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¡Vamos a Leer! Tops and Bottoms (Spanish Version)

 The handout and discussion questions are in Spanish. Instructions are in English.


Children will learn the name of one vegetable which grows above ground and one which grows below ground.

NOTE: This lesson is for children three years and older.


Optional:One 8 ½" x 11" piece of brown paper.

Activity 2:
The vegetables shown in the book: carrots, radishes, beets, lettuce, broccoli, celery, and corn. If possible, get vegetables with leaves and roots attached.



  • Contact your local library. Find out if Tops & Bottoms is available. If it is not, get a list of books on nutrition for children from one to five years of age.

  • You may want to put a copy of the book in your WIC lending library for clients to use.


TEACHING TIP: You can read a book in English to Spanish speaking preschoolers. They are learning language rapidly and will benefit from the experience.

Spanish speaking mothers also learn from hearing an English book read aloud. The repetition of food names in English will help them to learn words. The simplicity of a child's story and its illustration with pictures will increase their understanding of the language.



1. Show the children the drawings inside the front cover of the book. Tell them the name of the author/illustrator. Ask them questions like:

  • ¿Qué ven en la cubierta del libro?

  • ¿Qué están haciendo el oso y el conejo (la liebre)?

  • ¿Qué creen que sucederá en el libro?

You will need to tell them that liebre is another word for conejo.

2. Show the children the inside of the front cover of the book. Ask them questions like:

  • ¿Qué ven en los retratos?

  • ¿Alguna vez comen alguno de estos vegetales?


3. Show the children the picture on the title page of the book. Show them the part of the plants that grows on top of the ground. Then point out what grows below the ground. Tell them that this is the bottom of the plant.

You may want to cover the bottom half of the picture with a brown piece of paper. The paper will represent the soil. This will show the children what the growing plants look like to them.

4. Pick one activity to do in class with the children.

Activity 1:

As you read the book have the children act out the story. You may read them the story once and ask them to act it out on the second reading. Or you may have them act it out during the first reading.

To act out the story, the children can pretend to be the bear sleeping, the hares working or other characters in the story. To get started, ask them to:

  • Demuéstrenme cómo se acostarían, si ustedes fueran el oso que está durmiendo.

  • Demuéstrenme cómo la liebre saltó hasta la casa del oso.

  • Demuéstrenme cómo crecen los cultivos.


When reading the book to children without having them act out the story, ask them questions such as:

  • ¿Qué creen ustedes que es una liebre?

  • ¿Conocen a alguien que cultiva plantas?

  • ¿Alguna vez ustedes han cultivado alguna planta?

  • ¿Por qué las liebres quieren cultivar plantas?

  • ¿Alguna vez han arrancado mala hierba?

  • ¿De qué color son las zanahorias? ¿Los rábanos? ¿Las remolachas?

  • ¿Cuáles son las plantas de "abajo"?

  • ¿De qué color es la lechuga, el bróculi, y el apio?

  • ¿Qué los hace ser de los de "arriba"?

  • ¿De qué color son las plantas de "abajo"?

  • ¿Toman ustedes agua como lo hacen las plantas?

  • ¿En qué parte de la planta creció el maíz?.

  • ¿Comen ustedes vegetales?

  • ¿Cuáles vegetales de los que vimos en el libro les gustaría probar?


The children may take the discussion into new directions.

Activity 2:

Read the book to the children. Ask them the questions listed above on this page. Show children the vegetables the hares grew. If possible, show them the whole vegetable with roots and leaves attached. Let the children touch and smell the vegetables.

As children look at the vegetables, find their pictures in the book. Topics to discuss include:

  • ¿Es este vegetal de los de "arriba," de los de "abajo" o de los de "en medio"?

  • ¿De qué color es el vegetal?

  • Cuál vegetal quiere comer cada niño?


5. Activities to do at home:

Pass out the attached "Let's Read at Home!" sheet. Here is a further explanation of the sheet so that you can discuss it with parents.

"1. Pídalo prestado en la biblioteca local. Léalo nuevamente con su niño. Pasen tiempo juntos viéndolo y hablando del libro."

Encourage parents to read to their children as a way to spend quality time together. Add Tops & Bottoms to your WIC lending library.

"2. A medida que cocina y come vegetales, platique con su niño acerca de cuáles vegetales crecen arriba y abajo de la tierra. Pregúntele a su niño si las liebres cultivaron los mismos vegetales en el libro de Tops & Bottoms (Los de arriba y los de abajo)."

Relating daily experiences to what the child reads will make reading important. The fact that the hares in the book ate vegetables will also encourage children to eat vegetables.

"3. Use la página adjunta que se titula "Las tarjetas de los de arriba y los de abajo." ("Tops and Bottoms Cards")."

To use the sheet at home, first cut it into four cards. Have children the put the cards in the order of the story. If the child puts the cards in the wrong order, the parents can retell the story to the child. Or, if the parents have the book at home, they can read the book to the child again. The child can correct her mistakes. The important thing is that the parents encourage the child in their efforts, not whether the child is right or wrong.

"4. Hable acerca de los vegetales que las liebres cultivaron."

Pídale a su niño que dibuje un vegetal que quiera comprar en el supermercado. Lleve consigo el dibujo cuando vaya de compras al supermercado. Haga que toda la familia junta coma el vegetal. Hable acerca del hecho que su niño escojió este vegetal.

Letting the child select a vegetable will encourage them to eat it. Relating her choice to the book will reinforce reading.

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Last updated January 5, 2011