Readers theater is an excellent language activity for Spanish language learners. I’m excited that Custom Literacy has published their first readers theater story, Señor Coyote y el queso. Custom Literacy creates Spanish language materials to use with native speakers learning to read and in dual language programs. The books are also very useful for kids learning Spanish as a second language in other settings.
Many of us are looking for fun, engaging activities as the school year comes to a close. I think this is an excellent choice if you are working with beginning readers or second language learners.
Readers Theater for Spanish Learners
Custom Literacy has provided free printable masks to use with the readers theater.
This adaptation has four characters – the coyote, the rabbit, and two narrators. It works well for small groups in class or to do as a family. Some of the features I like about the story for Spanish language learners are:
– It is short. Each character speaks 4 or 5 times.
– It uses simple, natural language in short sentences.
– It is funny, with clever characters. Kids will love how the rabbit tricks the coyote.
– It is adapted from a Mexican legend and is culturally relevant.
– It moves between tenses naturally. It is hard to find simple stories for Spanish learners that use the different tenses effectively. In this story, the narrators comment using the preterite and imperfect, and the dialog between the coyote and rabbit is in the present tense. It is an excellent way for children to be exposed to the verb forms and say them as they read their lines, before they are can produce then spontaneously.
– Beginning Spanish learners will know much of the vocabulary: el agua, el queso, los dientes, la boca, la cara, nadar, caminar, gustar, tener hambre, comer, la noche, la luna, amarillo, la fiesta.
– The story can also be acted out, or kids can follow up by making their own illustrations of the action and adding a caption.
Señor Coyote y el queso is adapted from Mexican legends of el coyote y el conejo in which the tricky rabbit outsmarts the coyote in many funny ways. There are lots of these traditional stories, and for children learning Spanish the Custom Literacy adaptation is a wonderful introduction to these important characters in Mexican culture. You can find many versions of the story online. One is available from the Bibiloteca digital de ILCE. If you are working with higher level students or older native speakers, that version might be a good fit.
You may also be interested in this post: Free Spanish Reading Printable from Custom Literacy