Letters to Santa Claus are as much a part of Christmas as decorating, twinkling lights, and frosted cookies. However, the tradition in many Hispanic countries is to send your petition for presents to The Three Kings—or Los Tres Reyes Magos—whose celebration takes place on January 6. For an enjoyable writing activity that’s also seasonal, here is how your students can craft their very own cartas a los Tres Reyes Magos during the month of December.
Just as in English, letters in Spanish begin with a greeting before the main body paragraph. Ask students what greeting they would use in English. Depending on their age, students may be unfamiliar with more traditional letter writing, but many will know that you use “Dear” to address the receiver. Let them know that Querido is the equivalent in Spanish, remembering that now is a good time to remind them of noun-adjective agreement. Since there are multiple recipients being addressed here, the correct form would be Queridos.
As a class, brainstorm what to include in the main paragraph of the letter. Draw on students’ experience of writing letters to Santa Claus and what information they would tell Santa. Students will need to use their past knowledge of how to introduce themselves, describe themselves very basically, and state likes/dislikes and what they want. For novice students, it might be necessary to provide a writing template.
For the final paragraph, remind students to say thank you to the Reyes Magos for reading their letters and to use an appropriate farewell. Again, it might be helpful to go over the types of phrases students would use in English first.
By Kelli Drummer-Avendano