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Juanita the Spanish Lobster

Curriculum Guide

Juanita the Spanish Lobster Curriculum Guide
Click on a subject to view its corresponding curriculum guide

Juanita is a Flamenco singer, and her tenor lobster friend is an opera singer.  What is the history of those two genres of music?  Let's find out!



  • Flamenco music is a primarily Spanish genre (the Andalusian folk culture) with roots in many other cultures as well, including Arabic, Jewish, Spanish Gypsy, and Indian.



  • Opera is simply a story set completely to music and song. Characters sing their way through the drama, singing solos, duets, trios, and even quartets and quintets. Opera has a rich history dating back to the late 16th century, and works of music with characteristics of opera (though not in the same form) go back centuries even further.


  • Here is a brief (but still lengthy!) history of opera. This is a very good summary of the development of opera from its earliest roots. Use whatever information you'd like to supplement your learning, for it is a bit dry to use as an actual text unless for older children and teens.


Famous scenes (youtube):

  • E lucevan le stelle from Tosca by Puccini- a beautiful tenor aria from one of Puccini's best dramatic operas, sung by one of the best tenors of all time.


  • Largo al factotum from The Barber of Seville by Rossini- The barber comes into town and sings about how wonderful his life is, and how he is in constant demand.


  • Papageno/Papagena duet from The Magic Flute by Mozart- the bird-man and bird-woman express their love for each other in this fun, "flighty" duet.


  • The Queen of the Night aria from Magic Flute by Mozart- The evil Queen shows her power (and her vocal facility!) in this, her most famous aria.



  • Make dinner an opera adventure! For one meal, sing all of your interaction. "Please pass the butterrrrrrrr!" "Certainly, dear siiiiiiiiister!" Tons of fun and lots of laughs.

  • Here's a fun app for the iPhone and iPad called King of Opera. Compete with other tenors to keep the spotlight!


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  • National Geographic ocean- information, pictures, etc.

  • Ology- a wonderful website with a whole section about Marine Biology, or the study of marine life.



Animal Kingdom:

  • Scientists classify, or group, animals based on what characteristics they have in common. The classification categories (from most general to most specific) are: Kingdom (such as Animals or Plants), Phylum (such as Chordates or Arthropods), Class (such as Mammals or Aves), Order (such as Marsupials), Family, Genus, Species. The scientific name of an animal includes its genus and species, and sometimes subspecies, and is in Latin. Explore the Animal Kingdom with these fun links, games and lesson plans:


  • Here is a clearly presented and fun video from Brain Pop on Animal Classification


  • Sheppard Software has many animal games on their site. Try the animal classification game, and the food web activity among others.


  • Here is a chart of the taxonomy of specific animals.






  • Learn more about Octopuses here. (Octopi is also a correct plural, but not as commonly used.)





  • Bullfighting is a sport practiced in Spain, Portugal, Latin America and even parts of France. Learn more about bullfighting at this website


  • Read the classic children's book, Ferdinand ( 





  • Information including recipes, facts about the country, and castles in Wales.

Language Arts
Language Arts

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  • Spanish vocabulary: Here's a wonderful website with spanish virtual flashcards, complete with audio for pronunciation. Many different categories included! 


Manners- Juanita has spunk, but not much in the way of manners at the beginning of the story! Here are a couple of websites with activities and lesson plans to help teach manners to children.


  • Read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. They are collections of stories with gently, and humorously, taught morals, many having to do with manners. And everyone LOVES Mrs. Piggle Wiggle herself! She's magic, loves children, and always has the right cure for any childhood ailment.


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Seascapes make some of the most beautiful artwork. Many famous artists spent time studying and painting the sea.



  • Deep Sea Sparkle fish and sea projects (this is a fantastic website with many free lessons, and some more intricate ones for a small fee).


  • Spanish painters: Enchanted Learning- information and coloring pages of several Spanish artists.


  • Bartolome Esteban Murillo was a Spanish baroque painter best known for his religious paintings, and paintings of peasants in various scenes and settings.


  • Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter in the Romantic style. He is known for his portraits, and his dark images reflecting the upheaval in Spain at the time. 



  • Picasso: Pablo Picasso was a famous Spanish painter in the Cubist art movement. Cubism, an abstract style of art, was based on a way of seeing people and objects from multiple viewpoints at the same time.


  • Dali was in a movement of art called "Surrealism" which took inspiration from dreamlike images, or subconscious thought, over reason. Have you ever had a strange dream that did not fit reality? What things would you put in a painting or drawing from your dreams? Make a piece of art that would fit the Surrealists' ideal.


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Spanish Music


  • Castanets are used to make a clicking percussive sound in Flamenco music. Here's a website where you can find how to make castanets.   Here is a whole series of videos from Expert Village on how to play castanets. Try it for yourself!


  • The guitar is a very versatile instrument, used in classical music, Flamenco, folk and rock, among others. Here's an article about how guitars work, including a video on how they are made! It also includes an experiment to help better understand how the sounding board amplifies sound.

A few works by well-known Spanish composers:


  • Soleares by Joaquin Turina, for solo guitar.


  • Oriental by Enrique Granados (played by an 11 year old pianist).

  • Just for fun:  Here's "Juanita the Spanish Lobster" in movie version.   Pt 1 , Pt 2


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Volume is the amount of space within, or occupied by, a three dimensional object. It is measured in cubic units.

  • You have a swimming pool that is all one depth. It is 20 feet long, 12 feet wide and 4.5 feet deep. If the water comes up to 6 inches below the top of the pool, what volume of water is in the pool? (volume of a rectangular prism= length x width x height [depth]).


  • Your neighbor has an above ground pool that is cylindrical in shape. It is also 4.5 feet deep throughout and has a diameter of 15 feet. What is the volume of water in the pool if the water level comes within 6 inches of the top? (volume of a cylinder = π r2h where π = 3.14).

  • Symmetry is all around us. A figure shows symmetry when part of it is a mirror image of itself. Think of a human face with a line of symmetry down the middle of the nose and mouth, the shape of a half-gallon of orange juice, or a couch. These things all have symmetry. Animals have symmetry too. Juanita the lobster has a symmetrical body, with the same number and type of claws and antennae on each side. Think of all of the creatures in the story and discuss whether or not they have symmetry.



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