¡Es divertido hablar dos idiomas!

A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Guest Post - Freddy Figuras

Hi everyone! I'm doing something a little different today! Paula Mason, a student in a past session of "Library Outreach and Bilingual Storytime" offered through the Library of Virginia created an absolutely adorable flannel called Freddy Figuras as part of her final project. I love it! So, I asked her to do a guest post to share her work with you all. Enjoy!

From Paula Mason, Milwaukee Public Library:

I created this flannel board as a simple exploration of how even our faces are composed of several shapes, and even by slightly moving those shapes, we can express different emotions. The felt pieces are very easy to make, and you can be as creative as you’d like with them. I included the following to match with some of the shapes we were discussing in storytime that day:

Un óvalo - la cara
Un triángulo - la nariz
Dos círculos - los ojos
Un semicírculo - la boca
Dos semicírculos más pequeños - las orejas
Dos rectángulos - las cejas
Un cuadro grande - el cuerpo
Los garabatos (varios pedazos de estambre) - el cabello
Tres rectángulos largos y delgados - las rayas del suéter
Dos círculos más pequeños - las pupilas de los ojos                                
An oval - the face
A triangle - the nose
Two circles - the eyes
A half-circle - the mouth
Two smaller half-circles - the ears
Two rectangles - the eyebrows
A large square - the body
Squiggles (several pieces of yarn) - the hair
Three long and thin rectangles - the stripes on the sweater
Two smaller circles -
the pupils of the eyes

Note: you could also decide to take out some of these pieces depending on the age level of the children, and whether you’d like to extend or shorten the activity.
During the storytime, I mentioned to the children that I wanted to introduce them to a friend, Freddy Figuras, but that we have to first put Freddy together with each shape. I asked the children to help me make the decisions about each shape. Once we have put him together, we also discussed how moving a shape a bit can change his mood, ie. half-circle for mouth turned up=happy, turned down=sad ,and eyebrows turned downward=mad,or upward=curious.

A few of Freddy’s faces—feliz, triste, y enojado (maybe because he lost most of his hair!)

Later, during the play literacy portion of storytime, you could place out all of Freddy’s pieces and let the children make different and unique interpretations of a person or face by using the shapes. You could also place out extra shapes so they have even more pieces to play with.
A very tall Freddy with a big, goofy hat:

As for the books that I paired with this activity, we first read Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, and illustrated by John Parra. We then explored Eric Carle’s bilingual board book: My Very First Book of Shapes/Mi primer libro de figuras. The kids loved both—the rich illustrations in Round is a Tortilla and questions that the author posed, and the fun split pages that make Eric Carle’s book feel like a game. I also did a fingerplay with this activity in which we drew shapes in the air with our fingers. Another idea could be to sing a bilingual version of “When You’re Happy and You know It” after discussing emotions with Freddy’s face. Finally, in discussing the activity with the parents, you could mention the following:

Children can build their narrative skills when being creative, whether they are playing with shapes, drawing, or playing with puppets. By moving the shapes on Freddy’s face, we can begin to craft a story around Freddy and his feelings. 

Los niños pueden desarrollar sus habilidades narrativas cuando están usando su creatividad, ya sea que estén jugando con formas, dibujando, o jugando con títeres. Cuando movemos las figuras de la cara de Freddy, podemos empezar a construir una historia acerca de Freddy y sus sentimientos.

¡Mil gracias, Paula, por compartir tus ideas maravillosos con nosotros! Thank you so much Paula for sharing your amazing ideas with us. Happy Storytime!

Monday, March 2, 2015

¡Day by Day VA en español!

I am excited to share with you all that a project I have been working on for the last year and a half is finally finished and ready to be used. Day by Day VA is an online family literacy calendar. It was originally created in South Carolina and Virginia took the content and adapted it for their needs. Each day features a song/rhyme, a book, an activity, a video and one or two websites for further information or activities. I was hired in 2013 to create a Spanish language companion site, and it is now complete! You will find in this Spanish language calendar many traditional Spanish-language children's songs and rhymes, as well as made up tunes that piggyback on well-known Spanish and English songs. Each day features a Spanish language or bilingual children's book, with an emphasis on highlighting excellent Latino children's literature, and a video that is either fun for kids or informative for parents. Resources for more activities or further information are linked, including many excellent resources from around the Spanish-speaking world. Though designed for families, the site could be useful for librarians and educators as well. Please take a look and share with customers and colleagues who may find the site useful. If you have a chance, let me know what you think!

Me encanta muchísimo compartir con ustedes un proyecto en el que había trabajado por más que un año. Day by Day VA es un calendario digital de la alfabetización familiar. Lo había creado originalmente en el estado de South Carolina, y el estado de Virgina lo adaptó para la comunidad allá. En cada día hay un libro recomendado, una actividad, un video y uno o dos sitios web recomendados para más información o actividades. La Biblioteca de Virginia me contrató en 2013 para crear un sitio en español para acompañar el sitio en inglés. En el calendario en español, encontrará muchas canciones tradicionales en español, además canciones traducidas que usan ritmos familiares. Cada día presenta un libro para niños en español o bilingüe e incluye muchos autores e ilustradores latinos. Además, muchos sitios web con más información para los padres o actividades divertidas para los niños son incluidos. Este sitio es diseñado para las familias, pero es útil para los bibliotecarios y educadores también. Por favor, explórenlo y compártanlo con clientes y compañeros que pueden usarlo. ¡Si quieren, díganme lo que piensan!

Monday, February 23, 2015

March 2015 Bilingual Storytime Online Class

Hi everyone! Just a quick update that this is the last week to register for my next session of "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca," which is being offered by Library Juice Academy during the month of March. The details are below, and you can register or find more information at the LJA course page - http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/033-storytime-biblioteca.php. Please be in touch if you have any questions; I hope to meet some blog readers in the class group!

Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca    

This 4-week, online course teaches participants how to present bilingual storytimes (English/Spanish) for various ages, regardless of their own language skills. Video demonstrations, articles, online resources and course discussions direct students as they learn how to successfully deliver the various elements of bilingual storytimes, either on their own or with a bilingual community partner. Participants will discover new books, rhymes, songs, plans and resources that they can immediately put to use in their bilingual storytime programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn how to select and use the following components in bilingual storytime: books, songs, rhymes, fingerplays, and stories for telling aloud.
  • Students will experiment with incorporating bilingual materials into their existing storytime programs.
  • Students will select books and other materials they can use to increase inclusion of Latino culture and the Spanish language in their English storytime programs.
  • Students will articulate how bilingual storytime supports the early literacy and school readiness needs of Latino children, and identify online resources for sharing early literacy and school readiness information with Spanish-speaking parents.
  • Students will each develop two bilingual storytime plans.

NOTE: This course does not address outreach/marketing to Latinos and Spanish-speakers, and is best suited for libraries that are already successfully serving these communities. Libraries interested in learning how to establish or improve services to Latino and Spanish-speaking families are encouraged to take the course, “Building Relationships, Building Bridges: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Il Sung Na

Occasionally I'd like to highlight an author or illustrator whose works are particularly well-suited for bilingual storytime. This will include Latino authors and illustrators, of course, but also non-Latinos whose works are available either bilingually or in Spanish translation. One of those is Korean author/illustrator Il Sung Na. I first fell in love with Na's works when A Book of Sleep came out in 2009. The illustrations absolutely drew me in. I was over the moon to later find it in Spanish as ZZZZZ Y ellos...¿cómo duermen? The translation absolutely held up and this became a storytime favorite for owls, night and bedtime themes.

Since then, two more of Na's books have become available in Spanish. El escondite is about a group of animals playing hide-and-seek and Brrr El libro del invierno is a winter book. I have my fingers crossed that more are still to come, especially The Thingamabob, which is about an umbrella and would be great for a weather or rain storytime.

Have you used any of Il Sung Na's books in storytime? Tell us about it!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Green is a Chile Pepper

We all know I'm a big fan of John Parra. Unabashedly. I simply love his work. And I am a recent fan of Roseanne Greenfield Thong. She has written a number of books that simultaneously introduce first concepts and celebrate diverse cultures. I have found that her books are very practical for early childhood educators to incorporate into the classroom, and I regularly use them as examples of simple, high-quality diverse children's literature in the workshops that I offer to early childhood educators here in Kentucky. So I am over the moon that these two, who paired up in 2013 to bring us Round is a Tortilla, worked together again to create Green is a Chile Pepper, which received a Pura Belpré honor for illustration at the 2015 Youth Media Awards. As a side note, this year's awards were filled with recognition of diverse authors, illustrators and books. Kudos to all of the committee members. It was thrilling to be a part of this year's announcement.

As anticipated, this title uses Latino imagery, traditional foods and Spanish vocabulary to introduce colors in both English and Spanish. The text is simple, the illustrations are lively and the rhyming text is pleasant to read aloud. This title is a natural fit for storytimes about colors, whether bilingual or not, but can also work for food or family themed programs. This title would also work well in a classroom setting. Educators and librarians can extend the story with a color sort activity, perhaps even as a group on the flannelboard.

Do you have this book in your library or school? Have you read it with your child? What other titles would you pair it with for a colors themed bilingual storytime?

Read more about the Belpre award and its influence in this article recently posted on I Love Libraries.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

February Class: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families

Hi everyone! This is a quick post just to let you know that there is still time to register for my February class on library outreach to Latino communities being offered through Library Juice Academy. The details are below. One important point is that I strongly encourage taking this class if you are interested in later taking "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca" (next offered in March). Outreach is a key component of setting a bilingual or Spanish language storytime program up for success. Hope to see some blog readers in the group!

Building Relationships, Building Bridges: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families

Instructor: Katie Scherrer
Dates: February 2-27, 2015
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Price: $175
Public libraries across the country experiencing growth in their Latino and Spanish-speaking populations face similar challenges in connecting these communities with library service. Though libraries may offer Spanish-language materials and/or programming, these services may not attract the targeted community as desired. This class is designed to help libraries to bridge the gap and increase the use of their services by Latinos and Spanish-speakers, with particular emphasis on reaching first-generation immigrants and their families. Participants will increase their knowledge of Latino cultural values that impact library use, develop an understanding of common barriers that impede library use, and develop strategies for overcoming those barriers. Participants will also identify key people/organizations within their own communities for potential partnerships. This course is strongly recommended as a prerequisite for “Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca.”

Register here - http://www.libraryjuiceacademy.com/032-spanish-speaking.php.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Latino Art! ¡Arte Latino!

Yuyi Morales' recent bilingual book Viva Frida has inspired me to share some ideas for programs that celebrate Latino art and artists. This programs can be done bilingually or monolingually, as needed to best meet the needs of the group and with the resources your library or school has to offer. Remember, you do not need to be bilingual to use bilingual materials or to be inclusive of Latino cultures in your programming! And you don't have to wait for Hispanic Heritage Month!

Toddler / Preschool Storytime

Song: Mister G: Colores - A simple, bilingual song that introduces the colors with a fun beat. 
Add color scarves or egg shakers to this song. Kids can even look for the various color items as they are introduced in this song, depending on the size of the group. 
Book: Green is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
Flannelboard Activity: Practice the colors in English and Spanish and the Spanish vocabulary introduced in the book by adding the items one at a time to the flannelboard. This could also be done digitally for those using iPads and other technology tools in their storytime programs. 
Book: Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Final Activity/Craft Ideas:
  • Color Sort: Have parents/caregivers work together with children to sort objects of various colors into groups. This helps children not only to learn their colors, but also to develop the Kindergarten Readiness skill of recognizing similar attributes. 
  • Self-Portraits: Use paints, markers or any other art supplies suitable to your group and have children create their own-self portraits. You may want to first show them self-portraits done by artists such as Frida Kahlo for inspiration. 

Early Elementary School Age

Book: Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
Activities: There are several art activities you could do with children based on this book. 
  • Talk about murals and have them work together in small groups using butcher paper to create their own murals. 
  • Show students works of art by Diego Rivera and have them create their own individual art that explores similar themes or uses a similar style. 
  • Introduce students to the Mixtec Codices, which inspire Duncan Tonatiuh's stylized illustrations, and have them create their own symbol based language.

Mixed-Age Family Program

Book: De Colores = Bright with Colors by David Diaz
Board Books for Young Children: I always recommend having board books available for mixed-age programs. It's something that babies can have in their hands and parents can softly read one on one, while older children are engaged with other activities. Any of the books in the Arte Kids series, such as Colores Everywhere! would be great for this program.
Song: "De Colores" with color balls and a parachute. I like the version by José-Luis Orozco.
Book: Colors! ¡Colores! by Jorge Luján
Family Activities:
  • Painting!: Kids love to paint, whether its with brushes, sponges, or their fingers, but the materials may be too expensive and the cleanup to extensive for this to be a family-friendly activity to share at home. Help families share in the joy of creating a masterpiece with their child by doing it together at the library or program center. Cover tables with newspaper and have old t-shirts or smocks for the kids to put on to reduce the mess. Provide supplies and some fun music to set the tone and let the creativity flow!
  • Pattern Play: Using dot paint markers or something similar, have adults work with their children to practice identifying and extending pattern, an important school readiness skill. Parents can make patterns, beginning with very simple ones and then perhaps working up to something more challenging, and ask their children to predict what comes next. Then children can work on creating their own patterns for their parents to complete!
If you try out any of these ideas, leave us a comment and let us know how it goes! Happy programming!