Spain is home to some of the world's most breathtaking museums and historical architecture, and it produces some of the most mouthwatering dishes found in Europe. Spanish is the second most used language in the United States, and therefore it is important for students to learn about the Hispanic culture. If you are trying to teach children about the culture of Spain, you should try these hands-on activities that will have students creating, tasting and experiencing the culture from the comfort of the classroom.
Songs and games
Just like American children, Spanish children enjoy singing songs and playing games. An excellent way to help children learn Spanish culture is to teach them the lyrics to some famous Spanish children's songs. These songs have hand actions that make them fun for kids to learn. Some popular songs include "To the Turkey, Little Turkey" where children must get in groups of two at the end of the song or else they are out. Another song that is popular in Spain, as well as in the United States, is "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes." The actions for this game are the same as the American version, and this can help children associate the Spanish words for various parts of the body.
Spain has many different festivals that are famous around the world such as the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and the Feria de Abril Festival. You can create an Internet scavenger hunt activity to have students search for information about these festivals. Or, you can have children plan a Feria de Abril party in the classroom. To plan this party you will need to decorate the class with paper lanterns, play classic Spanish music and serve traditional Spanish food. Students can even research the types of clothing worn to these festivals and attempt to re-create these looks for the party.
Spanish dishes such as gazpacho and Spanish rice have become popular menu items in the United States. A great activity for children is to teach them how to make these popular dishes. Your children can also research a variety of other Spanish recipes and try their hand at making them. Creating Spanish food is a great way to teach the culture of Spain because the type of food people eat often reveals a lot about the agriculture in the area. If the children are planning to have a Spanish festival in the classroom, they can bring their dishes for their classmates to sample.
There are many famous artists who originate from Spain. Joan Miró is a famous Spanish painter who used bright colours and simple shapes in his pieces. Many of his paintings look as though they could have been done by children. Your children can look at examples of Miró's work and attempt to create their own Spanish paintings. Once the paintings are complete, they can use a Spanish/English dictionary to come up with a suitable name for their painting and explain why they chose that particular name.