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You know those songs that you learn and just fall in love with? This is one of them. I came across it in one of my textbooks as I was looking for ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month, and I’ve used it every year since them. In this article, we’ll go through this super simple lesson for instruments. It includes movement, instruments, and Spanish. What’s better than that?
You can use it for Hispanic Heritage Month, Cinco de Mayo, while teaching instruments of the orchestra, or any time of year. Because– like I mentioned in the article about books for Black History Month– you can and SHOULD include many different songs and books from many different cultures all year long. Just saying.
Anyway, En la Pulga de San Jose is a Puerto Rican folk song that highlights a few different instruments. I use this every year with third grade, where we really focus on instrument names, and begin talking about instrument families.
By the way, if you’re teaching online, I included this lesson in my book Virtual Music Lessons for Teaching Music Online. It’s available in paperback and ebook!
Want some free resources? Join the FREE Resource Library! After joining, you’ll get access to a library with powerpoints, lyric sheets, quizzes, worksheets, and more! Plus, you’ll get elementary music lessons emailed straight to your inbox to keep the ideas flowing and make lesson planning EASY.
Lesson for En la Pulga
First off, teach kids the chorus. Because it is in Spanish, I typically just teach the words of the chorus. Listen to the beginning, and have students sing along with it.
Next, teach the names of the instruments in Spanish (and in English!) you’ll want to show them pictures of the instruments to help them remember what each one looks like and how to play it.
Add some actions! Listen and sing the song. During the chorus, walk in place or around the room, like you’re “going” to the pulga (market) of San Jose. On the verses, “play” each of the instruments that the song mentions. This song is cumulative, so it will add a new instrument each time,
After singing, talk about each of the instruments. We use this Google Slides activity to allow the students to look at and listen to each of the different instruments via YouTube videos.
Last, pick one of the books below to add to the lesson!
Everything that you need for this lesson (including lyrics, sheet music, videos of each of the instruments, facts about Puerto Rico, and more!) are in this Google Slides lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers. If makes teaching this lesson SUPER easy, because everything is readily available and in one Google Slides lesson.
That is the main part of the lesson, but below are a few optional ideas:
Typically, I’ll use Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin to talk about the names of the instruments and listen to the instruments. I use this Google Slides lesson to talk about the instruments and show a video of some of the instruments. It goes along with the book, so all of the instruments in the book are in the Google Slides lesson.
I use I Know a Shy Fellow who Swallowed a Cello to talk about instrument families. We go through the book, act out playing each of those instruments, and sort the instruments by instrument families.
I have always used this print and go version (perfect for subs), but this year, we’ll be using the digital version.
Need more ideas? I love to use the song Vamos a la Mar with third grade as well. (Click here!)
Have you used this song before? What activities did you use? Let us know over on Instagram! Share your ideas and tag me @beccasmusicroom so that I can see what you’re up to.