Aguacate has to be one of the most fun movement games my students enjoy! The great thing about this game is that it can be played with any grade level and at any time during the school year. It doesn’t require a lot of preparation—just a few vocabulary flashcards and a picture of a silly clipart avocado jumping, and that’s all! I have blogged about this game in the past, so if you need instructions and more cards for the game, I recommend that you visit the post.

This game is so much fun that it deserved a summer version! And of course, I don’t expect my students to know all these words. The first few times we play the game, I usually ask my students to repeat after me, and we all jump and say “Aguacate” together when the picture of the aguacate comes up. For this version, I added a set of vocabulary flashcards just in case you want to introduce them before playing the game.

Ready to play the Aguacate summer version? Click here or on the picture to download it!

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I recently came across a post by the Comprehensible Input Classroom featuring a special guest, Benjamin Tinsley, discussing Map Talks. I love how he suggested having a script ready for the Map Talk. Although I’ve been using Google Earth™ for this purpose with my students, I never considered providing a script to guide our conversation. Typically, I engage my students in quick Map Talks, prompting them to guess temperatures in different parts of the world. Following their guesses, we virtually explore pre-selected locations to ensure the images spark curiosity among my elementary students.

Benjamin recommends changing the language to the target language in Google Maps™ by clicking on the three lines, then selecting the target language. Ben also recommends starting with your school community first if it’s your first Map Talk. I find this genius! I encourage you to check out Benjamin’s Map Talk and explore his blog for more insights and ideas to bring to your classes. Although he teaches high school French, much of what he shares can be adapted for different grades and proficiency levels.

When using Google Maps™, you can explore different layers to view the map. I personally love using the Global View and Satellite map types because, in my opinion, they provide more details.

After completing your community-focused Map Talk, consider broadening your horizons. I extend an invitation to explore Cali, Colombia—a city nestled between breathtaking mountains. Here are some of the questions you might ask during your Map Talk:

  1. Vamos a visitar Colombia.
  2. Colombia está en América del Sur.
  3. La capital de Colombia es Bogotá.
  4. Los colores de la bandera de Colombia son el amarillo, el azul y el rojo.
  5. El idioma oficial de Colombia es el español.
  6. Colombia celebra su independencia el 20 de julio.
  7. En Colombia hay ciudades grandes y pueblos pequeños.
  8. Una ciudad importante en Colombia es Cali.
  9. Cali está en el suroccidente de Colombia.
  10. Cali es una ciudad entre montañas.
  11. Cali es famosa por la salsa. A muchas personas les gusta bailar salsa en Cali.
  12. En Cali hay muchos lugares especiales: (these are some landmarks you can type in Google Maps and explore) El Museo del Oro de Cali, El Zoológico de Cali, la Biblioteca del Centenario, y el Barrio San Antonio.

You can also show the map and talk with your students about words they might already identify, and what things they can find in the city.




As an elementary Spanish teacher with limited class time, finding ways to keep students engaged and motivated is key so we can get the most out of our time together, and as a teacher, I’m able to support and facilitate their language acquisition journey better.

Here are some useful tips to keep your students’ motivation going:

Understand the age group you are teaching

I highly recommend the “Yardsticks” book by Responsive Classroom, which outlines developmental traits and interests of children according to their age.

Understand the proficiency level of your students

This will help you develop goals that support their acquisition journey. Visit the ACTFL website to download the updated Proficiency Guidelines.

Make sure that your activities support the different modes of communication

Remember that students acquire language at different paces and that in one class you might have students who are at different proficiency levels. Including activities with different communication modes ( Interpersonal, Interpretative and Presentational) will reach out to different students.

Connect with your students

Building a strong teacher-student bond should extend beyond the initial weeks of the school year. Continuously engage with your students by learning about their interests, hobbies, and family celebrations, and incorporate these aspects into your lessons. Bring topics that are relevant to their age group too!

Use Comprehensible Input

Students need to be able to understand the language, but also the language have to be challenging to support and help students move beyond their current proficiency level.  Not only comprehensible input but also compelling! Making sure that the input is interesting for the students. Visit Dr. Stephen Krashen’s website to read more about comprehensible input. You can also explore comprehensible input strategies and methods in this post. 

Use Stories

Stories are super useful for teaching languages because they make learners feel things, give them real-life situations to learn from, show them how people actually talk, help them connect emotionally, and demonstrate different ways to use language. All of this makes learning easier and more comfortable. After listening to stories, students can act out scenes or pretend to be characters, which keeps them interested and involved.

Use Games

Bring games to your classes, especially non-competitive games .Explore options like memory games and bingo, which integrate vocabulary, phrases, or story sentences. These activities are easy to set up and can even be tailored to your students’ preferences. Movement-based games like Four Corners and A mí también add an extra layer of fun. Additionally, Total Physical Response (TPR) games such as Follow the Leader, Simon Says, and Charades are highly effective for language learning.  Find different types of game in this blog!

Have fun!

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There are different alternatives to the regular or commonly used Valentine’s Day activities. One of them is to invite your students to think about what fills their hearts and brings joy. This heart mapping activity has been designed with novice proficiency levels in mind but can certainly be adapted for other levels by prompting students to delve deeper into their thoughts and either write or present their reflections.

Students are prompted to create a visual representation of their inner world, mapping out the aspects that bring them joy and love. It serves as a personal exploration of the diverse aspects of one’s life and the connections we might have.Through engaging in this activity, students can reflect on what matters to them and express gratitude for the relationships, activities, and experiences in their lives. This activity offers an opportunity to celebrate love in all its forms!

To bring this activity into your classes, you’ll first need to download the template here, Additionally, be sure to bring along your own example to share with your class. As language teachers, it’s important to model the activity for our students to facilitate comprehension. After presenting your model, a suggestion would be to brainstorm the different components of the activity with your students. Once you have done this with your students, invite them to work on their own heart activity. The results will make it a wonderful product to share with caregivers and the school community.

Con cariño,

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Resources Available on Teachers Pay Teachers










This has to be one of the most engaging activities that I have used with my early elementary students. With the support of technology, I have animated their drawings, and this has consistently surprised them each time we reach this point. I followed the steps below:

  1. Asked my students to make a drawing of one character using a pencil. I also instructed them to trace them using a black pen and then add color.
  2. Digitalized their drawings by taking pictures or scanning them.
  3. Used the website Animated Drawings to animate the drawings.
  4. Downloaded the videos.
  5. Created a presentation using Canva, with one slide displaying the drawing and the next slide showcasing the animations.
  6. During class, projected the presentation and asked the illustrator or owner of the picture some questions about it (name, favorite color, favorite animal, and fruit) to create their personalities. Typed their answers.
  7. While in Canva, searched for pictures to support the answers.
  8. Clicked “Present” on Canva, and read aloud the information about the character.
  9. Revealed the animation.

This activity has been great for asking questions and having my students respond to them. Since I only focus on one character per class, it provides repetition in a fun way. This requires low preparation since I only digitalize and animate one character before each class, taking about three minutes. It’s worth the giggles and joy!