Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Fast Finisher Activities for Elementary Spanish Class

I'M DONE, WHAT DO I DO NOW, SEÑORA? Yes, we've all heard that question! Those kiddos who finish early and need something to do... here is a round up of the activities I provide for my FAST FINISHERS... please add yours in the comments! We would love to hear them!

*COLORING & PARTNER READ WITH OUR MINIBOOKS: This is the first go to in my classes- since every theme begins with one of our minibooks, every kiddo has his/her minibook tucked in their folder, easy to grab and color and/ or partner read with a friend.

Pepita lee sobre Frida Kahlo
*BOOK BASKET: I always have two baskets of books for kiddos to look at and read in my classroom. One has chapter books, while the other has a variety of picture books, non fiction books about countries, animals, geography, etc, and simple picture dictionaries. Many of the books in the second basket are in Spanish, but not all. Consider putting cookbooks in there, too! The pictures are beautiful and show authentic food, always a popular topic!

*MEMORAMA: Memory is always a favorite! Easy to play with 2-3 friends, I create Memory cards that require matching a word with a picture, increasing the challenge somewhat, rather than simply picture to picture. I always have a few sets in our fast finisher bin!

*PUZZLES: I have 3-4 puzzles of maps that are great for kiddos who love to do puzzles and/or are interested in geography. Since my room is small, I let students take the puzzles out into the hall to do them. Can't find good ones, or don't have access? Take a picture from a magazine or print out a page from a book, affix to stiff paper, laminate, then cut apart in wonky shapes to create your own paper "puzzles". Tuck the pieces in a ziploc baggie and have them ready to go!

*STORY TREASURE BASKETS: As I stated above, all of my themes revolve around my minibooks so I sometimes create story treasure baskets filled with props from the story, along with some extras to fuel their imagination. You can see my post here for some fun examples!

*SORTING ACTIVITIES, much like Memorama, are great opportunities for youngsters to practice vocabulary, and muffin tins are perfect for sorting little items like pompoms, beads, counters, and more. Label each muffin cup with a different category word, (colors, numbers, size, etc) provide a set of objects to sort, and away they go! To increase the challenge for older kids, have a mix of objects and word cards to sort.

*COOTIE CATCHERS: Older learners can make their own cootie catchers in the target language, then play them with classmates. Have vocabulary prompts available in writing so kids have direction when creating them. Here is a pattern for making them (not mine):

*WORD SEARCHES, COLOR BY NUMBER, CROSSWORDS, ETC are always a great activity to have on hand for fast finishers, tailored for age level. I like to have ones out that are related to the theme we are currently engaged in, or ones that review vocabulary from previous themes.

*GAMES OF ALL KINDS can be adapted for fast finisher activities- I love Dominos for little learners and, since it is popular in a number of Spanish speaking countries, it is authentic yet familiar. Provide a map of the Caribbean with Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic highlighted to give them context! Another fun game I started with my students I call 'Tapatodo', where students try to be the first to cover their board, a great review of vocabulary. You can find our set of 16 gameboards here!


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