Skills Building: Playing Loteria (PK-5)

Written by René Colato Laínez

Pre Reading Questions

  1. Think of a time when you were in a place where you felt different from those around you. How did that feel?
  2. Do you have friends or family members that speak a different language from you? If so, how do you communicate with them?
  3. How would you make yourself feel comfortable in a new place?

Post Reading Questions

  1. Why did the boy tell his mother that he did not want to go by his Abuela’s house?
  2. What steps did he take to become more comfortable spending time with his grandmother?   
  3. What did the little boy and the grandmother learn from one another? How do you believe he felt once he learned more Spanish?
  4. What do the boy and the grandmother have in common? How are they different? Have you ever learned from someone who is different from you?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Loteria Cards (Pre-K-5)

Overview: In Playing Loteria, the little boy and his grandmother spoke different languages but learned to communicate with one another and to celebrate their differences. In this activity, students will create Loteria Cards to celebrate the beauty of the Spanish language and build appreciation for our differences. 


● White cardstock (Loteria Cards). Download template.
● Markers
● Crayons
● Scissors
● Liquid glue
● Glitter
● Paper towels or paper plate
● Hole punch (for display)
● String (for display)

Duration: 35 minutes

● 3 minutes: Explain activity
● 2 minutes: Student select Loteria Card
● 10 minutes: Color card
● 5 minutes: Clean up #1
● 5 minutes: Glitter cards
● 5 minutes: Clean up #2
● 5 minutes: Reflect


  1. Before activity, print Loteria Cards on white cardstock and cut the paper in half. Each student should have at least one card.
  2. Gather students at tables. Remind them of the Loteria Cards they learned about in “Playing Loteria,” and how there are thousands of languages spoken around the world.
  3. Explain the activity and expectations.
  4. Pass out Loteria Cards and let students select which card they would like to color.
  5. Lay out markers and crayons. Encourage students to use both for their designs.
  6. Students will color the entire card, leaving no white within the card. 
  7. Next, students will use scissors to cut out their card.
  8. If students finish quickly, give them the option of creating a second card.
  9. Clean up and put away markers, crayons, and scissors. You may want to move outside to complete the next section, if possible.
  10. Place the Loteria Card on a paper towel or paper plate.
  11. Using liquid glue, have students draw around the different shapes and places on the card where they want glitter.
  12. Sprinkle the glitter over the areas with glue.
  13. Shake off the card and set to dry.
  14. Clean up the area, making sure to throw away all excess glitter.
  15. Gather students together to reflect.


Note: To display the cards, punch one hole in each top corner of the Loteria Card. Use a string or piece of yarn to weave through the holes and hang.

Reflection Questions

  • What did you enjoy most about this activity?
  • How can you communicate with someone who speaks a different language?
  • How can you become friends with someone who speaks a different language?
  • What commonalities did you notice in your friends’ cards?
  • What differences did you notice?
  • Do you know anyone that speaks a different language that you would like to get to know better? Who?