Spanish Class: School Unit

Spanish Class

Spanish Class: Teaching about School

A theme explored in any beginning Spanish class is talking about school. I have created a bundle of resources and lesson plans, and wanted to share those ideas. You can get the bundle or pick and choose to add to your repertoire.

Objectives. In this unit, students will learn how to talk about basic nouns used in Spanish class. 

They will learn the four ways to say the

They will learn basic nouns to talk about objects in a classroom. 

They will learn how to talk about basic classes, and talk about their classes in Spanish. 

They will also learn about basic school verbs. 

They will learn the difference between masculine and feminine nouns.

Start with the PowerPoint and introduce basic school objects. 

Print out the PDF bingo cards. Play Bingo on school items.

Vocab Quiz One. While it might seem a little bit soon to do a vocab quiz, this great immersive/CI- style of offering new vocabulary follows our natural order of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Here is a quick overview:

Print out the quiz file (School Supplies Visuals). You’re going to want to use these pictures on different days. You might want to laminate them so you can keep them for a long time. You also want some kind of adhesive: removable, easy adhesive, to use for walls or on your whiteboard to give a quiz. Students will actually take the quiz on  their own piece of paper.

Training the first time takes a little bit of time, but the results are well worth it. Pick between six and eight words that you’ll give as a quiz the first time. Divide that file up over the course of a few days. Some days you may even do less.

Introduce the pictures, which they’ve already seen in bingo, and the presentation, and which simply asks for recognition. Have them come up and point to them, giving them choices, introducing no more than two or three new at a time. As you’ve introduced, and they’ve identified them, perhaps getting out of their seat and pointing, or giving some kind of signal that they know what you’re talking about, you’re going to use whatever adhesive and just stick that to the board.

Then, when you’ve got all the words that you’ve decided to give as a quiz (be that five, six, seven, eight- depends on your students), you’re going to want to have them start saying them, as you point. That’s step two.

Next, you’re going to give them a little listening quiz. You’re going to want to write down on the board the numbers, one through six, one through seven, one through eight- however many words you’re giving them on this quiz. You then write letters underneath each one of the pictures.

For example, if I had the projector as one of my words, and that was the first one, say, el proyector, would be number one. They would have to write down the letter that corresponds to on your picture. It could be different every time. You’ll go through this with all six words, whatever words you’ve chosen to do.

Then you grade it with the students, and they check their answers. They then write the same number sequence again. You’re going to erase your first answers, and write down the words. Put them in a different order. The students then have to read, and they have to write down the letter. Again, go over the quiz. For example, if la tiza was number one, you would write down the corresponding letter.

The last step, after you’ve corrected that is to have them write down. This all follows the natural order of language. Students will quickly learn patterns of spelling, reading and writing in Spanish. It’s highly effective done every day.

For homework, I like to give them the fun puzzles that they turn in the next day. Puzzles are great, easy, and fun, simple to grade, and great practice.

Day Two. Another vocab quiz, just using different words than you did the day before. Do bingo again.

At this time, I like to have students play the callers. It’s a great speaking activity once they feel confident enough. The more practice they get, the more confident they’ll feel, and more they’ll do it.

We then learn about masculine and feminine. I have four giant hula hoops, two pink and two blue, but you can use anything you want. You can even print the handout and make it larger.

Using your printouts from the presentation, you’re going to say the words. You can either use the Go Fish cards, which you’re going to laminate on card stock. Now you have one Go Fish Game for a group. Make one game, for every four or five students in your class. It’s great fun. You can use these same cards and have them put them in the right categories.

For example, el proyector would be in your El box, or hula hoop, or circle. Your la pizarra, of course, would be in the feminine. Your el papel would be in the masculine, etc., putting in the right category. They’ll get the pattern of masculine and feminine.

For homework, I give them the handout that first night. They have to, essentially, put the words in the right box.

Day Three. Do another vocab quiz. You’re probably on your last set of this group of words. Play Go Fish. I love this. This is a super easy way for students to learn patterns. I normally write on the board:

¿Tienes ______?

Sí, tengo ______. O No, no tengo ______. Pesca.

Students have all different ways that they play Go Fish. You can do the person who runs out of cards first, the person who gets the most pairs, essentially you’re going to shuffle them up. They each get seven cards, and they’re looking for pairs. They’re looking for pairs, so of course when they say pesca, they’re going to pick another one.

We now do a couple of activities. I either have them do the Post-it Scavenger hunt, where I hand them all post-its. Without using any notes, because they’ll really have a good familiarity with the words by now, divide them up into groups with different colored post-it notes, and set a timer. Have them label as much of the room as they can.

We go through counting, and saying the words, and they get a point for each accurate post-it. The one with the most accurate post-its wins.

I also like to have them do a one-page picture dictionary. I think drawing words is a lot of fun and very effective, because it makes you really think deeply about what the word means and how you would represent it. It really helps get that into your memory.

I might tell them, you have to select 20 words, and you make yourself your own easy picture dictionary. This way they’re not making them too big. They’re not using too many papers where it becomes cumbersome. They have something quick and easy to reference.

Day Four. School verbs. Show them the PowerPoint on school verbs. 

Next, do the PDF bingo. Then brainstorm with the students prompting them to see what words they remember.

Then do those vocab quizzes that we talked about, that we did with our school nouns. You going to want to do the same thing with your school verbs. I would choose the ones that they didn’t easily remember or get, and choose the ones that they didn’t.

Then, make a whole list of all the verbs on the paper. You’re going to show the Me Gusta and No Me Gusta signs/handout. Each student should have or see that sign. Go through the activities and have them tell you what they like and what they don’t like. It’s very interactive and very fun.

At the end, have them do the project Me Gusta /No Me Gusta. 

Day Five. I love teaching classes in Spanish because you get an opportunity to teach cognates at the same time. 

I normally go through a typical schedule, making sure that I have a visual to go with it. I write it out, or I might even ask students about their schedules with lots of prompting.

As you write down the different names of classes, you’ll see they’ll immediately notice that it’s very similar to English. I then give some explicit instruction on cognates.

Once we’ve gone through 10 or 15 really basic ones, and we’ve talked about cognates. Hand out the class puzzles, and let them do these in pairs. They’re a lot of fun. They take from the word bank, match them up.

Lastly they prepare an oral presentation. When I say oral presentation, it doesn’t have to be anything big, or complicated, or scary. Simply teach them tengo. You can walk around the room. Let them all practice saying all the classes that they have. I.e. Tengo español. Tengo inglés. Tengo clase de historia. Use the word bank.

When it’s ready, they don’t get to use their papers. You’re going to walk around and they say what classes they have.

The test is on the last day. Particularly for beginners, I like to give shorter tests. I think it reflects more what they can do, not as level learners, speak, and understand smaller chunks of language, so it would only make sense that their tests come in smaller chunks.

I give them a simple test that lasts no more than 30 minutes. I get them to write the tasks on the board. Have them copy it down so they get ready for the test the next day. They need to be able to accurately write down ten items in the classroom, orally say the classes that they have, and write a paragraph of at least five sentences about their likes and dislikes.

Some fun games that have easy prep for your Spanish class that you can do with the materials here: 

Pictionary. Give students a list of words, and they have to draw them out and guess. If you are lucky, you have small whiteboards, and you can do it in a reverse style, where you say, they can do it in small groups and pairs, or they can draw out what you say onto their little boards.

Charades. I love Cranium, (I believe it’s called). It’s essentially where students are using anything: drawing, photos, pictures, props, gestures, to be able to demonstrate the meaning of that word. This is a great low-prep activity for Spanish class.

You can also print out the cards that we talked about for Go Fish, and use them for Concentration. Students can also take index cards and do simple things like flashcards, or they can draw the picture and write the word on a different card. They can shuffle them all up, and do pairs. 

Looking for the materials for your Spanish class? Here they are:

Looking for more ideas for your class? Check these out:

I share ideas on Pinterest and Instagram for Spanish class, too.

Language Teaching Resources for Language Learning and Teaching

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