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Go Deep with a Las Posadas Play in December

One of the best ways to go deep with learning in your Spanish class is with drama. When your students have to learn lines in Spanish and act based on Spanish directives, it challenges their comprehension and pronunciation and engages them in higher level skills such as synthesis and analysis. As you practice a play in Spanish, you can see a lot of “aha!” moments as students figure out what it is they are saying and how they need to act to convey the part they are doing. Practicing for a play can also give your students focus—especially valuable at this time of year when the energy at school can become somewhat chaotic with holiday celebrations and anticipation for Christmas vacation. This is why December is a great time to do a play based on the Hispanic tradition of Las Posadas.

Sonrisas Level I and the Sonrisas Cultural Curriculum each include a lesson for a Las Posadas re-enactment. Las Posadas is a Hispanic Christmas tradition, usually celebrated for the nine days before Christmas, which re-enacts Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their quest to find lodging (posadas) before Mary gives birth. The Las Posadas celebration originated in Spain and was introduced to Mexico by Spanish priests over 400 years ago. Las Posadas is still celebrated throughout Latin America, and it is a beautiful tradition that incorporates drama, singing, family and community, and the sharing of traditional holiday foods. Doing a Las Posadas play addresses the Cultures Standard by providing students with the opportunity to understand the relationship between the practices and perspectives of Latin American culture.

The Las Posadas lesson in the Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum provides you with a simple way to introduce Las Posadas to elementary students. It includes a script for a Las Posadas re-enactment, a Las Posadas song (on the Canciones Culturales CD), a wonderful book—The Night of Las Posadas, and recipes for sharing food. You can invite parents to the play and share food and drink afterwards. If you decide to do the play, we recommend that you teach the Las Posadas lesson as soon as possible, pick a date for the play, and send out invitations to your parents. Then you can continue with other lessons, leaving a little time each day to practice the play. Doing a Las Posadas play can be a wonderful and rewarding way to end your fall semester.

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