Saturday, December 3, 2016

La noche de las velitas

Need a holiday craft that is culturally relevant? How about La noche de las velitas in Colombia? I got the idea for this from Fun For Spanish Teachers. December 7th is a special night in Colombia. People light candles, put out luminaries, party with friends and families, and set off fireworks. It's the start of the Christmas season. It also makes for a fun and interesting cultural lesson.

La noche de las velitas lesson (takes three 25 minute lessons):

You will need - paper bags, glue, scissors, tissue paper, crayons or markers, LED tea lights (buy some here on the cheap!), La noche de las velitas reading exercise and La noche de las velitas worksheet.

1. In the first 25 minute class have students complete the La noche de las velitas reading exercise using RallyCoach. 

2. In the second class have students start their farolitos. I had the  La noche de las velitas worksheet already in their folders so for their bellringer they had to get it out and get started. Then they glued the completed sheet to a paper bag. 

3. Once students have their worksheet glued to their bag they drew an easy shape on the front of the bag. They open the bag, punch through the middle of shape with their scissors and cut it out. With a glue stick they put a LOT of glue all around the edges of their shape on the INSIDE of the bag. Then they took a piece of tissue paper, inserted into the bag, and pressed it into place. Finally they decorated around the cut out shape with crayons.

I might have gotten bored after a few classes & started making Dr. Who themed farolitos.

4. In the third class, students got 10 minutes to finish up their farolitos. Then we passed out las velitas, turned off the lights, and sang along to Mi Burrito Sabanero and Feliz Navidad. At the end they returned my candle, but took their farolito (with the information about what La noche de las velitas is glued to the back) home to share with their families.

My helpers turning on las velitas and getting ready to pass them out.

My students really enjoyed learning about this tradition and it was a good way to redirect all that extra holiday energy into something fun and cultural. How do you teach winter celebrations in your class? Share in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #earlylang!


  1. Can you send me the worksheet...the link on this page is not working. This is a great idea...thanks for sharing. You are awesome.

  2. Hi - you didn't leave your email so I couldn't send it to you but I did update the links so they should work now. Thanks for reading the blog!