Teaching ideas for after the holidays
We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed the well deserved break :) We know that going back after time off can be stressful and we want to help you save time and have more engaged students with our Winter unit! This unit has a Spanish song and video created specifically for kids, worksheets in Spanish that are visual and easy to understand, interactive Spanish games and more and we hope that it will help you get back to work with less stress and time dedicated to planning.
1. Start with a Spanish song about winter
Our winter theme has two songs for kids that practice the high frequency verbs like PONER/ESTAR/TENER with clothing vocabulary.
Listen and watch the music video 2-3 times so that students can start to understand the song through the context of the video. Clarify any language doubts they might have and encourage them to sing along to practice pronunciation.
Timbo (the character we created for younger learners) and Friends is a rhythmic poem that uses repetition to review parts of the body and practice high frequency structures. The poem shows how Timbo protects himself against the cold winter weather while his friend freezes part by part… but, don’t worry, it has a happy ending ;)
The song and video El invierno also practice HFS (me pongo, no puedo…, etc.) and clothing vocabulary with Tapón and his friends. It shows what Tapón and his friends do when the weather is bad and they can’t go outside and play.
nce you’ve watched the videos you can choose activities from the worksheet packet for your students to do. There are tons of activities and all ranges of difficulty. The activities include: read and color, matching, comprehension questions and sentence building exercises with easy and difficult versions available. All are designed to practice the vocabulary and sentence structures introduced in the videos in a fun way that students will enjoy and actually remember.
This theme has a picture dictionary and flashcards! Both can be colored while listening to the song to help students remember vocabulary. Then they can be used to play lots of games. We love using flashcards to play memory in pairs, to do ask and swap activities and to play whole class games. To do an ask and swap game, make sure that each student has a flashcard. You’ll need to choose a question for students to mingle and ask. It could look something like this:
A: ¿Tienes frío?
A: Ponte la gorra (the word they have on the flashcard).
B. Gracias/buena idea… (makes the gesture of putting on a hat)
Students reverse roles and repeat the ask and answer series. Once both have asked and answered they swap flashcards and find a new partner. * COVID adaptation: each student has their own deck of flashcards and instead of swapping, they can search in their own deck and use the card their partner previously used in their next exchange.
Some whole class review games we love are:
Hot Seat: Ask for a volunteer to come up to the front of the class and sit with their back to the board. Put a flashcard up behind their back and have students raise their hands and give information about that flashcard. The information can be as simple as telling the part of the body where the clothing goes or miming putting on that piece of clothing. For higher level classes or students, have them create a full sentence. The student in the hot seat has to guess the word/flashcard on the board behind them.
Disappearing flashcards: Put 6-10 flashcards on the board. Give students 30 seconds-1 minute to look at them. Take all of the flashcards down, remove at least 1 and put them back up. Ask students which flashcards are missing.
These interactive games will help your students practice and review what they’ve learned in this unit. There are different types of games (drag and match, memory, and a concept race) and different levels of difficulty. You can play the game as a whole class, in teams or individually on different devices at the same time (with the Teacher or Teacher Pro subscription).
Our short stories are designed to help you easily include a comprehensible input session in your Spanish classes for kids. They are visual, easy to understand and are available in an interactive format and printable version (with and without text). This short story reviews the high frequency structures like “me pongo…”, “tengo frío”, “Está nevando” and more! We recommend reading the story to your students with the printable version before having them work on the interactive version individually. The printable version includes teacher tips, which are super helpful and can save you lots of planning time because they already include questions you can ask your students for each part of the story. After you’ve finished the story, make sure to check out the comprehension games and quiz. In the interactive format these are available at the end of the short story, in the printable version you can print a worksheet for each student.
6. Bring a picture to class (Personal connection)
Making a connection between vocabulary and your students’ lives is a very powerful way to help them remember new language learned. Once you’ve practiced the words and HFS in this unit, ask students to bring in a picture from the winter and describe it as a class. You can start by going through the words for what you see in the picture (clothing, activities, family members, etc) before describing the picture.
We hope these ideas help and if you have any suggestions or ideas please share them in our Rockalingua Teacher group on Facebook :)