This poem by Douglas Wright teaches questions and adjectives to kids learning Spanish.

Douglas Wright is a well-known children’s author and illustrator from Argentina. His poems deal with the experiences of children and their relationships with others and the natural world. This poem by Douglas Wright is called Apurados, apurados, and it is fun to read with Spanish learners.

Our poetry resource page Spanish Poems for Kids has more poems for children and information about sharing them with language learners.

This poem by Douglas Wright is from his book Rimando ando. Rimando Ando is available on Amazon from third-party sellers. Quite a few of the poems from the book are available on his blog El jardín de Douglas. From what I have seen there, the book is perfect for children learning Spanish. The post Walking and talking in Spanish  is also about a poem by Douglas Wright from that book and includes suggested activities.

Fortunately for us, Douglas is generous with his work. He shares his poetry and art on his blog.  The poem  Apurados, apurados is one of many you can find online. This poem by Douglas Wright works well with Spanish language learners because of the simple, natural language, the repetition and the rhythm. Questioning where everyone is going in such a hurry is an experience that speaks to people of all ages.

Douglas kindly gives me permission to share he work on Spanish Playground and I truly appreciate it.  You can read this poem by Douglas Wright  and see his illustration at Apurados, apurados. Suggestions for using the poem with Spanish learners follow.

Poem by Douglas Wright

Apurados, apurados

Apurados, apurados,
todos andan apurados;
yo me pregunto ¿hacia dónde?,
me pregunto ¿a qué lugar?

Apurados, apurados,
todos andan apurados;
dicen “¡permiso, permiso!”,
dicen “¿me deja pasar?”

Apurados, apurados,
todos andan apurados;
¿por qué van tan apurados?,
¿adónde quieren llegar?

 Activities to Use with the Poem Apurados apurados:

1. Answer the questions posed by the poem and related questions:
¿Cómo se sabe que una persona está apurada? ¿Qué hace una persona que lo demuestra?
¿Adónde van las personas que tienen tanta prisa?
¿Por qué están tan apurados?
¿Dónde se ve a personas así?
¿Otras personas te ven a ti y piensan que estás apurado?

2. Use the poem by Douglas Wright to talk about Buenos Aires and other cities:
Douglas Wright vive en Buenos Aires, Argentina. ¿Qué sabes de esa ciudad?
¿La gente está tan apurada por todo el mundo?
¿Cuáles son las ciudades de otros países que son como Buenos Aires?

3. Talk about the expressions permiso and ¿me deja pasar?:
¿Dices permiso en la calle?  ¿En qué momentos lo dices o lo escuchas?
¿Qué haces cuando alguien te dice permiso o me deja pasar?
¿Por qué dicen las personas en el poema me deja pasar en vez de me dejas pasar? ¿Cuál es la diferencia?

4. Act out the poem by Douglas Wright. One student can represent the observer as the others hurry about. Everyone recites the first two lines of each stanza together.  The observer recites the other lines, except for “permiso” and “me deja pasar”  Three different students can recite the observer’s lines, one for each stanza.

5. Draw the street represented in this poem by Douglas Wright. What else do you see and hear on the street?  What do people say?  Include captions in bubbles above the heads of the people to show what they are saying.

6. Change the adjective apurados to another adjective.  Work together as a class to change the questions to match the new adjective and create a new poem. Talk about how the visual image of the street changes.  Draw the new scene.  Possible adjectives include enojados, enamorados, tan cansados, asustados, muy callados, etc.

7. Practice with vocabulary by showing photos of street scenes and people. Students describe the people in the photos using apurado, apresurado, relajado, calmado, etc.

8. Ask students to find the rhyming words in the poem (pasar, lugar, llegar). Ask students to think of other words that rhyme with these.

9. Although the poem is short and focused on one subject, the voice in the poem is clear and distinctive.  As readers we know what the narrator sees, what he hears and what he thinks. Look at the art that goes with the poem (click here and click to enlarge).

Identify the person that represents the voice in the poem. Choose one of the other people in the picture and write a paragraph about what the person sees, hears and thinks.  Try to focus the paragraph on one subject the way that the poem does.

10. Assign individual students or pairs to choose another poem by Douglas Wright to share with the class. There are many poems available on his blog El Jardín de Douglas. Assign students to research the author, Douglas Wright.  You can provide specific questions for them to answer based on the information available online.
Photo Credit: Thomas8047 via Compfight cc

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