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.
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