12/17/2016

Spanish Animal Songs for Everyone

Spanish animal songs appeal to all language learners. Songs to teach vocabulary and explore our relationship to animals, grouped for different ages.

Learning about animals appeals to a wide range of ages, and singing is an effective way to learn language. It follows that Spanish animal songs have a place in language class, and not only for the youngest students. Try these Spanish animal songs with kids of different ages and levels.

Spanish animal songs can teach more than animal words. For young children, they teach basic concepts like counting and communicate traditional culture. Older students learn verbs and vocabulary related to products and geography as they study domesticated and wild animals. Finally, at a higher level, learning about animals involves learning about the planet and the role humans play in protecting the environment. 

We divided these favorite Spanish animal songs into groups because they have musical appeal and thematic material that is appropriate at different ages. However, you can also use them successfully across age groups.

Spanish Animal Songs for Preschool and Kindergarten

Animal songs in Spanish are an opportunity to introduce preschoolers and kindergarteners to the beautiful musical traditions of Latin America and Spain. Two of the best known Spanish animal songs for children are Un elefante se balanceaba and Los pollitos.

Spanish animal songs like Un elefante se balanceaba teach culture and basic concepts.

Children throughout the Spanish-speaking world grow up singing the traditional counting song Un elefante se balanceaba. It is wonderful for language learning because it repeats endlessly! It also is a fun way to learn numbers. You can find videos, the lyrics, printable activities and games for Un elefante se balanceaba on Spanish Playground.

Los pollitos is one of the best known Spanish animal songs for children.

Los pollitos is perfect for young learners because it tells them that when chicks are hungry and cold, the hen gives them food and protection. In addition to learning important basic vocabulary, children understand the underlying message of the song - there is someone there to take care of them. This version of Los pollitos is very clear and has pictures to support the words.

Spanish Animal Songs for the Early Grades

In the early grades, kids are ready for more vocabulary. They are also ready to explore our relationship to animals. Of course, visual support for the lyrics is important for effective learning. These two Spanish animal songs lend themselves to doing actions or showing pictures. They both have lists of animals - one on a farm and the other in a zoo.

La granja and other Spanish animal songs give students an opportunity to learn vocabulary related to food production.

La granja introduces children to vocabulary for farm animals. It also includes animal sounds and basic words related to a animal products. There is a illustrated lyric sheet for kids to sing along. Listen to La granja, a song about farm animals in Spanish.

With Los colores del zoo, kids learn lots of animal words and colors by associating the two groups of vocabulary. The musical style is contemporary and appeals to adults as well as children. Listen to the animal song in Spanish by The Pinker Tones, a group from Barcelona.

Spanish Animal Songs for Upper Elementary Students

By the time kids are past the early grades, they are ready to sing Spanish animal songs with more vocabulary. At the same time, they begin to explore the relationship between humans and animals and consider our impact on the environment.

Children explore human's relationship to animals and the planet in the Spanish song La Tierra.

La tierra is a song that addresses the state of the environment and also empowers children by focusing on what they can do to help. It teaches words for animals, different habitats, and for taking care of the planet. There is a lyric sheet that you can download with pictures to support the lyrics. Listen to La tierra here.

El oso is a classic Spanish song that tells the story of a circus bear.

El oso is another song that addresses the relationship between animals and people. It was written by the Argentinian Mauricio “Moris” Birabent, one of the pioneers of Spanish rock. The song tells the story of a circus bear with simple vocabulary (and a happy ending!). It is also very clear and easy to understand. Hear El oso performed by Antonio Birabent, the composer’s son. As you will see from the comments, many people have memories of their parents singing this song to them at bedtime.

Singing Spanish animal songs, children learn much more than animal words. These songs teach language from basic concepts like counting to the vocabulary for caring for the planet. In addition, they expose kids to the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and encourage them to explore the relationship between humans and our animal friends. 

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