5 Speaking focused ideas to teach Spanish at the beginning of the school year

5 Speaking focused ideas to teach Spanish at the beginning of the school year

A new school year is officially underway and with the first week (or few) of classes in the rearview mirror we hope that your energy supplies are still high (…or at least not on empty!) and that you’re feeling good about the start of this school year and the Spanish journey ahead.  We have SO many fun resources that we’re excited about this year and we’re in the process of developing even more!  Today we’re highlighting some of our favorite Spanish resources for kids to kick off the school year with the focus on our students speaking Spanish whenever possible.


1. Introductions


  • Make a cultural connection by exploring the different ways that people around the world greet each other with this video.  

  • Get your students producing the sentence structures from the songs with this adaptable game.  This is how we roll:  As a class, create a list of six questions.  Use the four questions from the song and add two more.  For the extra two questions you can reuse high frequency structures and vocabulary or add new questions making sure to practice the answer before playing.  Once you have your questions, divide the class into small groups.  Give each group a dice.  One student rolls and asks a member of the group the question that corresponds to the number they rolled.  Once the group member answers, the next person rolls and asks a different member the question that corresponds to the number they rolled.  Take turns rolling and asking making sure that the same person doesn’t answer two questions in a row.  Example questions:

1. ¿Cómo te llamas?

2. ¿Cuántos años tienes?

3. ¿De dónde eres?

4. ¿Dónde vives?

5. ¿Cuál es tu color favorito?

6. ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?



2. Beginning of class routine

As teacher’s we’ve all had those moments when we look at the suggested vocabulary list, and while it’s wonderfully diverse, we can’t actually imagine a time our students will use it.  The goal of this theme is to practice high frequency structures like ESTAR, SER and HACER with a mix of vocabulary that the kids will need to use every day in your Spanish classroom.  For example, feelings, seasons, the weather and the days of the week.  Practice in a natural way with the song and video  and printable worksheet that can be filled in during class.


3. Birthday chart

 Have students interact with each other asking ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? Info about how to do this activity in a way that encourages student focused learning here.



4. Use Me gusta

For lower levels it can feel extremely hard to create situations that allow them to talk about something important to their lives.  This high frequency structure is the perfect way to do it.   Plus, it can be used in literally every single unit.  We have many songs and videos that use the structure, but a simple one to introduce it with is colors.  Pass out the flashcards from the theme and have students mingle to ask their classmates if they like the color. 

¿Te gusta el azul?   ¿Mucho o poco?

Make connections with this visual and fun game by Fun for Spanish Teachers. 



5. Establish a clean up routine

It not only ensures that your students will help tidy up after class, but also gives them a sense of ownership over the classroom.  This is OUR space, so let’s keep it clean.  Plus, let’s be honest, it makes teacher’s lives so much easier.  Instead of straining your voice over a roomful of kids practicing Spanish, put on a song/video that triggers that it’s time to tidy up and get ready for the end of class and get them singing along in the target language.  Check out our resources here.


That's all for today.  We hope that you have a wonderful start to the year and we can't wait to share more resources soon!  We'd love to hear your ideas so don't forget to comment below or on our Facebook page.  Thanks for reading along and keep on rocking!