Saturday, October 1, 2016

Learning About Spain!

The last few weeks we learned about China! Now we are finishing up learning about Spain. As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and the book Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.

Our FIAR book this week is The Story of Ferdinand, so we are learning about Spain! (Since we see Ferdinand measuring his height, I thought introducing rulers would be a good side topic, along with discussing how the Spanish language originated in Spain.)

  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munroe Leaf (available in Spanish!)
  • The Three Golden Oranges by Alma Flor Ada
  • The Little Matador by Julian Hector
  • Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie
  • Say Hola to Spanish by Susan Middleton Elya
  • Say Hola to Spanish at the Circus by Susan Middleton Elya
  • How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

    (You may notice that the list is slightly different than the books on my plan because I wasn't able to find all my intended titles at the local library, so I subbed in some books that our library did have! We chose Toot and Puddle because Juanito remembered that one of the pigs goes to Spain on his adventures and we read the books by Elya because we talked about how the Spanish language came from the country of Spain.)

    To go along with How Big is a Foot? and Ferdinand measuring his height, I found some rulers and we measured a lot of things (including both kids).

    The kids have really enjoyed having their own "books" for narrations, so I also gave them each one for science. We will use them mostly for nature walks, but we recorded some heights in it for our measuring activity. Rosie really enjoyed the idea of measuring with one foot, and so she traced her foot into her science notebook.

    They wanted to watch some about Spain, so we watched this 15 minute documentary in Spanish about the Sierra Nevadas:

    We had fun finding Spain on the map and locating where our stories took place!

    And our friend Rachel, a fellow co-op mom, found a cardboard bull craft! Juanito and Rosie had a lot of fun putting these together. We also made some fans like we saw the ladies holding in many of our books!

    The kids had so much fun making cardboard bulls that they wanted to make Duplo bulls too. We have a book with instructions for making Duplo farm animals, so Juanito made the cow and then added horns.

    He named the bull Ferdinando (the Spanish version calls the bull Ferdinando). And then he made Ferndinando's mom, with little horns, and two little bulls to be friends (he named them Oscar and Juan Jose, after the boys we sponsor with Mana 4 Lempira). He also made a tree for Ferdinando to sit under and flowers for him to smell. Rosie decided she likes pigs better because they're pink and made a pink pig.

    Juanito had a blast playing Luna, Estrella from Sidewalk Games Around the World by Arlene Erlbach.

    In fact, he enjoyed it so much that we played the games from Chile and Argentina also! We talked about how people traveled from Spain all the way to South America and taught many people there Spanish, which is why Spanish is spoken in Chile and Argentina.

    We did narrations for three of the books, first The Story of Ferdinand and The Little Matador, since they are similar story lines. Juanito was frustrated with trying to draw a bull, so we printed and I helped him trace this bull (which Juanito picked out) for both stories.


    Ferdinando sits under the alcornoque. He gets hurt by a bee. The hombres see him and they knew he was strong and mighty. They took him to the party. The hombres got mad because Ferdinando didn't want to lucha. Ferdinando was oliendo las flores de las mujeres. He got home and smelled the flores. - The Story of Ferdinand

    Tuve miedo del toro. El matador no le gusta lucha. Le gusta dibujar. He stopped el toro with the picture del toro. Y su papi hace un buen decisión y decidió que el niño va a dibujar su mami y papi. - The Little Matador


    Ferdinando se siente en flor y abejón. He has owies. - The Story of Ferdinand

    His daddy and su mami. El niño shoots. He draws cardinals, turtle, zorro, a bunny, ducks. He [toro] tries to get him [niño]. - The Little Matador

    Next we did narrations for The Three Golden Oranges. Here is Juanito's:

    The woman told them to follow the rules they didn't follow the rules, but a brother did. Matías followed the rules. He took off the branch, went to the cave and then she cut the orange. She said go to his fields and obey the rules. He married somebody, Blancaflor. That's the end.

    And here is Rosie's:

    The niños grabbed the branch. The niños are sad. The mami wants to be abuela. The princesa, she grabbing oranges.

    After narrating The Three Golden Oranges, Juanito was playing in the sand and decided to make the mountains and castle and orange grove from the book! The mountains were described as rocky, thus the rocks in the sand and he used leaves for the orange trees.

    I hosted our co-op, which just means organizing the activities that I want to do about the book. We had a lot of fun! We made castanets (loosely based on these instructions, but using Coke bottle tops instead because that's what I had):

    We also watched some Flamenco dancing:

    And we made cheese empanadas! The Food Network Cheese Empanadas Recipe says advanced, but I just cubed the cheese ahead of time and we wrapped the cheese cubes in dough. Not very pretty, but the kids were able to do it and enjoyed eating what they made!

    We've had a great time learning about Spain! Next up, Tanzania!

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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