Being exposed to a foreign language at a young age gives children a distinct opportunity not only to become excited about words and their sounds, but to acquire a skill that prepares them to appreciate the cultures of the world.
Throughout the elementary years at Gillispie, Spanish is taught and reinforced with activities like singing, playing games, making flashcards, and practicing dialogue. Exposure to the art, music, food, and histories of notable Spanish-speaking countries around the world is also part of the curriculum.
The Spanish curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 3 is designed to introduce children to a wide variety of vocabulary words and simple sentences. Students learn the Spanish alphabet and numbers, friendly greetings, and frequently used words.
In Grades 4-6, the curriculum extends the skills and knowledge the children have acquired in the primary grades. Lessons include sentence structure and grammar, and correct pronunciation skills receive greater emphasis. Beginning in Grade 4, a minimal amount of homework is assigned, and letter grades will appear on progress reports. These grades will be based on scores earned on homework, quizzes, and occasional projects.
Because of California’s proximity to Mexico, learning Spanish will benefit our children in numerous ways. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to teach this beautiful language at The Gillispie School.
Spanish Curriculum Benchmarks
By the end of the year, your child will be able to do the following in Spanish—
- Identify several fruits, colors, parts of the body, pets, shapes, and food items
- Greet and respond to several salutations from teacher and each other
- Sing a number song to twenty and a birthday song
- Name immediate family members
- Respond to spoken directions (sit, stand, etc.)
- Recite the days of the week that correspond to those in English
Kindergarten benchmarks will be reviewed and extended. By the end of the year your child will also be able to do the following in Spanish–
- Identify various vegetables and farm animals
- Answer the questions: Where do you live? How is the weather?
- Greet and respond to several salutations from people outside the classroom
- Identify the work of one or more Mexican artists
Grade 2 acquainted
Grade 1 benchmarks will be reviewed and extended. By the end of the year, your child will also be able to do the following in Spanish—
- Name the following objects: classroom items, clothing, and plants (tree, shrub, flower)
- Recite the alphabet and the months of the year
- Name and describe community helpers (police officers, fire fighters, etc.)
- Recognize and name the colors of fruits
- Describe clothes
Grade 2 benchmarks will be reviewed and extended. By the end of the year, your child will also be able to do the following in Spanish—
- Use the alphabet to spell words
- Recognize masculine and feminine nouns
- Ask how someone is feeling and describe their own feelings
- Identify the seasons and four kinds of weather conditions
Students will also be able to identify several celebrations and traditions and explain the importance of family in Spanish-speaking countries.
Grade 3 benchmarks will be reviewed and extended. By the end of the year, your child will also be able to do the following in Spanish—
- Talk about the city and methods of transportation
- Use numbers to tell their age, phone number, date and time
- Ask questions using interrogative words such as when, where, and how much
Students will also be able to identify the countries and geographical highlights of South America. In addition, they will recognize the cultural influence of Spain and Mexico in California.
Grade 4 benchmarks will be reviewed and extended. By the end of the year, your child will also be able to do the following in Spanish—
- Conjugate frequently-used verbs
- Tell likes and dislikes in food, sports, activities
- Describe objects and people using noun and adjective agreement
Students will also be able to demonstrate knowledge of Spain’s geographical.
Grade 5 benchmarks will be reviewed and extended. By the end of the year, your child will also be able to do the following in Spanish—
- Identify uses of the verbs “ser and estar”
- Describe the rooms in a house
- Express their preferences for school subjects
Students will also be able to identify the location of Spanish-speaking countries, including Equatorial Guinea in Africa, where Spanish is one of the official languages.