Anuncios de Navidad/Días Festivos

Have you jumped on the Navidad commercial wagon yet? As a way to incorporate more authentic listening to our students we began showing them commercials from Spanish-speaking countries as a way to introduce and practice new vocabulary and look at different aspects of culture.  With our transition to more culturally themed units and our discussion of holiday traditions in Latin America and Spain commercials are a perfect fit and the students LOVE them!

I teach Spanish 1 and you might be wondering how one might use an authentic commercial at this level if they are often very fast paced. The answer is to change the TASK not the resource! I now only use authentic audio (commercials, songs, shorts) in my lessons and the students vocabulary and listening comprehension has soared to new heights. The trick is to pick just one or two things to focus on during the listening and to keep it SIMPLE!

Some examples of tasks Spanish 1/novice students can do…

  • circling or checking off vocabulary words they hear
  • circling or checking off images of things they see
  • a cloze (fill in) activity
  • writing the words they recognize
  • circling or checking off the aspects of culture present in the video
  • answering comprehension questions in English
  • answering comprehension question using true/false statements


Need some inspiration for your holiday unit? Here is a listing of commercials from all over the Spanish-speaking world!



La Noche de Las Velitas

La Noche de Las Velitas is the official start of the holiday season in Colombia.  It is a very special night in which families gather to light candles and lanterns in honor the Immaculate Conception. The festivities begins at sunset on 7th December and ends at sunrise on 8th December. People place paper lanterns and candles on their windowsills porches, balconies, streets, sidewalks, squares and parks.

Here is a video with more info!

In my 8th grade classes we do a unit on December holidays and focus on holidays in Colombia and Spain.  We begin the unit by talking about holidays they celebrate and the first holiday we learn about is this one.  One special video we watch is this Home Center video – it is a great video to build vocabulary and if you have higher level students talk about indigenous tribes, environment and giving back to the community.


Here are two activities I do with La Noche de Las Velitas – one reading and one listening. Do you teach December holidays? Which ones?! Share below!

Anuncios sobre la Navidad

Here is a list of videos I came across for la Navidad y el Día de los Reyes.  I don’t have any cloze activities for these yet but I thought I’d share anyways.  Enjoy!

The girl in this video is just PRECIOUS 🙂

This one is about los Reyes

Coca- Cola – Families apart on Christmas

Regalo Imposible

El año viejo en Colombia

Navidad En San Cipriano

What videos do you use for this unit????


El día de los muertos

El día de los muertos is in just a few short weeks!  I do this mini-unit with my 1B’s and they love it because they get to do so many neat activities.

To get things started I created a webquest for the students to do online.  The site I use for the quest is great since it gives a great overview of the holiday, has some videos and great images.

Here is the webquest I use- on TPT

I then plan on reviewing the quest with them and showing them a few videos to prompt discussion about what this day is really like and how it is NOT like Halloween.  Here are some of the videos I use.  These are in English, but I teach level one and finding cultural videos in Spanish they can comprehend at their level is hard to do.

I found a great song on

I looked for it on youtube and found it! It’s called Ofrendas, by Pedro Guerra.  The video is amazing as it has so many visuals you can discuss with your students in the Target Language.

Here is the song – on TPT

Another activity I do is an A/B cultural information gap activity.  Similar to what you might use to practice vocabulary, but with culture.  Here it is.


I also do this ofrenda project each year! The students love it!


IMG_1433 IMG_1434 IMG_1441 IMG_1442 IMG_1443 IMG_1444 IMG_1451

What resources do you use to teach the Day of the Dead? Do you have any good videos in Spanish?

Videos de deportes

I love using video in my class- but not the videos provided by the text!  It’s not easy finding videos that are authentic, engaging and show what you need for that particular unit or lesson.  My husband lives and breathes soccer so here are a few I have come across for the topic of sports while accompanying him on the couch while he watches sports and I do curriculum .  Hopefully you’ll find them useful!

This video is a commercial promoting a Rugby Championship in Argentina. There is no sound- just text, but it’s pretty funny and has beautiful images of Argentina.

This video is promoting fútbol- it’s great because it sparks discussion about this very passionate sport and you can use it to practice “ser”.

A Nike fútbol commercial w/ Chucharito. Very advanced but good.

Nike fútbol commercial promoting their soccer shoes

Adidas commercial- very little Spanish but shows classic rivalry between Real & Barca

This video is for a fantasy fútbol league

For gol tv

Very emotional fan at a fútbol game

Ronaldo and Nadal playing tennis

Where do I find resources???

I’m now in lesson plan mode, thinking about all of the wonderful things I want to do with my students.  It’s really important that as language teachers, we do our best to bring the language and culture to life with authentic resourcs- but how???  How do you do this especially if you have more than one prep, a family, a busy life, etc…  It all starts with having some great go-to resources.  Here are just a few places I visit online to find what I’m looking for.  Hopefully this will save you hours and hours of surfing 🙂


This link will take you to the Despierta America page on Univision’s website.  It’s fantastic!  It has the videos from the show’s segments- cooking, interviews with celebrities, fashion, news- everything!  Right now they have several videos for back to school- everything from school supplies to fashion to school lunches!

Youtube is your best friend- you can find just about anything here.  But what do you do when that video about paella has been deleted!!??  Make sure you save the video using a site like the one below.

If you teach beginners search no further than children’s programming!

Pocoyo is a show from Spain.  The videos are only 7 minutes long and are super cute.  My students love him 🙂

Doki is the discovery channel en español mascot.  Most of their commercials are him teaching kids about all sorts of stuff.  Here’s an example… (search doki descubre on youtube and tons of videos will come up).


To be in the loop about new music, I have a bunch of stations on Pandora with my favorite artists and I just shuffle and play in the car and at home.  I also like and follow my favorite artists on Facebook and Twitter- this way you know when they’ve come out with new music.  Here is a list of some of my favorites…(list of songs by genre and topic in the works and coming soon!).


Marc Anthony

Prince Royce


Maite Peroni

Paulina Rubio

Chino y Nacho

Carlos Vives

Jesse & Joy

Joe Arroyo

Juan Luis Guerra

Jarabe de Palo

La 33


My absolute favorite blogs are Zachary Jones’ Zambombazo and The Creative Language Class Blog.  These are really my go-to sites when I’m stuck and need some inspiration.

How do you keep all of this info organized???? Pinterest of course!  I have tons of boards on Pinterest for different topics related to teaching.  It’s the perfect place to store all of your favorite links, videos and pictures.

What else would you add to this list of resources?



!Tanto que hacer!

The first day of school is approaching and this year, with my Julián, I’m not even sure where to begin!  Thanks again to the CL Blog for motivating me to get my syllabus revamped- but there’s still so much to do!  Classroom decor, class lists, professional development and lessons!  I really need some direction because my little guy has me super distracted!

So how do you get started???  Please share!

Until I figure it out… I’ll try to find some inspiration in these back to school commercials I came across… There’s a little bit of everything – hope you find them useful and would love to hear how you used them! 🙂

A Great Resource!

Have you visited the site  If not- it is a MUST for Spanish teachers- all levels!  Created by a few teachers in Spain, bablingua has videos and listening activities and other activities you can purchase and use in your classroom- from weather to the alphabet to Christmas in Spain, they’ve covered pretty much all the topics you’ll cover in your class. Check them out!