Practicing prepositions in kids Spanish classes
One of the greatest difficulties in the transition from physical to online teaching has been the fact that we can’t touch things. We can’t call volunteers to the front of the classroom and have them demonstrate, we can’t pass out flashcards and do an ask and answer activity, and we can’t high five our students when they’ve done a fantastic job in class…although we'd love to see some of the new variations of online or distance high-fiving ;) With all of those typical interactions absent from learning, it’s been incredible to see how teachers have filled the gaps between face to face learning and the new online system. We’ve adapted activities to help students continue to feel connected, we’ve made things more visual, we're giving out virtual stickers, and we’ve really focused on exploring emotions and confronting them to try to make this whole experience easier on our students. Today, we’re going to explore ways that we can use images to practice high frequency structures in Spanish and prepositions of place in online Spanish classes for kids (or in person!). These activities are designed to use online, but can easily be adapted for in person classes.
Visual images have become such an essential tool in language learning. They are so adaptable and help students interact with the Spanish language in multiple ways at the same time. A great way to use them is to display an image on the whiteboard or on your computer screen/shared screen and use it to search for objects representing the vocabulary you want to practice. You can have your students hunt for colors, things, or practice prepositions of place! If you’re going to practice prepositions of place in Spanish you can introduce them with this song and lyrics page. We also have a music video to practice the prepositions!
Listen to the song before going through the meaning of the lyrics with the visual lyrics sheet. Make sure to listen to the song three times and try to get your students/kids singing along in Spanish. Once you’ve practiced the prepositions you can reinforce them by having the student choose an object and getting them to put the object in positions that reflect the different prepositions. You can model first and then have the student copy you.
Use the prepositions of place in Spanish to describe a picture. We have a ton of fun pictures, especially in our new short stories in Spanish series that you could use as a teaching resource for this activity or you can choose an image that uses vocabulary the students already know or are currently practicing. The target language is the prepositions, with the added bonus that you’re practicing other vocabulary and sentence building in Spanish. Display the image and start by asking the students a question. For example:
You can start by ask simple yes/no questions for the students to answer:
¿El dinosaurio está a la derecha de Timbo?
¿El sol está debajo de Timbo? Está entre Timbo y el dinosaurio?
And move onto more difficult questions:
¿Dónde está el dinosaurio?
¿Dónde está el sol?
You can expand on this idea by having your students bring a picture that has personal meaning to them to class (they can also send you one to share on the screen) and either using it to ask the class to describe it or have the student describe it to the class. Some of our favorite pictures that our Spanish students have brought in are the ones focused on pets ;)!
Take it even further by doing a listen and draw activity! Make sure to reveiw the prepositions and any vocabulary you'll be using before you start the activity. This activity works well with our resources Animales y la granja. You can start by working with the picture dictionary. Have the students color the pictures and practice pronunciation. You can ask them questions based on the picture dictionary. For example:
¿El corral está al lado de del árbol?
¿La valla está detrás de la huerta?
¿El granjero está a la derecha de la granjera?
¿Dónde está el establo?
¿Dónde está el burro?
Once you've practiced the farm animal vocabulary and reviewed the prepositions you can dictate a short description of La granja and have students draw on a sheet of paper or in their notebook. You can use the La granja picture from the picture dictionary, adding animals to the farm. For example:
*Have students start in the center of the paper
1. Hay un establo.
2. Encima del establo hay un gallo.
3. A la derecha del establo hay una huerta.
4. Detrás de la huerta hay un espantapajaros.
5. A la izquierda del establo hay un arból.
6. En el arból hay un gato.
7. Enfrente del establo hay un granjero.
This is a great time to remind students that their drawings don't have to be perfect. If time is an issue, you can put a timer for how long they have to draw each part of the description. You can easily tranistion this into a speaking activity by having them dictate the drawing back to you/the class. You can expand upon it by having them create their own drawings and dictating them to the class.
We hope these ideas can help make your life easier and as always, we'd love to hear how you're using Rockalingua in your Spanish classes! Let us know in the comment section below, on our Facebook page or in our Rockalingua Teacher Group on Facebook :) Have a great week and enjoy the music!