Spanish is tons of fun, but children can learn more than language as they read, sing and play. Kids are most connected to language when they learn about topics that are relevant and important to them. Ana y sus colchonetas del color del arcoíris is a yoga story that teaches an essential message about happiness. The book is by Kids Yoga Stories and is available on the author’s website and also from Amazon.
Yoga is an excellent language learning activity. If you have a Spanish learner, I strongly suggest you tap into yoga as a way to incorporate movement and meaning with new language. Many features of yoga enhance a child’s experience learning Spanish, and a yoga story contributes the additional power of narrative. Read more about yoga and Spanish.
Ana y sus colchonetas del color del arcoíris is a yoga story. In other words, it weaves yoga poses into the narrative and children do the poses with Ana as they listen to the story. Teachers and parents will be inspired to practice along with kids to model the positions, reinforce the meaning of the words and create a fun, interactive experience.
In the yoga story, Ana faces the intimidating task of transitioning to a new school and being accepted for who she is. During recess she does yoga positions as she imagines traveling to different places. Using clear language, this book effectively communicates that happiness comes from within.
Yoga Story for Spanish Learners
These features make this yoga story especially effective for language learners:
- Familiar vocabulary includes words for colors, school, animals, numbers and emotions.
- Engaging illustrations closely relate to the text and help children understand and practice language. For example, beginners will have fun identifying the colors of the yoga mats, which go in the order of a rainbow. They can also count the children watching Ana as more and more join the group. Children with more Spanish will be able to identify and talk about the emotions of the characters.
- The school setting is one that children can easily relate to.
- The experience of not being part a group is relevant to kids’ lives. Whether readers have been new to a class or outside a group for whatever reason, they will identify with Ana’s experience.
- A pattern in the narrative helps children predict the meaning of new words.
- As they do yoga poses with Ana, kids act out the words they hear and also become part of the story.
- The story is easily adapted to use with beginning Spanish learners.
- The book is a natural springboard for discussions about happiness, acceptance and friendship. This is an excellent choice as a read aloud with Spanish learners of all levels.
Whether your Spanish learners are at home or school, they will have a wonderful time reading this story. Like the children in the story, as readers do the yoga poses, they take part in Ana’s delightful journeys. In addition, like Ana, they are learning to actively create their own happiness.
Disclosure: The author sent me a copy of this book to be able to write the article. I may have been compensated for my time. All of the ideas and opinions are my own.