Poetry for kids: 3 literary Spanish poems to learn rhyming

literary Spanish poems

When it comes to learning new vocabulary, there’s no better way or more fun than a rhyming poem. In these literary genres, not only do children get to appreciate a rhyme and a story, but they also get lyrics to a song.

When reading poems, children might either clap their hands to the syllable formation in the poem or they can use an instrument to follow along. Good sources of instruments are tambourines, xylophones, and a piano.

Here are some excellent examples of literary Spanish poems for children:

1.  El Chivito Marinero by Margarita Montalvo

“El chivito marinero
… fue a la mar
pero no … contento
sin … pastar

Allí no había nada verde
ni … saltar;
agua a … costados, 
agua … inmensidad.

Un día allí …
tomando un baño de sol
vio … cocinero
con … una col.

Da salto en salto
… al cocinero siguió
y en un rincón …
muchas …descubrió” 

Aquel hombre allí tenía, 
sembradas …, 
… todas clases
para … buen sabor. 

Ahora el chivo es cocinero, 
… chef …vapor
y cuida …
sonriente y …amor. 

The poem beautifully tells the story of a little goat trying to find his way in a lost sea. Notice in the second verse that he is so lost that he sees water all around him but no food or land in sight.

But then, he sees a cook (cocinero) with some food and herbs (hierbas). Can you identify the rhyming pattern with the clues that are presented?

For example, the words mar rhyme with pastar and saltar. Other words are sol-col, siguio-descubrio, and sabor-vapor-amor.

literary Spanish poems

Another excellent example of rhyming and learning new words is nursery rhymes and sayings. Here is a great example of other literary Spanish poems:

2.  Doña Araña by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

“Doña Araña … a pasear
hizo … y se … trepar, 
vino … y la hizo bailar, 
… la tormenta y … bajar.”

Take a moment to examine the last words in each line and try to see if you can find words that can rhyme in the poem. Again think of words that end in -ar.

3.  “Para curar el dolor de un golpe” by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

“Cura, sana,
… rana, 
dame … besito 
y vete … cama.”

In this very traditional poem, keep in mind the green amphibian rana rhymes with sana.

Poems for children can be a delightful way to learn rhyming and syllables. It can help children to identify particular Spanish vowel blending, pronunciation, and phoneme awareness. These skills are essential for learning any language.


Poetry for children is a great reading alternative

poetry for children Iguazu falls

Poetry for children is one of the most rewarding experiences educators show. Besides the literacy aspect of poems, it also shows rhyming, metaphors, and boosts their imaginations.

Not only is it fun to learn another language by reading different types of literature, but also it is interesting to see how other authors interpret the world around us.

Poems can turn into songs and they turn into poems. But the beauty of it all is that in a short or long poem, you appreciate the rhyming in Spanish. Children enjoy using various Spanish words to interpret the content.

But what are some great sources in poetry for children to start this literary endeavor?

In “Animal Poems of the Iguazú, Animalario del Iguazú” by Francisco X. Alarcón, you read about the many wonderful creatures that live at the rainforest of the Iguazú in South America in prose form. Alarcón makes a wonderful reference to this wonder of nature for children to know about with metaphors, rhyming, and alliteration.


What are the Iguazu Falls in poetry for children?

The Iguazu Falls (Cataratas del Iguazú) are located between the borders of Brazil and Argentina. These immense waterfalls are about 80 meters high (approx. 269 ft.), 2.7 kilometers wide (1.7 miles), and there are 275 drops. The name Iguazú is derived from the primitive language guaraní: ‘agua y grande’, which the literal translation means big water.

In this vast area of now protected rainforest, you find many different species from monkeys to panthers to exotic birds. Alarcón makes a wonderful mention to the Iguazu’s beauty in his books and poems.

poetry for children Iguazu Falls

Here are examples from his works that describes the earth at the Iguazu Falls:

“Tierra colorada”

“Tierra, tienes
tanto hierro
… suelo

… color
es … colorado

como el ají
y el pimiento…
…la canela y el chocolate…”

poetry for children

“Red Earth”
“Earth, you have
so much iron
… soil

… color
is … rusty

… ground
dried chiles
and peppers…

…cinnamon and chocolate powder”

The author makes a wonderful description and compares the earth (tierra) on Iguazu Falls as red as peppers and chiles and magnifies our senses that red implies hot (caliente). It also implies that the texture (textura) of the earth is like cinnamon or chocolate, powdery and gritty. In a beautiful way, the poem wants you to use all of your senses to explore the beauty of the Iguazu Falls.

Poetry for children is a great way to introduce other genres of literature. Reading can be fun with books. But it can also be more engaging when educators show poetry as an alternative to books.

Have you tried poetry for children, recently? Did you like it or not?

How to improve speed reading to get better grades

When reading homework piles up and there is little time to read all of it, increasing your reading speed can help with school materials. Speed-reading is used widely in academic schools to help students get better grades and improve reading comprehension. But how can students struggling with schoolwork master this study skill?

Whether it is science or math, accelerating your reading comprehension can increase your understanding of extensive chapters or workbooks. Applying these simple methods of concentration, determination, and consistency, can help students in school.

1.  Use fingers or pen to scan the text for particular keywords

In fact, many textbooks already may have list of important concepts to know, either at the end of the chapter or part of the exercise section. Write these down and have them handy when you read the chapter. Avoid using highlighter as you read. They tend to interfere with your concentration.

2.  Make questions based on title, subtitles and headings

When reading long chapters or heavy amounts of text, it is best to review the content before starting to read it. And formulate questions about the content. Many chapters are written based on an outline. Use it to your advantage to pose questions as you’re reading.

3.  Use sub-vocalization and skip over simple words

When we read to ourselves, we read just the words of interest. For instance, simple words like ‘the, a, an, but, for’ and other sight words are easily glanced through by our brains. So, only focus on the main phrases or specific words.

courtesy of iStockphoto

4.  Avoid regression and concentrate

The old saying: ‘Silence is golden’ is certainly true in this case. The more concentrated you are as you speed-read, the better improvement in your reading comprehension.

  • Avoid cell phone interruptions, set it to silent or put it aside as you study.
  • Avoid loud noises like television or music.
  • Avoid listening to music with your iPod or other device. If you’re reading the text on your computer, iPad, Kindle or other electronic device, simply turn off any distractions momentarily.

5.  Incorporate good eye coordination for better reading

Whether you need eye correction or not, your eyes are the passage to your understanding. As many sportspeople use blinders on horses’ eyes to keep them from distractions and to focus on the path ahead, the same principle is applied to when reading the text. Your eyes need to be focused and determined on the material and no other disruptions should take place. Practice makes perfect. Get your eyes used to scanning the text even before starting speed-reading.

Of course, speed-reading, as a study skill, is not for every student. Like all study skills, it takes time and practice to master it. So don’t give up if it doesn’t work for you the first few chapters. As a final tip, a fresh mind learns better without distractions, daydreaming, and interruptions.

Do you use speed-reading in your study time?