April is National Poetry Month. Poems are a wonderful way for children to hear and speak Spanish and enjoy the rhythm and sounds of the language. Spanish language learners can read and listen to poems and with support they can also write their own. Here are a few ways to share poetry in Spanish with children during National Poetry Month.
17 Ideas for Sharing Spanish Poems with Kids
1. Watch videos of animated poems or children reciting poems on YouTube by searching poemas infantiles. Here are a few to get you started:
2. Teach counting-out rhymes, also called choosing rhymes. They are short poems with rhyme and rhythm, and kids can use them as they play. These posts are about the rhyme Cinco ratoncitos and two rhymes with numbers.
5. Write about your city, school or family using the structure of the That’s so Miami (Eso es Miami) project. That’s so Miami asks for a poem, up to 100 words, in English or in Spanish, that contains the line That’s so Miami. Many of the entries are in both Spanish and English. You do not have to live in Miami to appreciate how clever they are. Many are appropriate for children and the idea can be applied to any place.
6. Use instant poetry forms from ETTC to help children write poems. Kids are given a prompt, for example, “choose a color word.” They fill in the online form according to the prompts and them click “create poem.”
All of the forms are in the left sidebar. The ones I list here work just as well in Spanish, because the form does not contribute words to the poem. The prompts are in English, but you could certainly translate them and do the activity on paper instead of online. About half of these instant forms have to do with the number of syllables. Color my world, 5W, Explorer, Holiday poem, Pensee and Verb Verse structure content.
Color my world
Big day hiaku
Phone number poem
Verb verse (use infinitives)
7. Kids can illustrate a poem with their drawings or with pictures they cut out.
8. Add movement to poems or act them out. These short poems get kids moving.
9. Readwritethink suggests taking kids on a poetry walk (suggestion 3).
10. Kids can write a theme poem on paper shaped like the subject of the poem, or they can use the interactive tool for writing theme poems here.
11. Have kids choose 5 to 10 related pictures and write a word or two about each. Glue the pictures around the poem.
12. Share short poems from the book Costal de Versos y Refranes from the Biblioteca Digital (Mexico). In particular, poems like Paloma blanca and Colores y más colores work well with Spanish language learners.
13. Teach El rap de las parejas based on the poem Las parejas by Gloria Fuertes. The video is below and the song is available on iTunes. There is a vocabulary activity on this website. You can also find the poem and activities on this slideshare. There is an interesting animated visual of the poem La parejas here.
14. Introduce students to other poems by Gloria Fuertes. You can find poems and ideas for teaching them in this PDF by CEPLI (Centro de Estudios y Documentación de Promoción de la Lectura y Literatura Infantil). Specifically, the poem Los reyes is a fun one to use with Spanish language learners.
15. April 18th is “poem-in-your-pocket day”. Help children choose a poem to carry with them on April 18th to share with others. This is a wonderful way to speak Spanish!
16. Listen to poems by Amado Nervo, Pedro Villar and other poets that have been set to music by Antonio Selfa.
17. Explore El Jardín de Douglas and chose an illustrated poem to share with children. Douglas Wright is a well-known poet from Argentina. El Jardín de Douglas is his blog of poetry and art for children.