Spanish Teachers Activities, Games, & Lessons

July 1, 2009 · Posted in spanish speaking activities · Comment 

Students and language learners of each and every age love to have fun with Spanish.  Get them using Spanish the fun way with our new book.

We finally did it!  My parnter Diane and I got our first, hard copy booklet of activities, games, and lessons for Spanish and all language teachers. Each activity is explained and spelled out from materials, time, to clear instructions.  They’re also tied to the ACTFL (American Council of the Teachers of Foreign Language) standards and 5 C’s.

Anybody can use them; not just teachers.  Take a peak and have some fun with literally any area of Spanish: vocabulary, conversation, content areas, grammar, and verbs.

Click here for Middle School Madness: Cooking Up Foreign Language Games.

Enjoy.  You can get a downloadable copy too.

Spanish Vocabulary Summer Fun

June 11, 2009 · Posted in spanish speaking activities · 1 Comment 

Summer is here, or ya llegó el verano! Nothing is better for teaching Spanish vocabulary than getting out doing, seeing, and touching the vocabulary itself.  So, go to a park after you review and practice the following Spanish words.  Older or more advanced students can describe the pictures in Spanish or use them to narrate or write sentences, paragraphs, and even stories in Spanish.

Spanish Summer Fun Vocabulary

  • the park= el parque
  • the swings= los columpios
  • the jungle gym= la trepadora
  • the sand = la arena

Use the bright picture flash cards to teach or practice more summer Spanish below.

summer fun picture flashcards

El Verano

El Verano

Spanish Outdoor Activity- Un Picnic

Mayo brings us weather beautiful enough for a picnic, and a Spanish-speaking, Mexican style picnic at that.  The family picnic is a cultural institution in Mexico, and weekend family picnics are often multi-generational with abuelos (grandparents), tíos (aunts & uncles) and bebés.  Picnic y la familia go together like tacos and salsa.  Try a Mexican style picnic with some Spanish sprinkled in with friends, family, or students.

Teaching Tip & Spanish Material:  Introduce each item from the Mexican picnic with its Spanish name such as la naranja for orange.  Then ask learners to identify it by pointing or touching it.  Vocabulary is taught best with the real item, or a picture of it.  The visual and tactile support of a real orange, for examples, lends so much to the learners.  A delightful, simple bilingual book for foods is Mi Comida.

So here is some familia review:

Spanish Family Members: Pairs

  • abuelos = grandparents
  • papás= parents
  • hijos= children
  • nietos= grandchildren
  • tíos= aunts & uncles
  • primos= cousins

Conversation Fun

¿Quíenes van al picnic? Who is going to the picnic?

Mis abuelos, mis papás, mis tíos y mis primos van al picnic.

¿Qué traes para el picnic? What are you bringing for the picnic

Yo traigo . . . . I m bringing.

Spanish Mother’s Day Make a Card

May 6, 2009 · Posted in spanish speaking activities · Comment 

El Día de la Madre is fast approaching this weekend.  Mothers in the Spanish speaking world are honored too, and what better way to add a unique spin on a card than in a second language?

Mother’s Day Spanish Greetings

Happy Mother’s Day=  Feliz Día de la Madre
Thank you for everything =   Gracias por todo
I Love You  =  Te Quiero
I Appreciate You A Lot  =  Te aprecio mucho
You’re the Best Mom in the World  =  Eres la mejor mamá del mundo

Any level of speaker can use one of the phrases above to personalize a card.  Have fun, diviértate, and she’ll love it.

Click here for a Beginner’s Spanish Make a Card Template

Teaching Spanish to Elementary & Preschool Learners

May 1, 2009 · Posted in Preschool Spanish · Comment 

Children soak up the sounds of Spanish quickly, and they can then say them accurately and with enthusiasm, and often real gusto. But, young learners don’t have a firm foundation in reading & writing their first language.  They also aren’t developmentally ready to read a vocabulary list, memorize it, and then use it in grammatical phrases.

Teaching children Spanish requires some tried and true techniques. When Spanish is presented and experienced appropriately, they literally sing it, remember it, and reproduce it.

Teaching or Practicing Spanish for Young Learners
When a consistent order is followed like the one below, the little ones respond so well.

1.    Use care-giver speech, or the motherese mothers use to preschoolers.
2.    Teach only 4-6 new words or 1-2 phrases per 20-30 minute lesson..  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.
3.    Present vocabulary with a picture or the real object, realia.  Describe it over and over again.
4.    Play age appropriate games with the vocabulary visual or realia
5.    Teach a song or a chant with the vocabulary or basic phrases. Repeat it a lot and have the learners do so too.
6.    Time  allowing, have learners color a Spanish labeled coloring sheet according to your Spanish directions. Do  the simplest of crafts based on the vocabulary

Click here for a list of Spanish lessons & activities

Spanish House Vocabulary-Las Partes de la Casa

La casa tiene un techo, unas ventans, y una puerta.

La casa tiene un techo, unas ventans, y una puerta.

Teaching and learning la casa, or the house, is so much fun for all. La Casa is such a visual, tactile part of everyday life that all Spanish learners enjoy it and respond so well to learning it’s vocabulary.  Ideas and designs for house visuals abound within you, so let your creativity go.  Hands-on activities with la casa are also easy to create, so go for it.  Here are some parts-of-the-house Spanish vocabulary, creative ideas.

Spanish Parts of the House Vocabulary

  • La casa     The house
  • El techo    The roof (ceiling too)
  • La ventana    The window
  • La puerta    The door
  • El jardín    The garden/yard
  • El garaje    The garage
  • El patio    The patio/porch
  • La chimenea    The chimney (fireplace too)

Spanish Vocabulary Activities

  1. Assemble a house with construction paper shapes: a triangle, a square, a rectangle, a smaller rectangle, and several small squares. (Fantastic for reviewing shapes & colors too) After vocabulary has been presented, ask learners in Spanish to place the shapes in the appropriate places to create a simple casa of shapes.  They can use glue sticks to connect pieces.  Older learners can label each part in Spanish.  This casa is now perfect for lots of listening and oral practice.
  2. Drawing and labeling. Older students can draw a house that the teacher describes in Spanish, or they can create their own with the designated house parts.  They then label the Spanish parts, and describe them using colors and shapes.
  3. Partner drawing & labeling. Partner A describes a house in Spanish to Partner B who then draws it and labels it. Older students love describing a wacky house for their partner to draw.  Each partner then needs to describe the house they’ve drawn in Spanish.

Las Partes de La Casa Song

Unas Partes de la Casa
(Some Parts of the House)

**to the tune of “She’s Coming Around the Mountain”
Una casa tiene el techo, las ventanas, y la puerta
Una casa tiene el techo, las ventanas, y la puerta
techo, ventanas,  puerta, y jardín
techo, ventans, puerta y jardín

Una casa tiene el garaje, el patio, chimenea
Una casa tiene el garaje, el patio, chimenea
Garaje, patio, y chimenea
Garaje, patio, y chimenea

English Translation
A house has a roof, windows, and the door
A house has a roof, windows, and the door
Roof, windows, door, and garden
Roof, windows, door, and garden

A house has a garage, a patio, chimney
A house has a garage, a patio, chimney
Garage, patio, chimney
Garage, patio, chimney

Spanish Earth Day- The 3 R’s. Las Tres R

April 21, 2009 · Posted in Preschool Spanish, Spanish Vocabulary · 1 Comment 

Earth Day, el Día de la Tierra, just has so much for Spanish learners!  A great start is with the three R’s of Earth Day, Reduce, Reuse, and Recylce. Reducir, Reutilizar, y Reciclar.  (**SEE THE FREE SPANISH EARTH DAY COLORING SHEET LINKED BELOW)

Back to Basics: Alphabet and Phonics

Going over the Spanish alphabet, el alfabeto, can never hurt.  The sooner learners recognize and then learn the relationships of the Spanish letters to the Spanish sounds, the better. Spell out each R word and then pronounce or even chant them.  Have contest of who can spell an R word the quickest, or say all three of them the quickest.

Spanish R’s

It’s obvious that the rr in Tierra gets the tongue roll, but a good emphasis on an r tongue roll for r’s at the beginning of words is important too.  The tongue gets a work out on el Día de la Tierra.

Here is one of my tongue twisters:  La cebra corre en la sierra.


Free Spanish Winter Spanish Vocabulary

January 9, 2009 · Posted in Middle School Spanish, Spanish Vocabulary · Comment 
unas gorras, unos guantes, y una bufanda.

unas gorras, unos guantes, y una bufanda.

Ah, the winter blahs and that firsts rough week of school, especially for Spanish I students.  Winter, or el invierno, is an excellent time to review, practice, or learn clothing items in Spanish.

Vocabulario: la Ropa para el Invierno

  • la gorra= knit hat
  • la bufanda= the scarf, or muffler
  • los guantes= the gloves
  • el abrigo= the coat
  • la chaqueta= the jacket
  • las medias= the tights
  • el suéter- the sweater

Click here for a Spanish I clothing unit with a story for grades 6-12.

Click here for a Spanish winter coloring pages with vocabulary.

Speaking Spanish-Beijing Olympics Geography Activities

July 28, 2008 · Posted in spanish speaking activities · 1 Comment 

China-Datos interesantes

Ready to be in the know about China before the Olympics?   Geography is tailor made for learning another language!  Here are some basic facts, or datos básicos, about China.

Learn, practice, and use each table of facts at your own pace.  Younger learners should stick to a fact-table a day.

Lesson 1- lección 1

El continente/the continent


El país/the country


La capital/the capital


La población/the population


Los idiomas/the languages


Now, use the fill-in the blank sentences below to use Spanish. Make sure to read them, write them, and then try to memorize them.

China está en el continente de                 .  La capital de China es      

              .  La población es                .  Los idiomas son                              .

Lesson 2- lección 2

Montañas importantes

Important mountains


Ríos importantes

Important rivers



Important lakes



Important oceans



Los montañas importantes de China son                                                 .  Los ríos importantes son                                            .  Unos lagos son                              .

See the kids Asian geography book below; you’ll be amazed at how much you can understand due to COGNATES-words that a similar between languages.  Stay tuned tomorrow some more fun facts on China in tables.

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