Bilingual is Better

bilingual kids writing activities

This game is a good activity for a group of 2 or more kids between 6 and 9 years old. It will help them write in a logical way, increase their vocabulary and have a better pronunciation. The idea was taken from a game called “Cadáveres exquisitos” played by surrealist poets at the beginning of 20th Century.

You will need:

  • ONLY ONE sheet of paper
  • Different colored pencils- one for each kid
  • A list of words that all rhyme with each other, as in these examples:

EXAMPLE LIST 1

  • mesa
  • esa
  • inglesa
  • promesa
  • princesa
  • fresa
  • traviesa

EXAMPLE LIST  2

  • mamá
  • ojalá
  • papá
  • sofá
  • panamá
  • allá
  • acá

EXAMPLE LIST  3

  • canción
  • corazón
  • atención
  • dragón
  • pasión
  • camión
  • lección

Ask the kids to sit in a circle. Give each one a different colored pencil. Read out the word in your list and review their meaning with them. Tell them that they’ll have to choose two words and write two short verses on each turn, one under the other. The verses must end with the words they chose.

Start the activity by choosing two of the words and writing the first two verses, as in this example:

Teresa estaba debajo de la mesa

Cuando llegó a la sala la princesa

Fold the paper to cover the first verse and pass it on to the first kid. He or she has to write his/her two verses and then fold the paper hiding everything but the last one.

Cuando llegó a la sala la princesa

The next kid has to do the same.  If the group is small, keep going until you have at least 10 verses. At the end you will have the entire sheet folded as an accordion.

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Unfold the sheet and you will have a nice poem, absurd some times, beautiful others. Read it to the kids and together choose a title. This is fantastic practice for writing and phonics.

For a printable version of this activity click here.

Special thanks to Heritage Language for providing this activity. Visit their site for bilingual books and resources.

{first photo via: seeveeaar}

Adriana Pacheco Roldán, is a children’s books author who has taught Spanish as a second language for most of her professional life. She has always found news ways to teach Spanish, not only as a tool for communication, but as a tool for developing critical ways of thinking and understanding culture, history and traditions. With her husband she founded Heritage Language, a publisher of bilingual books. She is currently a doctoral student of Hispanic American Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. Adriana was born in Puebla, Mexico, and she is very proud of having raised three multilingual and multicultural boys and one girl.

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