Written By: Alma Flor Ada
Illustrated By: Elivia Savadier
Explore Illustrations and Text:
Take a moment to look over the cover and illustrations throughout the book. Ask your child these questions about their predictions on what will happen in the story:
Why do you think she loves Saturdays y domingos?
Who do you think those people are standing around the little girl?
[Turn to a certain page] What do you think is happening in this picture?
Why do you think that some of the words in this story are in Spanish?
Activate Prior Knowledge:
This story is sprinkled with Spanish terms so ask your child about any Spanish words that s/he may know. Start by asking, “Do you know what ‘domingos’ means?” If s/he does not, say that “domingos” means “Sundays” in Spanish and that the story will have lots of Spanish words that you can work together to define.
As You Read
A big part of reading this story is the inclusion of both English and Spanish words so if your child is not familiar with Spanish, encourage him/her to discover the meaning of the words using the text and illustrations surrounding it. You can also ask if the word sounds like an English word they already know, as they may mean the same thing. Some Spanish terms that your child may not know include:
1. JUGAR : to play
2. DIVERTIDO : funny
3. ORGULLO : pride
Help your child connect the story to his/her own life experiences by asking if an event in the story reminds them of something they have experienced. For example, when the little girl celebrates her birthday in the story, ask, “What did you do for your last birthday? Who helped you celebrate it? How was your birthday like the one in the story? How was it different?”
Summarize and Interpret:
It is helpful to ask questions once you finish a book, as it can gauge your child’s comprehension of the story as well as help them interpret what they have just read. These questions may include:
What was your favorite part of the story? Why?
What are some things that the little girl does with her grandparents on Saturdays? What about with her other grandparents on domingos?
How are her two sets of grandparents different? How are they the same?
How does she celebrate her birthday? Who is there to celebrate with her?
This book tells the beautiful story of an intercultural family that, despite their contrasting languages and backgrounds, share a love for this little girl. To make this message clear to your child, ask, “Even though the girl’s grandparents are very different, what brings them together? How do their differences make her family even better?” If applicable, you can also make connections to your child’s family by asking, “How are your grandparents/family members on the two sides of our family different from each other? How does this make our family more interesting?”
You can also continue the fun of this story by incorporating Spanish words into your daily conversation and occasionally adding a new word to your child’s vocabulary. It is a great way for your child to learn a new language or practice one that they may already know.
Activity: Spanish Calendar!
Adapted from Diana Mattoni
Supplies: Poster board of any color, ruler or yardstick, scissors, printer, paper and markers, stickers, clear duct tape, and sticky putty
To help your child learn the days of the week in Spanish or to just integrate a different language into daily life, create a calendar that lists the days of the week in Spanish! This is a fun activity that will help your child keep track of their day-to-day activities.
- Lay your poster board down horizontally. Use your ruler or yardstick to draw a two long horizontal line at the top of the vertical lines. Then draw six vertical lines to create seven equally sized columns.
- At the very top, type and print or write “[Child’s Name]’s Weekly Activities”. To incorporate more Spanish, you can instead put “Calendario Semanal de [Child’s Name]”.
- In the boxes directly below the header, list each day of the week in Spanish instead of English beginning with Sunday (i.e. domingo, lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado). If you want to, you can include the English translations under the Spanish words.
- Print out seven copies of small images that will represent activities that your child does. For example, for school or daycare, you can print out 7 identical images of a school bus.
- Cut out each image and cover both sides with duct tape. Place pieces of sticky putty under each day and when you would like to add an activity, simple stick the image to a piece of sticky putty on the board.
You can always add pieces to represent new activities! For example, if your child is going to an amusement park, print a new piece with a roller coaster on it and add it to the board. You can also decorate your board with stickers and drawings to make it more fun!