Bilingual Programs Chapter

By Priscilla Suárez and Vanessa Sáenz

Preschool Program: Cuban Carnival

Books to Share

Dance, Nana, Dance by Joe Hayes.

The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog by Gloria Estefan.

Mama Does the Mambo by Katherine Leiner.

Martina, Una Cucarachita Muy Linda / Martina the Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Arga Deedy.

Under the Royal Palms by Alma Flor Ada.

Welcome to Cuba by Mark Cramer.

Books to Show or Booktalk

The Barking Mouse by Antonio Sacre.

The Bossy Gallito by Lucia M. Gonzalez.

My Name is Celia, Me Llamo Celia by Monica Brown.


Palmeo mis Manitas

(By Priscilla Suárez.)

Dos pasitos pa’delante.

Dos pasitos pa’atrás.

Palmeo mis manitas.



Taz, taz.

Vuelta a mi izquierda. (da una vuelta completa)

Y me duvuelvo asi atrás. (da otra vuelta completa)

Palmeo mis manitas.



Taz, taz.

I Clap my Little Hands

(By Priscilla Suárez.)

Two steps to the front.

Two steps back.

I clap my hands.

Clap them high.

Clap them low.

Clap, clap.

I turn to the left. (spin once in a full circle)

And then I turn again. (spin the opposite way)

I clap my hands

Clap them high.

Clap them low.

Clap, clap.


La Cucaracha

(Traditional. Adapted by Vanessa Sáenz.)

La cucaracha, la cucaracha

Ya no sabe que hacer.

Esta muy aburrida

De las novelas

Y los shows en la tele.

La cucaracha, la cucaracha

Ya sabe lo que hará.

Se encontró,

una biblioteca

y ahora leerá muchos libros.

La Cucaracha

(Traditional. Adapted and translated by Vanessa Sáenz.)

The little cockroach, the little cockroach

Doesn’t know what to do.

She’s bored of the dramas

And the other series on her little bitty tv.

The little cockroach, the little cockroach

Knows exactly what to do.

She’ll visit the library,

find loads of books

And read them through and through.

Audio Recordings

Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers.

“Cha Cha Slide” on Cha Cha Slide by Mr. C the Slide Man.

“Conga” on Fiesta Latina by Various Artists.

“La Cucaracha” on La Cucaracha by Various Artists.

“Guantanamera” on Pete Seeger’s Greatest Hits by Pete Seeger.

“La Vida Es Un Carnaval” on Mi Vida es Cantar by Celia Cruz.

“Oye Como Va” on Oye Como Va by Tito Puente.


Cockroach Headband

photograph of white headband with green eye lids, large eyes, and large white eyelashes protruding

  • Cardstock
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

In advance, copy the antenna end templates and the eye templates provided in this program onto cardstock. Also in advance cut poster board into strips that are long enough to wrap around a child’s head as a headband and cut two slits into the sides of the strip. Allow the children to color the eye and antennae end templates. Then cut out the eyes and glue them to the center of the headband. Cut out antennae. If desired, cut the corners at each end to form points. Glue or tape the ends of antennae to the inside of headband. Staple the ends of headband together, being careful to have the staple ends facing out to avoid scratching.

Find the cockroach headband antennae pattern and cockroach headband eye patterns at the end of this program.

Games and Activities

Cha-Cha Slide

Call out these instructions as children and parents follow along with this simple dance. Before trying this as a group, show the video by Mr. C the Slide Man on YouTube, , if possible. Play “Cha Cha Slide” on Cha Cha Slide by Mr. C the Slide Man while the preschoolers and parents dance along. Specific instructions that go along with Mr. C’s lyrics are available at Love to Know,

Clap your hands (Clap hands)

Stomp your right foot (Stomp your right foot in an exaggerated manner)

Stomp your left foot (Stomp your left foot in an exaggerated manner)

Take it to the left (Step to the left crossing your right foot over the left one.)

Step to the right (Step to the right crossing left foot over the right one.)

Take it back now (Take three steps back.)

One hop (Hop once in place)

Turn it out (Turn to your left side.)

Cha-Cha (Cross the right foot over the left, step back with the left foot, step to the right with the right foot, step forward with the left foot.)

Slide to the Right (Take a giant side step to the right.)

Slide to the Left (Take a giant side step to the left.)

Reverse, Reverse (Bring arms to side, lift, and bend at elbow. Move in small backward circles.)

How low can you go? (Take three steps leaning backwards as if you were doing the limbo.)

Bring it to the top. (Return to your starting position.)

Criss-cross (Jump up and land with both feet shoulder width apart. Jump again and cross feet right over left. Jump again and land in starting position.)

Charlie Brown (Stand with feet braced apart, one in front of another and rock back and forth three times.)

Hands on your knees (Bend forward with hands on knees, bobbing to the music, criss-crossing hands on knees twice.)

Freeze (Stop moving and pose with attitude.)

Professional Resources

From the Winds of Manguito by Margaret Read MacDonald.

Folktales from Around the World


This index, created by Sunrise Mountain Library staff, helps librarians find folktales from around the world, including Cuba, in collections.

Mama Lisa - Cuba

Learn some of Cuba’s favorite children’s songs and fingerplays.

Terminix Online Insect Activities

Terminix provides bug coloring sheets, word searches, puzzles, printable patterns for bug masks, and online games.

Program Materials

Cuban Carnival – Cockroach Headband Eyes Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (13 KB)

Coachroach Headband Eyes Pattern - four large oval eyes on sheet, each eye has oval pupil, straight line above pupil for eyelashes,

Cuban Carnival – Cockroach Headband Antennae Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (14 KB)

Cockroach headband antennae pattern - Six headbands are placed vertically on sheet, each headband has multiple lines to divide headband into segments

Texas Reading Club 2010 Programming Manual / Catch the Reading Express!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011