Speaking activities you can add to any kids Spanish class!
If you’re reading this, you’ve made it through the crazy month of October and the beginning of November holidays! ¡Felicidades - sois campeones! The fall holidays are such a great time to mix culture and language to get your kids excited about coming to class, but we know that they can also take a toll on us teachers. Now that we’re in a bit of a lull before more holiday celebrations ensue and in need of restored energy levels, we want to share some of our favorite speaking activities and games that you can use in your Spanish classes for kids to ensure a student centered learning approach. For us, the best part about speaking activities is that when they’re planned well, they allow for the students to produce the target language and take the spotlight off of the teacher. From the sideline the teacher can then circulate and monitor the language being used, providing feedback during or after the speaking practice. On top of that, if it’s something the students are interested in, it creates a natural environment for them to speak Spanish.
Here are some of our most flexible and favorite activities that can be used with any of our Rock A Lingua teaching resources for children, especially the flashcard sets that you can find in the picture dictionaries section!
Ask + Answer + Swap
We all know how difficult it can be to explain a new activity and how it can students a few tries to really understand the task and complete it well. That’s why we love activities that can be repeated with different themes and a few small changes, without reinventing the whole game. The slight variations in vocabulary cards and high frequency structures/target language helps keep the game fresh, while the similarity to previous times played helps make explanations easy and short. You’ll need a flashcard for each student in the class and you’ll to decide on the structure you want to practice. For example, if you’re working on colors you could have students color in the flashcards before laminating them. Elicit the target language you want to practice from the class and write it on the board for reference during the activity. A very adaptable and fun high frequency structure to practice is me gusta. Practice by giving each student one vocabulary card and having them find a partner. They then must ask their partner: Te gusta el rojo? (or a different color depending on which vocabulary card they have). Once both students have asked and answered they swap cards and mingle to find a new partner to ask the same question and repeat the same process with.
Here are some ideas for high frequency structures that are easy to practice with Ask + Answer + Swap activities:
¿Te gusta/n…? / Sí me gusta/n. No me gusta/n. (fruits, colors, animals, transportation, hobbies)
¿Tienes… / Sí tengo… No tengo… (clothing, school supplies, family members, parts of the house)
¿Quieres…/ Quiero…No quiero… (clothing, fruits)
¿Necesitas…? / Sí necesito… No necesito… (school supplies, clothing)
¿Ves…? / Sí veo… No veo… (school supplies, colors, clothing)
¿Comes…? / Sí como… No como… (fruits, food in the seasons unit)
Veo, Veo traditional + variations
This no-prep game is a winner with all levels and can be used to directly practice vocabulary (colors, school supplies vocabulary, etc) or as a warm-up or end of the lesson “fun” activity. You can keep it simple by choosing an object around the room and having the class ask simple questions about it. Es rojo? Es grande? Es una silla? Or skip the questions and get right to the guessing using the vocabulary you’re practicing.
But, the best part about this oldie, but goodie is that you can also mix it up and play by projecting an image that has the vocabulary words you want to practice on the board and choosing something inside the image that the students have to guess. If you’re practicing city vocabulary, put up an image of a city. If you’re practicing family members put up a picture of a family tree. You can also change the questions/information to fit the theme and level of the class. Keep it super simple by having students make guesses directly or make it harder by allowing the class to ask questions before guessing.
Another variation is to put flashcards up around the room and to play with the vocabulary on those flashcards either by making guesses or asking questions about what you see. Don’t forget that after you play, make sure to turn the role over the students and let them be in charge of the game.
Find someone who… Encuentra a alguien en clase que…Busca alguien que…
Get your students up and mingling to find out information about their classmates. Like the others on this list, this activity can be adapted to fit the vocabulary you’re teaching and the sentence structures you want to target. Before starting, create a list of information that each student should be looking for. As the teacher you can do this ahead of time and print out a list for each student (or put it in a BINGO card!), or to make it no-prep you can do it in the moment with the class by eliciting the information and writing it on the board. If you do it in the moment make sure to have each student copy down their own list so that they can keep track of who they ask the question to and what the answer is. You can easily use it to practice likes/dislikes, clothing (Encuentra a alguien en clase que lleva una camiseta blanca), school supplies (Busca alguien que tiene dos lápices), or family members (Busca alguien que tiene dos hermanos). Before you let the students get started asking and answering, make sure to review how to form a question and practice changing the statements into questions so that they can use the target language correctly.
This is how we roll
This activity can be used with the song ¿CÓMO TE LLAMAS? / WHAT’S YOUR NAME? or adapted to fit any of the other vocabulary you’ll find in our Spanish songs for kids. As a class (or in pairs/individually) create a list of six questions using the vocabulary and language structures you want to practice. If you’re using it as a follow-up to the What’s your name? song you can use the 4 questions from the song and add 2 additional questions. Practice asking and answering by calling on a student and having them answer a question. Assign each question a number and divide students into pairs or small groups. Give each small group a die. They will take turns rolling the die and asking the question that corresponds to the number they’ve rolled. Once they’ve asked and answered, the next student rolls and asks a different member the question that corresponds to the number rolled. Take turns rolling and asking questions, making sure that the same person doesn’t answer two questions in a row and that everyone in the group has a chance to participate.
Questions related to the topic ¿CÓMO TE LLAMAS? / WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
¿Cómo te llamas?
¿Cuántos años tienes?
¿De dónde eres?
¿Cuál es tu color favorito?
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
Questions related to the topic FAMILY MEMBERS
1. ¿Cuántos hermanos tienes?
2. ¿Cómo se llama tu mamá?
3. ¿Cuántos años tiene tu abuelo?
4. ¿Cómo se llama tu primo?
5. ¿Cuántos primos tienes?
6. ¿Cómo se llama tu abuela?
That's all for today. We hope it helps you get kids speaking in your classroom and really enjoying the process of learning Spanish (and teaching Spanish!). We’d love to hear what you do to get your students speaking so let us know by commenting below or on our Facebook page. Until next time, thanks for reading along and keep on rocking!