It is important for kids reading in Spanish to have fun. We also want them to engage with the language and story to improve their reading skills. If reading is enjoyable, kids will keep reading. If they think about what they read, they will learn more and read better.
For kids reading in Spanish to have fun and not be discouraged, they should read books below their instructional level. They should read books that are easy for them. Don’t worry; they will be learning. In fact, they will learn much more than they would trying to read books that are too hard.
Choice is also important for kids reading in Spanish. If children choose books that they want to read, they are are much more likely to enjoy them. The selection of books you have available may be limited, but as much as possible, let children have a say in the stories they read.
Below you’ll find some easy ways to help kids reading in Spanish engage with books. The goal is for kids to interact with the language and story so they process it at a deeper level. This helps them understand what they read and improves their language skills.
A simple activity can be effective in engaging kids with what they read. For example, to do Draw your favorite part of the story kids have to think about the whole story and what happened to choose their favorite part. Visualizing and retelling are important literacy skills.
You may have to adapt the activities to the age and level of your readers. Many of the activities can be done with video stories too.
Register for the free online Spanish Summer Reading Program to keep kids reading all summer long!
15 Easy Activities for Kids Reading in Spanish
- Brainstorm words related to a character, setting or topic in the story. The words do not have to be in the book.
- Draw a picture of your favorite part of the book.
- Make the characters out of play-dough.
- Choose 3 words (verbs or adjectives) from the book. For each word, think of a word that has the same meaning (sinónimo) and a word that has the opposite meaning (antónimo).
- Play 20 questions with the story. One person thinks of something in the story. Others try to guess what it is.
- Find rhyming words in the book.
- Say the title of the book clapping the syllables.
- Write descriptive words on sticky notes. Label things and characters in the pictures as you read. Use words like grande, pequeño, rojo, azul, fuerte, alto, irresponsable, orgulloso, amigable, sincero, hermoso, rápido, lento, difícil, etc.
- Put words and faces for emotions on sticky notes. Label the pages to show how the characters feel as you read. Use words like feliz, triste, sorprendido, enojado, molesto, asustado, emocionado, nervioso, etc.
- Write a letter or email to someone about the book. Tell them what you like and what you don’t like about it.
- Find 3 words you don’t know in the story. Write them down. Find out what they mean.
- Call a friend or family member and tell her about the book.
- Use a familiar tune and make-up a song about the story.
- Take a picture of yourself reading. Send it to a family member or friend. Tell that person why you like the book.
- Talk about these questions:
What was your favorite part of the book? Why?
Who was your favorite character? Why?
If the main character lived next door, would you be friends?
How would you feel if the events of the story happened to you?
If you had to choose a new title, what would it be?