Christmas is full of different traditions that make it a memorable time that every child remembers fondly. Every year, children get excited about the arrival of Christmas, and this Christmas you can start sharing the joy of Latin American Christmas with your children and students. We all celebrate it differently, and thus we can learn about the customs of other countries through books. Likewise, many of these books show representations of different Hispanic families so that children can relate to or learn more from them. With that said, I am very excited to share this list of books in Spanish that focus on bilingualism, Christmas traditions throughout Latin America and promote a love of literature.
South of the Border Christmas Eve
In this bilingual version of the night before Christmas, Santa Claus is Father Christmas and his reindeer are eight donkeys pulling a cart.
Las Posadas: An Hispanic Christmas Celebration
These photographic reports illustrate the preparations for the Las Posadas celebration, which take place in a community in New Mexico, and include the food, folk art and music associated with the holiday. Text in English. It also includes recipes for traditional meals.
For ages: 3-6
This book features a popular Christmas song, "Mi Burrito Sabanero," with charming illustrations.
N Is for Christmas / N is for Christmas
For ages: 3-6
Participate in a joyful Latin celebration of Christmas from A to Z (angel to shoes), enjoying the images and symbols of the holidays. The book contains a bilingual poem in English and Spanish. This energetic book is completed with other Christmas words and explanations in Spanish, as well as colorful and lively illustrations.
These books are perfect to practice reading comprehension skills. Most importantly, children learn best when they are engaged and can relate to what they are reading. Reading about christmas is a great way for children to practice their literacy and reading comprehension abilities as they are already excited about the season, it makes it fun to celebrate with books! With this in mind, here are two reading comprehension activities you can try that will be perfect to discuss the books mentioned above.
- Prepare questions from the text. For example: "Would you want to be the main character why or why not?", "Where does the story take place?", "What is the story about?", "What do you think will happen next?", "Yes you could ask the main character a question, what would you ask him? "What was your favorite part of the story and why?", "Can you think of another ending to the story?", "Would you read this story again? Why or why not? Then, on the floor, separate two lines, on these two lines, put cards with the correct or incorrect answer to the questions. Students should jump over the card that they think has the correct answer. If they follow the right path, under the cards they will find a prize.
- Follow these step by step instructions to create your very own Fortune teller craft!
Fold the bottom of the paper to the side of the page to make a triangle.
Step 1-Use scissors to cut off the flap at the top.
Step 2-Open the triangle and you will have a square.
Step 3-Fold one corner of the paper diagonally to the other corner.
Step 4-Open your paper. You will now have a center point marked on the paper.
Step 5-Fold each corner of the paper towards the center.
Step 6-Turn the paper over so that the folded sides are face down.
Step 7-Then fold all the corners to the center diagonally.
Step 8-Once you have folded in the four corners, write the numbers one through 8 on each of the triangles.
Step 9-Hold the paper in front of you and fold it into a square.
Step 10- Now unfold and fold the square in half horizontally.
Step 11-Open each flap and write reading comprehension questions on each triangle.
Step 12 Flip the fortune teller over and write the name of a color, animal, person or place on the flap.
Step 13 Flip the fortune teller over so that the numbers are face up. Fold the square in half and slip your thumbs and pointer finger under the four flaps.
You can use this craft, by playing with it to randomly land on a question and review the story!
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Written by: Valeria Flores. University of California, Los Angeles. Degree in Spanish and Linguistics. Bilingual teacher.