If you don’t know the “Running Dictation” activity, this link has a great explanation about it. This game is a variation of the Running Dictation. I call it “Telephone Dictation” just to give it a new name, but I am sure someone else has adapted it too. I have used it with third and fourth graders, but I am sure it works with upper levels as well.
You will need:
Five pieces of blank paper.
A chair or a place to put the sentences.
Five or more sentences.
I divide my classes in groups of three or four. Each group gets a clipboard, a pencil, and five pieces of paper. Then I instruct them to sit in a line. I place all the materials in front of the line. I also place a chair with with 4 or 5 sentences at the end of the line. I recommend not using more than 5 sentences with lower grades.
The student who is at the end takes a sentence and reads it to the student sitting in front of him/her. Then that student whispers the sentence in the ear of the next student. They keep passing the message along until it makes it to the student at the front of the line. That student takes one of the pieces of paper and writes the message. When that student is done, he goes to the end of the line, takes a new sentence, and it starts all over again. I ask the student at the end of the line who is reading the sentence to crumple it up once they are done reading it.
Once they are all done with the sentences they have to get together to organize them and make sense of them. Taken together, the sentences usually relate to a story or book we are reading in class.
Are you ready to try this activity in your next class? Let me know how it goes!
“Color colorcito” is a simple tag game that my kindergarten students love! In fact, they ask for it almost every class! I am still trying to understand why they love it so much, as it is just so simple. I have also used it as a brain break with my 4th and 5th grade students, and they have had the same exciting reaction. I don’t play as often with the older grade levels because we play it indoors in my classroom, where littler bodies have more space.
Before playing the game, it is important to state the rules clearly. If playing it indoors, you might want to ask your students just to walk fast instead of running. I like playing in my classroom because I have so many colorful things in the room, and it makes it exciting for them to have so many options for the colors. I also need to remind them that they need to be careful with the posters, and any art I have in the room and our classroom library. Once the game is over, I ask everyone to check the room and help to make sure everything is how it was before playing the game.
I am lucky that I see my kindergarten students in groups of 8 which makes it easier to keep things under control. That being said, I have also played with my 18 fourth graders and 21 fifth graders and so far we haven’t had any collisions yet. Fingers crossed!
How to Play The Game
There is not really that much preparation, but I like to project slides on the board with the names of the different colors in Spanish, just in case any of the students forget how to say a color.
Pick one student to be “it.” That student will have to say “Color colorcito” followed by a color in Spanish. Students walk fast around the room looking for that color to touch to be safe. The “it” student will try to tag a student who is not touching the color. Then this student becomes the new “it” and the game starts all over again.
I typically play this game for no more than 3 or 4 minutes. It’s a good, quick brain break where everyone gets to participate and move a lot!
Are you ready to try it in your classes? Let me know in the comments how it goes!
You might like this resource on Teachers Pay Teachers:
As far as I know, this game is only played in Colombia, but I am sure there are other variations in other parts of Latin America. I have been using this game as an energizer in my 4th and 5th grade classes. My students have really loved playing this game. I thought it would be great to share this with other teachers here.
In preparation for this game, all you need is a space where your students can sit in a circle and an object to pass around. I use a small ball made of fabric. I try not to use anything that will bounce off their hands because then it becomes a distraction for the students.
Students sit in a circle. Choose one student who will close her eyes and will be the one chanting “tingo….tango.” The children in the circle will be passing the object while she chants “tingo, tingo, tingo…” as much as possible. When the student who is chanting “tingo” says “tango,” the student who has the ball or small object must come to the middle of the circle to choose a “penalty.” I added a chart with penalties that I project up on the board in my room, so this way it is easier for my students to choose a penalty to do. I also added that the whole class says “penitencia” when the person who is saying “tingo” says “tango.” Some of the “penitencias” I use are taken from the movement cards I have previously shared in this blog. The penitencias are simple – for example, sing like a rooster, dance like ghost, or move your head like a turkey.
Once the student has completed the penalty, this same student takes the place of the person who was chanting “tingo….tango,” and the game starts all over again.
This is a fun Halloween game for lower elementary Spanish. In preparation for the game, print the pages more than once, laminate them, and put them in a bag. Use the big flashcards to introduce or review the emotions vocabulary in this game. You can also use the cards to play “charades.” Place all the cards in a bag, including the cards that say “¡Qué horror” and “¡Es Halloween.”
Divide your class into groups, depending on the number of students you have. You can have from 2 to 4 groups. Explain the rules of the game and the meaning of each card to the children. Each group takes turns taking the cards out of the bag. If they take the “Qué horror” card, it means they have to put 1 card back into the bag. If they get the “¡Es Halloween!” card, it means they get another turn. You can decide the amount of time you want to play the game. At the end, the group that has the most wins! Click here or on the pictures to download your game!
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!
¡Hola! I am Carolina, a Colombian elementary Spanish teacher based in Austin, Texas. 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.