New Year Tradition in Colombia and Venezuela

New Year Celebrations in Spanish-Speaking Countries

This year, my goal is to better immerse my students in the traditions and celebrations of the rich cultures of Spanish speaking countries. I say “cultures” to honor the wide range of traditions from Latin America, Spain and Spanish Africa.  We are a few days out until Winter Break and these activities were an attempt to bring in meaningful, comprehensible and fun activities. I have outlined my lessons plans below at the end of this post.  

For both classes, I will be doing the “Maleta” activity. I have seen this ritual in action and it’s pretty fun. My husband is from Colombia and last year, at the brink of the New year, many people were running around Cedritos, the neighborhood in which his family lives in Bogotá, the capital.  The activity is pretty simple; you take an empty suitcase (although I would pack it with clothes) and you run around the block. Running about the back is called “dar una vuelta a la manzana.” You do this in hopes that you will travel the following year.  ¡Me encanta!



For my Spanish 1 students, they will read the blurb about the tradition and then use the construction “querer” ir “or “quiero ir, quiero visitar” to say where they would like to go. 


Examples: 

Yo quiero viajar a Australia. 

Yo quiero ir a Panamá. 


We just finished reading a short story La clase de confesiones, where many of these verbs were emphasized, so they should have a good handle on them. Even if your students are not familiar with this construction, they could use it for this activity. 

New Year Celebrations in Spanish-Speaking Countries- Upper grades 

For my Spanish IV class, I am basically implementing the same activity, however with a twist. Students will use the imperfect subjunctive and the conditional to say where they’d like to travel, if they could. 


Dando la vuelta por la manzana… en la escuela. 

The last part of the “Maleta” activity will be actually going around the block… or the pasillo.  I am actually going to take my students to the hallway in our school for us to walk around a few times. This will be a good activity for them and also for our school community. 

With my upper grades, we will to the Maleta activity and the Monigotes- ridding- ourselves- of- bad habits- activity. See my previous post about the Monigotes. Instead of burning them… we’ll just snowball them into the garbage. 

I am actually looking forward to work these next few days. 


Free Reading Card 


To accommodate for all the traditions and celebrations, I am having my students do Free Reading of holiday celebrations. I am printing out some articles I got from MaryGlasgow- we have a subscription (there are also some good ones on TPT). 


Students will use this “Tarjeta Bibliotecaria” that I created for quick reads. 

Please share your holiday lesson plans!


Check our more celebrations below!

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