Feed the Monster in Spanish Class




I love teaching this unit in my classes. I especially love teaching names of fruits that are endemic to Latin America, mostly from Colombia, the country where I am from.


In preparation for this activity you will need to create a monster prop, similar to the one in the picture below, which is very simple to make  – with no sewing involved. I used felt fabric of different colors, glue, staples and wiggly eyes. Make sure to put a space in the mouth so the children can feed the monster. The monster I made is big, and my students enjoy its visit to class. I use a hanger to carry it from classroom to classroom. You will also need plastic fruits or pictures of different fruits, depending on the ones you would like to introduce.






Once the monsters and fruits are ready I like to introduce them using Total Physical Response (TPR).  I often use American Sign Language (ASL) because I don’t think it makes sense to spend time creating my own gestures when I can use the beautiful ASL that children may already be familiar with or encounter later in life. Plus, ASL is a language in and of itself, so my use of it just provides another advantage for my children and their multilingual brains! My favorite resource on the Internet is Signing Savvy. On this site, you just have to type a word, and then you get a video showing the corresponding sign.

I use a magic box or bag and introduce the name of each fruit with the sign. I review each fruit by asking the children to show me the sign while saying the name in Spanish. Then we go over each fruit and describe it by colors and sizes. I will also ask my students questions like “¿te gusta comer manzana?” and then have them respond back to me by saying “sí, me gusta”, “no, no me gusta”, or “me encanta.”Since my students are young and many don’t have experience in the language, I ask questions in a way that models the answers so they feel confident about it:
Me: ¿Qué es?
       Es una manzana.
       ¿Qué es?
Student: Es una manzana.


 After students have learned the vocabulary, I use other activities to complement and assess the topic. Here are some examples:
  • Place a fruit into a bag or box. Ask a student to follow commands: Encuentra la manzana, pásale la manzana a Peter.                        
  • Give a fruit (picture or plastic) to every student. You need to have a flash card or picture of each fruit. Ask “¿dónde está la manzana?” The student who has the fruit must answer “¡Aquí está la manzana!” (Don’t forget to model the question and the answer). 
  • Check for TPR gestures for each fruit showing the sign you taught for each fruit.
  • Ask students to draw pictures of the fruit you name. Erasable white boards are great for this activity!
  • Charades: A student makes a TPR gesture and the rest of the class has to guess it.

Tell a Story: El Monstruo Comelón

This is where the monster you made comes alive. Tell the story while feeding the monster.


El monstruo se come un banano.El monstruo se come una piña.El monstruo se come una pera.(Do the same for each fruit you have decided to include in your unit)¡El monstruo se engordó!
Ask questions after telling the story:¿El monstruo come piña o pan?

¿Qué come el monstruo?
¿Te gusta comer piña?
¿El monstruo se engordó o se durmió?
¿Qué le pasó al monstruo?

Act it out!

Play with the story before you let students act the story out. Pick some students to retell the story.

You will need a narrator, and to make it more fun and interactive, you can give a play microphone to the narrator.
Choose other students to put the fruits inside the monster’s mouth. They should say the word aloud and make the appropriate TPR gesture.





Happy teaching!
Carolina

Contando Dulces con Señor Montruo

After Halloween my students were excited about candy. All they wanted to talk was about how many pieces of candy they collected. It was a great opportunity to practice numbers in Spanish.
I used this activity with my younger students and it was a hit!

Buy HERE!
$2.50

Have fun playing the game!
Carolina

17 Fun Games to Play in Spanish Class!


Over the years, teaching Spanish to different age levels, I have learned many games from my students and other colleagues. Here is a list of some of the favorites my students and I enjoy playing in class.

1. ARROZ CON PAN: Game of elimination played in a circle where the students chant “Arroz con pan (3x) y sal” then a number is called out and counted around the circle. 

 2. CIERTO – FALSO: A person (often the teacher) stands between the stands of the trees and calls out phrases related to the class’s latest vocabulary. If the statement is true about the student, they must try to run to the other side without being tagged. (Example phrases: “Si te gusta comer helado. Si tienes hermanos, etc.)

3. BINGO: Sometimes students make their own boards and fill in the latest vocabulary we have been learning in class. We also have bingo boards for different topics.

4. ROBA LA VACA: This game is really simple. One student stands guard by a small animal but is blindfolded. The students chant “Roba la vaca” while someone (usually chosen by the teacher) steals the cow and hides it. The blindfolded person may ask three questions about who stole it (in Spanish) and then must guess by saying “Maria tiene la vaca.” If the student guesses correctly, a new guardian is chosen.

5. DRAW IT: A stack of cards with various words, (usually actions, adjectives and nouns) is set out next to a large dry erase board. Students come up and choose a card. They can not say the word, but they must try to draw out the ideas, and the group (or their team) must try to guess the word (this can be done with phrases too.) Alternatively, students may also act out words on the cards while the others guess.

6. CHARADES: A student makes a TPR movement, and the rest of the class has to guess it. Variation: Pick a student, show a flashcard to the class, and hide it from the student, then the class makes the TPR movement and the child has to guess it.


7. ¿QUÉ ES? Ask a student to hide an object (manipulative, picture card, etc.). The rest of the class has to guess it by asking, for example, “¿Es la manzana?” And the student answers “no, no es la manzana” or “si es la manzana”. The student who guesses the right answer takes the new turn. Variation: Tape a flashcard on the back of a student. Show it to the class, then have the student ask the class, “¿Es la manzana?” and  have the class answer back “no, no es la manzana” or “si es la manzana”.

8. FRIO, TIBIO, CALIENTEAsk a student to leave the classroom. While the student is outside, the rest of the class hides an object. The student comes back to the classroom to try to find the object. Other students help by saying “frio” (when the student is far away from the object), tibio (when student is getting close to the object) or caliente (when the student is really close to the object). If the student is taking a long time to find the object, the class will start counting from 1 to 10. If the student finds the object, he/she will have to say its name.

9. MANO A MANO: Divide the class into pairs. The teacher calls out two body parts and the student pairs have to put these parts together. 
For example:
Mano a mano –they put together their hands.
Make it more fun by calling different body parts
For example:
Codo a rodilla-they put together their elbow and knee.
Variation: You can also use flash cards for this game.

10. MEMORY GAME: In this game students have to find the matching pictures.
A student uncovers two cards. If the pictures match, the student gets to go on and uncover two more pictures. If the pictures don’t match, the student puts the two non-matching pictures back to cover them up and another student gets a turn.

11. GO FISHING: Place pictures of fish of different colors in basket . Each fish has a magnet pasted on the back. Give a student a fake fishing pole and have him/ her fish while the class chants:
“Pesca, pesca, pescador,
Pesca un pez,
¿De qué color?”
The student who is fishing must say the color.
Variation:
Write questions on the fish, and instead of saying the color, the student will have to answer the question.

12. SIMÓN DICE: This is a great TPR game. To play this game you need to have a group of three or more students. Pick a student to be “Simón”. The rest of the class must do what Simón tells them to do. If Simón says, “touch your eyes”, the other students touch their eyes (the student who doesn’t do the right action is out of the game). However if Simón says jump without first saying “Simón dice” and a student does the action, the student is out of the game too.

13. PASA LA BOLA: Place the class in a circle. Give a ball to pass around the circle (they will have to pass the ball to the person sitting next to them and the ball goes in one direction only). While the ball is coming around, the
class chants: “¡Pasa la bola, pasa la bola, pasa la bola, para!.” The student who gets the ball must answer a question or pick an object from a magic hat/box placed in the middle of the circle. If the student doesn’t know the answer, the class can help and start passing the ball again.
Variation: Have the students quietly listen to traditional music from Latin America or Spain while passing a ball around. When the music stops, the class should ask “¿Qué es?,” and the student who has the ball must pick an object from a magic hat/box and give the answer to the class.

14.A LINE OF NUMBERS:Using masking tape, make a line on the floor and place numbers from 1 to 5 in a line. Have two students stand on either side of number 1 facing each other. Show a flashcard. If both students identify it at the same time they both get to move to the next number. If only one of the students gives the answer only he/she will move to the next number. The student who gets to number 5 first wins the game.


15. FUTBOL (SOCCER): Make a fútbol chart out of construction paper and print out 12 fútbol balls. Divide the class into two teams (to make it more fun you could name the groups by using names of Spanish speaking countries). Each group will get the score on the opposite side of the field. Show a picture card or ask a question and the team that gets to answer first gets a point (place one of the fútbol balls on the opposite side –remember that in fútbol you score on the other side of the field). If both teams answer the questions at the same time they both get points. When the teacher is placing points (balls) on the field, the whole class chants “gol, gooooooooool!” Whoever gets the most points wins.


16. LA RANITA
Have the class sit in a circle. Place pictures or objects of the unit of study around the circle. Have a student be “La Ranita” (while wearing a frog mask) and jump around naming the vocabulary.
 Variation:
Another student can tell “La Ranita” where he/she should jump.

17. LA FILA (THE LINE)
Have the class be in a circle. Place a line of picture cards or objects in the middle. Pick two students from the class and  have them face to face on either side of a particular card. The teacher or another student calls out some of the vocabulary placed on the line. The two students have to jump to find the card.
 Non-Competitive variation:
Have one student jumping around the line. When you or a student calls out the name of an object, they find their place on the line.

Have fun playing in Spanish!
Carolina


Playing with Flash Cards




I am a Spanish teacher who travels to different classrooms. I carry a lot in my bags, and it can be a painful at times. This is when having a set of flash cards can be really handy, instead of lugging tons of heavy materials around! Plus, my students really enjoy playing games like the ones you will find below.


Fly swatter

Place different flashcards on a table or the floor. Describe one of the flashcards. For example: It’s a big animal, its colors are black and white and it says “moo”. After the description, have one of your students tap or slap the right card using a fly swatter.


What’s missing?

Place 3 to 5 flashcards on a table or on the floor. Look at them with your students and name each of them. Have one of your students close his/her eyes while you hide one of the cards. Have your student open his/her eyes to guess the name of the card that is missing.


The jumping game

Place a line of flashcards on a table or the floor. Call out some of the vocabulary placed on the line and have one of your students jump next to the correct card.

Place a flashcard in a box and have a volunteer guess the name of the card in the box. You can give your child some cues about the card.

Little translator

Show one side of the card and have your students give you the word in the other language.


Storytellers

Arrange a set of flashcards in a pile. Take the first several flash cards and create a sentence. Have your students take another flashcard to continue with the story. Continue with the same procedure until all the flashcards in the pile are gone.

Download your free flash cards here!


Have fun playing in Spanish!
Carolina

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