Foods in Spanish: Lesson Ideas

Foods in Spanish

Foods in Spanish: Lesson Ideas

Teaching foods in Spanish is one of my very favorite themes. With that said, we are busy. Here are some ideas and resources to make your easier.

Objectives: in this lesson, students will be able to identify and talk about common foods in Spanish, identify and talk about common fruits and vegetables in Spanish, will be able to use direct object pronouns appropriately to talk about food in Spanish. Students will be able to use Spanish to order in a restaurant.

Day One: There are so many foods in the Spanish-speaking world, that it’s certainly impossible to be able to talk about all of them. I like to start with brainstorming some common foods that students already know. For example, tacos, enchiladas, flautas. They’ve become very common in our culture, just as many of their foods have become commonplace in our culture. It’s certainly easy to find a hamburger and a Coke in many places around the world.

I normally start with brainstorming foods, common foods and drinks that they already know. Together we compile a list of about 10 to 15 foods and drinks- definitely keep it simple. I also like to show the PowerPoint Spanish Foods and Drinks as an introduction. After we watch the PowerPoint, we add those common foods to the list.

Students always find tortilla very interesting. After we’ve added this (and anything else that caught their attention) to the list, students are tasked with making a small menu of those foods with just a couple of starters and a couple of drinks. 

At this point, hand out the dialogue En el restaurante. They spend the rest of the class creating their menus. If they finish early, they can start practicing on the dialogue.

Day Two: we set up the restaurant and students practice with and without their scripts going to one another’s restaurants. It’s also a fun activity if students want to bring in food dishes that they’ve made (I do at times as well). Without the scripts, students then do their very simple restaurant.

Day Three: show the PowerPoint of Spanish Fruits and Vegetables to give students an introduction. Next, we start the immersive vocabulary quizzes. I was able to improve an earlier version I had of this from an amazing multilingual mentor I had a chance to learn from.

I love these, because they teach language in the way that language is naturally acquired. Students first listen, then they speak, then they read, then they write. Looking in the file of Immersive Visuals of Spanish Fruits and Vegetables, you’re going to print those out and use maybe 6 to 8 of those pictures. You’re going to also want to have some kind of adhesive so you can stick these pictures on the board.

After selecting between 6 and 8 that you think are the easiest to learn or the most appropriate for your class, get some adhesive that we will then use to start sticking them on the board after you’ve introduced them in groups of no more than one, two, or three. Students can identify them using any method you’d like. Maybe they put their hand up and point, or a number one, two, or three. They can walk up to the board and select the correct one- any way you choose.

You’re going to do this until it’s clear that they can identify all 6 to 8 words. Once they’ve done that, you’ll have maybe two rows of three or four pictures. Now we’re going to do a speaking activity. You can do this as a choral, whole class or individual, but students will be now saying the words that you point to.

The next step is to write letters underneath the words, so A, B, C, Ch, et cetera, and then a number for each one. Not under each one, but for each one you’ll have a number with space for an answer. 

Students will write those numbers on a sheet of paper. The first quiz is the listening quiz. They’re going to write down what you say. For example, if you had number one was la pera and that was your second picture, B, or however you choose to name it, that would be the answer. After you’ve gone through all of your vocabulary choices, students are going to write down the correct answers, and you check them together.

I put together some videos on it here. The examples are in French, but the concept can be applied to any language.

Now you’re going to want to erase the answers (leave the numbers). You’re going to want to write the name of the items that you have on the board. For example, la manzana. Write them next to the numbers, and do it in a different order than they are on the board. The students have to read and identify the vocabulary that it matches.

Again, you’re going to go through then after everyone’s finished, and you check your quiz together. Erase it again. The last step the students are going to write down the words. You’ll find you’re going to learn these words very, very quickly. Do this with 6 to 8 words every day as you go through this unit. It’s a great assessment. We’re speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Day Four. Show the students the presentation again, with fruits and vegetables with direct object pronouns. They’ll get it really quickly, so for example, the presentation might say Veo la pera.. Then on the next slide, la veo. The students will catch on really quickly. Go through the presentation and do that together.

The next step is to have your Go Fish and Concentration cards printed. You’re going to want to have one set of cards for every four or five students. Cut up and laminated, they’ll last you forever. Shuffle them up, pass out five to each, and the students will look for pairs using direct object pronouns. I always write this example on the board.

They’ll have great fun playing it. Hand out the worksheets, which are very similar to what’s in the slideshow, and they’ll fill in the missing direct object pronoun. You can either do this at the end of class after they’ve had a couple of chances to play, or they can do this as homework.

Note- this is not a great time to do this activity (COVID). However, there are some other activities that are safe using the presentation:

  1. Share the presentation. Have students use this to make a 9-grid bingo, using the content from the presentation. As caller, you ask the question. They mark their answer on their card.
  2. They use paper and answer your question using the correct pronoun. Hold up answers. Another way to gamify this is to do as checks on a single piece of paper. Students can get extra credit for their correct responses. Perhaps do this in teams and award the winning team points.

Day Five: I love to use this opportunity to review body part vocabulary. After we’ve done a quick review of body part vocabulary, we then brainstorm a list of words of parts of the body. The students now do Una Persona Hecha de Comida, and they make a person out of different food parts. You’ll see the project of course in the folder. 

I also like to do the Salad Project for the last twenty minutes of class during the unit when it falls in a natural place to reinforce the vocabulary.

For a more advanced class, have the students write a strong paragraph about their character. They make up a character of that person. They can also write a paragraph about their childhood to practice the preterite and the imperfect. 

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