spanish for children values

This set of 14 pages to color teaches values like generosity, cooperation and friendship to children who are native speakers of Spanish. Each one has a sentence in Spanish describing a concept and a drawing to illustrate it. They are great for Spanish language learners because they use common abstract nouns, related vocabulary, and have a drawing to help support the language.  They are also great for hanging on the refrigerator or in a classroom to help create what language teachers call a text-rich environment.

A text-rich environment is very important for children learning Spanish. One of the difficulties of teaching Spanish as a minority language is that children do not see the written language the way they see signs, labels and advertisements in English. We point out Spanish labels on cans and read the instructions in Spanish, but it is important to keep a changing, interesting flood of text in Spanish at home and in classrooms. It may not be our first choice in decorating, but it is worth compromising aesthetics for language development. Pictures with captions, like these, are the one of the many ways you can introduce Spanish into your family space or classroom.

In my experience, values are taught more explicitly and are a larger part of the curriculum in Mexico than in the United States.  These pictures are typical of many art activities, books and games for young children.

Click here for the pictures with Spanish captions.  You will see part of each picture and can click to download or print.

I like these coloring pages to use with Spanish language learners for several reasons.

The details in the drawings are great for Spanish speaking activities. The drawings illustrate a situation, so you can talk about what the children are doing, about the objects in the picture, and about how the people feel.

The captions teach common cognates. There is no doubt that children easily learn cognates, that is, words that are similar Spanish and English. However, kids don’t know which words are cognates unless they are hear them or read them.  There are patterns, but children need to be exposed to enough language to absorb those patterns. These coloring pages are an easy way to introduce the cognates confianza (confidence), cooperar (cooperation), cortesía (courtesy), respeto (respect), responsabilidad (responsibilty), solidaridad (solidarity), creatividad (creativity), fe (faith), generosidad (generosity), and obediencia (obedience).

The short, simple sentences contain words that are often used together. It is much easier learn vocabulary that is related. Children are likely to hear the words in these sentences used together. By learning them in a context, children understand the relationship between words. For example, these sentences contain pairs like alegría – disfrutar, amistad – amigo, compartir – dar, confianza – creer, cooperar – otros, generosidad – compartir.

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