Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is a classic picture book for young children. Like the original, the Spanish translation, Buenas noches, Luna, has charming illustrations and simple text. This Spanish story for kids does not rhyme as completely as the English, but it has a gentle rhythm and several of the lines conserve the internal rhyme: tres ositos sentaditos, una viejecita que teje muy calladita.
Because Goodnight, Moon is a favorite in English, many children know the story, which helps them understand the Spanish vocabulary. The book is available with a CD, something I highly recommend for parents and educators who do not speak much Spanish or who want to improve their pronunciation. Listen to the CD with your child and follow along in the book until you are familiar with the sounds and rhythms.
As you read Buenas noches, Luna, identify words from the text in the illustrations by pointing. Use complete sentences with verbs like veo and hay: Veo el teléfono. Hay muchas estrellas. If the vocabulary is new, just point to the words as you say the sentences. When your child knows the words, you can ask ¿Dónde está..?, ¿Ves…? and ¿Puedes encontrar…?
This is a simple Spanish story for kids, but there are a variety of activities that you can do with language learners to reinforce and expand on the text.
Spanish Language Activities for Buenas noches, Luna
Say goodnight to objects mentioned in the book. Once your child is familiar with the story, go around the house and say goodnight to objects that are mentioned in the book. It does not matter if you do not have all of them in your home, just say Buenas noches and use the word for the ones you do have. You can look out a window for luna, estrellas and cielo. Pictures and toys also work well for some of the words. Also, in the book many of the words are used in the diminutive. You can use that form, or the base form of the word, or both; children quickly understand the relationship. These are words used with Buenas noches in the book that are often easily available to say goodnight to:
habitación – room
luna – moon
vaca – cow
lámpara – lamp
globo – balloon
oso – bear
silla – chair
gatito – kitten
mitón – mitten
reloj – clock
calcetín – sock
casa – doll house
ratón – mouse
peine – comb
cepillo – brush
estrellas – stars
cielo – sky
Add movement to the story with yoga poses. Yoga is a wonderful way to represent vocabulary from the book and at the same time get kids moving. Kids Yoga Stories has a sequence of five poses for Buenas noches, Luna. The yoga poses are not done in the order in which the vocabulary appears in the book. You can find illustrations of the poses on their web site. If you follow the link, you will also find yoga sequences for four other bedtime stories, and all of them are available in Spanish!
Doing yoga poses is a good way to work with new vocabulary from Spanish stories for kids. A yoga sequence also makes a quick, easy review of the words once children are familiar with them. Use the book to display the illustrations or arrange other pictures to support the language as you do the poses. You can learn more about doing yoga with kids in Spanish here.
Children will act out this vocabulary as they do the yoga sequence for Buenas noches, Luna from Kids Yoga Stories: oso, gatito, vaca, conejo, ratón.
As you do the poses with children, use the Spanish words. You can use sentences like these:
- El oso va primero. – The bear comes first.
- Vamos a ser gatitos. – Let’s be kittens.
- La postura es así. – The pose is like this (model with a short explanation)
- ¿Lo puedes hacer también? – Can you do it, too?
- Hazlo tú. – You do it.
- Ahora va la vaca. – Next comes the cow.
- ¿Ves el conejo? – Do you see the rabbit?
- Soy un ratón. – I’m a mouse.
As you read the story, look for the mouse in the colored illustrations. Talk about where the mouse is to incorporate other vocabulary from the story: Está debajo de las estrellas. Está cerca de los mitones. Está viendo las estrellas.
Use picture cards of the objects in the book to reinforce the vocabulary. There is a set of printable cards for Buenas noches, Luna at the end of this post. Kids can:
- color the cards.
- find the correct card and put them in order as you read the story (words are repeated, so you can print more or kids can point at the card when a word is repeated).
- use them to play memory (print two sets) or other simple games.
You can find ideas for other activities to do with picture cards in this post. The post is about animal cards, but many of the games can be played with any cards.
As you read the story, have kids say buenas noches, and you complete the sentence.
Make your own rhyme using buenas noches and things that your child has in her bedroom.
The Spanish story does not rhyme completely, but you can make your own. Only the vowels from the stressed syllable have to be the same – assonant rhyme is very common in Spanish. It will depend on the things your child has in her room, but here is an example:
Buenas noches ventana, buenas noches cama.
Buenas noches gato, buenas noches zapato.
Buenas noches camiones, buenas noches dragones.
Buenas noches espejo, buenas noches techo.
In the morning, you can use the rhyme to say buenos días to the same things.
Make your own book based on the structure of Buenas noches, Luna with pictures from your child’s room and the rest of the house. You can add family members, too.
Printable Picture Cards for Spanish Story for Kids
Spanish Bedtime Stories
Visit Kids Yoga Stories for yoga sequences for other bedtime stories in Spanish. The books are available in English as well.
Join us next month for Spanish, kids yoga and Australian stories.
Check out our schedule for the year:
2013-2014 Spanish and Kids Yoga Monthly Book Themes
August: Bill Martin Jr.
September: Latin America