Spanish games for High School
Could your high school Spanish classes use a burst of energy?
Well, look no further because you’re in the right place!
Keeping teenagers engaged and motivated is a challenge that even experienced teachers struggle with.
What Makes a Good Activity for High School Spanish?
When implemented correctly, Spanish activities can be both enjoyable and stimulating for your high school class. Here’s what makes a great activity for high school Spanish:
- Students should be engaged and active. A learner that is getting hands-on experience is far more likely to remember new content than one who is passively listening. Activities should also be student-centred rather than teacher-centered.
- The activity is meaningful and relevant. Students should be able to understand how the particular activity relates both to their current Spanish course and also to potential real-life uses.
- Students should feel good once the activity is complete. They should also be able to understand how the activity has helped their Spanish to improve.
Considerations When Planning High School Spanish Activities
There are a number of issues to consider when deciding if an activity is right for your classroom:
Be mindful both of your school’s resources and your students’ resources. In particular, check whether your students have internet access at home before assigning homework that requires them to be online.
All new teachers are guilty of sometimes planning lessons so elaborate that the students can’t understand what they are supposed to be doing! Keep activities as simple as possible until you are confident both in your students and in your ability to explain new tasks.
The unfortunate reality of teaching high school students is that sometimes behavior will be an issue. As a teacher, it’s your responsibility to know what kind of activities might “set your class off.” If you can’t trust your students to leave their seats without getting into trouble, then don’t make them leave their seats as part of an activity.
So keeping these key points in mind, let’s take a look at some activities that can shake up your usual routine in Spanish class!
1. Describe People to Police as a Crime Scene Witness
This activity is great for getting students talking to one another and practicing their descriptions of people. You’ll need at least one picture of a person for every student, and a few spares if you want things to be more challenging.
Explain to your students that they are going to help solve a crime. Split the students into pairs. In each pair, one student will be a policeman and one student will be a witness. Call the witnesses to the front of the classroom, and have the police officers turn their back.
Give each witness a picture of a person to look at. Tell them that the person they are looking at is a criminal. Once they’ve had some time to memorize the picture, they can go back to their seats. Then you can put all of the pictures up on the board, as well as a couple of red herrings (those extra pictures) if you want to make it more difficult!
Now the police officers must ask their witness questions in order to discover who their criminal is. If your class can handle the extra element, it’s fun to give the police officers a notepad and have them make a sketch based on the witnesses descriptions.
Once the police officer has a complete description of the criminal, they can come to the front and try to point out the correct suspect. Don’t forget to compare the sketches to the real pictures to see who the best artist is!
2. Create Spanish Stories with Storybird
You’ll need to create a sample story before the lesson to demonstrate what your students are going to do.
Once you’ve read the sample story as a class, show the students how to make a page of their own. They’ll have to choose an existing illustration, then come up with the accompanying text by themselves.
Bonus tip: A more interesting and engaging way to teach said vocabulary is through FluentU, an online language immersion platform. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
The authentic, real-world context makes the new words much easier to remember, and you’ll find students will truly learn better. While you can definitely build a lesson around FluentU, it provides students with valuable at-home practice, with fresh new videos being added every week! Check the bottom of this post for a more in-depth introduction to FluentU.
3. Move Around the Room While Playing “Find Someone Who…”
“Encontrar a alguien que” activities are great for speaking practice, but they are also brilliant for class bonding and getting restless students out of their seats for a minute.
Create a list of sentences that are appropriate for your class and put the heading “Find someone who” at the top of the page. Give each student a copy.
Example sentences might be:
Encontrar a alguien que vio la televisión anoche.
Encontrar a alguien que fue a bailar el fin de semana.
Encontrar a alguien que no le gusta la pizza.
Encontrar a alguien que nunca ha subido a una montaña rusa.
Encontrar a alguien que viste de color de amarillo.
Students must stand up, walk around and ask each other questions. When they have found someone who meets the criteria for a question, they can put the name of that person down next to the relevant sentence.
When they have a name for each question on the list, they can shout “finished!” and let you verify their list. If you’re satisfied, they are declared the winner. You could also set this up in a grid as an interactive variation of the classic BINGO.
Remember to tweak the tenses, subject matter and vocabulary according to your class needs.
4. Use Authentic Spanish Menus in a Fun “Take My Order” Game
This activity brings authentic Spanish menus into the classroom to help students improve their vocabulary, comprehension and speaking.
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What are the best video games to play in Spanish? - Quora
Alright so I'm not sure what gaming systems you have, but here are a few of my recommendations, which I got from me trying to learn French through gaming: