Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


What's Missing? Fun Vocabulary Game

THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR is coming fast, and this makes for a good time to incorporate review activities, or, as I call it, 'A blast from our past'. For novice learners who are still at the one word utterance level, the game 'What's missing?' is perfect, and endlessly engaging for little kiddos as it incorporates surprise, suspense, and practice all in one.

TO PLAY, GATHER TOGETHER A SET OF PICTURES OR OBJECTS that represent familiar vocabulary. I like to do a quick review of the vocabulary prior to starting the game to help prime my students and refresh their memories. And then, we're off! I choose 4-5 pictures and put them in front of me, saying each as I go. Then, instruct students to close their eyes (I also have my students all turn towards the back to head off the ("unintentional") peeking. Remove one item and hide it underneath  a piece of cloth, small blanket, or small tapestry/ wall hanging, also in front of you. Instruct your students to open their eyes again, and ask '¿Cuál falta?' or '¿Qué falta?' (my native speaking friends tell me either works for this game!). Once guessed correctly, start again with a new set of 4-5 pictures!

AFTER A FEW ROUNDS, start taking away more than one picture...or all of them! My students love when I do this! To add number, color, or adjective practice, have multiples of one vocabulary item (for example, three apples, a pear, and two strawberries, or a green apple and a red apple), and take away some but not all of this vocabulary item to provide opportunities for students to be more specific in their answers- two apples are missing! or 'the green apple!'. This helps students to "grow" their utterances from one word to chunks.

USE REALIA SUCH AS WALL HANGINGS FROM PERÚ for an added cultural component!

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE GAME with my Kindergartners:

Enjoy and have fun with your kiddos during these last weeks together!