I named this post “An Activity for the First Weeks of Spanish,” but in reality this activity can be used any time during the school year. This activity is wonderful to get to know a little bit about your students, to make connections, and have fun! It has been adapted from an activity by Responsive Classroom called “Just Like Me.” Sometimes it’s used in the faculty meetings in our school as an ice breaker. I love how simple it is!
I called my Spanish adaptation “¡A mi también!” The first time I played it in my classes I made a PowerPoint with about 20 slides of different things I thought my elementary students would like. I also added a funny slide that I knew would make them laugh. For example, one of the slides says “Me gusta Justin Bieber” which for the second graders was awesome, but not so much for the fifth graders. We all sat in a circle and I read the slides one by one. Any time a student identified with the slide she would jump up and say “A mí también” and then go back to her sitting position. Sometimes it was just one student jumping and other times five students jumping at a time. The rule is that they have to jump and say “A mi también” at the same time. You can also make your students stand up if you feel that it’s safer for them.
Download a copy of the game HERE and get ready to play in class!
While playing this game, my students wanted to stop at each slide and talk about their favorite ice cream flavor, if they had pets, what kind of pets they had, and more! The first day I used the activity we didn’t make it past the 5th slide. Once we finished playing with all the slides in the PowerPoint, I had my 4th and 5th graders write one sentence using “Me gusta/Me gustan…” for them to get more ideas of what they could say when playing the game the next time. We then played the game with the cards they had written.This game has now become one more brain break in our class, and the children no longer have to write sentences to think about what they want to say in the game. It comes naturally!
As Valentine’s day approaches, we are looking for activities and ideas to use with our students. There are few moments in the classroom to use phrases like this one and Valentine’s day is giving us a great opportunity to put language into context. This short and simple song will help your students learn two simple phrases that they can use at school with their friends or at home with their families. Te quiero, Te quiero, Tú eres mi corazón. Te quiero, Te quiero, Tú eres mi corazón.
After teaching the song your students can practice colors with this fun freebie that includes a memory game and coloring pages. Download the free game and coloring pages HERE!
It’s amazing how many free resources for learning and teaching languages are available at no cost. Many of these websites can be used during class with your students or as support to your program at home. I recommend, however, that you take the time to explore the sites before using them with your students or recommending them to your students’ parents. Here are the ones I have found are suitable for the elementary level.
This is a simple idea to keep track of all the games and songs you teach during the school year. I use different containers and baskets for each grade level. I use clothespins and glue happy faces on the top to make them cute and give them some character. I use permanent markers to write the names of the songs and games we’ve learned during the school year. You could do this during the school year and gradually add the clothespins to the basket.
I use this idea at the beginning of the class as a warm up, for game day, or simply to end a unit. Before using this activity I collect all the props necessary for each game or song: bingo, memory games, balls, or any material needed to make this happen.
Playing the game
I do this in two different ways. Sometimes I just call a volunteer to pick a random clothespin. I also have the class sit in a circle and then pass a ball in the circle while playing music. I close my eyes while stopping the music, and whoever has the ball at that time will choose the activity from the basket.
To keep track of the games and songs we’ve done, I just place the clothespin on the top of the container just as you see it in the picture below.
Give it a try, and you will be amazed to see how much you have done with your classes.
I grew up playing this game in Colombia and had tons of fun with it. I recently used it in a unit on clothes with my second graders. We have played the game outside when the weather is nice, and we’ve also played the game in the classroom with a wolf made out of felt. The children enjoy each of the versions – indoor or outdoor.
The game is simple, just pick a wolf and have everyone else sit in a circle. The wolf will stand up in the middle of the circle while the rest of the class chants.
I made the props for the song using felt (see picture below). We use it to dress the wolf while singing the song. My students love it!
Class: Juguemos en el bosque mientras el lobo no está. ¿Lobo estás? Lobo: Me estoy poniendo los pantalones. Class: Juguemos en el bosque mientras el lobo no está. ¿Lobo estás? Lobo: Me estoy poniendo el chaleco. Class: Juguemos en el bosque mientras el lobo no está. ¿Lobo estás? Lobo: Me estoy poniendo el saco. Class: Juguemos en el bosque mientras el lobo no está. ¿Lobo estás? Lobo: Me estoy poniendo el sombrero (or sombrerito) Class: Juguemos en el bosque mientras el lobo no está. ¿Lobo estás? Lobo: ¡Sí! Y salgo para perseguirte / ¡Sí! Te voy a comer / ¡Sí! Corre
Spring has finally arrived, what a great opportunity to review colors!
During class I counted paper flowers with the children, went over the colors, and introduced the word “mariposa” (butterfly). I displayed the flowers in the room and hid the butterfly under one of the flowers while the children covered their eyes. I then asked a child in the class to take two turns trying to find the butterfly, while the rest were chanting, “Mariposa, mari, mariposa, mariposa ¿dónde estás?” The child looking for the butterfly had to say “¿Aquí está la mariposa?” and the class responded “Si, allí está la mariposa” or “No, allí no está la mariposa”. I always model these kinds of sentences before and during any game.
You can find more animals for the children to find under the flowers.
You can write numbers on the flowers and have the children ask “¿Está debajo del 10?” or “¿Está debajo del 2?”