Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


3 Greeting Games with a Ball for Elementary Spanish

I ALWAYS START MY CLASSES WITH A GREETING- it provides a natural transition into class, sets the tone, and builds community, an important part of the Responsive Classroom approach. And, in my estimation, learning how to greet someone else is one of the most important skills you learn in a foreign language classroom- any conversation you start with another person begins with a greeting! Here are three simple greeting games I do using a ball (any ball will do; I have a variety of balls in class so I can mix it up and keep the greetings fresh).

*BALL ROLL- This classic game is simple and easy! Kids sit in a circle, greet someone and roll the ball to that person. Recipient greets him/her back and then greets another student, and so on until all students have been greeted. To make the game go more smoothly, use the cards below to indicate who has had a turn- hand one out to each kid before you start the game; they place it in front of them. Once they have had a turn, they put the card behind them. No more trying to remember who has had a turn and who hasn't! Download them for free here! The greetings are just prompts; you don't need to require a student to use one or the other when they greet someone (though you could! :) )

*BALL TOSS- another easy to play version, this time with the kiddos standing up in circle. Kids toss the ball to one another, greeting the person before they toss. Once a kid has had a turn, he/she sits down- easy way to tell who has had a turn! Be sure to model appropriate tossing- balls careening or whipping across the room is never fun (at least, for you)! I like to use a smaller ball for this game, but a soccer ball is great for little hands.

*GREET SOMEONE WHO.... This greeting game requires some listening comprehension on the part of your students, but is a great practice for color words. Sitting in a circle, first kid is given the ball by the teacher (greet him/her :) ) and instruct him to 'Greet someone who is wearing red (or any color)'- it is a good idea to review color vocabulary before starting so it is fresh. He needs to find someone wearing that color, say a greeting, and roll the ball to that classmate. Keep instructing kiddos to greet someone with particular colors, repeating colors as needed, until everyone has been greeted. Use the cards above to show who has had a turn.

ENCOURAGE KIDS TO VARY THE GREETING when you play these games at different times of the year, adding in new ones as the year progresses- Hola, Buenos días, Buenas tardes, Hola, ¿qué tal?, ¡Feliz lunes!, ¡Feliz martes!, and so on. Have fun!

Want even more Greeting Games? Click here to grab our pack of 20 Greeting Games with printables!


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