When people hear that I’m a Spanish teacher, or that we speak Spanish at home with our kids, I am immediately asked for resources that I recommend to introduce their kids to Spanish. When searching for bilingual books, you will find millions of books written- or translated into- Spanish. The huge majority of these books are at a language level that only Spanish-speakers would benefit from. How could an English-speaking parent read “Curious George” in Spanish, if neither she nor her child understands the language?
You will also find thousands of picture dictionaries… and one word per page boardbooks… and textbooks. There are also terrible translations (Azul el sombrero, verde el sombrero being my biggest pet-peeve!). What my friends are looking for are none of the above. They would like simple stories that teach a little Spanish (but are not too advanced that the parents can’t read or understand them!): here are my best recommendations. Continue reading
Posted in Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Europe, Guatemala, Honduras, Language, Literature, Mexico, Panama, Spain, The Americas
Tagged fiction children's books, spanish
A trip to the Rio Napo, Ecuador in 1996.
Last year, my kids and I studied a different biome each month. When looking at biomes, the world is generally divided into 5 major types: aquatic, deserts, forests, grasslands, and tundra. The plants and animals in each biome have adapted to their environment with special features that help them survive. Under the forests category, it is sub-divided into different types of forests, such as tropical rainforests, temperate forests, and boreal forests. Because I have visited parts of the Amazon as well as Costa Rica, I was excited to share what I had learned and they were really excited to take a closer look. We took a month to read books, watch films, and do some art projects related to tropical rain forests. Here are the resources we used. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Animals, Around the World, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Games and Toys, Geography, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Panama, The Americas
Tagged biomes, education, educational technology, on-line activities, rainforest, science
I was in the doctor’s office the other day, when a woman heard me speaking Spanish and struck up a conversation. I learned that she is from El Salvador, and that we both love to cook. The next obvious question was “Can you tell me your favorite Salvadoran dish?” She raved about pupusas, round, corn-dough-cakes that are stuffed with cheese, cooked on a comal, or griddle, and then topped with a delicious homemade tomato salsa and curtido, a pickled cabbage. She explained the pupusas are a favorite breakfast food, but are sold in “pupuserías,” and from street vendors at all times of the day in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. My mouth was watering as she described how to make the curtido first, to allow the flavors to set, and then to have the kids help roll masa into balls, flatten them into flat disks, and stuff them with cheese. Continue reading