Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Teaching Emotions in Spanish

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Emotions can be tough vocabulary to teach, because of the lack of activities to go with the subject matter. Over the years I have slowly added ideas to my repertoire for teaching feelings. Here is a collection of ideas for you to use.

I recently bought these cards. My students are intrigued by the faces and find them funny. I had my husband at one point draw these faces onto ping pong balls. You can see my post about them here. I use these cards and the ping pong balls to talk about feelings in the target language. For example, with the ping pong balls I will put them in a bag. Each student picks one out and tells me how he or she is feeling according to the face on the ball. With the cards, you can print out labels with emotion vocabulary words on them and have the students match the word with the picture card as a review activity at the beginning of class.

 I do like the cards as they are larger than regular playing cards. I will, however, say that there are several cards in the deck that give the words for all the feelings in different languages. So for example, there is a card with all the faces from the deck with the Spanish words for those emotions underneath them. There are similar cards for French, German, Polish, etc. There are 25 of these language cards which may not be useful to you except for the one language you are teaching. I still feel that  they are worth it for me to have as visual aids. I believe there are thirty emotions cards (just with one face on it) total. So if this makes sense: 30 emotion cards (see the first two pictures in this post), 25 language cards (see the third picture) for a total of 56 cards.

Así Me Siento Yo is by far the BEST emotion book out there for kids. {And please, if you come across another, let me know!} The illustrations are beautiful and clearly depict the emotion even if kids are still learning the vocabulary. Here are two posts with feelings activities that you can do with your students after reading the book. This first one is great during the fall, and the other would be a great spring activity. There are free printables on each post.

If you are working with younger kids this set of bricks would work well when introducing feelings.

Another activity I do with my students involves these stick figures from Spanish Playground. You will notice that the printable has descriptions under each figure, but sometimes I turn this into a listening activity for my kids. I will describe what the person is wearing, how they are feeling, and even the weather (which kids normally draw above the a sun for example or clouds). The students then must draw all the items in. It's a great way to review lots of different vocabulary!

And finally, if you have students who can read try the Caramba game. It can review all many different sets of vocabulary including emotions. Lots of fun!


  1. I realy like your blog. i have a question so i want to learn spanish but i only have verry limited time in the week so what do you sugest i could do

  2. This is a wonderful post. I am always on the lookout for ideas that can make learning Spanish online - or offline for that matter - a little bit more fun and interactive. These ideas certainly fit the bill.

    The link to the Caramba game is particularly creative. Keep on posting!