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Designing a Lotería Deck with your class. Celeste LeTard Williams NEH Summer Institute for Teachers Oaxaca, Mexico. What is this game called Lotería ?. It is a Mexican game of chance similar to Bingo Lotería cards are marked with an image, a number and a word, but the number is rarely used

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Designing a loter a deck with your class

Designing a Lotería Deck with your class

Celeste LeTard Williams

NEH Summer Institute for Teachers Oaxaca, Mexico

What is this game called loter a
What is this game called Lotería?

  • It is a Mexican game of chance similar to Bingo

  • Lotería cards are marked with an image, a number and a word, but the number is rarely used

  • Lotería decks traditionally have 54 cards

  • In Mexico, beans are used as markers for cards

A loteria game
A Loteria Game

  • There are 8 to 10 tablas (bingo cards) in a set

  • There is a deck of 54 calling cards

  • There is often a set of plastic markers… or you can use beans

  • There is a set of rhymes or hints for calling out the cards

How to play the game
How To Play The Game

Great book for introducing the topic – click on the book for link

Just ask your students
Just ask your students!

  • Each player gets a tabla (game card) or two

  • Everybody needs markers (there are some that come with the game – or use beans)

  • One person is appointed as the caller (he or she does not play a tabla)

  • Sometimes bets are placed in the center of the table – winner takes all!

Calling the cards
Calling the cards

  • The easiest way to play is for the caller to just call out the card names as he goes through the deck. Most people play this way.

  • The other way to call is to make up riddles or rhyming clues to hint at the card being drawn. This is the way we want to play.

Traditional loteria clues spanish speakers help please

El gallo (The Rooster)

“El que le cantó a San Pedro no le volverá a cantar”

El diablito (The Little Devil)

“Pórtate bien cuatito, si no te lleva el coloradito”

La dama (The Lady)

“Puliendo el paso, por toda la calle real”

La pera (The Pear)

“El que espera, desespera

El sol (The Sun)

“La cobija de los pobres”

El mundo (The World)

“Este mundo es una bola, y nosotros un bolón”

El nopal (The Cactus)

“Al nopal lo van a ver, nomás cuando tiene tunas”

El alacrán (The Scorpion)

“El que con la cola pica, le dan una paliza”

La rosa (The Rose)

“Rosita, Rosaura, ven que te quiero ahora”

traditional loteria clues(spanish speakers: help, please…)

Traditional loteria clues rough translation

El gallo (The Rooster)

“He who sang to St. Peter will not sing”

El diablito (The Little Devil)

“Be good, or you will meet the little red guy”

La dama (The Lady)

“A polished step for the royal way”

La pera (The Pear)

“He who waits, despairs”

El sol (The Sun)

“The blanket of the poor”

El mundo (The World)

“The world is a ball, and we are a mob”

El nopal (The Cactus)

“You see the cactus when it bears fruit”

El alacrán (The Scorpion)

“He that stings with his tail can be crushed with a blow”

La rosa (The Rose)

“Rosita, Rosaura, I see you now”

traditional loteria clues(Rough Translation)

The meaning of the riddles
The Meaning of the Riddles

  • Most of the “clues” given by the caller in a loteria game do not seem to make sense, however…

  • Some of them rely on puns, some on words that rhyme with the image on the card

  • Others use references that are more recognizable to native speakers of Spanish from Mexico

  • If one plays enough games, the clues become instantly associated with the card images

Bingo great review tool
Bingo! Great review tool!

  • The application of verbal clues is what makes Loteria a great substitute for bingo…

  • With enough practice, the students will associate words or pictures with verbal cues

  • Unlike traditional Bingo, students are also given the creative opportunity to write a riddle or pun or clue

Here s how to win
Here’s how to win

  • There is no free space ;-)

  • Fill four spaces across or down, but not on the diagonal

  • A four-square cluster is okay, as is filling the four corners

  • For a change, you can play “black out”

  • When you win, yell out “Loteria!”

Applications in the classroom
applications in the classroom

  • To review the important resources and symbols of a country, state, city, or culture

  • To review the characters, setting, themes, and symbolism in a novel

  • To illustrate a special theme, such as drug awareness or school spirit

Literature application
Literature Application

  • Great science fiction read

  • Lexile is 6th grade, but concepts are very complex

  • Covers everything from drug wars to socialism to cloning to El Dorado to….

  • Perfect for creating a loteria

House of the scorpion
House of the Scorpion

  • I asked my 8th grade students to choose an image from the book and draw a picture of it

  • The image could be a scene, an idea, a reference, a character, a place – many choices

  • The following cards were submitted by my students, and I played around with the images in Adobe Photoshop

  • Each student received a set of finished cards for review

An example of a cultural themed loteria
An Example of a Cultural Themed Loteria

A mola is a sewn image produced by the Kuna Indians, who live in the San Blas islands of Panama

To know more, see:

Panama mola loteria
Panama Mola Loteria

  • Using the traditional card titles for most of the deck, I found images from molas to represent the rooster, the lady, etc.

  • I also included images native to the San Blas Islands culture, where the molas are made

  • Some examples include: a medicine man, a harpy eagle, a flag, a breadfruit, etc.

  • This method makes the deck a unique representation of this culture

Artist s loteria decks
Artist’s Loteria Decks

  • At the end of this presentation is a reference list of designer loteria decks

  • You may refer students to these sites or print a few sets out and put them up in your class

  • These may serve as inspiration to your students as they design their own cards

How to begin
How to Begin

(These cards are from a deck I am designing with vintage images)

First teach your unit
First, Teach your unit

  • I am lucky enough to teach a block of Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies

  • I can parallel Social Studies units with relevant fiction and non-fiction reading selections

  • The final activity involves knowledge of the material studied, as well as ability to express an opinion in writing

  • Students are required to use information learned to develop their loteria cards

Using your bulletin board as a mind map
Using your Bulletin Board as a “Mind Map”

  • When my class is reading a book, I post relevant vocabulary on my bulletin board

  • I also provide illustrations and articles for better understanding of unknown concepts

  • When it comes time to create the loteria, I post many artist-created loteria decks from my collection to provide inspiration

The loteria is about mexican culture
The Loteria is about Mexican Culture

  • I may have my students play a few games of loteria, especially if I have other students in my ESL class that are not familiar with the game

  • Most of the objects in the deck represent (or used to represent) things and ideas encountered in everyday life

  • Since the roots of the Loteria are Spanish in, those objects are tailored to that culture, but the pictures are recognizable, regardless of language

Break it down
Break it Down!

  • I make copies of the deck and have them cut them out and place the cards in categories.

  • The next thing we do is to break up into groups and look at the individual images of the loteria

  • Ask the students to put the objects into categories or common groups

  • Provide groups with a glue stick and paper or graphic organizer to make it easier to make connections

It s not all fun and games
It’s not all fun and games

  • After the big build up, it is time to explain the assignment

  • Choose a theme or a topic and create a loteria game with images and clues (rhymes)

  • This will serve as either a final project and/or a review device for a final exam

  • You decide how to administer the assignment – it does NOT have to be in Spanish…

  • Warning: Planning is needed to prevent overlap of images and ideas

Level one
Level One

  • This level is pretty easy and suitable for all ages

  • The idea is to allow the student to create any image he or she likes, as long as it is relevant

  • There should be a writing component, if possible: Perhaps a paragraph explaining why they chose that object

Highland park elementary
Highland Park Elementary

Students in Austin,Texas that created loteria cards

Or you can take it up a notch
Or, you can take it up a notch…

  • In this case, the students cannot create just any image they want

  • They must analyze the subject matter and create a card that is relevant to the theme or culture

  • If it is a story, then it can be a character, concept, vocabulary word, or something else relevant to the plot or setting

Gone with the wind
Gone With the Wind

What cards could you make with the images below?

(The Spanish is for fun!)

La Bandera?

La Sirena?

El Catrin?

La Dama?

La Hacienda?

Los Soldados?

El Valiente?

It s all about analogies

Traditional Images

Mexican Flag

A Violin

The Macho Man

The Deer

A Star

The Rooster

The Lady

A Bean Pot

Apache Brave

Australian Theme

Aussie Flag

A Didgeridoo

Steve Irwin

A kangaroo

Southern Cross

A kookaburra

The “Sheila”

The “Barbie”

The Aborigine

it’s all about analogies

Take it even farther
Take it even Farther!

  • The student explains in a paragraph the relevance of the image to the topic or story theme

  • The student is responsible for writing a clue or riddle for the card(See links for writing riddles

  • Puns may also be used – as they are in many real loteria clues!

  • Have your students share their loteria with other classes or display the cards on a bulletin board or in the library

R u b r i c

Online loteria examples
Online Loteria Examples

  • - many great examples *warning: mature images on one loteria…

  • - great loteria with explanations of chosen images

  • - Los Angeles Loteria series

  • - Loteria de la muerte – featured at Plaza Santo Domingo

  • - Loteria workshop software

  • - loteria de mola (Cuna art)

  • - quilt loteria

  • - blog, links to loteria designs on cafepress, etsy, etc.

How to write a riddle
How to write a Riddle

  • - pre-writing

  • - Flash interactive

  • - Writing couplets

Artes de mexico series of adivinanzas riddle books
Artes de Mexico series of adivinanzas (riddle) books

  • Adivinanzas mexicanas: See Tosaasaaniltsiin, See Tosaasaaniltsiin

  • Adivinanzas mayas y yucatecas: Naat le baala paalen: Adivina esta cosa ninio

  • Ka’yu ta kutu’a kun Ñuu Savi. Adivinanzas en mixteco. La lengua de la lluvia

  • Zazan tleino: Adivinanzas nahuas de ayer, hoy y siempre

These books are translated into 5 or 6 languages – great ideas!

Other useful websites
Other Useful Websites

  • - online riddles in Spanish

  • - online riddles in English

  • - create your own bingo cards with pictures and clues!