Debajo de un botón (Under A Button) is a traditional Spanish song for children. Kids love it because it is tells a little story and is short and fun. It has great rhythm, as it repeats the last syllable of the last word of each line. It is one of the most common children’s songs in Spanish.
This fall, when I teach Debajo de un botón to several of my classes, I will teach it as a song and also a story. I have lots of success working with a song and the “story” in the song. In addition to singing, we use a printable book to read the story that the song tells. The pictures correspond perfectly to the lyrics, helping kids understand the Spanish. There is a link to the printable book at the end of the post.
By focusing on the story in addition to singing the song, I can deal specifically with the language. We can talk about what is happening and I can ask follow-up questions. I can also extend the language beyond the lyrics. With Debajo de un botón, we do a variety of activities related to size, body parts and mice.
With help of the illustrations, I can expand on the song to teach more vocabulary. For example, in the pictures, the mouse is on Martín’s hand, head and shoulder. I teach those words, and with the story providing the context, I introduce other body parts. Using a little paper mouse that climbs on our arms, legs and feet, we play ¿Dónde está el ratón?
We also tell the story with stick puppets, play games with picture cards and make a simple mouse craft. The children color the pages and each makes their own book. Of course, we sing the song every day, turning the pages as we sing.
There is a link to the free story-coloring book of Debajo de un botón below the video. The download includes activities and a guide for teachers and parents. This video will give you an idea of how the illustrations support the “story” in the song.
Link to Printable Spanish Story and Coloring Book