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Tips for Building Your Preschool Spanish Lesson Plans

Preschool Spanish Curriculum: What to Look For

If you’re a preschool educator looking to introduce Spanish to your classroom, you understand the importance of choosing the right curriculum to engage young minds—and bodies—while fostering a lifelong love for the language and its culture. At the heart of this, is the idea that learning Spanish must be fun and developmentally appropriate for preschool students. The Sonrisas Spanish preschool curriculum is based on proven pedagogical strategies that cater specifically to the unique ways young children learn.

From playful, interactive activities that spark joy and curiosity to carefully structured lessons that promote Spanish acquisition through natural progression, Sonrisas Spanish offers everything you need to seamlessly integrate Spanish into your preschool setting. We believe that learning Spanish should be as delightful as it is rewarding, and our curriculum is tailored to make each lesson a delightful adventure.

Let’s explore how Sonrisas Spanish not only aligns with but also enhances best practices in early language acquisition. We’re excited to show you why Sonrisas preschool curriculum is the preferred choice for preschool educators who are serious about providing a top-tier language learning experience for preschool. Let’s dive into a curriculum that makes learning Spanish an engaging, effective, and culturally enriching part of your students’ day.

Creating an Effective Preschool Spanish Curriculum

Creating an effective preschool Spanish curriculum requires a thoughtful approach that aligns with the developmental stages of young learners. Here are some critical components that should be included in such a curriculum:

1. Age Appropriate Methods

Since preschoolers are at a developmental stage where they learn best through play and interaction, the curriculum should focus on engaging, hands-on activities that encourage exploration and discovery. Activities like songs, games, stories, and crafts are particularly effective.

In the Sonrisas Spanish lessons, children sing songs during the Circle Time segment of the lessons. The songs relate to lesson themes and teach basic skills such as greetings and exchange of personal information. All of the songs in the lessons have accompanying movement and gesture that the teacher and students perform as they sing—providing an engaging physical element to the music. Using music to teach Spanish to preschoolers has many advantages:

  • Music enables young learners to connect the Spanish language to their physical bodies.
  • Music capitalizes on children’s imitative and memory capacities.
  • Through music, children relate to the emotional content of Spanish. This is developmentally appropriate as young learners do not yet have the capacity to relate to intellectual elements of the language.
  • Music teaches vocabulary and language concepts in a fun, natural, and engaging way.

Reading Spanish stories is a critical aspect of the Sonrisas approach because it is such an effective teaching tool. In the Story Time segment of each lesson, the teacher reads a children’s Spanish storybook to students. The storybook does several things:

  • It is always related to the theme of the lesson, so it reinforces performance targets for the lesson.
  • Storybooks give students an authentic experience with Spanish—exposing them to different voices and styles of Spanish.
  • Children’s Spanish fiction engages learners’ imaginations in Spanish which stimulates language acquisition.

Every Sonrisas lesson includes an art project. The art projects are always related to the theme of the lesson. While students are engaged working on the art project, the teacher is able to have one-on-one conversations in Spanish about what they are working on. This reinforces the performance targets for the lesson. In the Sonrisas lessons, art projects enhance language learning by:

  • Engaging learner’s spatial, bodily, and kinesthetic intelligences through tactile activity.
  • Providing a context in which to have relevant, immersive conversations in Spanish.
  • Giving kids a physical representation of what they learn in Spanish class.

2. Cultural Integration

Language learning is not just about vocabulary and grammar; it’s equally about understanding and appreciating the culture associated with the language. Including cultural elements such as music, festivals, traditions, and food helps make the learning experience richer and more meaningful.

The Sonrisas lesson introduce children to many cultural practices and products of the Spanish-speaking world. Throughout the lessons, students identify typical practices related to familiar, everyday life in their own and other cultures. They also connect with Spanish-speaking cultures by reading about them, doing projects, and creating art that reflects the target cultures.

3. Structure, Routine, and Repetition

We know that young children thrive with structure and routine. Every Sonrisas lesson has the same structure of Circle Time, Story Time, and Art Time. Within this structure, the teacher develops a routine based on the progression of activities in each segment. The stability of this structure and routine helps students to feel safe and comfortable which helps to put their minds in a receptive state for learning.

Review and repetition is built into this structure and routine. We know from language acquisition research that learners need repetition in order to achieve proficiency. Circle Time always begins by reviewing songs and activities from previous lessons. Repetition occurs over the course of many lessons so that learners gain proficiency with their comprehension and speaking skills.

4. Visual and Sensory Materials

Preschool learners are highly visual and tactile, so materials that incorporate colorful visuals, realia (real-life objects), and tactile experiences help reinforce learning. Props, storybooks with illustrations, and visual aides can be very effective.

Each Circle Time incorporates a lesson activity which introduces the performance targets for the lesson. These activities utilize props and classroom materials which allow students to touch and feel objects while they use Spanish—fostering a connection between their senses and the language.

The classroom posters which are part of the Sonrisas Calendar Time Curriculum provide excellent visual aides for young learners. These colorful and beautifully illustrated posters provide an engaging visual resource which teachers use to teach the days, months, seasons, weather, colors, numbers, and the Spanish alphabet.


5. Interactive and Communicative

The curriculum should promote interaction both with the teacher and among peers. Language games that require children to communicate in Spanish, simple role-playing, and cooperative group activities are crucial for developing speaking and listening skills.

This is really the crux of the Sonrisas Spanish preschool curriculum: it provides a structure in which the teacher creates an immersion environment with lots of opportunities for meaningful and age-appropriate communication in Spanish.

6. Parental Involvement

Encouraging parents to participate in the language learning process can be very beneficial. Providing resources and simple activities that can be done at home allows the language learning to continue beyond the classroom and helps reinforce what is taught at school.

Every Sonrisas preschool lesson includes a home report. The home report shows parents what their child is learning in Spanish including the performance targets, storybooks, and art projects. The home report also includes a “home enrichment” section with suggestions for things parents can do to continue their child’s Spanish learning in the home environment.

7. Professional Development for Teachers

Teachers should have ongoing training and resources to stay updated on the best practices in language education for young learners. Supporting teachers in their professional growth ensures they are equipped to deliver the curriculum effectively.

Sonrisas Spanish offers free teacher training via webinar each month. The training includes instruction in best practices for using the curriculum and in how to implement the lessons effectively. We also offer ongoing phone and email support for teachers who have questions or need targeted support as they implement the Sonrisas lessons.

Why Choose Sonrisas Spanish?

By incorporating these elements, the Sonrisas Spanish preschool curriculum creates a supportive, engaging, and effective learning environment that not only teaches the Spanish language but also instills a lifelong interest and appreciation for Spanish culture.

Sonrisas Spanish was originally created as a preschool Spanish curriculum. People always talk about young children’s ability to learn language “naturally”, or how they can soak up language “like a sponge”. This is true to a certain degree. The fact is that there needs to be a lot of intention, planning, and execution on the part of language educators to provide the right elements and environment so that children can acquire language naturally and easily. Sonrisas Spanish provides you with everything you need to do exactly that.


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