Ideas for Teaching Spanish Vocabulary
- Create a vocabulary scavenger hunt as an individual or small group activity. Write Spanish vocabulary words on index cards and tape them to areas of the school that relay what the term means. Be sure to include color words and adjectives. You could enlist the help of a school staffer and ask her to allow a word to be pinned to her shirt that describes her looks, title or characteristics. Make a list with all of the terms and have the students write down the translation. Give the students a set amount of time to quietly wander around the school under your supervision to find as many index cards as possible. Reward the winning student or team with a small prize or privilege. Have the students write a paragraph using the words they collected.
Photo and Video Projects
- Engage the students in projects that hone their vocabulary skills while aiding younger students learning basic Spanish terms. Have each student come up with a dozen different words that could be used to label areas of their home or community. After the list is compiled assign each student to properly label the items and either take photos of their vocabulary project or videotape themselves holding the label in front of the proper item while saying the word. Once completed the project will be printed to make display boards or burnt to a disc for viewing. Donate the projects to either an elementary school or program that is teaching English as a second language to Spanish-speaking children.
- Purchase inexpensive storybooks from a local discount store or have the students create their own fairytale based on Spanish culture. Students must either translate the text into Spanish or write a simple story to go along with pictures they have drawn or printed from the Internet to make a storybook. The books can be donated to younger children or use them as an introductory reading assignment for first-year Spanish students.
- Play a game of hangman on the chalkboard using Spanish vocabulary words. Have each student draw a card with a specific topic. All of the topic cards should be in English only, requiring the students to generate the Spanish translation on their own or look up an appropriate word. Label the cards vaguely to encourage critical thinking. Possible topics could include colors, body parts, feelings or clothing. Play a traditional game of hangman as a group activity rewarding the student who wins the most games.