Quick, easy game for Spanish class

I was inspired to try this game with my 7th grade class after reading Martina Bex’s great blog about her first unit of the school year. She gave an idea for a “brain break” which is a quick activity that you can use when your kids are starting to zone out.

I’ve been looking for ideas for activities that can be done very quickly because my kids sometimes do need brain breaks. Or we finish what I’ve planned 5 minutes early and I can’t let them go yet, but there’s no time to start something new. I think that this activity will be a great one for those situations.

I call it “Palomitas” which means “popcorn” in Spanish.

To play:

1. I told the kids to all think of a sentence about themselves starting with “Yo quiero...” We are studying querer right now, but I could do this again with any verb. I gave them an example: “Yo quiero un novio.” They all laughed because I had just told them that I wanted a boyfriend. Well…I do! 🙂

2. After they had a sentence in mind, I told them all to stand up. They had to say their sentences one by one in no structured order and then sit down. If 2 kids started talking at the same time, then everyone had to stand back up again and start over. Today I didn’t time it, but it would be really fun to time this as well and see how fast they can do it.

How it went:

They loved it! They were all able to say their sentences and sit down without interrupting each other. I thought maybe it was too easy, but I could tell that they were all looking around the room at each other trying to gauge when would be a good time to speak. They all asked to play again, but class was over and we were out of time. Now that they know how to play, I’ll time it next class and see how fast they can do it. I’m sure that using a timer will create more situations where they’ll start talking at the same time and have to start over. Plus, one of the best parts of the game was that we got 22 more repetitions of “Yo quiero” used in context.


Job interview today!

Today, I am going to Boulder to do a teaching demo for a new Spanish teaching job. For the demo, I have to tell a cuentito in Spanish and use a certain style of teaching that’s called TPR-S. This method is really fun because you teach student Spanish while telling stories and acting them out with ridiculous drama and props. As you go, you ask lots of questions to check for understanding and for the students to hear the language structures repeated over and over.

Here’s my cuentito. Imagine me acting it out ridiculously as you read. 😉

Maria tiene hambre. Maria mira dos manzanas. Maria mira una manzana roja. Maria mira una manzana negra. Maria come la manzana roja.

Maria is hungry. Maria sees 2 apples. Maria sees one red apple. Maria sees one black apple. Maria eats the red apple.

As I tell each line of the story, I ask a lot of questions like this:¿Maria tiene frío? ¿Maria tiene hambre? ¿Maria tiene hambre o Maria tiene frío? ¿Quién tiene hambre?
¿Maria mira dos manzanas? ¿Maria mira tres manzanas? ¿Quién mira dos manzanas? ¿Qué mira Maria?

I hope they like it and they hire me!