hispanic – ¡Vámonos!

Category: hispanic

Zachary Jones’ site Zambombazo is a great source of inspiration for all things Hispanic.

And I love it because it proves time and again that there is always something to learn about a language you thought you knew quite well.

I’m often challenged by pupils when I can’t recall the word for ‘meerkat’ or ‘spark plug’ that ‘you’re supposed to know Spanish’ to which I reply I don’t know every word in English. Especially when it comes to colloquial useage. I mean, my son tells me that when he says soemthing is ‘sickage’, that’s great. I’m not so sure…

So, I particularly like this map that Zachary has made – ¿Cómo se dice ‘cool’ en español?

As he points out in his post, the answer to that question depends on lots of factors including the country or even region you’re in, your socioeconomic status as well as your age. The post also offers ideas on how you might use the map to increase vocabulary, to encourage intercultural discussion and to promote discussion of current linguistic useage.

The last video has a footballer reading 2 non-fiction books about animals – always a popular subject in primary schools.

The first links into geography, culture and the environment; life cycles – who eats who – and habitats – who lives where.

Here’s a link to the West Sussex Grid where there are some resources linked to habitat. And some animal / habitat flashcards.

The second is about elks – venados – and how they live. Really interesting!



The second video I’d like to share –

A story about a girl called Maria finding some lines on the ground at the base of a mountain in Peru opens up the possibility of looking at the history of a Spanish speaking country, the culture and heritage, and the art of that area. Here’s some background information that might help!

I think it’s be a brilliant way of integrating lots of different areas of the curriculum – what about making your own Nazca lines on the school field?

Nazca lines

Nazca Lines and Cahuachi culture

Nazca lines facts


¡Inocente Inocente!

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Today is El Día de los Santos Inocentes in Spain and other Hispanic countries, their equivalent of April Fools Day.  But it goes deeper than that as it has its roots in the story of Christmas when Herod ordered the killing of all baby boys, and Mary and Joseph escaped with Jesus having been warned in a dream to flee.

Find out more here in English or here in Spanish

Here, a man who runs a joke shop talks about the types of jokes people buy


And this clip shows an ‘inocentada’ involving a mouse!


Even the Simpsons get in on the act!


Wow!  Just discovered that there are starter clips in Spanish too!

This time they’re set in Mexico.  They cover similar themes – traditions as well as daily life.

One particularly caught my eye – La cultura folclorica de Veracruz .  This short clip is about music and musicians, and a story telling festival.  This links with Unit 14 of the QCDA scheme – and I happen to be doing that at the moment with year5!

Hopefully this will help them understand what ‘la música folclórica’ is all about!

Today sees the beginning of another wonderful offering from Radio Lingua Network as episode 1 of NewsTime Spanish is launched.

Made by a highly talented trio – Mark ‘Mr RadioLingua’ Pentleton, José ‘just say Edmodo and I melt’ Picardo and Chris ‘where’s it to?’ Fuller, this weekly podcast keeps you up to date with news from Spain and Hispanic countries.

In this week’s edition of News Time Spanish we’ll be looking at the major financial reform in Spain as a result of the ongoing issues around Europe. Other stories include:

  • UK elections news
  • Spanish sporting successes
  • Mexican/US immigration issues
  • Health problems in Spain

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and listen for free, whilst a Premium pass will allow you access to transcripts, exercises and a slower version of the audio.


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Today is Shrove Tuesday – I’ll be making pancakes very soon for my hungry ‘bichos’. However, in Spain and other Hispanic countries, they celebrate differently – as we found out at WCPS during our eTwinning project.

This time of year in Spain sees ‘carnavales’ . Coming from ‘carne’ = meat and ‘valle’ = farewell, festivities mark the start of Lent with parades and dressing up. The event was banned under Franco’s rule and recovered once democracy was established in 1981.
Check out this guide for more information and to find out about celebrations in different places around Spain.
Carnavales are not just celebrated in Spain however. Carnaval de Barranquilla in colombia is very famous and boasts a magnificent website full of information about traditions and actualities. Meet la Reina del Carnaval, elRey Momo and los Reyes Infantiles; check out some of the magnificent float designs , and check out what’s been and will be happening in Barranquilla.

Fed up at going back to work after the Bank Holiday? Here’s a quick guide to How to celebrate Cinco de mayo!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcwW6wQGyVQ&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1]

As I sat poking people on Facebook – as I am prone to do as a form of stress release – I was inspired to blog. Not a normal occurence admittedly, being inspired to do anything serious on FB but this time the poke was the catalyst.

As you can see from the image, I ‘celebrated Cinco de Mayo with‘ many of my FB friends, and it struck me that I knew not why I would want to celebrate today! So I
decided to do some research – and it’s nothing to do with dancing sheep!

Wikipedia informed me that …
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “5th of May”) is primarily a regional and not an obligatory federal holiday in Mexico. The holiday commemorates an initial victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.’

and goes on to point out that it is not Mexican Independence Day as this falls on September 16th.

It seems that the day, celebrated with music, dance and food (as all good fiestas should be), is mainly celebrated by Mexicans living in America, and that it is really only celebrated within Mexico in the Puebla region where the battle was fought.

As I was looking for information,I came across a number of interesting web sites that teach more about the origins and celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Kaboose has a number of craft activities (such as making a taco or Mexican sombrero), recipes and printables (such as colouring pages and wordsearches) for the day as well as a history section.

Here’s the site for the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in Portland, Oregon, celebrating the festival of its sister city, Guadalajara, and organised by the Portland Guadalajara Sister Association
(I like this idea of having a sister city whose festivals you celebrate – great for broadening knowledge and understanding)

Then I came across a lovely site with a really accessible webquest about Cinco de Mayo, perfect for dipping in and choosing bits that you fancy using. It offers lots of links – most of them seem to be active (sometimes a pitfall I find with webquests I discover is that the links are dead ends which is really frustrating) I also like the student rubric outlining what is expected of a good group member, and how group work will be graded – something to consider for next collaborative topic I set perhaps. There are even teachers notes – as they say, the webquest / topic is designed to last several weeks so it would be a case of picking and choosing!!

And then there’s the 42explore site where there are loads of links to other sites – unfortunately, several of the ones I tested were dead, but you can learn how to make a piñata, or a poncho, or go on a shorter webquest to make an information book about Cinco de Mayo. And at the bottom of the page, there is a short interactive glossary of words related to the festival.

And, just to finish off the post, here are a couple of videos of the festivities. Firstly, a news report explaining the fiesta –

and here are the festivities in Charleston…..

Finally, a traditional folkdance from West SaintPaul, Minnesota.

So – now I know what it’s all about –

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo a todos!

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