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The last (for now!) of the poems that have caught my eye from the anthology Los Mejores Versos de Gloria Fuertes that I purchased from Little Linguist

This one is entitled Paisajes para que los pintes and was chosen once more for simplicity of structure, but also because it immediately sparked ideas in my mind.

A reading of the poem here

Each ‘estrofa’ decribes a very simple image with the basic structure
Arriba (top)
Abajo (bottom)
En medio (in the middle)
In the first couple of estrofas this is made explicit but after that, the pattern has been established so the prepositions are omitted although the structure remains.

I immediately saw a pairs game – can you match the image to the description?

And then I thought of back to back dictation where two children sit back to back and one describes a picture that the other then draws. In ‘times of COVID’ this could be done as an activity on a recorded or live lesson, or as a whole class activity once we’re back to school. It could be one of the descriptions from the poem or one of their own.

Which brings us to rewriting the poem – so easy to do by simply substituting nouns.
1. Los pájaros arriba,
Los campos abajo,
y, en medio, la cuidad.

2. En el cielo, las nubes
En el corral, la oveja
y, en medio, la granja.

3. Arriba, el sol
Abajo, el mar;
En medio de la playa, la palmera.

You could make it harder by challenging children to make the lines rhyme – you might find Rimar.io or Woxicon helpful! It could lead to some fun, unpredictable pictures and is a good activity for dictionary skills too! You could extend the poems by adding adjectives too:

Arriba, las nubes blancos,
Abajo, un hombre en zancos.
En medio del colegio, toca un arpegio.

I can see this as a lovely way to celebrate learning too as it would be easy for children to illustrate their poems then record them, creating a class anthology either as video, stored online or printed out using QR codes to access the audio.

Can you see ways to use this poem too? Please share them in the comments!

Now to do some work as half term is nearly over and I have pupils awaiting their next lesson!

Translation:
Landscapes for you to paint.
The sun above,
The clouds below
And, in the middle of the wheat,
A scarecrow.

The sun above,
The sea below
And, in the middle of the sea,
A boat.

The meadow,
The mountain
And, in the middle, the cane.

The snow,
The cold
And, in the middle,
The river.

The cloud,
The sea
And, in the middle,
The squid.

The jungle,
The palm
And, in the middle,
The panther.

The sky,
The plain
And, in the middle,
The aeroplane.

The church above,
The town below
And, in the tower,
The bell and the cat.

The next in a series of posts about poems from the anthology Los Mejores versos de Gloria Fuertes is En un país mágico, a poem in two parts about a magical world and unusual friendships.

A recording of the poem can be found here

I liked this poem as it’s very simple with a repeated structure:
[noun1] amigo de [noun2]
with noun2 being an unlikely amigo for noun 1. So we have cat and mouse, robber and police, wolf and lamb, witch and child, but also yolk and white, bee and flower, black and white, rich and poor.

I also liked the poem for the message of friendship, that we could all live together in harmony and peace. as the last verse says:

Esto sucedía en un país mágico donde todos se reían y nadie se enfadaba.
This happened in a magical world where everyone laughed and nobody got angry.

Wouldn’t that be a good world in which to live?

What could you do with the poem?

  1. Read it and enjoy it – the rhythms and rhymes, and the message too.
  2. Act it out as a play (at the end of Primera Parte, the curtain falls and there is applause!)
  3. Look at pronunciation – the j and the use of accents.
  4. Use the image to help children find the meaning of the poem.
  5. Explore the interesting vocabulary – el ‘poli’, la bellota, el tiesto (I had to use the picture for that one) You may need to explain the relationship between a pig and an acorn!
  6. Look at masculine and feminine – why is la gata amiga de la rata but el gato amigo del ratón? And likewise, la gata amiga de la rata but el gato amigo del ratón?
  7. Challenge children to find new pairings that could be friends to rewrite the poem:
    El frío, amigo del calor.
    El Sol, amigo de la Luna.
    La radio, amiga del video.

What would you do? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Other poems by Gloria Fuertes:
Sólo tres letras
La Risa
Doña Pito Piturra
Lee con Gloria Fuertes (lots of links in this post to others)

Approximate translation:
IN A MAGICAL COUNTRY
First part:
The cat,
Friend of the rat.
The cat,
Friend of the mouse
The witch,
Friend of the little girl.
The ‘bobby’,
Friend of the robber.
The wolf,
Friend of the lamb.
The flowerpot,
Friend of the balcony.
The egg white,
Friend of the yolk.
The bee,
Friend of the flower.
(Applause! Applause! And the curtain falls)

Second part
The enemy,
Friend of the enemy.
The white,
Friend of the black.
The black,
Friend of the white.
The pig,
Friend of the acorn.
The rich,
Friend of the poor.
The ball,
Friend of the boot.
The umbrella,
Friend of the drop.
This happened
In a magical country
Where everyone laughed
And nobody got cross
And everyone loved each other.

Following on from yesterday’s post, another poem from my new book Los Mejores Versos de Gloria Fuertes.

A recording of the poem here.

I was drawn to this one firstly by the brevity and then for the repetition, both things that work well for younger learners!

I also like the theme – peace. Whilst it’s not International Day of Peace until September 21st I don’t think you need a special day to celebrate these things!

If you wanted to use this poem in class, you could ask children to consider their own PAZ poem – what words would they choose for each letter? Perhaps three verbs like pensar, actuar, zanjar conflicto (think, act and resolve conflict) or nouns likes paciencia, acción y un zapatazo a la guerra (patience, action and a kick to war) As you can see, z is a tricky letter so you might want to allow words that contain a Z and write it as an acrostic. For example, you could have:
Paciencia
communidAd
esperanZa

Alternatively you could challenge children with another word like AMOR or VIDA, or even their own name, choosing words in Spanish that apply to them.
I might write
Libros
Idiomas
Sol
Amistad

I collected some resources for Día de la Paz on Pinterest including the following images that might go well with this poem or could equally be used alone.

And of course there’s this famous song Que canten los niños:


How might you use the poem? Do share your ideas in the comments!

An approximate translation:
Just three letters
Three letters, nothing more.
Just three letters
That forever you will learn.
Just three letters to write PAZ (peace).
The P, the A, the Z; just three letters.
Just three letters,
Three letters, nothing more:
To sing peace,
To make peace.

The P of pueblo (the people)
The A of amar (love)
and the Z of zafiro (sapphire) or zagal (young boy)
‘zafiro’ for the blue world; ‘zagal’ for a child like you.
You don’t have to be wise or need bayonets,
If you only learn these three letters well;
Use them when you’re older and there’ll be peace in the world.

La risa – Gloria Fuertes

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¡Ja ja ja!

I’ve just bought a new book called Los Mejores Versos de Gloria Fuertes and, having a flick through, wanted to share a few of the ‘versos’ with you over the next few days.

The first is this one entitled La risa (Laughter)

Here’s a link to me reading the poem.

I like this poem as I love laughing! I like the simple rhyming couplets too and thought that this might be a poem that children could recite for the Express yourself in Lockdown competition run by the British Council, Association for Language Learning and the cultural and linguistic bodies of the United Kingdom that I’ve just shared.

Perhaps they could create a happy mask to wear as they record the poem, or make an avatar using an app. Or they could speak behind a powerpoint of things that make them laugh and smile?

Related to the poem, you could look at these sayings and expressions in Spanish about smiling and laughing.

Another poem will follow tomorrow!

¡Hasta luego!

Approximate translation:
Welcome is the laughter that leaves joy wherever it goes.
Come, laughter and her cousin, the smile.
To laugh is like eating (it feeds more than meat.)
One must laugh hourly (as humbly prescribed.)
What a laugh, Auntie Felisa, ruffling your Tshirt.
(Laughing is very good for the chest!)
Whoever goes laughing goes better than by car;
Whoever laughs by day, sleeps well at night.

Another post about books I bought in Bilbao.

I’ve long been a fan of Gloria Fuertes, in particular her poem Doña Pito Piturra which I’ve written about before and so has Erzsi Culshaw.

The National Curriculum Language programme requires learners to:

  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied

and the KS2 section specifically states that pupils should be taught to:

  • explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language

I’m trying to include more whole class poems that we read and recite together in light of this and also as a way of supporting the English curriculum which requires learners to recite poetry.

So when I saw a series of books called Lee con Gloria Fuertes I decided to purchase a couple. It was hard to decide which to choose but I settled for one on nature and one on weather.


Below are my favourite poems from the books. The first is a list of wishes entitled Todos contra la contaminación which fits well with the eco focus at both my schools and would work well as a reading/drawing activity with learners choosing a line or two to illustrate. The second poem is called Gatos constipados and is about two poorly cats who get thrown out for coughing too much!

There are lots more books in the series so I may well purchase more in the future.

You can find more poems specifically for children by Gloria Fuertes here and others here. In this post there are a number of downloads of her poems along with links to other Gloria Fuertes poems including here (poems about time) and here (poems about professions). You can find a PDF of more of her work here plus here which also has a reading guide.

 

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