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�Aventúrate! Vamos al Oeste /

Be Adventurous! Hitch a Ride to West Texas!

by Paola Ferate-Soto, Josefina Rodriguez-Gibbs, Nohemi Lopez, and Maricela Moreyra-Torres

Books to Share

  • Baby Coyote and the Old Woman / El coyotito y la viejita by Carmen Tafolla.
  • The Gullywasher / El chaparrón torrencial by Joyce Rossi.
  • Listen to the Desert / Oye al desierto by Pat Mora.
  • Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg.
  • Say Hola to Spanish by Susan Middleton Elya.
  • Viborita de cascabel by Te Ata.

Bulletin Board

A Trip to West Texas

Cover the bulletin board with brown paper or burlap fabric. Decorate with die cut cactus shapes or use the pattern. Crumple gray, brown, or black paper and attach them to the board to look like three-dimensional rocks and stones. Add tumbleweeds from the craft store.


Decorate the room and display tables with live cactus plants.


Read Delicious Hullabaloo / La pachanga deliciosa by Pat Mora.


Dos pajaros carpinteros

(Adapted by Paola Ferate-Soto)

(Sing to the tune of "Two Little Dickey Birds.")

Dos pájaros carpinteros

Hacen hoyos en el saguaro, (Index fingers tap an imaginary saguaro cactus)

Uno se llama María y el otro Pepe.

Se va volando María, se va volando Pepe. (Take away index fingers one at a time and hide behind your back)

Vuelve volando María, vuelve volando Pepe. (Bring index fingers back to the front and make them meet as if kissing each other)

Two Little Woodpeckers

(Adapted by Paola Ferate-Soto.)

Two little woodpeckers

Tapping the saguaro, (Index fingers tap an imaginary saguaro cactus)

One named María and the other named Pepe.

Fly away María, fly away Pepe. (Take away index fingers one at a time and hide behind your back)

Come back María, come back Pepe. (Bring index fingers back to the front and make them meet as if kissing each other)


Coyote, coyote

(Adapted by Nohemi Lopez)

(Sing to the tune of "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear.")

Coyote, coyote toca el piso, (Touch the ground)

Coyote, coyote da la vuelta. (Turn around)

Coyote, coyote pega un brinco. (Jump in place)

Coyote, coyote toca el cielo. (Reach up high)

Coyote, coyote cierra los ojos. (Close your eyes)

Coyote, coyote duérmete.

Coyote, Coyote

(Adapted by Nohemi Lopez)

(Use appropriate actions.)

Coyote, coyote turn around.

Coyote, coyote touch the ground.

Coyote, coyote show your shoe.

Coyote, coyote that will do.

Coyote, coyote go upstairs.

Coyote, coyote brush your hair.

Coyote, coyote turn off the light.

Coyote, coyote say good night.

Estoy llevando a casa a un bebé cascabel

(Adapted by Paola Ferate-Soto)

(Sing to the tune of "I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee.")

Estoy llevando a casa a un bebé cascabel.

Mi mamita temblará de miedo.

Estoy llevando a casa a un bebé cascabel,

Jiss, jiss, jisssss.

I’m Bringing Home a Baby Rattlesnake

(Adapted by Paola Ferate-Soto)

(Sing to the tune of "I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee.")

I’m bringing home a baby rattlesnake.

Won’t my mama be so scared she’ll shake.

I’m bringing home a baby rattlesnake,

Hiss, hiss, hiss, hisssss.


Gecko Magnet

(Adapted from Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Deserts by Kathy Ross)


  • Two 12-inch brown pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wooden ice cream spoons or tongue depressors (the spoons are closer to the shape of the gecko)
  • Yellow tissue paper
  • Brown marker
  • Sticky-back magnet strip
  • Two small, black beads


Use the illustrations below to make a sample gecko to display, then let the children make this craft with the help of their parents and following these instructions. Cut one of the pipe cleaners into two pieces for the front and back legs. Make the front legs shorter than the back legs. Bend the pipe cleaners to shape the feet and knees. Cut a 4-inch piece from the second pipe cleaner for the tail and cut eight 1-inch pieces from the second pipe cleaner for the toes. Glue the front and back legs onto the front and back of the spoon. Glue the tail piece over the back legs so that it sticks out at the handle of the spoon. Wrap two 1-inch pieces to each foot to make toes. Cut yellow tissue paper squares and wrap them around each foot. Glue the tissue to each foot. When it is dry, put a piece of sticky-back magnet on each foot. Color the top of the gecko brown with the brown marker. Glue a strip of yellow tissue down the back and glue on two black beads for eyes.


Games and Activities

Don’t Let the Scorpion Bite

This game requires at least six players and is like "Hot Potato." Use a plastic scorpion or a stick for the "scorpion." Choose one child to be the "guesser" and have him/her leave the room. Tell everyone that as long as they don’t get caught with the scorpion, it won’t bite them, and that they need to pass it on as fast as possible without letting the guesser know who has it. Let the children begin passing the scorpion and call the guesser into the room. He will stand in the middle of the circle. All of the children pretend to pass the scorpion. The "guesser" has three chances to guess who has the scorpion. Whoever gets caught will become the "guesser" for the next round.

Scavenger Hunt

Gather small items such as a feather, a pebble, a plastic animal, etc., and hide them in the storytime area. Give the children a list of the items and a paper bag and let them hunt for them in pairs. Set a time limit and count the number of items that each child finds when the time is up. Give a prize to each child who participates, and a special prize to the one who finds the most.

Guest Speakers

Invite a representative from the local agricultural extension department or a local nursery to do a presentation on desert plants.

Contact your zoo or a local pet shop and ask them to do a presentation on reptiles.

Musical Recordings

  • "El burrito enfermo" on Vol. 1 - Lírica infantil by José-Luis Orozco.
  • "El chorrito" on Grandes éxitos Cri-Cri, Digital 2 by Francisco Gabilondo Soler.
  • "Que llueva, que llueva" on Diez deditos / Ten Little Fingers & Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America by José-Luis Orozco.

Web Site

Learn to Draw an Armadillo

Professional Resources

  • Canciones infantiles: las más bellas y tradicionales canciones para niños by Antonio Salgado.
  • Ronda que ronda la ronda: juegos y cantos infantiles de Colombia by Olga Luc�a Jiménez.
  • "El gallo elegante / The Elegant Rooster" in Multicultural Folktales: Stories to Tell Young Children by Judy Sierra & Robert Kaminski.

Las estrellas resplandecen sobre Texas / Stars Shine Bright in Texas | Program for Elementary School-Age Children or Young Adults

Page last modified: March 2, 2011