Inside: A fun & easy activity to learn Spanish with songs in class, only using a piece of paper.
One of my favorite things about teaching textbook-free is that authentic songs in Spanish are central to class now. If you’re not sure how to start, read how to teach Spanish with authentic songs, and then browse my suggestions for Songs in Spanish by theme and category, for all ages.
I can be a scatter-brained teacher, and my go-to activities are always the simple ones. I call this listening activity Draw, Listen, Check. It works for authentic songs and only requires a piece of paper– perfect for last-minute fillers and reinforcement. Here’s how it goes!
Draw, Listen, Check: An Activity to Learn Spanish with Songs
Choose a song your class is already familiar with. Pull out 4-6 structures you want to emphasize, and write them on the board, or dictate them. The students should divide a paper into 4-6 sections, and quickly illustrate one structure into each square.
This is what one student drew when we did Vivir mi vida by Marc Antony. The target structures were:
- la lluvia
- vivir mi vida
- para qué llorar
- para qué sufrir
Erase the target structures from the board, and play the song without showing the lyrics. The students should put a check mark in the boxes each time they hear the corresponding phrase. That’s all!
This is not an assessment, but just a quick way to highlight the target structures, get some input, and practice listening skills. My students like it because it’s low-pressure and they usually see it as a personal competition to get the closest score.
Some variations on Draw, Listen, Check:
- Pair up the students. Cut up one paper by section, and spread out the papers on a surface between the students. Listen to the song again, and students try to slap the phrase they hear, first. I literally have no way to keep track of points– this one is probably best for small, responsible classes.
- Before listening to the song, use the phrases to play Charades or Pictionary.
- Some songs repeat certain phrases a LOT. If you have a song like that, crumple up a piece of paper after doing Draw, Write, Check. Stand in a circle and play the song. Give the paper to one student, to start. Every time the phrase is sung, the student can pass the paper to the next person. If you pause the song, the student holding the paper is out. (See? Like Hot Potato!)
Continue as long as you like until you have a winner or several winners.This would be a really fun brain break!!
Have more ideas for learning Spanish through songs? Leave a comment!
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