05/12/2017

Months of the year in Spanish

Whether you’re wrapping up the school year, planning for a summer camp, or already thinking about next year’s Spanish class topics, the months of the year (los meses del año) is one must-have lesson plan for every Spanish teacher.  Learning the months of the year is a necessity for all beginning levels (kids to adults) and can be incorporated into class with some of these dynamic ideas.  

Introduction:  The months of the year (los meses del año)

How you start your lesson sets the stage for how students will view the material in the future.  Does it capture their interest? Are they excited to learn?  A great way to reach young learners or students with a lower level is through music.  Our song, los meses del año, introduces the 12 (doce) months of the year in a fun and natural way that inspires the class to get involved.    

 

Want to spice it up a little?  Do the movements to the Macarena while listening to the song - the kids will love it and the combination of the language with a physical movement helps reinforce memory, especially for kinesthetic leaners!  Once students have learned the song you can turn off the music and practice speeding it up and slowing it down.  You can even make it into a class competition like these kids have done.  

Ordering (pair/group work)

Divide the students into small groups or pairs and give them each a set of cards with the months of the year on them.  You can cut up the worksheet from above and laminate the cards to use in the classroom or make an activity out of it by asking the students to create their own cards by coloring and cutting out the images.  After you've prepped the cards, ask your students to put the months in order.  Here, you can refer back to the song used during the introduction or ask students to do it from memory.  As students work together encourage them to speak the words out loud, practicing pronunciation.  After they have decided on an order, correct it as a class, taking the time to correct pronunciation errors.     Have your students mix up the cards again and put them back into order listening to your pronunciation.  After a few practice rounds you can time them to see which group is the fastest.  Make sure that the group that finishes first practices saying the order aloud to the class.

Another interactive way to practice the order of the months is by building this train.  

Worksheets and writing:

Once the topic has been introduced and the students have had a chance to work with the different words it's important to practice their written langauge skills.  Matching images with the words helps reinforce word association while also working reading skills.  

 

Through a series of short texts accompanied by visual images we can practice the topic through reading and writing.  As always, students can work through at their own pace before checking their answers with the person next to them.  When students work together or check work, we have to remind them to speak in Spanish!  Even if it's a low level, it's important to reinforce the habit of speaking. 

 

Speaking activities to practice the months of the year:

1. Pass to music: 

This low-prep activity focuses on one of the most difficult skills when learning a foreign language: oral production.  The goal of the game is to create opportunities for students to speak and interact with one another in a natural way.  Ask the class to get into a circle.  Give them a ball (or anything you have laying around the classroom) and explain that they will be passing it around while listening to a song (you can choose a Spanish song that you like or one that you’ve previously used in class).  When the music stops, the person with the ball has to answer the question: Cuando es tu cumpleaños?  (When is your birthday?).  If you’re working with kids or adults at the very beginner level it’s okay if students can’t form a full response, but if you’ve already practiced numbers this is a fantastic opportunity to use them.  After the students get the hang of the activity the teacher can limit their own participation in the game by asking the student with the ball to choose another student and ask the question (as the teacher did before).  

2.  Class Calander:

Another way to practice speaking is by polling the class and filling in our birthday worksheet with each classmates name. The worksheet has the 12 months of the year and a space below where students can write the names of their classmates who have a birthday in that month.  Students rotate around the classroom asking and answering the question. 

Student A: Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?

Student B: Mi cumpleaños es el 16 de abril.  

 

 After collecting data, you can expand upon the activity by creating a giant classroom birthday calender!

Combining the months of the year with other topics:

If you’ve already practiced the seasons, check out some of these fun ways to practice associating the months of the year with the weather and possible seasonal activities.  

 

Thanks for tuning in- we'd love to hear about how you use these activities or others in your classroom.  Please feel free to commment below with any questions or new ideas.  

Happy teaching!

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