Sometimes the best teaching and learning activities are the simple ones. As a teacher, I feel like I am always planning, creating, organizing, and preparing activities and lessons that my students will like and that are effective and engaging for their Spanish language development. I love when simple activities turn into great conversations, and allow kids to naturally practice communicative skills and learn Spanish while having fun! Here are some examples of very simple activities that can be used for conversation builders.
1. Simple coloring activities in Spanish: when practicing colors, I lay out crayons throughout the circle and when kids need a certain color, they have to look for it and ask their friends if they can borrow a color. The kids really get into using their vocabulary and practicing the question and answers. Example: ¿Puedo usar el rojo? ¿Tienes el color morado? No lo tengo. Si. Gracias. De nada. etc. These are words and phrases that they are confident with, so the communication is a great way to practice fluency.
2. Number recognition and counting in Spanish: an activity as simple as allowing a child to use a pointer and count 1- 20 is a great way to illicit speaking practice. I have my other students give the counter several commands such as ” busca cinco, or busca veinte, or cuenta hasta 8″. Both students are having a chance to speak and communicate. Kids loving taking turns and giving their friends commands to follow. With older students, we take turn giving math equations out loud and the counter has to find the answer, ” cinco por tres, veinte menos ocho, etc.”
3. Play I Spy in Spanish, Veo Veo: kids love to play I Spy and it is such a simple activity that can be modified in so many different ways. We simply play it using colors and kids have to spy things around the room. But another variation is to allow children to look through books and pick a central theme. For example, using Dora books, we try to find family members, friends, or specific items. When the child finds it, more conversation is sure follow: ‘¿ qué hace Dora? ¿por qué está corriendo Boots? ¿de qué color es la mochila? Etc.