On my last post I joked that I was René Colato Laínez’s groupie. I am a huge fan of his picture books and use them in my classroom. Most recently, Señor Pancho Had a Rancho, has been our latest class book/class pet. I tell my students, “We might not have a class pet, but we have a class book!” Every night a different student takes the book home and reads it with their family. Then, they write and draw about it in the shared class journal.
The story premise is quite universal. There is an English speaking farmer and his neighbor is a Spanish speaking farmer. The farm animals make different noises – even though they are the same. This language barrier keeps the farm animals separate until the cows or vacas, both say, Moo! and ¡Muu!
Because most of my first graders are native Spanish speakers, they were familiar with the Spanish animal sounds in the story. Here’s a brief and sweet clip of them singing their hearts out…cha-cha-cha-cha-cha!
At the end, all of the farm animals begin to dance – a universal pass time that brings much joy and happiness to people around the world. My first graders were quick to point out that even though we might look different on the outside, or speak different languages, we are all the same inside; a truth that should be embraced and celebrated.
This book is great fun, with a catchy tune that just makes you want to get up and dance…