In a unit about childhood in level 2, I infuse a bit of culture with the story of Ratoncito (Ratón) Pérez. The students learn who the mouse is, and how it compares with the American tradition of the tooth fairy. I start with a trailer from a Spanish movie about Ratoncito Pérez. Students guess what the mouse does by watching the trailer. Then we read a little article from a magazine called Vamos! that explains the mouse further and answer reading comprehension questions similar to ones these “pre-IB” students will see on their IB exam. We also talk about other childhood traditions like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny.
Though I do not teach elementary students on a regular basis, I am certified to teach Spanish K-12, so I often think about younger learners, and I believe this would make a great CI story for the younger kids. It could also lead into lessons for young children about caring for their teeth. The lesson could expand beyond Hispanic and American cultures to include other cultures. Amazon sells a book called “Throw your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World” that would be a nice resource. In fact, when my boyfriend was growing up in El Salvador, his parents told him to throw his teeth on the roof rather than put them under his pillow for ratoncito Pérez.
Here are some resources about Ratoncito Pérez:
The movie trailer that I use:
A preterite/imperfect worksheet that I made: ratoncito perez preterite imperfect
Versions of the story:
A webquest for Spanish-speaking children
Here are more ratoncito Peréz resources at another blog
Here is an audio about how a hospital in Spain installed tiny doors so that ratoncito Pérez can access the rooms of children who are in the hospital.