Thinking about doing a lesson about the Reyes Magos on January 6? Here’s some fun stuff.
I like to hand out some letters from the site http://www.reyesdejuanadiaz.com/ (Click on “cartas recibidas” under the “Reyes Magos” tab at the top of the page) for my Spanish II students to read, then share with a partner. They usually need a dictionary and help from me to get some of the words. I like to pull out cultural references from the letters, like leaving out the shoes, hay for the camels, and such. The letters usually have good examples of the present perfect and the verb “portarse.” Some also have commands, such as “tráiganme.” We put a Venn diagram on the board to compare and contrast the Reyes Magos with Santa Claus.
I followed the Reyes Magos on Twitter one year. I don’t think the Reyes that I am following are tweeting this year, but here are their tweets from 2010-11: https://twitter.com/#!/LosReyesMagos. If you search for #graciasreyes you can read tweets about what gifts people received. I put a few into a Power Point for class. graciasreyes twitter posts
This site is very, very cute. It leads you through a series of questions in Spanish and composes a printable letter for you to send to the Reyes Magos based on your answers. There are several verbs in the present perfect tense. http://www.terra.es/carta/carta.htm
Another good site tells how to write a letter to the Reyes. It uses familiar commands. http://www.euroresidentes.com/navidad/reyes-magos/carta-reyes-magos.htm
This is a lovely story for upper intermediate or advanced students: http://86400.es/2008/12/19/los-reyes-magos-son-realmente-los-padres-descubre-por-que/
Here is a listening comprehension exercise for a news report about the gifts that are bought in Spain during the holidays: http://www.ver-taal.com/noticias_20061218_juguetes.htm
I saw this on Twitter. Elementary students could make a cardboard shoe to leave out for the Reyes. The web page show it with candy inside (un dulcero): http://tia-jean9.blogspot.com/2010/06/como-hacer-zapato-de-carton-dulcero.html
An explanation of the holiday in Spanish and English at: http://www.transparent.com/spanish/noche-de-reyes/
A lesson plan from the Instituto Cervantes at: http://moscu.cervantes.es/es/cursos_espanol/ELErus/Actividades%20B1/B1_Carta_a_los_Reyes_Magos.htm
This year I think we’ll read the letters in level 2 like I usually do, but I have decided to use the site that tells how to write a letter to the Reyes and have the students write their own. Since we are practicing the preterite right now, I’ll have them tell ten things that they did during the past year and show that they behaved well. For example, “Yo saqué la basura muchas veces, yo siempre hice mi tarea, etc.”
I am really looking forward to January 6th and doing this lesson! Que ya vengan los Reyes!