Review of ¡Nos vamos a México!

Review by: Blue Lindner

Title: ¡Nos vamos a Mexico!

Authors: Laurie Krebs and Christopher Corr

I searched for a long time before I stumbled across this gem. This book can be shared with children of all ages and does not stereotype or simplify the rich, diverse culture and geography of Mexico. Parents and teachers that have the Sonrisas Spanish School Cultural Curriculum can use this book to take an imaginary journey to Mexico and can end up en la playa, en las montañas, en las piramides, en un mercado, or en el hogar de las mariposas monarcas. If you are teaching Cinco de Mayo or El Dieciséis, in their imaginary journey your students can attend un festival de la plaza con una banda mariachi, fuegos artificiales, y banderas de México. All of these traditional Mexican experiences are supported with beautiful, expressive illustrations that you can pore over with your students.

The homeschool cooperative group I teach was studying insects in science and symmetry in math, so in Spanish class we took an imaginary trip to Mexico to see the monarch migration, and we made symmetrical butterfly paintings after studying the pattern on monarch butterfly wings. We connected it to geography by mapping the butterflies’ migratory journey.

This book also provides the opportunity for a very simple and effective Spanish language lesson for preschool and elementary Spanish students, “¡Nos vamos, nos vamos, nos vamos a México!” repeats on each page. This can be chanted, stomped, clapped, or you can put a little tune to it. After you read the book to your students, you can act it out together. When you chant or sing the phrase you can move students physically around the room, clapping and stomping or skipping to the beat. Repeat it a couple times. When you sit down, open the book to the picture of the beach and say “¡Nos vamos a la playa!” Then mime the actions you would do as you say “Hacemos castillos de arena y nadamos.” Then stand up again and skip around the room as you repeat, “¡Nos vamos, nos vamos, nos vamos a Mexico!” Then sit down again and say “¡Nos vamos a las montanas!” Again, act out a few activities one might do in the mountains (Montamos un caballo, etc…). You don’t have to act out every page, and you can change your actions based on what your students are studying either in Spanish or elsewhere, but hopefully you get the idea of how to make this fun and kinetic for young learners. After this lesson, your students will know the phrase “Nos vamos” which you can use in many contexts.

The book ends with some interesting factual information about the geography, culture and history of Mexico. This is helpful for a teacher to read before a study of Mexico with her students.

As a homeschool cooperative teacher that values Spanish language learning as well as global cultural awareness, this book is as good as it gets. I recommend this book for any bilingual parent, homeschool parent, or Spanish teacher. You can purchase it in the Sonrisas Bookstore.

Sonrisas Spanish School creates, publishes, and sells preschool and elementary Spanish curriculum and Spanish music for children. The Sonrisas Spanish School Curriculum can be used to teach Spanish to children at the preschool and elementary level, as well as home school Spanish. The Sonrisas Curriculum consists of fun, effective, standards-based lessons for the most effective language-learning experience for kids—one based on human-to-human interaction. Sonrisas is a proud member of both Nnell and ACTFL.

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