This post on teaching Spanish syllables as a first step in learning to read is written by Frances of Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes. She is a part-time blogger, mommy and wife of a beautiful multicultural familia. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a certification in Human Resources. She blogs about heritage, culture, bilingualism, multicultural children’s books, and discovering the world through her son’s eyes. You can follow her at Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes.
Let me start by saying that I am not a teacher, but simply a mommy looking to teach her son another language. I use the resources that I have available, such as music, printables, and books to create lessons for my little one such as the one that I’ll be sharing with you today: Learning Spanish Sound Syllables
We started our lesson singing a fun song from Music With Sara’s: El Burro and Las Vocales. (Click on the name of the song so you can listen to them). My son’s favorite is El Burro’s song! It’s catchy, and fun!
For our lesson I used the following:
- La Cartilla Fonética (This is a phonics booklet used in schools in Puerto Rico). This Spanish phonics booklet presents the vowels, followed by the consonants, and then the syllables. At the top of each page in yellow you will find examples like, “ma, me, mi, mo, mu” and various sentences separated with a space by syllables. This makes it simple for little ones to read out loud.
- I also printed the “ba be bi bo bu sílabas iniciales” from Lectura Para Niños. This is a free printable on Teachers Pay Teacher that I downloaded. However, I created other printables using her template, and my Cartilla Fonética as a reference. I used a binder with sheet protectors to put in all of the printables. That way when I’m working with little one he can circle it with a dry erase marker. If he makes a mistake, we can erase, and try again.
- I also purchased a pocket chart to display the colorful strips that I made into my own Spanish sound syllable cards. The cute sign on the top of the pocket chart can be found here.
After having a fun time singing songs about the vowels in Spanish we started our lesson by reading the page “ma, me, mi, mo, mu” from the booklet. Little one read the sentence out loud – “Mi ma má me a ma.” (Please note that the words in the sentences are separated as a way for the child to learn the syllable sounds).Once he finished reading he realized what he had just read, and was super excited! Saying out loud again, “¡Mi mamá me ama!” We read a few more sentences, and then I pulled out the binder with the sheets, and gave him dry erase markers. I would ask him to name the picture, and then he’d circle the syllable that it began with. For example: (picture of a hand) “mano” we’d say out loud “ma” “me” “mi” “mo” “mu” and he would circle the correct syllable sound that rhymed with “ma no.”
To finalize our lesson using a pointer we reviewed the Spanish syllable cards on the pocket chart. We had fun, and my son was thrilled to read sentences out loud.
I realize that having a Cartilla Fonética readily available may not be an option for many. I was blessed to have my mom who lives in Puerto Rico mail it to me. However, there are many resources out there. You can always check on Teachers Pay Teachers for free, and paid printables on Spanish syllables. A quick search in Amazon with the words cartilla fonética will bring up some options as well. And, last but not least your very own Spanish Playground has these two great posts on learning the syllables: a clap and count syllables game, and another a counting syllables game. I’ve already printed them out to use in combination with my own lessons.
Nov 16, 2013
You come up with the best lessons Frances! I love the resources you found!
Nov 17, 2013
Frances thank you for sharing your experience and resources! I will add these to what I use with my special education Spanish speaking students AND my daughter!
Nov 18, 2013
Thank you Jody, and Karen!
Karen, how exciting that you will use this with your students, and daughter! 🙂 Thanks!
Dec 10, 2013
Not only are you great at teaching Spanish, you are good at teaching others how to teach Spanish to their own children! This article is so helpful to me, as I didn’t learn to read Spanish this way (since I learned it in college). Your helpful advice and ideas will be great to have as my oldest gets to reading age here in a year or so. Did you learn to read in Spanish or English first? It is so funny that I never realized how learning to read in Spanish would have different methods than learning to read in English. Thanks so much for sharing!
Dec 13, 2013
Truth be told I learned to read in English first, but learned to speak Spanish first. How confusing! At home we spoke Spanish, and at school in the U.S. I learned to read in English. During my middle school years, we all move to Puerto Rico where I actually learned to read in Spanish at the age of 14!
Crazy right? Just comes to show how wired our bilingual brain is when you know more than one language !
Leanna @ Alldonemonkey
Dec 13, 2013
What great resources! Maybe you should be a teacher, hmm?? Thanks for sharing!
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