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spanish poem for kids

Douglas Wright is a well-known author and illustrator from Argentina. Among his many talents, he writes poems for children in Spanish. I use his poetry with Spanish language learners because the language is accessible, the poems are from a child’s point of view and children identify with feelings and experiences. They also have rhythm and rhyme so that they are wonderful to listen to and fun to recite.

Mi casa está viva has familiar vocabulary, simple grammar and lots of repetition. In addition, Douglas has illustrated the poem and put it to music. Click here for the poem with illustrations. Click here for the song.

Douglas has very generously given me permission to share his poem on Spanish Playground. A translation (not literary – strictly for meaning) and suggested activities follow the poem.

Mi casa, mi casa,
mi casa está viva;
mi casa me ríe,
mi casa me canta,
mi casa me mira.

Olor a comida,
olor a jabón,
olor a cocina
y olor a salón.

Olor a lavanda,
olor a jazmín,
olor a madera
y olor a verdín.

Mi casa, mi casa,
mi casa está viva;
mi casa me ríe,
mi casa me canta,
mi casa me cuida.

Suena la canilla,
suena el calefón,
y hasta las estufas
cantan su canción.

Suenan en el piso
todas las maderas,
las tablas del techo
y de la escalera.

Mi casa, mi casa,
mi casa está viva;
mi casa me ríe,
mi casa me canta,
mi casa me mima.

Luz en la terraza,
luz en el balcón;
luz en el helecho,
luz en el malvón.

Luz en las ventanas,
luz en los espejos;
luz en los cristales,
luz en los reflejos.

Mi casa, mi casa,
mi casa está viva;
mi casa me ríe,
mi casa me canta:
mi casa es mi amiga.

Silencio en la noche,
silencio seguro,
silencio que anda
sin ningún apuro.

Silencio en mi pieza,
silencio en mi cama;
y en silencio duermo
hasta la mañana

Translation – This translation is provided for meaning. It does not conserve the rhyme or rhythm of the poem.

Mi casa está viva / My House Is Alive

Mi casa, mi casa, / My house, my house,
mi casa está viva; / my house is alive;
mi casa me ríe, / my house laughs with me,
mi casa me canta, / my house sings to me,
mi casa me mira. / my house watches me.

Olor a comida, / The smell of food,
olor a jabón, / the smell of soap.
olor a cocina / the smell of the kitchen,
y olor a salón. / and the smell of the living room.

Olor a lavanda, / The smell of lavender,
olor a jazmín, / the smell of jasmine,
olor a madera / the smell of wood,
y olor a verdín. / and the smell of mildew.

Mi casa, mi casa, / My house, my house,
mi casa está viva; / my house is alive;
mi casa me ríe, / my house laughs at me,
mi casa me canta, / my house sings to me,
mi casa me cuida. / my house cares for me.

Suena la canilla, / The faucet makes sound
suena el calefón, / The water heater makes sound
y hasta las estufas / and even the heaters
cantan su canción. / sing their song.

Suenan en el piso / Sound from
todas las maderas, / the floorboards
las tablas del techo / the boards in the ceiling
y de la escalera. / and the stairs.

Mi casa, mi casa, / My house, my house,
mi casa está viva; / my house is alive;
mi casa me ríe, / my house laughs at me,
mi casa me canta, / my house sings to me,
mi casa me mima. / my house spoils me.

Luz en la terraza, / Light on the terrace
luz en el balcón; / light on the balcony;
luz en el helecho, / light on the fern,
luz en el malvón. / light on the geranium.

Luz en las ventanas, / Light on the windows
luz en los espejos; / Light on the mirrors;
luz en los cristales, / Light on the window panes,
luz en los reflejos. / Light on the reflections.

Mi casa, mi casa, / My house, my house,
mi casa está viva; / my house is alive;
mi casa me ríe, / my house laughs at me,
mi casa me canta, / my house sings to me,
mi casa es mi amiga. / my house is my friend.

Silencio en la noche, / Silence at night,
silencio seguro, / safe silence,
silencio que anda / silence that moves
sin ningún apuro. / without any hurry.

Silencio en mi pieza, / Silence in my bedroom,
silencio en mi cama; / Silence in my bed;
y en silencio duermo / and in silence I sleep
hasta la mañana / until morning.

Possible activities:
This poem lends itself to a variety of activities with children learning Spanish. Here are a few to consider:

1. Read the poem and listen to the song version. Make a simple activity by removing rhyming words from the poem. This printable PDF uses the whole poem, but you could also choose a few stanzas and do them as a class.

1. Students draw their own homes as living things, like the houses in the illustrations. First, talk about what the house in the poem does.
El hablante dice que la casa del poema está viva. ¿Por qué dice eso? ¿Qué hace la casa que hace un animal o una persona? (rie, canta, mira, cuida, mima). Then talk about what their houses or apartments do (escucha? habla? juega? esconde? protege?) Then kids draw their house with the body parts it needs and add a sentence of explanation: Mi casa escucha a mi familia. Mi casa me protege.

2. Talk about what senses the speaker of the poem uses to experience his house and identify specific examples (Olfato – olor a comida. Oído – suenan las tablas de la escalera. Vista – luz en las ventanas. ). Have students make a drawing of a face.  They write the examples around the face and connect them to the correct body part with a line. They could also do this with the way they experience their own homes as a pre-writing activity for #3.

3. Students list sounds, smells and light in their own homes. They can use these lists to write a short poem based on the structure of Mi casa está viva.

4. Talk about the line Mi casa es mi amiga and the idea of a place as a friend. How is the house a friend? Ask students to list the characteristics of a friend. Ask the children to identify other places that they consider “friends” (park, grandparent’s house, car, yard, soccer field, library). Do these other places perform the same functions as the house (cantar, mirar, cuidar, etc.)? Do they do other things? Have students draw another place “alive” based on the illustrations of the poem.

5. Discuss vocabulary in the poem. For example, pieza is a common word for bedroom in Argentina. What other words have they learned or heard for bedroom (cuarto, habitación, recámara, dormitorio, alcoba)? Talk about other variations in vocabulary from one country to another, particularly words for food and clothes.

You may also be interested in this post: Poems for Children in Spanish – Edgar Allan García and Sergio Andricaín in Cuatro Gatos


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