When I started teaching Spanish to kids back in 2001 the first thing that came to mind was how I was going to integrate my art knowledge and experience to make Spanish learning a more enjoyable and engaging activity.
So I created a series of lessons with that intention, and I told parents who wanted me to teach their kids privately that I would not do it unless they would allow me to use art as a mean to teach them Spanish. They loved it!
As the years have passed and many of those one year old kids that stayed in the program for an average of five to seven years I was very happy to see the growth not only in Spanish but in the artwork they would produce as they grew. So, based on years of observing and helping the little ones in a road to their creative potential I give some tips in how to help them learn Spanish creatively:
- Pick any subject you want, but keep it simple. Say numbers, vowels, transportation, colors animal, etc.
- Look for ten vocabulary words you can integrate to learn and practice.
- Try (if at all possible) to use acid free paper as a base so the art work your kids make can last for a good while.
- Provide a variety of materials for kids to experiment with while they create, or
- A variation to this is to provide them only one medium: pencils, or watercolors, paints...and see how they use it.
- For example, if your theme is "Numbers" then cut out numbers from any source you can get and work on a collage while practicing the numbers in Spanish. Or if you are working on "Animals" theme, pick one single plastic animal or picture and have kids draw it by observing.
In all, the point is to use Art as a tool for practicing vocabulary, dialogues, or anything related. No matter whether your kids are in pre-school, or in high school, there is always a way of integrating Art into language learning. Only difference is the level of difficulty as our kids grow.
Do you have any other tips you would like to share?
Happy day everyone!