This is a fun activity that can be used with students in first grade and up! This activity focuses on reviewing or introducing colors, animals, numbers and seasons. This is not an identity activity!
Your students each will need to create their own ¿Quién soy? activity. They will need to fill it out, color, cut and glue.
Once your students have finished the activity, collect their work and use only one student’s work at the beginning of your class. Read the sentences and let the rest of the class guess who it belongs to. I recommend doing one or two students per class to build repetition in a fun way. You will see that your students will ask you for this activity the day you forget to do it!
As World Language educators it is hard to find a single off-the-shelf curriculum that fits the needs of each elementary program. Some programs have less frequent class sessions than others, some are required by their schools (or have the wonderful opportunity) to make strong connections with other subjects, some have more heritage speakers in the student population, and so on! It’s also important to shape a program according to the needs and interests of the community. All this is just to make it clear that I don’t offer a set “one size fits all” curriculum for this reason.
I have shifted to using more stories with my students, but I also supplement them with songs, games, crafts, picture books, holidays, celebrations, culture, cross-curricular connections, clip-chats, and other activities. I don’t teach a unit just focusing on weather, days of the week, months, the alphabet, foods, and so on. I include these topics in our daily routine when we do calendar time. The stories focus on high-frequency vocabulary and expressions as well as vocabulary related to clothing, family members, colors, numbers, and more!
These are some of the stories I use by grade level. It might seem like a lot, but the stories themselves have a lot of repetition and recycle a lot of the same vocabulary. This is also based on the frequency and length of time I see my students. I see my kindergarten students in small groups, once a week for 30 minutes and my 1st through 3rd grade students twice a week for 40 minutes each time. I mostly follow the resources in the order presented and sometimes I recycle stories and use them again the following year to refresh some of the vocabulary and high frequency words.
My love for using stories in my classes is never-ending! Read some of the reasons why I use stories in my classes:
THEY ARE FUN AND ENGAGING
When using stories, students always want to know the end of it, so it really keeps them engaged. In my experience, the stories are even more engaging when they are simple and students can follow the plot in the target language.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE ABOUT OTHER CULTURES
You can also bring stories that give students opportunities to learn about other cultures. Make sure to check facts before bringing the story to the class. It’s important to avoid stereotypical stories or overgeneralization.
PRESENT LANGUAGE IN CONTEXT
Stories are perfect to provide “chunks” of language, rather than isolated vocabulary words. Stories present useful language and grammar in context. Make sure the stories you use with early language learners provide enough repetition and use high-frequency vocabulary and phrases.
CHILDREN NEVER GET TIRED OF THEM!
Find different ways to retell the story. You could have your students draw their favorite part of the story, and later you might use their pictures to retell the story.You can add more fun by retelling the story and having your students become active participants in it! This way you are providing repetition without your students even noticing it!
STORIES I USE!
Although these are my own stories, I also include a variety of stories from other authors and cultures:
The first days and weeks of school play an important role in how the school year might go. In this post I have shared a series of practices and strategies I use in my classes.
Find a Signal To Get Your Student’s Attention
I’m a fan of having chimes in different places in my room. I also have them in my bag when I travel from classroom to classroom. Watch the video to see how I use a three-tone chime in my classes. I would love to say that I came up with this idea, but I learned it from an awesome colleague and translated it into Spanish.
Use Call and Response Chants
Yes, sometimes using our chime or clapping our hands doesn’t work! I have found that call-and-responses work magic to get my students’ attention while using the language. Find some that you like and work for your class!
Use Songs As Quiet Reminders and Transitions
Songs are great a way to remind your students what they need to be doing at the moment, especially younger students. You can use songs to remind students to line up, clean up, and so on!
Set Classroom Norms and Expectations
Some teachers like to set their norms prior to the first class, other teachers create them with their students and others piggyback on the norms students created with their homeroom teachers.No matter what you decide, make them simple, talk about your norms and expectation, model them, practice them and also make them part of your everyday routine. If possible place posters in the front of the class to keep them as reminders!
Greet Every Student
If you have a classroom, waiting for your students and greeting them at the door is one of the best ways to set the tone for your class. If you don’t have a classroom, you can still make sure to greet every student in your class. Remember that saying their names when you greet them is important for your students, and also a way for you to remember all their names.
What else would you add to this list? Write them in the comments!
Stories are a great tool to introduce and/or review vocabulary and expose learners to the language in context. When using stories with second language learners in the setting of a world language program, where students only have the language once or twice a week, you have to take into account that you can’t bring any story written for native or heritage speakers. Most of the time these stories are packed with too much language and not enough repetition which can lead your students to frustration. These stories might not be comprehensible enough for them. It’s important to take into account that most students who participate into this type of programs follow under the Novice Proficiency Guidelines by ACTFL.- (Visit link for more info).
¡Hola! I am Carolina, a Colombian elementary Spanish teacher based in Boston, MA. Fun for Spanish Teachers is the result of my passion for teaching Spanish to children and my desire to inspire collaboration and creativity in a vibrant teaching and learning community. It’s the perfect stop if you are looking for songs, games, teaching tips, stories, and fun for your classes.
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.