Bilingual Programs Chapter

By Priscilla Suárez and Vanessa Sáenz

Elementary Program: Abroad in Spain

Books to Share

El Chino by Allen Say.

Following Isabella by Linda Talley.

Isabel Saves the Prince: Based on a True Story of Isabel I of Spain by Joan Holub.

Platero y Yo by Juan Ramon Jimenez.

Spain by Kathleen W. Deady.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.

El Toro Pinto and Other Songs in Spanish by Anne F. Rockwell.

With Love From Spain, Melanie Martin by Anne F. Rockwell.

Books to Show or Booktalk

Beautiful Butterfly: A Folktale from Spain retoldby Judy Sierra.

Food Fight! by Carol Diggory Shields.

Little Matador by Carol Weston.

Tapicero Tap Tap by Warabe Aska.

Bulletin Board

Sombrero Ole!

Cover the bulletin board with a bold colored background, such as red, blue, or yellow. Use die cut letters to spell out the caption. Cut out pictures and photographs of different styles of hats from around the world. Look for possibilities in magazines, in catalogs, and on the Internet, or ask coworkers and family to lend photographs they might have of themselves.


La Mariposa

Use a butterfly die cut to represent the spirit of the wandering Spanish gypsies.


Sombrero Ole!

Continue using the theme by displaying various hats on a table. Purchase hats, or borrow them from coworkers and patrons. Research the origins of each hat and provide labels that explain which country or culture they are from.

Ferias Style

Ferias, or “fairs,” are popular celebrations in Spain blending mercados, dancing, music, food, contests, and more. At these fairs everything is jumbled into one big event. Create a “reading feria” setting up display stations around the library for a variety of topics, such as crafts, dancing, food, music, and puppetry. At each station, display books, media, toys, and other items for that topic. Encourage participants to visit each “stall” for items that they can check out.


La merienda, or tea time, is a traditional Spanish mid-afternoon snack, usually taken after lunch but before dinner. Share these traditional treats during la merienda at the library.

Naranjas Dulce con Crema / Sweet Oranges with Cream

Slice fresh oranges in half. Place each half on a plate and top with whipped cream or Cool Whip. Use spoons to scoop out the orange sections.

Audio Recordings

“Baila Me” on The Best of The Gipsy Kings by The Gipsy Kings.

“Bamboleo” on The Best of The Gipsy Kings by The Gipsy Kings.

“La Copa de la Vida” on 17 by Ricky Martin.

“La Luna y El Toro” on La Bien Paga by Los Centellas.

“La Macarena” on The Best of Los del Rio by Los del Rio.



  • Metal lids from baby food jars
  • Crayons or markers
  • Duct Tape
  • Glue
  • Ribbon or yarn (various colors)
  • Paper scraps
  • Scissors

Distribute two metal lids to each participant. Use a piece of duct tape to fasten the lids together on one edge, with the inside of the lids facing each other. Decorate the paper scraps with crayons or markers. Cut out the decorated paper to fit the shape of the metal lids. Glue a few strands of ribbon or yarn to the lid on the same side as the duct tape. Cover top of lid with the paper scraps. Allow the castanets to thoroughly dry before using them.

Paper Fan

photo of paper fan, folded yellow appears with blue strap photo of paper fan, folded green paper, with a blue hand strap

  • Cardstock or construction paper
  • Bright colored wrapping paper (optional)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Thick yarn

Distribute one sheet of cardstock to each participant. Use crayons or markers to color and decorate both sides of the cardstock. Alternately, color only one side, gluing wrapping paper that has been precut to fit the cardstock to the undecorated side. Accordion-fold the paper lengthwise. Fold the bottom edge over about two inches from the bottom and staple to hold. Cut a length of yarn and create a loop. Secure the loop to the bottom of the fan with a staple. Open up the folds of the fan and cool yourself.

Games and Activities

Banana Jousting

La Tomatina is a food fight festival held each August in the Valencia region of Spain. This gross festival attracts thousands of participants and visitors who participate or observe the greatest tomato fight in history. There is no real purpose for this festival, other than to have fun. Pay tribute to Spain with a banana jousting tournament that also pays homage to the popular Spanish book, El Cid. Instructions for banana jousting are provided in the 2008 Texas Teens Read manual,

Abroad in Spain

Print out the activity sheets provided at the end of this program. Make enough copies for each child. Staple the pages together and distribute them to the children to solve the puzzles and play the games.

Find the Abroad in Spain crossword puzzle, the word jumble with answer key, the word search puzzle and the word search puzzle answer key at the end of this program.

Web Sites

How to Play the Castanets

This e-How site provides instructions on how to play the castanets.

Professional Resources

Fashion History of Hats

This personal fashion site provides general information on the origin and history of hats.

First Festival Travel

This commercial site explains the origins of Spain’s famous food fight festival.

Meals and the Culture of Spain

Learn more about Spain’s meal traditions with links to recipes and food ideas.

Rota Feria

This family web site provides information and pictures from the Feria festivities in Rota, Spain.

Program Materials

Abroad in Spain – Crossword Puzzle

Printer Friendly PDF Version (23 KB)

Crossword Puzzle Sheet - Abroad in Spain

Abroad in Spain – Word Jumble and Answer Key

Printer Friendly PDF Version (12 KB)

Word Search Puzzle - Abroad in Spain

Abroad in Spain – Word Search Puzzle

Printer Friendly PDF Version (56 KB)

word search scramble - abroad in Spain

Abroad in Spain – Word Search Puzzle Answer Key

Printer Friendly PDF Version (56 KB)

Word Search Puzzle Answer Key - Abroad in Spain

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