Primary grades learn about various topics including colors, numbers, basic greetings, emotions, food, clothing, animals, weather, seasons, holidays, and cultural topics. At the preschool and kindergarten levels, a bilingual story in Spanish and English is usually read at the beginning of class. This story often relates to the topic we are exploring that day. Other learning activities include songs, games, and art. Preschoolers and kindergartners present some songs they have learned at their graduation ceremonies. First graders finish the year by writing and illustrating a short book about themselves in Spanish. Second graders finish the year having learned a large number of words and phrases that they have learned from their text book, Español para los chiquitos by Rita Wirkala.
Intermediate grades use the text book Español para chicos y grandes by Rita Wirkala. This book is a wonderful resource because it introduces both vocabulary and grammar in a very accessible, fun way that appeals to kids. At the beginning of the year, students talk about why Spanish is an important language to learn and review the basic sounds of Spanish to help pronunciation. They also review the Spanish alphabet and practice spelling words in Spanish. Other topics studied include numbers, colors, animals, weather, emotions, greetings and introductions, clothing, food, likes and dislikes, classroom objects, the calendar, and many more. Vocabulary is introduced in colorful, creative ways, and students create flash cards for practice. Assessment takes the form of written work, conversation, group oral presentations in Spanish, and cultural projects using technology.
Grades 6, 7, and 8 use Avancemos I, a commonly used text book in both middle schools and high schools. This text book serves as a resource as middle school students develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and culture. Students begin the class with discussions of the reasons Spanish is an important language to learn and techniques to improve their own learning of grammar and vocabulary. Topics are introduced in meaningful ways to which teenagers can easily relate. Each chapter of the book is accompanied by cultural readings. The goal for grades 6, 7, and 8 Spanish is to generate interest and provide a solid foundation for students entering high school.