Spain Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: April DeBord

April has taught Spanish and English as a Second Language and she has her Ed. S. in Foreign Language Education.

Let's learn some facts about Spain! It is a beautiful country located in southwestern Europe. The people and culture of Spain are unique and vivid. It's possible that your life has been influenced by Spain and you didn't even know.

Spain

Spain sits between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Spain shares borders with Portugal and France. The capital is Madrid. Within Spain, you can find mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, deserts, farm land, vineyards, olive trees and forests, which shows the diversity of the climate.

Because Spain is so far west in the time zone, in the summer the sun may not go down until 10 pm! This is one of the reasons for the famous midday nap in Spain called a siesta. People go home to eat a light lunch and rest before returning to work in the afternoon. Children in Spain go to school from 9 am-12 pm, come home for a few hours, then go back to school from 3-5 pm. Spanish families eat dinner at around 9 pm.

Europe and Spain

Spain is known for so many other things too. Here are a few:

  • Bullfights
  • Flamenco music and dancing
  • Museums
  • A food called paella, which is a rice dish made with a spice called saffron
  • Tapas, or small dishes served like single appetizers
  • Beaches
  • Festivals, like the running of the bulls and La Tomatina (a festival where everyone throws tomatoes at each other)
  • Fútbol, also known in the United States as soccer

La Tomatina, Tomato-Throwing Festival
La Tomatina-- tomato throwing festival

Culture and History

From the influence of the Roman Empire to the Moorish influence in the south of Spain, the country has a rich culture and history spanning hundreds of years.

Spain was once part of the Roman Empire, therefore Spanish has strong roots in the Latin the Romans spoke. Roman influence can be seen in the north, where Roman bridges and the Roman aqueduct of Segovia still stand. Most Spaniards (94%) consider their religion to be Roman Catholicism.

Aqueduct of Segovia
aqueduct of Segovia

The Moors were conquerors who came from Africa in the 8th century and they contributed a lot to education and impressive architecture, like the Alhambra. In 1492 the Christians pushed out the Moors to regain control over the southern part of Spain, ending in the reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, who then helped Christopher Columbus go to the new world.

The Alhambra in Granada, the South of Spain
El Alhambra

In 1516, a family called the Habsburgs began to rule in Spain. This is when the country of Spain started to take shape. The 1930's brought a civil war that killed 500,000 people and established a dictator named Francisco Franco, who ruled until his death in 1975. Spain then became a democratic nation, though they still have a king and queen, Felipe and Letizia.

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