How can I encourage my child to start writing in Spanish?
My eldest daughter is six and is bilingual. She has no problem speaking in Spanish (spending the first three years of her life in Argentina laid a solid foundation). She can also read in Spanish, but when it comes to writing she usually just shuts down. I’m not too bothered as I’m not one of those pushy, competitive parents who compares my children to their peers (not all the time anyway!!) and understand that each child is unique and develops in different ways at different times. She hasn’t shown much interest in writing in English yet so I’m not surprised that there hasn’t been any demand to do it in Spanish, until now…
I’m in a children’s Home Ed book club – we have great fun reading different books and sharing activities with other families. We compile activities in preparation for each book to then do with the children alongside the story. There are so many great websites, blogs & resources on the Internet that there isn’t usually any shortage of activities to choose from.
As I’m raising my children bilingual – whenever I can I like to get the Spanish versions of the books on the book list – it’s not always possible & can sometimes be too expensive, but sometimes I get lucky!
This week’s book is “The Day The Crayons Quit” by Oliver Jeffers. We are huge Oliver Jeffers fans in this house and have already have a few of his books in Spanish! I got lucky with this one. I found it on Amazon El Dia Que Los Crayones Renunciaron (Especiales de a la Orilla del Viento) (affiliate link) and me and the girls have been enjoying reading it over…and over…and over again!
It’s about a little boy (whose name is Duncan) who one day receives letters from his crayons complaining (all except one that is) about the way he uses them.
For this particular book there were already a whole five days of activities prepared in the way of a Picture Book Explorers on CurrClick, written by fellow Home Educator Helen Royston. Picture Book Explorers are designed to guide you and your child along a learning journey inspired by beautifully crafted books.
I’ve used Helens resources before and so am familiar with the style and (high) quality. So, having bought the resource & downloaded it I simply adapted the activities to suit our Spanish version of the book. This is what we got up to…
Colour Wheel (in Spanish)
Firstly we recapped los colores in Spanish by doing a colour wheel using the primary colours and tint grading with paint and crayons.
This has probably been one of the most enjoyable activities we have done together in Spanish!
We talked (in Spanish) about how Duncan (the boy in the story) would have felt when he read the letters from los crayones and also how los crayones might have felt after seeing Duncan’s final drawing. Then Chloe went on to make her own version of a sequel to the original book. I printed off the crayon & letter templates from the Picture Book Explorers while she wrote & illustrated the front cover. I wrote the main pages of the book for her while she dictated to me and drew the illustrations for inside.
She called her sequel “Los Crayones Responden“.
At night when we were ready to read El Dia Que Los Crayones Renunciaron (Especiales de a la Orilla del Viento) for the umpteenth time, Chloe rushed off to get her sequel “Los Crayones responden“…which we read together again…and again…and again!