Saturday, April 11, 2015

El Ratón Pérez

My littler kiddos - especially kindergartners - LOVE to tell me all about how many teeth they have lost, which teeth are loose, and how much the Tooth Fairy has brought them. After reading Mundo de Pepita's blog post on authentic tangible culture for children, I was determined to use that enthusiasm to tell me about their teeth and direct it towards an authentic cultural learning experience.

First I read them the book "The Tooth Fairy Meets Ratón Pérez". This book is in English but it's a great introduction to the topic and includes several Spanish phrases. At the end we compared and contrasted the Tooth Fairy and El Ratón Pérez. 

I also purchased Mundo de Pepita's printable book and activity pack. It comes with a cute printable book, storytelling props, tooth posters where you record students' who have lost teeth, certificates, and tooth holders for kids who lose their teeth at school.  

Over the course of several weeks, we worked on the phrases "Tengo un diente flojo" and "Se me cayó un diente."  I wrote the names of any student who could tell me in Spanish that they had lost a tooth.   We also read the book "El diente de Javi" and acted it out using the storytelling props. They LOVED it! 

I also put a little puerta de Ratón Pérez near the door. Students love to get down on the floor and investigate. They say Hola and Adios to him as they leave and it's been a great conversation starter with the older students who have asked me why is there a mouse door on the wall. You can find the door here

This mini unit was also a great introduction to the book Pinta Ratones (Mouse Paint) which we are reading as a review for colors (more on that later!)

Do you teach about El Ratón Pérez? What other culture do you use with your elementary students? Share in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #earlylang!


  1. Thank you so much for this post! I am so touched you mentioned us!!!

    1. This blog is all about sharing ideas and your unit was a great one! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I love your blog - have used many of your ideas during my first year teaching Elem. Span K-4 this year. In a post from March 22, 2014 you mention cards for a game with cards called "Manos Rapidos" Is there an explanation of that game somewhere on your blog?

    1. I don't think I've ever explain it. It's also called matamoscas or in Japanese it's karuta. Students spread the cards out on a desk or table. They put their hands on their heads. The teacher calls out a word and the first student to slap the correct card gets to keep it. I've also played it on the board as well with teams - one person from each team comes up and competes. Hope that makes sense!

      Thanks for reading the blog!

  3. Ok - I do matamoscas too - thanks for the quick response!