Earth Day, El día de la Tierra, is April 22, and children will be hearing and thinking about how to care for the planet.  When you do activities related to El día de la Tierra in Spanish, their awareness of the topic in English will help them understand and learn the same concepts in Spanish.

This 12-page activity book on conserving resources is from the EPA.  It is designed for Spanish-speaking children, but works really well for Spanish language learners because the activities are simple and very focused. You can download and print the whole booklet, or the activities can be used separately.  You can print only the pages you want to use.  The book is called Sigue el rastro (Follow the Trail). Click here for the activity book in Spanish about conserving resources. Under Para los Niños, click on Sigue el rastro.

Your child does not have to understand every word to do these activities and practice Spanish. Each page has a paragraph of information, instructions and the activity. It is important to understand the main idea and the instructions. Below, for each page I have indicated what the activity is, the text that expresses the main idea and key phrases you might want to use with your child as you do the activity.

Page 2 – ¿Estás listo para ser un detective? /Are you ready to be a detective?

The activities in this book are loosely connected by the idea of a detective looking for clues.  The kids are supposed to follow the foot prints from activity to activity. At the beginning of the book, there is a note that was dropped and some of the words cannot be read.  At the end, the completed note is provided, and the information reinforces the idea of conserving resources.  The idea of the detective is a device to connect the activities. It is not important to the information and all of the activities can be used separately.

Page 3 ¡Mira! / Look!

On this page there are simple definitions of recurso, conservar and reciclar in Spanish.  The words are cognates, so many kids will recognize their English counterparts. It is not necessary to translate the words into English for your child. The important thing is that she understand the concept and relate it to the Spanish word.

The definition of recurso lists los árboles, el agua y la tierra.  With those examples, children will understand the general idea of recurso and that idea will be refined and reinforced in the activities.

The definition of conservar uses the verb ahorrar (to save). This is an important word and it is used in the activities. Children should understand generally that conservar and ahorrar are the same. You can use both verbs as you do the activities to help your child understand ahorrar.

The definition of reciclar mentions latas (cans), frascos (jars) and botellas (bottles).  Being familiar with recycling will help them understand these words.  You can ask ¿Qué reciclamos? Mention the Spanish word for newpapers, periódicos, too.  The word periódico is used in the activities.

Page 4 – ¿Qué es un recurso? / What is a resource?
Activity: Circle the things that come from trees or are made of wood.
Important text: Los árboles son un recurso natural.  El aire, el agua, y la tierra son otros tipos de recursos. / Trees are a natural resource.  Air, water and land are other resources.
¿Puedes dibujar un círculo alrededor de las cosas que vienen de los árboles o de la madera? / Can you draw a circle around the things that come from trees or are made of wood?
Spanish phrases to use: ¿Viene de un árbol?  Sí, viene de un árbol.  No, no viene de un árbol. / Does it come from a tree? Yes, it comes from a tree. No, it doesn’t come from a tree.
¿Es de madera?  Sí, es de madera.  No, no es de madera. /Is it made of wood?  Yes, it’s made of wood.  No, it isn’t made of wood.

Page 5 – Busca el ahorro de recursos / Search for saving resources
Activity: Choose which of two drawings shows saving resources and color that picture.
Important text: ¿Puedes detectar los ahorros y colorear la mejor opción? / Can you detect the savings and color the best choice?
Spanish phrases to use: Así ahorramos el agua. / That way we save water.
Así ahorramos energía. / That way we save energy.
Así ahorramos los árboles. / That way we save trees.
The box in the picture has the word asilo which refers to a shelter. The idea is that the shirt is being donated. The other picture has the word basura, trash or garbage.

Page 6 – Al reciclar se ahorran recursos / Recycling saves resources
Activity: Circle the items that can be recycled.
Important text: Las latas viejas, las botellas de plástico, los periódicos, y el vidrio no se deben tirar. / Old cans, plastic bottles, newspapers and glass should not be thrown away.
¿Puedes marcar con un círculo las cosas que se pueden poner en un cajón de reciclaje?/ Can you circle the things that can go in the recycling bin?
Spanish phrases to use: Sí, es una lata. Pon un círculo. / Yes, it’s a can. Circle it.
Sí, es un periódico/ Yes, it’s a newspaper.
Eso no se puede reciclar. / That can’t be recycled.

Page 7 – De lo viejo a lo nuevo / From old to new
Activity: Complete the missing letters in words using the code. In the code, a shape equals a letter.
Important text: Utiliza el código que aparece más abajo para descubrir como el camino de entrada, la bicicleta, el tobogán, y las barras pasan de ser algo viejo a algo nuevo. / Use the code below to discover how the driveway, the bike, the slide and the bars go from being something old to something new.
Phrases to use: Es un cuadrado. El cuadrado es una A.
Es un cículo. El círculo es una C.
Es un octágono. El octagono es una O.
Es un corazón. El corazón es una P.
Es un diamante. El diamante es una R.
Es una estrella. La estrella es una S.

Page 8
– Manéjese con cuidado / Handle with care
Activity: Find your way through a maze to find the safe place to put dangerous substances.
Important text: La pintura, el rociador de insecticida, y los detergentes que hay en este garaje pueden ser peligrosos. / The paint, bug spray and cleaners that are in this garage can be dangerous.
¿Puedes encontrar el lugar donde pueden guardarse sin peligro hasta ser sacados debidamente de tu casa? / Can you find the place where they can be stored without danger until they can be properly removed from the home?
Phrases to use: ¿Dónde está el lugar seguro? / Where is the safe place?
Vas bien.  Vas a llegar. / You’re doing well, you’re going to get there.
Eso es peligroso. / That is dangerous.
Encontraste el lugar seguro. / You found the safe place.

Page 9 – ¿Qué es el abono? / What is compost?
Activity: Draw things that can be composted.
Important text: Si dejas que las verduras, las frutas, las hojas, y la hierba se pudran en una pila, se transforman en abono. / If you let vegetables, fruits, leaves and grass rot in a pile, they will turn into compost.
¿Puedes dibujar otras cosas que se ponen en un cajón de abono? / Can you draw more things that go in a compost bin?
Key phrases: Talk about what your child chooses to draw.  For example, Un platano, sí, es una fruta.

Page 10 – This is the completed note from page 3. It uses some pictograms in the book.  Here is the completed text. The text reinforces the main ideas of the activities.

Por todas partes que miramos, vemos maneras de ayudar a salvar los recursos de la Tierra. Los recursos son tesoros de la tierra que nos ayudan a vivir y a crecer. Necesitamos conservar árboles y otros recursos como el agua y el petróleo debido a que son escasos. Todos podemos ahorrar donando ropa o apagado el televisor. Todos podemos ahorrar reciclando las latas, periódicos, y botellas. Hacer cosas nuevas a partir de cosas recicladas consume menos dinero, energía, y recursos, por lo cual debes buscar los productos reciclados en la tienda. Otra manera de devolverle a la Tierra lo que ella nos da es hacer abono. Los restos como frutas, vegetales, y hojas, se ponen en una pila, donde se descomponen y se transforman en algo similar a la tierra. Después colocamos otra vez la mezcla en la tierra para ayudar a crecer a las plantas. Recuerda que debes ser cuidadoso cuando guardes o muevas cosas como la pintura, insecticidios, y detergentes. Si entran al agua o al suelo, pueden hacerles daño a los seres humanos, a las plantas, y a los animales. Si seguimos cada uno de estos consejos, todos podemos ayudar a nuestro planeta.

Page 11 – This page has the answers to the activities.

Spanish for Children: A DVD from The Bilingual Fun Company
Taking care of our water: Online video and listening activities in Spanish

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