Inside: See sample lessons and ideas for those first days of Spanish class, for different levels.
¡Qué nervios! Those first days are exciting and also… a lot.
If you need some ideas for your first days back in class, you’re in the right place.
Most first day of Spanish class lessons include one or more of the following:
- Learning names (me llamo, ¿Cómo te llamas?)
- Meet the teacher (slideshow or presentation)
- Setting up norms and procedures
- Community building
The plans below include my favorite ideas for those themes.
Here you can jump to the level you need:
Note: While introducing a syllabus and establishing norms is very important at the beginning, I wouldn’t recommend planning an entire class around it. Especially for the first day or two, students are getting an overload of information and might just tune out.
I’d recommend saving it after the first days, or doing small pieces each day of the first week (like the first day just emphasizing and practicing how they enter class).
For more resources such as setting up classroom management, procedures, units, syllabi, etc., see my big post on back-to-school posts for Spanish classes.
Before we get into the detailed lesson, I have a great first-day freebie for you: enter your email below, and I’ll send you some editable name tag templates and student surveys. Hope that helps!
First Day of Preschool Spanish Ideas
- Name Games
You can use some gentle name games with PreK students. Have the students sit in a circle and use a bean bag or ball. Toss the ball to a student and ask their name (after explaining what you will be asking): ¿Cómo te llamas? They can toss the ball back to you or pass to another student.
- A core routine in preschool Spanish is starting with a greeting song. Here’s a list, and here are two of my favorites:
First Day of Elementary Spanish Class Lesson Ideas
- Name Game Gold
I love this activity from Mrs. Spanish! She shares a detailed lesson plan of her first day, along with this game for practicing names and learning se llama. This would work well for K – 3rd grade. (You can use my editable name tags above to go ahead a write their names!)
- ¡Ya sabes español!
From Mundo de Pepita, this is a super cute mini-lesson to show students words they already know in Spanish.
- My First Day Back to School
From Fun for Spanish Teachers, here’s a great basic outline of introducing yourself, learning names, and setting up some expectation with an exit ticket at the end.
- Meet The Spanish Teacher
See an adorable example of a meet the teacher template, AND Carolina has a free template you can use and edit.
- Student Surveys
Elementary teachers often manage a large numbers of students and classes. I have some free surveys below you can grab and print for that first day. You can keep them to help personalize and learn names. It also may be a good idea to have something quiet they can work on as they come in!
- Somo diferentes pero somos fuertes
What if you have a group of 5th-6th graders who have already been in Spanish for a while? Try this extensive plan from Mrs. Spanish– she has a ton of free ideas for starting off the year with a community-building unit.
Would you like to see examples in action? Here’s a demo of a first day in an Elementary Spanish class.
First Day of Spanish 1 Lesson Ideas
First Day lesson descriptions:
- Meet the Students at the Door
Mike Peto has a detailed description of his very first day of classes, where students share a little bit about what they like to do. His explanation of procedures is super helpful.
- Card Talk Immersion
A description of how to speak Spanish from Day 1, starting with a Card Talk activity. Use the name tag templates above to hand out to students, where they can draw two things they like, and one thing they don’t (or you can edit with different categories).
- You Can Do This
I really love this plan from PBL in the TL, especially her idea of going “despacito”!
Meet the Teacher (these would work for upper levels as well, you can just make the language more complicated!).
- Meet The Teacher Editable PPT
Here you can grab a template for introducing yourself, from Creative Language Class.
- Señora Chase shows how she makes a Kahoot to quiz her students on ¿Conoces a la maestra?
Here are some videos if you prefer that format:
This podcast from Growing with Proficiency uses similar ideas listed above (introducing yourself as the teacher and getting to know students), but with really nice details and explanation of every single step. Good ideas for anyone, but especially if you are new teacher!
This is a fun video you might want to use the first day, showing celebrities speaking different languages!
Related: 10 Icebreakers for Spanish Class
Upper Spanish Lesson Ideas
- Card Talk with Spanish 2
From Palmyra Spanish, here’s an explanation (having students share the name, along with their answers for yo tengo, yo quiero, etc.)
- Spanish 2 on a Block Schedule
Here’s a great outline of the first day when you have a long time together!
- Stations in Intermediate Spanish
From Aventuras Nuevas, here are examples of first-days stations. The post includes descriptions!
- Don’t Start With A Review Unit
Mis Clases Locas explains why she doesn’t start by giving a placement test or creating a unit reviewing everything from the previous year. Good read!
I hope these first day lesson plans are helpful to you!
Ideally, you’ll have a relaxing night before the first day, getting centered and ready instead of burning the midnight oil. 🙂