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Whilst I know that many schools do not celebrate Halloween (mine don’t!) I thought I’d share these ideas that I’ve used, made or seen over the years.

  1. A Halloween Storybird.
  2. Songs about ‘calabazas’
  3. Songs about ‘esqueletos’
  4. A story.

1. A Storybird for Halloween

In 2012 I made this Storybird at the request of the Reception teacher at my school. I say ‘my school’ but at the time I lived in Switzerland and they were missing me!

I happily created it and shared it with them, and then with you via my blog in this post.

Unfortunately in the intervening years, Storybird has changed the way you can share so the link was broken so I created a PPT of the pages and added some activities and extra slides today, then narrated it. The link to it is at the bottom of the post.


2. Songs about ‘calabazas’

I’ve shared the first of these songs before when I subtitled it (using a tool that doesn’t exist anymore so it’s lost 🙁
However, you can switch on the CC subtitles now and whilst, not perfect (the third ‘calabaza’ is ‘enojada’ and the subtitle read ‘que no y no’) they serve the purpose!

As you can see, each ‘calabaza’ is expresses a feeling using the phrase ‘se siente…’ and you could follow up this song with asking ¿Cómo te sientes? (How are you feeling?) with children responding “Me siento…”


Here are the lyrics:
Cinco calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente muy cansada.
Cuatro calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente asustada.
Tres calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente enojada.
Dos calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente muy frustrada.
Una calabaza sentada en su casa
Una calabaza se siente sorprendida
Cinco calabazas duermen en su casa
Cuando sale el sol, se sienten muy felices
.

Cinco calabazas sentadas en su casa.

I’ve just discovered this second video, also about ‘calabazas’ and emotions. This time the ‘calabazas’ are more animated, and express their feeling using the verb estar. Some interesting vocabulary used including gruñona, a great word meaning grumpy or cranky! Another opportunity to discuss feelings, asking ¿Cómo estás? with children replying Estoy… It also offers an opportunity to look at the present continuous Estoy+gerund.

Here are the lyrics:
Letra:
Una calabaza, sonriendo, sonriendo. x3
Una calabaza está feliz.

Dos calabazas, gruñendo, gruñendo. x3
Dos calabazas están gruñonas.

Tres calabazas, bostezando, bostezando. x3
Tres calabazas están con sueño.

Cuatro calabazas, llorando, llorando. x3
Cuatro calabazas están tristes.

Cinco calabazas, riendo, riendo. x3
Cinco calabazas están jugando.


3. Songs about ‘esqueletos’

I’ve long been familiar with the Babelzone song about ‘Los Esqueletos’ that has a skeleton coming out of the ‘tumba’ every hour of the night as the clock strikes, and have shared it many times! The version below has a bit more ‘movida’ and also uses ‘desde…. hasta’ to give a range of time (from … until) rather than ‘cuando el reloj marca…’ Certainly an earworm!

Tumbalakatumba – very catchy

I also like this version as it’s a rhyme rather than a song; great to work on rhythm and link language learning to music. You could find the percussion instruments and really get a beat going!
And then it becomes a song encouraging you to dance. First moving your ‘cintura’, then your ‘cabeza’, ‘rodillas’ and finally your ‘cuerpo’

If you prefer ‘calaveras’ to ‘esqueletos’ you could try this version or this one.

And linking ‘los esqueletos’ to parts of the body, you could try “El Baile del Esqueleto.” To the tune of Dem Bones, the song encourages you to move and dance whilst simply talking about how your bones are connected to one another. You could use it as part of a science lesson on the skeleton, or as an exercise in finding the word for or working out what the lyrics mean using scientific knowledge.

I’ve recently found this one too Tumbas por aquí, tumbas por allá that would be fun for a topical tidying up song!

And not entirely a song about ‘esqueletos’ but here’s a ‘Halloween’ version of 5 babies jumping on the bed with skeletons and a ghost Mummy telling them off!


4. A story about a broomstick

During lockdown I recorded a number of stories for my pupils and, like many people, had some online shopping sprees when I couldn’t get out. I combined these when a colleague discovered that I had bought a Julie Donaldson/Axel Scheffler book that is her favourite and asked me to record it for her so she could hear what it sounded like. I’ve uploaded it here for the next few weeks if you’d like to use it. After that, you can have a look at this version which is animated with pictures from the book (but also has some spelling mistakes!) or this one.
If you have a Twinkl subscription there is a set of vocabulary to accompany the story here and the bottom of this post has a couple of craft activities too. Obviously, activities for the English version Room on a Broom could also be used and/or adapted, especially craft activities as they have no text on them; here are some examples Kiddycharts Scholastic Teaching Ideas

And from the roomonthebroom.com, here are some downloadable activities:
Finger puppets
Pairs game
Can you find..?
colouring

So – there are my ideas for Halloween. As I said at the beginning, I don’t celebrate Halloween in my schools, but we do look at another festival at this time of year – Día de los Muertos.

But that’s for another post!

Must fly!

Continuing on the theme of colours, the next story I decided to share with the children is all about Elmer the elephant.
In the book, we meet Elmer and his multiple colours, and then discover things that are that colour like snow, an ice lolly and fruit.

Here it is:

Since recording it, I’ve discovered the video below which takes the book towards the story of Elmer in which he wants to be the same as everyone else to fit in. [You can find that story here.] They each colour in a picture of Elmer and explore the idea of being the same but different

Then I found this song that is really lovely and worth sharing with children as it speaks about the value of diversity.

The lyrics are:

De mil colores es su piel
se llama Elmer y es genial
un elefante quiere ser
de igual color que los demás. (2 veces)

Para ser feliz no hay que ser igual
para sonreír no hay que ser igual
para divertir no hay que ser igual
porque el color no importará. (2 veces)

(Elmer, el elefante de colores – Canción del cuento de David McKee
Autor: Juan Rafael Muñoz Muñoz
Arreglo: Luis Miguel González)

I also like this version of the songs with pictograms to aid understanding.
If you’d like another version of the story I shared, here’s a little child reading it. Very different style to me – far cuter! And I also found a couple of activities here that you could do related to the story.

¡Choco choco la te!

Like many of you, I’ve been trying to keep my Spanish ‘teaching’ going in this time of lockdown and no ‘school school’ by providing activities for them to do at ‘home school’.

Today I was making a ‘hello’ message for one of the schools at which I teach and decided to add a little Spanish activity to it. And then thought I’d share it with the children at my other school. And then thought I’d share it with you in case you think it’s useful.

I’m sure many of you will know the chocolate rhyme; indeed, I’ve mentioned it here before in posts about clapping rhymes (see below). I love the way that you can use other words as well. Mariposa was taught to me by the children at CEP Antonio de Ulloa in Cartagena which led me to think of elefante and caramelo. I’m sure, with more than a couple of minute’s thought I could think of more words too!

Here’s the video! Enjoy!

Here’s the video. Enjoy!

Here are other posts about chocolate, sweets and clapping rhymes:

¡Chocolate!

Some Spanish clapping rhymes

Sweet inspiration

Así soy

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I’ve yet to see The Greatest Showman but I love the soundtrack so when I found this video today I was delighted.

This is me in Spanish – Así soy. Below the video I’ve posted the lyrics too. It won’t be a song I necessarily teach the children but it’ll make a pleasant background to activities, and it has such uplifting and important lyrics that I’ll happily tell the children what it means. Unlike Despacito…

No soy ajena a la oscuridad

Escondete me dicen

No te queremos como estas

Ya aprendi mis cicatrices pena dan

Escapate me dicen

Porque así nadie te amará

Que me eliminen, no los dejaré

Tenemos un lugar, yo sé

Somos gloriosos

Con palabras duras me quieren herir

Las voy ya inundar y las voy a hundir

Fuerte soy con dolor

Porque soy quien debo ser

Así soy

Paren porque aquí voy

Si marchando voy a mi propio sol

Sin temor veanme no me voy a disculpar

Así soy

Oh oh oh

Oh oh oh

Una ruta más de balas viene a mi

Disparen más, porque ya

Más penas no voy a permitir

Barricadas vamos a destruir

Hasta llegar al sol

Si es lo que solo soy

Que me eliminen, no los dejaré

Tenemos un lugar, yo sé

Somos gloriosos

Con palabras duras me quieren herir

Las voy ya inundar y las voy a hundir

Fuerte soy con dolor

Porque soy quien debo ser

Así soy

Paren porque aquí voy

Si marchando voy a mi propio sol

Sin temor veanme no me voy a disculpar

Así soy

Oh oh oh

Oh oh oh

Así soy

Yo se que me ves con tu amor

En nada equivocada estoy

Con palabras duras me quieren herir

Las voy ya inundar y las voy a hundir

Así es hay dolor

Porque soy quien debo ser

Así soy

Paren porque aquí voy

Si marchando voy a mi propio sol

Sin temor veanme no me voy a disculpar

Así soy

Oh oh oh

Así soy

Oh oh oh

Así es hay dolor porque soy quien debo ser

Así soy

Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek

ALL on Youtube

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Did you know that the Association for Language Learning (ALL) has a Youtube channel? I didn’t until today when I attended the ALL Council meeting and discovered that not only did an ALL channel exist but that one of the first videos on it features me talking about sketchnoting!

There are currently a number of playlists and numerous really interesting videos. Most of them are really short, getting the message cross succinctly which is always a bonus. One of the playlists is full of videos recorded at Language World 2017 that cover things like what ALL does, how it supports language teachers and learners through networking and CPD, why you’d want to attend Language World and why languages are beneficial in the workplace.

One video I found particularly interesting – as a teacher and also as the parent of a child who’s just started studying German at university  – is entitled UK LINGUA – the students viewpoint in students discuss the transition from learning languages at school to learning languages at university. I’ve embedded it below.

I’d really encourage you to take a look at the channel, particularly if you’re not sure about what ALL does! You can find the channel here .

SaveSave

seleccion-española_433x244

 

Yesterday as part of Health Week I shared this video with Y5 who were focusing on ‘exercise for health.’  Although Sergio Ramos’ singing caused great amusement, they loved it and all enthusiastically joined in with the chorus.

España ¡ey! ¡ey!   Cantamos ¡Gol! ¡Gol!

España ¡ey! ¡ey!   La Roja baila.

https://youtu.be/SZWIrzNyTgI

There’s also a version without the words and with ‘promotional footage’ for Euro16 , a chipmunk version, a Videostar version with actions. And I love the Playmobil version!

There’s also this song  Himno Selección Española Eurocopa 2016 which is billed as a tribute to the team.

I hope we’ll still all singing at about 9.45 this evening…

¡Viva la Roja!

Image from wikipeques - click for site

Image from wikipeques – click for site

Ever since #ililc5 when Janet Lloyd introduced us to this French song for gaining attention and restoring quiet in the classroom, I’ve been searching for a Spanish equivalent. So far I’ve not found one but it got me thinking about using songs and rhymes to create calm.

I have to admit that I tend to use them to either create excitement and action – see posts about La Vaca Lola and Choco Choco la la, two of my favourite songs, or to teach vocabulary – for example, see these posts on Yo quiero ser by Nubeluz or La finca del Tío Ramón and Hojas Hojas that I subtitled using Amara. However, I began to use this song to start all my lessons in KS1 at the start of the year and noted that as well as signalling the start of the Spanish lesson, it focused us all and calmed everyone down.

Part of the appeal is the routine, but I also think that the actions help. And as I was searching, lots of the songs and rhymes I found were either about or used your hands so I thought that warranted a post!

 SONGS

I came across some lovely songs that I think would certainly work for restoring calm, focusing attention and creating a ‘brain break’ during class:

1. El pourri de las manos

I love this collection of songs which could be used separately or as a whole! Each is only about 40 seconds long and all can be sung/acted on the carpet as well as in seats. Some helpful (opposites) vocabulary too – content/triste, arriba/abajo, abre/cierra, allí/allá.

I also like the way that it starts very calm and then gets a little more animated but not too much!

You can find the lyrics for this song here.

2. Saco una manito

This is one of the songs included in the above video – I think the ‘band’ will be very popular, and it’s still very chilled with the saxophone and calm actions!

Saco una manito. La hago bailar, / I take out one hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco la otra manito. La hago bailar, / I take out the other hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco las dos manitos. Las hago bailar, / I take out two hands. I make them dance.
Las cierro, las abro y las vuelvo a guardar. / I close them, I open them, and I put them away again.

3. Dedos

A very very simple song in which you touch each finger together one after the other then all together.

Palmas con un dedo, palmas con el otro, doy con el más largo, luego con el otro,

viene el más pequeño…

¡Y luego con todos!

Éste dedo es la mama,éste otro es el papa,el más grande es el hermanocon la niña de la mano,

el chiquito va detrás.

Todos salen a pasear 

4. El zapatero

This song about a shoemaker is the Spanish equivalent of Wind the bobbin up with arm rolling forward and back, pull, pull and then ‘pan pan pan’ as you gently hammer the shoe.

Envolviendo, desenvolviendo,

estira, estira y pan – pan – pan

envolviendo, desenvolviendo,

estira, estira y pan – pan – pan

zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar

zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar

5. Arramsamsam

I’ve seen this rhyme before but had forgotten about it. A nonsense rhyme, but with hand actions that require some concentration.

Arramsamsam, arramsamsam

guli guli guli guli guli arramsamsam

Alamis, alamis guli guli guli guli guli arramsamsam

6. Con mi dedito

A calm song for saying sí and no, firstly with a finger, then a foot then the head.

  Con mi dedito, digo: si, si

Con mi dedito digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y este dedito se escondió.

  Con mi piecito, digo: si, si 

Con mi piecito, digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y este piecito se escondió

  Con mi cabeza, digo: si, si

Con mi cabeza, digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y esta cabeza se escondió.

7. Manos divertidas

Another song about hands with lots of actions to copy!

  Ya mis manos se despiertan y ten van a saludar,

se sacuden con gran fuerza y después se enrollan de aqui por allá.

  Son mis manos divertidas, siempre salen a jugar

suben por una escalera y después se tiran por el tobogán.

  Ellas tocan la bocina, ellas te van asustar

y después de tanto juego, cuando están cansadas,

te invitan a soñar.

If you’re interested in more traditional action songs, have a look at Diversión con juegos de mano which includes Dos manitas, diez deditos and Los deditos.

RHYMES

Continuing on the original thought of bringing the class together, this might work as I’ve yet to find a class that don’t want to wiggle their bottoms given half a chance!

Mis manos hacen clap clap clap

Mis pies hacen stamp stamp stamp

Mi boca hace la la la

Cintura hace cha cha cha

Other rhymes using your hands include Los dedos de las manos and there are several more here including Dedo pulgar (the Spanish version of Tommy Thumb) and Cinco ratoncitos in which one less finger or ‘ratoncitos’ comes out each time to play! And the ever helpful Spanish Playground has some other suggestions too.

I was going to talk about clapping rhymes but I think I’ll save that for another post as they aren’t really very calming 😉

I’ll try some of these out in class and let you know what happens.

PS Over the last two weeks Y2 and I have been exploring world dance and this week we did some ‘flamenco’ arm work. There was utter concentration so perhaps that’s another avenue to explore!

“En el roscón de reyes puedes encontrar la figurita y el haba. La buena y la mala suerte. Teresa Tomás, de 104 años, nos enseña que en la vida también sucede igual. ¿Quieres saber lo que piensa?”

This short video is an advertisement for Consum but it has an important message.

I’m going to be remembering her final comment this year-

Lo importante es sencillamente eso – vivir.

And if you want to make a roscón the recipe is here: www.consum.es/roscondereyes

Cuerdas

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Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 10.59.55I saw this short film or ‘cortometraje’ shared yesterday on Facebook and I can’t get it out of my head so I thought I’d share it with you.

Cuerdas is the winning short film in the Premio Goya 2014 and tells the story of how life changes for María when a new and special child joins her school. It’s heartwarming (and heartbreaking) ; a lesson in seeing things as a child, finding solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems, and being a good friend. Even if you don’t speak Spanish it’s easy to understand and you can’t fail to miss the message!

It struck a chord with me as I have a gorgeous nephew who I’d like to think is treated as María treats her new friend.

And because, at a deeper level, it reminded me of the times when someone has metaphorically tied their hands and/or feet to mine and made me move when I couldn’t of my own volition, who has included me in their ‘games’ when I had nothing to contribute and been sad when I wasn’t there.

We all need a helping hand sometimes, don’t we?

As the Youtube video seems to have been removed, Hopefully this video will work!

Baila “La Vaca Lola”

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A request on Twitter for catchy song led to someone volunteering one my favourites so, for the benefit of @taykllor here is …

La vaca Lola

 

The actions are illustrated below and here are the written instructions – hopefully between the two, all will be clear!

PicCollage

La vaca Lola, la vaca Lola  – mime horns for each phrase

Tiene cabeza – point to your head

y tiene cola – turn and mime a tail swishing 

La vaca Lola, la vaca Lola  – mime horns for each phrase

Tiene cabeza – point to your head

y tiene cola – turn and mime a tail swishing 

Y hace “Muuuu” – body roll and “muu” with enthusiasm!

(Instrumental – dance salsa with a partner as illustrated by the little people in the video. Always a hit!)

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