Teaching about different places in Spanish
Summer is [insert every incredible adjective here!]. It’s a time for moving, playing, exploring, traveling, seeing, touching, tasting, and experiencing. As educators we take a (much deserved) break during the summer from our typical workload, but do we ever truly disconnect? We don’t know about you, but we are constantly seeing things that remind us of our students and Spanish classes and gathering inspiration for the upcoming year. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing - we love our jobs! Just, highlighting that it’s not just a job, but a way of life. That being said, this summer we tried to disconnect by reading, traveling and taking time to rejuvenate by doing all of the activities we don’t normally have time for during the year.
Alas, now it’s August and we’re back in teacher mode! Today we’re exploring the theme of talking about different places in Spanish. Our latest song looks at the differences between rural living and city life and we thought it would be fun to mix and match it with some other activities we know and love. Here’s a list of fun ways you can practice teaching about different places in Spanish class this school year.
1. The city
Our latest song features simple and natural language that highlights some of the key differences between living in a city and living in a town or more rural area. The sentences are easy and can be used for any level. Use the song with the free printable lyrics and drawing pages.
2. Create a map of the city
With possibilities for beginners to advanced level this ELE map found on Profe De Ele is a great addition to any unit on city vocabulary/directions. You can use the colorful map to work simple question formation:
¿Dónde está el/la…? ¿Dónde hay un/una…?
or make it more difficult by adding directions, prepositions of place, and city related vocabulary (coche, semáforo, edificio, tienda, parque, paso de peatones...), or vocabulary related to shops and shopping.
For higher levels have each student use a game piece, moving along the map and having interactions in the places they stop.
For more ideas look here!
“el mapa Ciudad ELE. Un mapa que da mucho juego y con el que podréis hacer casi de todo con vuestros estudiantes, sean del nivel o de la edad que sean.”
3. Lugares que te interesan
This map activity is similar to the one listed above, but also includes a section on places that interest the students. We are big fans of working the language verbally and love any and every opportunity to get students interacting with one another. For lower level classes you can keep the language simple and have them conduct a class survey to see how many people are interested in each place located in the city. For higher level classes you can go more in depth by reminding your students to ask why each of their classmates is interested in going to that place. As with the other map you can also work directions, prepositions of place and a wide range of related vocabulary.
We also like that this map is based on a Spanish city, Valencia. That provides a way to mix culture and language learning. Do you use map activities from other Spanish speaking countries? If so, we’d love to hear about them!
4. Prepositions of place (song + video + lyrics + drawing)
5. Exploring your own town/city
One of our teachers used the city unit to help her students get to know the city they lived in. They identified the most important monuments in the city, looked at the different neighborhoods and zones, and finished the unit by drawing a picture of the city hall and learning about the mayor. The school is taking on project based learning and at the end of the project the students went out to explore their city, reviewing everything they had learned and appreciating the field trip as a reward for a job well done.
- For lower level/younger classes you can keep this simple and visual by asking each student to bring in something about the city. You can have students present what they bring to the class in informal mini presentations. Once you’ve compiled a list of what’s available in your town/city create a wall-sized drawing of what the city has to offer making sure to label each part and if posible providing some written information about the most important sections.
- For higher level classes you can have your students create organized tours of the city making sure to provide relevant information, brochures and lists of must see places for future tourists visiting your area.
Thanks for reading along with us. As always, we’d love to hear what you do to teach about different places and how you mix it up with your own cultural tidbits. Feel free to share below or leave us a comment on our Facebook page! For those going back to school in early August, best of luck, and for those of you still soaking up the last rays of summer - Enjoy!
Until next time, keep on rockin'!