Imaginaciones by Carolyn Clarke has 17 very short imaginary adventures told in easy Spanish. These read-aloud relaxation stories help children relax their bodies and clear their minds. They are guided meditation for kids and also a fabulous Spanish learning resource. The year is almost over, and I have to say this is one of my favorite Spanish learning resources of 2015.
Below you can read Cielo nocturno, one of the stories from Imaginaciones.
These adventures start by having children imagine a place, such as a forest, the beach or the night sky. Then the narration adds basic elements to that space. Children imagine a tree in the forest or stars in the night sky.
These stories are wonderful listening activities for learning Spanish. In addition to calming meditation for kids, the stories give teachers natural, easy language to use in lessons. Imaginaciones is available in print and digitally on the Bambino Yoga website and Amazon. It is also on iTunes.
Why Use Meditation for Kids with Spanish Stories
- Visualization is a powerful language learning tool! There are many academic articles on why visualization works, but you can find a short description on An A-Z of ELT.
- The stories are short. They are between 15 and 20 sentences and many of those are basic questions.
- There is a context and the words are closely related to the setting and to each other.
- The adventures are told in very basic, everyday language. The author encourages teachers and parents to adapt the language as they like.
- Questions prompt the children to imagine details: ¿De qué color es? ¿Es grande? ¿Puedes contar cuantás estrellas hay? The text itself has very little detail or description.
- The questions appeal to the 5 senses: ¿Qué ves?, ¿Ves o escuchas algún animal?, ¿Qué hueles? This is vocabulary that is familiar to Spanish learners.
- The stories fit into themes we teach: el árbol, la playa, el cielo nocturno, la nave espacial, bajo el mar, plantar una semilla. Adding meditation for kids as a new activity in a unit is a wonderful way to add more language.
- There is engagement with no stress or pressure. Children actively participate as they mentally build on what they hear, without the stress of producing language.
- Meditation for kids is child-centered and individualized in the best sense. Children have control as they create the story mentally.
- The stories are positive and joyful. They are written to instill calm, security and happiness.
Cielo nocturno is a story from Imaginaciones. Thanks to Carolyn Clarke for permission to share.
Imaginaciones and Meditation for Kids in Spanish
Here are a few suggestions for using the stories and meditation for kids with Spanish learners.
- Teach or activate key vocabulary using pictures before you read the adventure. Use the illustrations (see samples below) and other pictures to make sure children are familiar with the vocabulary.
- Before listening, explain to kids that the purpose is to relax. There is no right or wrong way to imagine the story.
- Read slowly. Kids need time to create mental pictures. Read the sentences slowly and also pause between sentences.
- Adapt the vocabulary to use language familiar to the children.
- Consider doing the adventure as a whole group interactive activity first. Then do it again as individual guided meditation for kids.
- These stories lend themselves to many fun hands-on, pre-listening and extension activities. The author has Pinterest boards with art activities for all of the stories. You can find links to the boards on the Bambino Yoga website.
Disclosure: The company sent me a copy of this product to be able to write the article. I may have been compensated for my time. All of the ideas and opinions are my own.