Teaching different types of transportation in Spanish class
As adults we come to identify the different modes of transportation with convenience, inconvenience, time spent commuting and the need to get from one physical location to another. But, remember back to a simpler time before we HAD to get somewhere in a hurry, when the different types of transportation were something magical, new, and captivating. When we’re planning our Spanish classes for kids on modes of transportation we try to travel back in time, capture the excitement we felt learning about trains, planes and automobiles, and bottle it up to bring to class with us. We like teaching the transportation unit because it’s fast, exciting for kids, and it’s a fun way to teach Spanish vocabulary and simple sentence structure through a theme that they are familiar with. So, here we go!
We’re going to take a look at how we use some of our materials in the classroom and how we combine them with ideas from other sites. Transportation is a great topic to teach because we have a wide array of resources that cater to all different types of learning styles and can be used in different ways - making your life easier. We have videos, songs, worksheets, a picture dictionary, flashcards and an online game that all cover the transportation vocabulary, travel related vocabulary and use simple and memorable language. If you’re not familiar with what have to offer, here’s a quick look at our resources to teach medios de transporte.
It’s no secret that we love videos. They combine all of our favorite things: music, Spanish language, and visual clues to help your young learners understand and remember in a natural and fun way.
Video and speaking practice
1. A mí me gusta viajar video works the vocabulary associated with the different types of transportation (en bici, en barco, en coche) and uses the simple sentence “A mí me gusto via viajar en….”. By using the sentence you’re teaching your students how to use the targeted language in context instead of just palabras sueltas. You can build on the video by asking your students what their favorite form of transportation is or by doing a class survey. Class surveys are great for follow-up speaking activities and use the target language, but in a freer way to practice the vocabulary and help develop fluency. Form the questions you want to ask as a class and make sure that they are written on the board for reference during the activity. Have the students interview each other and make a note of the answers. We usually like to have them ask 3-5 of their classmates before reporting their results. When reporting results we work the third person conjugations of the verbs and make a note of the results on the board so that we can know what the class likes as a whole.
2. Spanish words transportation video by Spanish Playground
Videos that teach vocabulary words in Spanish make our jobs so much easier as teachers. Videos that have real-live images from Spanish speaking countries are just the icing on top. The combination of simple sentences, Spanish vocabulary, colorful images and the question and answer segment all create an atmosphere that invites kids to participate in the learning experience and use the language. If you’re looking to expand on the topic, you can find free printable activities to accompany the video here.
Practicing reading, writing, and vocabulary
Reading, writing, and spelling are essential to building a strong foundation in a language. While it might not be as flashy and “easy” as singing along to a song or watching a video it can’t be overlooked. These worksheets make practicing the less attractive skills more exciting with funny drawings, different activities, simple questions that can be answered for a more personal experience, and they can all be colored while completing them. You can get them for free here.
While working on the worksheets it’s nice to have some Spanish music playing in the background. You can check out our selection of songs, where you can find the song from the video without any images.
Picture dictionary and flashcards
For ways to use flashcards in your Spanish classes, check out our post on flashcards and find the flashcards and picture dictionary here!
Picture dictionary and flashcards: travel vocabulary and modes of transportation
High-tech games and activities
1. Online game: Types of transportation
Play as a whole class or individual players, to review, to practice, or as a quick time-filler activity
2. Sopa de letras for the whole class or to be played individually
3. Guess the sound
This video is a compilation of sounds related to different types of transportation. Play it and have your students write down their guesses on a sheet of paper. Check the answers with a classmate before going over them as a class.
Make it younger learner friendly: Put visual prompts on the board (flashcards or printed images of the different types of transportation) and ask them to touch the type of transportation they hear.
Kahoots are a great way to get kids reading and responding with energy. You can play individually or in small teams and the best part is that once you prepare it you can sit back and watch your students enjoy the game. If you don’t have time to prepare a Kahoot, check out the already prepared and shared online quizzes made by other users.
Low-tech games and activities
1.Collaborative comic strips
Comic strips are a fun way to get your students thinking about the langauge in a functional and natural way. Have them work on the comic strips in groups and encourage them to speak in Spanish (or Spanglish) while working on the plot. You can decide what direction you want to the story to take (for example: They want to go on holiday, they have a problem with transporation, they use # modes of transportation, etc) or you can have it be a freer activity and tell the students that they can decide the details as long as they involve different modes of transportation.
After students have finished the comics (this will take some time considering it’s a collaborative project and also asks the kids to use their imagination) you can have the groups present their comics before posting them around the room where after the activity is finished the other groups can view them.
1. You could take the types of transportation and possible destinations and write them on slips of paper for groups to choose out of a hat. Whatever modes of tranpsort they choose, they must use in their story.
2. Instead of each group sharing their own comic you could collect them and randomly pass them out so that each group has a comic that is not their own. They could then either write a story based on what they see or directly explain to the class what they see.
Make riddles for the different types of transportation for the students to guess the answer. You, as the teacher can make a few example riddles and then depending on the level and abilities of your class, ask them to make some riddles either individually or in groups. Each riddle can be accompanied by artwork and can be displayed around the room when you’ve finished the activity.
We love this activity because it was designed to be used on a car trip to keep kids entertained, unplugged and using Spanish langauge. It's free, printable, visual and can be used to play Bingo in the classroom.
FOR YOUNGER LEARNERS
If you have very young learners and you’re looking to teach in a project based learning style about the different modes of transportation this website has a completed plan titled Proyecto didáctico para la etapa de educación infantil: Los medios de transporte which includes loads of fun and active examples that can be used together or separately.
Thanks for reading along with us, and as always, we'd love to hear from you here or on our Facebook page. Keep rocking!