Spanish New Year

The American Academy of Pediatrics published these New Year Resolutions in Spanish and English in 2010. In addition to being really good goals for the coming year, they are great material for language activities for children learning Spanish. I have suggested activities below including printable cards for playing memory.

These Spanish New Year propósitos focus on staying healthy and safe. They are grouped by ages: preschool, 5-12 and over 13. The resolutions are about daily routines and habits, so many of them use common vocabulary.

You may want to teach the word propósito. The document uses resolución, but propósito is another common word in Spanish. You may also want to teach sano (healthy) if your students are not familiar with the word.

Click here for the original printable PDF from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Here are a few ideas for using these propósitos with Spanish language learners:

Los propósitos – Preescolar
– Limpiaré mis juguetes y los pondré donde deben estar.
– Me cepillaré los dientes dos veces al día, y me lavaré las manos después de ir al baño y antes de comer.
– No molestaré a perros ni a otros animales de compañía—incluso a los que se muestren amistosos. Evitaré ser mordido al mantener mis dedos y mi cara lejos de su boca.

Ideas for using the Spanish New Year Resolutions with Preschoolers

– Act out the resolutions together. The adult should repeat the key phrase (limpio mis juguetes) as you all act it out. For the third resolution, you could have a toy dog or a picture and put your hands behind your back.
– Chant the verbs as you do the actions. The present tense makes the most sense: limpio, guardo, me cepillo, me lavo, no molesto.
– Find coloring sheets or clipart of each action. Kids match the picture with the resolution as you say it.
– Post the pictures and as you do the actions during the day, remind them it was a propósito.
Post pictures of the resolutions and ask kids to associate a key word with the resolutions. More than one picture may make sense. For example, say agua, juguetes, dientes, boca, jabón, perro, dedos.
– Teach a song that goes with the resolution. These are great options for picking up toys and washing hands.
– Make a memory game where kids match two pictures associated with the resolutions.

Los propósitos – Niños de 5 a 12 años de edad
– Beberé leche con 2% de grasa, y agua, tres veces al día, y limitaré los refrescos y las bebidas de frutas a una vez cada día.
– Me aplicaré protector solar antes de salir al aire libre en días soleados. Trataré de permanecer en la sombra siempre que sea posible, y usaré un sombrero o gorra y gafas de sol, en especial cuando esté jugando deportes.
– Trataré de encontrar un deporte (como básquetbol o fútbol soccer) o una actividad (como jugar a la roña, saltar la cuerda, bailar o andar en bicicleta) que me guste, ¡y lo haré al menos tres veces por semana!
– Siempre usaré un casco cuando ande en bicicleta.
– Siempre usaré mi asiento de seguridad cada vez que vaya en un automóvil. Me sentaré en el asiento trasero, y usaré un asiento elevador hasta que sea lo suficientemente alto como para usar un cinturón de seguridad de regazo y hombro.
– Seré amable con otros niños. Seré amable con niños que necesiten amigos—como alguien que sea tímido, o que sea nuevo en mi escuela.
– Nunca daré por Internet información personal, como mi nombre, domicilio, el nombre de mi escuela o mi número de teléfono. Asimismo, nunca enviaré sin el permiso de mis padres una fotografía mía a alguien con quien charle en la computadora.

Ideas for using the Spanish New Year Resolutions with language learners 5-12

This age range encompasses many levels of language proficiency, so you choose and adapt activities to fit the kids. If you are working with kids who read in Spanish, these resolutions make a good reading material. You can shorten them for beginning readers.

– Talk about which activities kids already do and how often.
– There are 7 resolutions. Have kids choose one or two that they think are most important for them.
– Have students illustrate one or more of the resolutions or make a poster and present it.
– Make a set of memory cards with shortened resolutions on one card and an image on the other. Here is a set I made that will work for many elementary students: Spanish New Year Resolution Memory Cards
– Make a cloze exercise (fill in the missing word) by taking a key word out of each resolution. Provide students with a word bank.
– Make a matching exercise where students match key phases to images like a glass of water, the sun, a bicycle, friends talking, a computer.
– Talk about why the resolutions are important. Make a cause and effect matching exercise.
– Have students role play how they will carry out or stick to a resolution.
– Have students do research in Spanish on why a resolution is important. For example, ¿Por qué es importante tomar leche? ¿Cuál es el riesgo de compartir información personal en internet?
– Have students write a simple song about a resolution. Use the songs in the preschool activity ideas about hand washing and picking up toys as a model.

Los propósitos – Niños de 13 años de edad o más
– Comeré por lo menos una fruta y una verdura cada día, y limitaré la cantidad de refresco que bebo a un vaso al día.
– Cuidaré de mi cuerpo por medio de actividad física y nutrición. Elegiré programas de televisión y videojuegos no violentos, y sólo pasaré una a dos horas al día—a lo máximo—en estas actividades.
– Ayudaré en mi comunidad—por medio de actividades como voluntario, trabajando con grupos comunitarios o al ingresar a un grupo que ayude a personas necesitadas.
– Cuando me sienta enojado o estresado, tomaré un descanso y buscaré maneras constructivas de afrontar el estrés, como hacer ejercicio, leer, escribir en un diario, o comentar mi problema con mi papá o mi mamá o con un amigo.
– Cuando enfrente una decisión difícil, hablaré acerca de mis opciones con un adulto en quien pueda confiar.
– Cuando me dé cuenta de que mis amigos están peleando o poniendo en práctica conductas arriesgadas, hablaré con un adulto en quien confíe e intentaré encontrar una manera en que pueda ayudarlos.
– Seré cuidadoso acerca de con quién elijo tener una cita, y siempre trataré a la otra persona con respeto y sin coerción o violencia. Esperaré de la otra persona la misma buena conducta.
– Resistiré a presión de compañeros para que pruebe drogas y alcohol. Estoy de acuerdo en no hablar ni enviar mensajes de texto por el teléfono celular mientras conduzca un automóvil, y en utilizar siempre el cinturón de seguridad.

Ideas for using the Spanish New Year Resolutions with language learners over 13

Again, this age range encompasses many levels of language ability, and you will have to adapt activities to the kids. The resolutions are good reading material, because they are general, predictable, use common vocabulary and have a significant number of cognates. For students in programs with a traditional grammar focus, they lend themselves to exercises with the future and the subjunctive after adverbs of time.

– Have students find as many cognates as they can in the resolutions.
– Discuss how students already do many of these things. Have them give specific examples from their own lives.
– Students can make the resolutions specific and personalize them. The statements are general and lend themselves to more development. For example, naming specific fruits and vegetables they like, non-violent television programs, ways they can help in the community, specific activities they can use for combatting stress, etc.
– Make a graphic organizer with the resolutions as column headings. Have students list specific examples of what they do, or could do, in each column.
– Make a cloze exercise with a word bank.
– Students can illustrate and present a resolution.
– Have students role play how they will carry out or stick to a resolution.
– Have students write a simple song about a resolution. Use the songs in preschool activity ideas about hand washing and picking up toys as a model.
– Students can find and watch educational videos in Spanish on related topics. There are lots on YouTube.
– Use the resolutions as a writing activity. The resolution can be the topic sentence (or thesis statement). Have students develop a paragraph (or an essay) with supporting material.

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