Thursday, November 10, 2016

Spanish File Folder Guessing Game

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A few years back, I found an old game at a garage sale in which you have to guess where the family members are located in your opponent's house. It is a GREAT game for talking about the rooms in the house, using the verb "estar", and discussing family members. However, I only had one game for two players so I never could use the game in groups. So I decided to make my own! While this project is a lot of prep, the work is worth it as your students will spend about 10-20 minutes completely in the target language, and the games can be used over and over again. So let's take a look at how the game is played...

{See the photos as a reference.}
Each person has a game board/folder with two houses on it. One house is where the player arranges family members in certain rooms. The other house is for recording where the family members are in his or her opponent's house. To set up, each player places all eight family members (grandpa, grandma, dad, mom, brother, sister, dog, and cat) in one of the houses. They lay the other set of family members off to the side. Then the players take turns asking yes/no questions about each other's houses like...

Is the dad upstairs?
Is the dog downstairs?
Is the mom in the bathroom?

They keep going back and forth with questions until all of the second set of family members are placed correctly in the second house. The first player to figure out where every family member is in his/her opponent's house wins.

To play the game, each person needs a playing board that has two pictures of the same house, two sets of family members, and I also include a card that helps my students with vocabulary and forming the questions (photo #6).

In order to make the boards you will need the following items to make this game:
To assemble the boards:
  • Print out the houses (two houses per game folder). Make sure you print a size that will fit in a file folder after it is laminated. Laminate them.
  • Print out the family members (two families per game folder) and laminate them. Make sure that the family members are printed out to a size in which they can fit in the rooms of the house.
  • Adhere two houses onto the inside of a folder (See the picture below). I used glue dots or you could use liquid glue. Make sure you DON'T center the houses but rather put them off to the side so that you can put the envelope of playing pieces (photo #5) and the vocabulary list (photo #6) in the folder.
  • Use glue dots to adhere the envelope to one of the sides of the file folder.
  • Print out a vocabulary list and/or a list of possible questions to use during the game. Laminate it and put it on the other side of the folder. 
  • Adhere the clear part of the Velcro dots to the rooms in the house with the E-6000 glue. I put only one or two dots in each room. You want as many dots in the house as family members. I used 8 people (grandpa, grandma, dad, mom, brother, sister, dog, cat). You can kind of see the dots in photo #4.
  • Adhere the white side of a Velcro dot to each family member using the E-6000 glue. 
  • Let dry.
  • Play the game!
NOTE: The Velcro dots already have an adhesive on them, but I used the E-6000 glue to make the game extra durable.

I have my students use the top house to place their family members while the bottom house is where they place the people once they figure out where they are located on their opponent's board. The file folder makes an excellent "shield" so that the opponent can't see where the family members are placed.

I have a feeling that the possibilities could be expanded for this type of speaking game. For example, you could have pictures of an empty fridge and have students converse until the fridge is full with the correct foods. Or you could have a simple street map in which students have to guess where the different buildings are in their partners' city. Another idea is to have faces in the file folders and players have to guess what the face of their opponent looks like (hair and eye color, hair length, facial hair, etc.). So many ideas you could use to help your students work with the vocabulary they are learning!

Here are some other resources when teaching house vocabulary and family members...


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All Things Winter for Spanish Teachers

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Winter is fast approaching so now is the time to get ready with some learning activities that go with the season.



Froggy book and activities- Froggy Se Viste is a great book to share with your younger students during the winter months. There is a ton of clothing vocabulary related to the cold.



Winter books- a list of great books in Spanish to read during December, January, and February.


Of Ice Blocks and Penguins- A cute way to review prepositions.



Polar animals unit- A full unit with books to read, activities to do, and a free printable.



Christmas teaching-Ideas for December!



Christmas gifts for bilingual kids-Ideas for those kids in your life that are learning more than one language. {NOTE: This post also contains ideas for kids that speak languages other than Spanish.}




Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Teaching the Sounds of "C" and "G" in Spanish


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Lately, I have been noticing that my students struggle with knowing which sounds to use when they see words that contain "C" and/or "G". Both of these letters are "vowel dependent" meaning the vowel that comes after them dictates their sound. To learn more about how "C" and "G" behave there are two great videos online:

The Letter G
The Letter C

I used these following units from Teachers Pay Teachers to create decks of cards. One deck has "C" words, and the other contains "G" words. I made two cards for each word so that I could play Memory, Go Fish, and the slapping game with my students. (With the slapping game, I lay out the cards on a hard surface and call out a word and they have to put their hand on the card before other students in order to capture the card. The student with the most cards at the end wins.)  These cards also double as flashcards in which your students can practice reading the words. These cards are great for early elementary kids. Here are the units I used:

GE and GI Words
GA, GO, GU Words
CE and CI Words
CA, CO, and CU Words

Another great tool is the story El Nabo Gigante, which contains a plethora of "C" and "G" words. Here is my post on how to use this book to work with these words. Here are a few other books that have a higher frequency of "C" and "G" words:

Carros, Camiones, y Aviones
El Ratoncito, La Fresa Roja Y Madura Y El Gran Oso Hambriento

There is also a Crazy Eights game available here that specifically focuses on these words! This would be for slightly older students who are reading Spanish for the most part, but struggling with the sounds of these two letter.

By taking a little extra time to focus on these words, it is my hope that my students will gain a better understanding of their sounds as they read the language.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Activities for Teaching Food Vocabulary

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Here is a collection of ideas to teach your students vocabulary related to foods: games, books, and more!!


Books and Activities



El Nabo Gigante is a cute story about a turnip that is almost too big to harvest!


Arriba, Abajo, y Alrededor is great for teaching vegetables and prepositions!


How about having your students make "food people"? The instructions are here.


I recently purchased these two books by Adam Rubin in Spanish. They are cute and hilarious!! Must reads for a food unit! 






I always have on hand play food when I am teaching. There are tons of sets on Amazon...check them out here!






Games


KLOO Game in Spanish- This post has several games mentioned in it, but the KLOO game has a whole deck related to foods. This sentence-building game is really well done and helps students with the structure of the language. It also teaches them new vocabulary as they play.



Fast Flip is a game I recently picked up at the store. You can also find it here. It is fast-paced and helps students learn some of the names for different fruits. It is also a good review for younger kids on the numbers 1-5. I make my students call out the fruits and numbers in Spanish.




Slamwich is another fast game in which you play with cards that have pictures of different ingredients that go in sandwiches like lettuce, peanut butter, tomatoes, cheese, etc. I make my students call out the items in Spanish as they lay down cards.

Have fun teaching foods to your students!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth {Book Activities for Spanish Learners}


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There are just some children's books I read that are so endearing that I immediately have to share them with my students. Como Lavar a un Mamut Lanudo is one of those books, because don't we all need to know how to wash our woolly mammoths?! This precious book takes you step-by-step through the process. Fill a bathtub. Add bubbles. Add a mammoth. You get the picture. So here are a few activities you can do with your young Spanish students after reading this book...



Younger students can count the steps (There are ten of them.) mentioned in the adventure of mammoth washing. You can also have them count in Spanish the useful items (that can clean your mammoth) on the back cover. Another idea would be to count how many times the "pato" shows up in the story or count the leaves in the illustration of the messy mammoth at the beginning of the story. Here is a coloring page to go along with the book in which your students can count the bubbles.



With the story you can do a  review of body parts and the learning of a few new ones your students may not know like tusks, hooves, and wool. Teach and review the words and then call them out to see if they can find the parts one one of the pictures of the mammoth.

There are a ton of actions words in the story...have your students get out a piece of paper (after you have read the book to them) and call out one of the steps in cleaning a mammoth. Can they draw the steps that you call out? Along the same lines, can you call out two or three of the steps in Spanish and have your students tell you if they are in the correct order or not. The steps could also be written out on cards to see if your students who are reading Spanish can put them in order.

This book lends itself well to doing some bubble painting! Here are some simple instructions for this cool art activity. After the painting are done and dried, you can talk in Spanish about the bubbles represented in the art and work on noun/adjective agreement...


Burbujas moradas, burbuja grande, burbuja chiquita, burbujas verdes, etc.

Have fun learning all about giving woolly mammoths baths!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Teaching Homophones in Spanish

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A few weeks ago I did a post on homographs (Words that have double meanings.) and provided you with several free printables you could use to teach them. Today let's take a look at homophones, words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. These can be particularly tricky for students especially the words that only differ by an accent mark.

First of all, I created flashcards for the homophones we are going to work on. Here are all the files. These cards will be used to play games like Memory. I will also use them to play the slapping game with the definitions given in worksheets #2 and #3 (see below). Basically, I will lay out the cards and call out a definition in Spanish. The first student who puts his/her hand on the correct card wins it. The object is to get the most cards in the group. If you are doing this with a classroom full of kids you will need enough sets of cards for each group. Groups of five or so tend to work well. These cards can also be used for a guessing game: I choose a card and the students call out definitions (see the worksheets below) in Spanish to guess what I am holding.


Here are the worksheets...



Monday, August 8, 2016

Fall Activities for Spanish Learning

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With autumn approaching soon I thought I would consolidate all my posts of learning activities in Spanish related to the fall. The books, activities, and resources are perfect for the colorful months of September, October, and November.




Chumba La Cachumba is a traditional song that introduces telling time with skeletons.


One of my favorite books for teaching emotions along with a printable activity for the fall.


A pumpkin unit in Spanish!


How about some shape monsters to review colors, body parts, and shapes?


Bats at the library? A delightful book about the joys of reading.

Enjoy learning through the fall!