojo (PP)’ had his vests and Mamá Noel had a red vest which they both promptly put in their bib pocket too.

IMG_0279We put a washing line across the IWB and pegged up the vests as the class counted them, and then each day, PP removed the appropriate vest and put it on the knitted robin. The PP then skipped across the classroom as everyone chorused ‘La la la la la’, meeting an animal on the way. They greeted each other before the animal said ¡Tengo frío!, a refrain that was chorused by the class as well. Some recalled ¿Me puede ayudar? as well. PP replied ¡Aquí tiene! whilst removing the vest from the knitted robin and handing it to the animal. The animal responded ¡Gracias¡ and put it on their cuddly. Again, the class joined in with the repeated sections.
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This pattern continued until Nochebuena when PP finds him/herself without a vest and cold. Great acting from my PPs who looked suitably glum and then brightened up as Papá Noel ‘flew in’ on his sleigh; one Papá Noel started humming Jingle Bells which was a great touch! They ‘flew off’ to the North Pole where Mamá Noel produced the red vest from her bib pocket and presented it to PP who said ¡Gracias!

IMG_0280Everyone really enjoyed it and all wanted to join in. We didn’t have time but next week we’ll revisit the story with new actors. And I loved it too as everyone, irrespective of their ability, was able to join in.

 

I made some simple worksheets to accompany the story:

just pictures (line drawings) el pequeño petirrojo pix only

pictures (line drawings) with names in Spanish  el pequeño petirrojo

pictures (line drawings) with a sentence saying what colour vest each animal is wearing el pequeño petirrojo sentence colour

colour sentences to label the colouring sheet labels el pequeño petirrojo

 

And here’s the Powerpoint. El pequeño petirrojo final

You can also find it on Slideshare where it’s been viewed 2,670 times! (There’s a French version too!)

 

I’m looking forward to sharing it with Year 2 at WCPS next week, and rerunning it with Y3 at WPS on Wednesday morning.

 

 

Los Reyes Magos

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This lovely video caught my eye. It explains (in clear Spanish) the story of the Reyes Magos (Wise Men / Kings) in the Bible as well as sharing how they are important in the celebration of Christmas in Spain.

The video is linked to an iPod/iPad app called Los Reyes Magos de Oriente that costs £1.99 and is an interactive version of the story with activities for young children. (Haven’t investigated it yet as it costs money but I’m tempted…)

Although the video is simple, it is 7 minutes long so I wouldn’t necessarily play it in its entirety to my classes as they’d be overwhelmed I think, but I’d definitely play it in sections.

Another video that’s a bit long to play in one chunk is Dora la Exploradora Salva el Día de los Reyes Magos – but it’s great fun, and certainly worth using in chunks.

And I have to say that I love this clip too, although I’m always reluctant to show it in class as I don’t want to shatter illusions…

Resources

Thanks to MFL Sunderland and Clare Seccombe for this lovely colouring activity featuring a stained glass window style image of the Reyes Magos.

Crayola has a craft activity to make 3 stand up Wise Men whilst Kids’ Crafts have a template to make Three Kings paper chain dolls. And for the more adventurous, why not make cup and ball Reyes?

 

Other related posts

Two years ago I posted a different Christmas carol in Spanish in the run up to Christmas – the 10th day was Fum Fum Fum and you can go back through the previous 9 days from there.

A lovely retelling of the Christmas story in Spanish and in video form too

A bit of Bublé singing Feliz Navidad or a version on iPods/iPads/iPhones

The story (in Spanish) of how Father Christmas thought about moving Christmas to July

 

 

A bonus post today as I’ve just had this great infographic brought to my attention by @HodderMFL and @jacksfeed

I like how the names of the present deliverer from around the world are written on the map as well as information about certain countries.

Click on the map and you can zoom in!

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