Award-winning author Rita Wirkala recently sent me two wonderful collections of her Spanish poems for kids. Mis primeros poemas and Poemas para chicos y grandes were written specifically for children learning Spanish.
Poetry teaches the sound and rhythm of language, grammatical structures, vocabulary and culture. As children recite poems, they produce language they can not yet use spontaneously. Like music, Spanish poems should be an integral part of elementary language programs. Mis primeros poemas and Poemas para chicos y grandes are part of the All Bilingual Press curriculum and are used by hundreds of public and private schools including the John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. These Spanish poems for kids are an excellent supplement to any program and a wonderful choice to share with children at home.
The success of using poetry with children learning language depends on selecting appropriate poems. Unfortunately, they can be very hard to find. Many poems written for native speakers are too difficult and abstract for Spanish learners. This is why I am so excited to share these Spanish poems for kids on Spanish Playground. Mis primeros poemas and Poemas para chicos y grandes have dozens of accessible poems that will enchant young Spanish learners.
Outstanding Features of the Spanish Poems for Kids
- Mis primeros poemas and Poemas para chicos y grandes include drawings with a close text-to-illustration correspondence that helps create comprehensible input. In other words, the focused drawings support the text, so children understand new language based on the pictures.
- The books include high quality audio CDs. The audio exposes children to native speaker pronunciation and rhythm. The speaker reads the poems with wonderful expression that makes the poems easier to understand. These CDs are an excellent resource for all teachers, including native speakers. It is important for children to hear different voices, and the professional recordings of these Spanish poems for kids are a perfect way to provide that exposure.
- Coloring the illustrations enhances learning. Kids spend more time and focus more completely on the pictures and the poem as they color. Coloring provides time to process the language at a deeper level and associate it with the illustration. Coloring also lets children make these poems their own.
- These Spanish poems for kids include vocabulary and structures common to elementary programs. These are a few of the topics each collection covers.
Mis primeros poems: Colors and school objects; Clothes, descriptions and preferences; The body, expressions, feelings; House and furniture; Months, seasons, weather; Outdoors, animals, nature.
Poemas para chicos y grandes: En la sala de clase, Los días de la semana, Las estaciones, Las partes del cuerpo-La ropa, Comidas y bebidas, La casa, Las actividades
- Many of these poems are funny! There are unexpected twists to keep kids engaged and laughing.
- The themes of these Spanish poems for kids, especially those in Mis primeros poemas, are centered in a child’s reality. This relevance helps children identify with the poetry and ensures that the language is useful.
- Most of the language in the poems is concrete and effectively teaches Spanish vocabulary. The figurative language in the poems creates clear images that are supported by the illustrations. The poem below, La margarita, is a good example of the figurative language in the poems – very accessible, especially with the drawings that accompany the poem.
- Many of the Spanish poems for kids are short. They are perfect for children to memorize and recite. This is especially true of Mis primeros poemas. For example, this poem about daisies has just four lines:
La margarita es una flor
hecha de luna y de sol.
Sus pétalos de blanca luna
y el sol en su corazón.
Rita Wirkala, Mis primeros poemas
- The poems are structured to take advantage of repetition with variation. Often the stanzas repeat key grammatical structures and vocabulary while building on the content. This structure maximizes comprehension of new language.
- Both books include an extensive glossary of the language used in the Spanish poems for kids. This is provided as a reference for parents.
These poems are wonderful to share with children in any setting. In addition to being perfect for Spanish learners, they will delight native speakers. Learn about about these books and other quality language materials by visiting the All Bilingual Press 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.