¿Yo Tengo… Quién Tiene? Classroom Game

¿Yo Tengo… Quién Tiene? Classroom Game

Classroom objects freebie 2 (1)

Tomorrow we are back at school, ready or not! What a busy week. I am really excited about the year, though, and feel much better prepared this go around. I will try to get a post together detailing my first-day ideas, but I wanted to go ahead a share a first-week freebie. I often start off the year by teaching or reviewing classroom objects so that we can be speaking in Spanish right away.

¿Yo Tengo… Quién Tiene? for Classroom Objects

¿Yo Tengo.. Quién Tiene? for Classroom Objects

To play:

¿Yo Tengo, Quién Tiene? (Groups of 18 or less)

Print, cut out,and laminate the cards. Pass out the cards to students. Any student you choose may begin. The student reads his or her card aloud, naming the object in the picture. The student who has the card asked for by the first student goes next. Simple, but effective!

I have a Classroom Object games packet available at on my TpT store as well if you are interested in more first-week resources!

10 Spanish Vocabulary Games for the Language Classroom

10 Spanish Vocabulary Games for the Language Classroom

Inside: Spanish vocabulary games for the language classroom.


While I love vocabulary games for Spanish class, the best way to “learn vocabulary” is in context. I use to give long lists of isolated words, until I switched to proficiency-based teaching and threw out my textbook. I realized my students were memorizing the words to pass a quiz, and then forgetting them. Our students really need to see whole language, in context, in stories,  songs or texts.

Or games. 🙂

Games are great for brain breaks, team building, getting everyone moving, and introducing words. Just make sure that these vocabulary games for Spanish class are supplementing LOTS of Spanish in context. Whenever possible, give the language for these games in chunks, rather than just isolated words.

vocabulary games for Spanish class


10 Spanish Vocabulary Games


1. Eyes Closed

Have all the students stand up and close their eyes. Call out the terms and students act them out. Incorrect actions get the students out, who then sit down and help you catch other students until only one student is left and wins the game.

2. Charades / Pictionary

Play charades and pictionary combined, to give the students more choice. For each term, whoever is up front has the option to act it out or draw it on the board. You can also get everyone more involved by playing reverse charades, by giving the class whiteboards. The student who is “it” guesses while his/her entire team mimes or draws the term.

3. Celebrities

Write the phrases on slip of paper. Students sit in a circle. Divide the class into 2 or more teams by counting 1-2. For each team’s turn, set a time (1-2 minutes).

1st round (actions): Team 1 begins as a player draws a slip. That student acts out the phrase. When the team guesses correctly, the next player on Team 1 draws another slip and the play continues until the time is up. The timer is set again for the other team, and turns continue until all the slips are gone. Count the slips and give those points to their teams.

2nd round (verbal clues): This round is the same as the first, except that the students must use clues in Spanish. If the slip says va a la casa, for example, the students could say cuatro palabras, es como camina, corre o advanca, donde vivo, etc. This will be very difficult for beginners, so you may want to let students make word webs for the phrases before playing, to brainstorm and think of related words and synonyms. This is great practice for circumlocution.

3rd round (one-word clues): This round is the same as the second, except that the students must only use one word. If the phrase is va a la casa, the student could say vivo, and the team has to guess the phrase from this one clue.

*In the original game, the actions are for the third round and that’s supposed to be the hardest round. For students learning another language, that is probably the easiest, so I made it first.

4. Bingo

Bingo is great because it is flexible. You can give the students blank games, and have them illustrate the terms. Then, call out the terms in the target language and no English gets used. I have an entire post on Getting More Mileage Out of Bingo!

5. Go Fish 

Shuffle the picture and/or word cards and deal 5-6 cards per player. Players set any pairs down as their first matches. Set the rest in the middle as the “Go Fish/Ve a Pescar” pile. The students take turns asking one another for specific cards. If one has a picture of a pencil, she asks another student in the TL, “Do you have the pencil?” The student gives the card to her or says, “No, I don’t.  Go fish!” She must then draw a card from the pile in the middle. When a student gets a match, he or she gets to go again. Whoever has the most matches at the end of the game wins.
**The game may be played with word/image cards. For a challenge, play only with the images.

My free Food Vocabulary Cards in Spanish are great for this one!

6. Slap-it/ Flyswatter

Divide the class into groups of 4-5. Pass out only picture cards to each group. Lay the picture cards face up, in the middle of the group. Call out the terms. The first student to touch the corresponding image keeps the card. Whoever has the most cards at the end wins.

Flyswatter is similar, except that two students come up to the front and hit pictures projected onto the board with (clean) flyswatters. My La casa Slideshare would work with this.

7. Red Light, Green Light

Line up the students on one side of the space. Whoever is “it” calls out a specific action to perform, like dance. Everyone advances, dancing. When Red light! (in the TL) is called, everyone freezes and anyone who moves is sent back.  Often I will stand at the front and yell out what action to do (so I can control what they’re practicing) and the student who is “it” just concentrates on saying red light and catching unlucky moving friends.

8. Simon Says

Call out the phrases while acting them out. Here and there, do the wrong action. If anyone follows your incorrect action instead of listening to the word, that student is out. Last student in the game in wins!

9. Around the World / Sparkle

This can be played in a circle or with everyone in their seats. Choose one student. He/she stands up next to the student to the right. Call out a word. The first student to give the meaning advances, and the other stays in that seat. The first students to advance all the way around the room and return to his/her original seat wins.

10. Storytelling

This isn’t exactly a game… but it’s really the best way to make sure the students actually acquire the words and phrases, not just practice and forget them. Turn them into comprehensible input and they will stay with your students.

Here are some games/ideas/explanations of storytelling!

Storytelling in the World Language Classroom – TPRS

Strip Bingo – Listening game during input

Set students in groups and let them rewrite alternative endings– and vote at the end for the most creative one.

After storytelling, play Teléfono escrito to review the story:

1. Everyone will start with a piece of paper. At the top, they should sketch a scene from the story. They then leave a bit of space, and below describe the scene. Then, they fold the paper so that only the description is showing. Everyone passes the papers to the right.

2. Now everyone reads the description and does their best to sketch what they read. Then, they fold the paper so that only the drawing is showing. Everyone passes to the right again.

3. Only the latest drawing is visible, so everyone looks at it and write a few sentences describing the drawing. Then, they fold the paper so that only the description is showing, and pass to the right again.

You can do this however many rounds you choose. Just be sure to end on a drawing, because the funniest part of the game is comparing the progression of the first drawing to the last! Beginners can simply write words they know. Intermediate learners can write sentences.

Also, be sure to check out my popular post for 10 Interactive End-of-the-Year Games!

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10 engaging vocabulary games (2)

Español in the Jungle: Free Spanish Unit One

Español in the Jungle: Free Spanish Unit One

Inside: Free Spanish worksheets and lessons for kids.

I am so excited to post the first unit for my Español in the Jungle series! I am in the process of putting together units for parents and teachers who may not speak Spanish fluently– or at all! I came up with this idea because I would eventually like to introduce a third language to my kids. I don’t speak French, and can’t afford classes or tutors at the moment. There are tons of free resources on the internet, but without knowing French myself, I don’t exactly know where to begin. I want a way for us to learn together, without relying solely on technology.

My units are designed especially for parents who would like to begin Spanish with their kids, but are not fluent speakers. You can begin from scratch, right along with your children! Essentially, I have done the work of breaking down beginning Spanish into a sequence that builds into games and stories, and allows you to take advantage of free internet resources in a logical manner. There are a lot of worksheets, videos, and games out there that are wonderful– but it can be difficult to know how to use them. As I find new resources, I’ll simply add them to the list of ideas for each unit.

The Español in the Jungle series is for:

– Homeschooling families who want to study Spanish together

– Families whose schools don’t offer Spanish

– Spanish teachers and tutors looking for ideas

The characters in the units live in the jungle, because that’s where learned Spanish and fell in love with it. I base my lessons on movement, games, storytelling, and songs, and include some worksheets and links to worksheets as well. I recommend going with what interests your children, and using the activities that are age-appropriate. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or suggestions!

free spanish worksheets for kids

Español in the Jungle: Unit 1  introduces basic greetings and two verbs, and is a free printable with 9 pages of ideas and activities. Here the links to resources that go with this unit:

Buenos Días Song

Pronunciations from LingoHut

Buenos Días, Buenas Noches Game

Greetings Matching Worksheet

Greetings Worksheet


BINGO for Language Practice

BINGO for Language Practice

Bingo is one of the oldest tricks in the book for language instruction. It is so simple, so effective, and my students beg for it.

To use this sheet, here’s what I do:

1) I pass out the blank sheets to the students, and I call out the words for whatever set we’re learning. If we’re learning adjectives that describe emotions. I would call out “triste” and they would choose a random square in which to draw a sad face. Here they are having to produce the word by hearing it. If it’s a more advanced class, I could make it more complicated and say, “El bebé está triste.”

2) To play, I simply call out the words or phrases we drew and the students places a chip on that space. (They get excited if we get to use foreign coins for chips.) A complete diagonal, horizontal, or vertical row wins. Here the review moves much more quickly because the students are only having to recognize a word by hearing it.

That’s all! This can take a long time to make, but I like that they are spending a lot of time with the vocabulary. We often keep the sheets for a quick 10-minute game to review the words throughout the unit.

I am wary of games and programs that mix lots of English into the activities. I’m always encouraging my students to remember that Spanish is not English, translated: it is a different language. Anytime an activity can take place with full immersion, the better. There is always at least one student who tries to just write the meaning in English, and I never allow this unless there’s no way to represent the word. Again, I want my students to be thinking in Spanish. Encouraging them to simply sketch the word they hear keeps English out of our activity.

This isn’t necessarily something I’d do with my own kids in Spanish, unless they just love to draw. We would probably play a regular Bingo game, just using Spanish. BUT… if I am able to realize my dream of learning French and introducing it as their 3rd language, I will be busting this one out someday!

BINGO Printable

BINGO Printable – Fewer Boxes

Happy downloading!

Luz Verde, Luz Roja – But With Verbs!

Luz Verde, Luz Roja – But With Verbs!

Inside: How to play Red Light, Green light to learn verbs in Spanish.


At first, I started out just playing “Red Light, Green Light” in Spanish, which is also fun. You simply yell “¡Luz verde!” and everyone runs toward you, and then yell “¡Luz roja!” for everyone to freeze. If anyone moves, tell them “regresa” and they go back to the start line.

My students, though, love to play outside and after a couple of rounds there wasn’t enough vocabulary to keep them learning. We decided to turn it into a verbs game. When we play it this way, whoever is “it” calls out a specific action to perform, like “baila.” Everyone advances, dancing. When “¡Luz roja!” is called, everyone freezes and anyone who moves is sent back. So simple, but it’s amazing how they never tire of this one! Often I will stand at the front and yell out what action to do (so I can control what they’re practicing) and the student who is “it” just concentrates on saying “luz roja” or “para” and catching unlucky moving friends.

This is adaptable for whatever you are working on and can of course work for any language. Here are some variations:

You can use simple, basic verbs: camina, corre, nada, baila, etc.

Or more complicated terms: conduce un carro, juega futbol, toca la guitarra, etc.

If you’re learning animals: nada como un pez, corre como un caballo, salta como un conejo, vuela como un pájaro, etc.

Note: You may wish to change the way I conjugated these verbs. I kept it simple, since most of my classes that are practicing these words are beginners. It would technically be more appropriate to use the affirmative Uds. command form since these are being given as plural commands. I adjust based on the class. 



Our Favorite Bilingual Pictionary

Our Favorite Bilingual Pictionary

favorite bilingual pictionary

As you build up your Spanish library make sure you have this one: Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever / El mejor libro de palabras de Richard Scarry. It is a must for for every Spanish/English-speaking family with little ones. In fact, I just walked over to the computer here with it, and Janio gave me an extremely hopeful look: it is one book he always asks for.

If you aren’t familiar with Richard Scarry, you are in for a treat. He has wonderful little stories, but even better are the detailed, imaginative drawings. He manages to pack every page with interesting illustrations without being overwhelming.

Many Spanish language resources are full of Spanish picture dictionaries and flashcards, but I think it’s much better to have real literature in your hands. Most of the dictionaries’ illustrations that I’ve seen are lacking or too busy. This may not be a dictionary, technically, but it’s much more engaging and worth your money than most illustrated dictionaries.

I love this book because even though my Spanish vocabulary is fairly extensive, as my son gets older there are more and more words I realize I don’t know. (Crane? Windmill? Boxcar?) We pretty much camp out on the trucks, trains, and farm pages right now, but hopefully I’ll get to study words for the grocery store and house one day too.  If you are wanting to teach your baby or toddler Spanish, but feel nervous about a limited vocabulary, this should help tremendously.


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