Friday, August 23, 2019

Great Spanish Songs for Your Classroom!

The following is a guest post by Risas y Sonrisas founder, Leticia Smith.

What do you want to achieve with music in your classroom? Some songs are designed to teach specific vocabulary lessons while others can teach cultural lessons or simply be fun to sing.
To effectively use music to accelerate learning, it is important to pair the song with movement, pictures, or lyrics so students understand what they’re singing. After students learn the song, continue to activate the vocabulary with visual aids, games, acting, writing, and drawing.
Here are four options for great songs for your classroom! ¡Qué disfruten!


Sing-Alongs for Younger Kids

Sing-along songs are simple and easy to learn. Some of the songs have the same tune in English and Spanish, which helps students learn to hear and repeat Spanish words. These songs are best used with pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms but can also work with elementary-level students. They tend to tell fun and silly stories rather than teaching specific vocabulary. Here are a few YouTube channels with colorful and cute bouncing-ball videos.



Cri-Cri: El Grillito Cantor (Cri-Cri, the Little Singing Cricket)

Cri-Cri’s songs are full of fun storytelling, cute characters, and a variety of musical styles. They work with a variety of elementary ages, but are best used with students who already have some Spanish vocabulary. Cri-Cri has been popular with children in Mexico for generations, so your students can gain some cultural knowledge along with the music! Their YouTube channel is full of songs with which children can sing along.



Miss Rosi

Miss Rosi is an educator and singer based in Peru. Her gentle, folksy songs for children are easy to sing and tend to have a moral, natural, or cultural lesson. Again, these songs are presented only in Spanish. Her YouTube channel videos include lyrics.

Risas y Sonrisas

If you’re looking for songs to teach vocabulary by theme, Risas y Sonrisas Spanish for Kids is your best bet! The fun and catchy songs present vocabulary with fun visuals and the option of using American Sign Language to make the connection with its meaning. Then, the vocabulary learned through the songs is reinforced with a complete set of immersion-based printed and digital games and activities. The program also includes songs that tell fun stories or teach about Hispanic culture. The curriculum contains over 40 original songs, many of which are available on their YouTube channel



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Leticia Smith is originally from Mexico City and has lived in Austin, TX since 1986. She received a BBA with a Minor in Marketing from Texas State University and an Accelerated Learning certificate from the University of Houston. Not knowing then the impact it was going to have in her future, she worked four consecutive years in the university's Spanish department where she acquired invaluable experience teaching college students twice a week and offering tutoring services. Later, when she had the opportunity to teach children, she discovered that her true vocation was to teach and inspire others to put joy into learning. Her years of experience as a Spanish instructor teaching children in all grades at elementary schools eventually led to the development of her award-winning program, Risas y Sonrisas.

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