Spanish Curriculum for Elementary K-5


Children are naturally efficient language learners with a great capacity to learn a second language.

Risas y Sonrisas taps into this ability, significantly enhancing the learning process through Music, Creative Visual Aids, Games, Practical Conversation, Variety in Class Presentations, and A Relaxed and Fun-Filled Environment

Essential pronunciation and reading skills are introduced from the start

Step 1: Introduce pronunciation
  • The differences in vowel and consonant sounds between Spanish and English are introduced visually.
  • The use of cognates (words that are similar in English and Spanish) helps students understand and practice correct Spanish pronunciation.
  • Cognate words also give students confidence by showing them Spanish words that they already know.
  • Reading skills are continually reinforced through the use of posters, word cards, song lyrics, games, Q&A, and skits.

A song introduces each vocabulary unit

Step 2: Introduce songs The songs can be introduced in a variety of ways in order to best adapt the curriculum to your students' learning styles.
  • Posters and Music CD: Students can follow along using the poster, Student Textbook, or the Lyrics Booklet.
  • Sign and Sing DVD: Students learn the vocabulary in Spanish and American Sign Language at the same time! The ASL signs anchor the words to physical movements, employing the Total Physical Response (TPR) method to accelerate learning.
  • Interactive CD: Students can read along with the songs at their own pace, echoing each line and practicing word pronunciation.
  • Online Interactive Program: A song lyrics video, an animated video, and a Sign & Sing video are available for every song in the curriculum via the Online Interactive Program.

Games activate vocabulary learned in the songs

Step 3: Introduce games
  • The games in the program take students through the three stages of vocabulary acquisition: 1st Stage - Introduction; 2nd Stage - Reinforcement; 3rd Stage - Mastery/Conversation.
  • All the games are visually and kinesthetically stimulating with tools such as magnetic pictures, color-coded word cards, flyswatters, a plush ball, posters, bingo cards, matching dominoes and visual representations of Q&A.
  • Online Games make practicing vocabulary fun and engaging.

Q&A introduce practical conversation and enhance communication skills

Step 4: Introduce practical conversation
  • Using the Interactive CD or Online Interactive Program students can read and listen to the Q&A presented in class. As they build confidence with the phrases and add new vocabulary, they become able to use Spanish in a wide variety of situations.
  • Vocabulary from prior units is always being reused in Q&A throughout the course. Students constantly reinforce material they have already acquired even as they master new material.
  • Use the flashcards found at the end of the Activity Workbooks for additional Q&A practice.

A skit combines vocabulary with Q&A

Step 5: Introduce skits
  • Students first watch subtitled skits acted out by native Spanish speakers on the Skits DVD or in the Online Interactive Program.
  • After watching the video, students can try to read aloud or role-play the skit, using the script in the Student Textbook or the Activity Workbooks.
  • As students gain confidence, encourage them to role-play without the script, coming up with their own versions of the skit and incorporating their own questions and answers.

Students use all the vocabulary they have mastered to build picture sentences in the present, past, and future

Step 6: Build picture sentences
Step 6
  • Once students have been introduced to the Verbs unit, they are ready to start building full sentences in the present, past, and future tenses.
  • Using the Personal Pronoun Conjugation cards, students make picture sentences using the vocabulary they have already learned.
  • Students gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence when they can put together everything they have learned and communicate complete thoughts to others in Spanish.

A cultural point ends each chapter

Step 7: Introduce cultural information
  • Cultural points expose students to the culture of the language they are learning, connecting them to the language and the places it is spoken.
  • Expand students' visions of the world, helping them become more culturally open-minded and more responsible global citizens.
  • Check out our social media channels for recommendations of books, videos, and other media that can be used to expand the program and further enrich the Spanish-learning adventure your students are undertaking.

Practice makes perfect!

Step 8: Practice, Practice, Practice!

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