Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


3 Activities to Celebrate 100th Day of School in Spanish Class

IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AROUND THE COUNTRY, 100th Day of School is a big deal! Kids celebrate in many ways, so why shouldn't we world language teachers get into the action, too?! Here are three simple activities to make 100th Day of School part of your class:

*MUÑEQUITOS QUITAPENAS: Count up to 100 with our foto of Guatemalan worry dolls! I've arranged them in groups of 10, with a break after 5, so you can count by 5s or 10s for your older kiddos! Just display this foto on your smartboard or AppleTV and count away!

100 Worry Dolls to Count for 100th Day of School

*CIEN PALABRAS EN ESPAÑOL: This is a simple activity with index cards (or get fancy and use scrapbooking paper!)- hand out an index card to each kiddo and instruct them to put a Spanish word on the card. Once they finish, they can take another card. Encourage kids to do 6-8 cards, then collect them all and go through them, weeding out the duplicates. Count how many you now have, and determine whether you need more in order to get to 100 cards. Pass out the required number of more cards and help the class to brainstorm words they haven't written yet. Once you have 100, you can string them together to make a banner!

100th Day of School Activities for Spanish Class

*PLAY MONEY: Print out 100 pesos, guaranies, quetzales, bolivares, soles, etc from a variety of Spanish speaking countries (just do a Google images search) and use a map to match money to country. You can even laminate everything and put velcro on the map and backs of the bills so you can easily attach them to the various countries! *NOTE: for some countries, 100 is no longer in circulation, or not as a bill, so you can either skip or print out vintage bills or coins. (And of course, you could use the money to have kids "buy" and "sell" things in a pretend market..always loads of fun!)

100th Day of School Activities for Spanish Class

UPDATE: I've just stumbled across these two songs from Pinkfong that are great for the littles!

DESDE 0-100 AÑOS VIDEO: I absolutely LOVE this series of videos in a variety of languages featuring people sharing their age, from 0 to 100 years old. 
Here are a couple of activities you can do with them:

*ORDER THEM!: Create screenshots of numbers by 10s (0, 10, 20, etc) & print them out. Mix them up, then have students order them numerically, saying the numbers in the target language as they do.  You can alternatively call out each number and have the kid w the number bring it up to place it in order for a listening activity. (You could also do this by 5s)

*FIND YOUR MATCH: Using the same screenshots, but inserting them into a Google Slide, Word or Pages document to resize & make them smaller, create two sets when then can either be using as a Memory Game or for kids to circulate around the room looking for their match (each kid gets one card). 

100 Days of School Activity with Authentic Video Screenshots

Here's ANOTHER ACTIVITY for 100th day of school which connects to identity and anti bias teaching- 100 PEOPLE COLORS :) 

100 People Colors for 100th Day of School

As you may know, Crayola labels their crayons in three languages, English, French, and Spanish. To prep this activity, I bought a pack of 100 blank index cards and then drew faces on each one-some with freckles, some with glasses, some with eyes closed or eyes open, etc. I also used the color names on the crayons to label each card, starting first with one single color, then mixing colors to form combinations-ultimately each card is a different people color! With younger students, you can have the crayon and matching card prepped ahead of time; with older students, you can have them search for the matching crayon(s) by reading the labels themselves and then coloring. Once all 100 are done, you can display them in the hallway, on a bulletin board, or other location in the school :) 

100 People colors for 100th Day of School

AND DON'T MISS OUR POST about teaching people colors here

Have another idea? Please share in the comments!


100th Day Activities in Spanish

9 Minute to Win it Games to Play in Spanish Class

I CONFESS, I LOVE PLAYING GAMES! My family is huge on games, we play whenever we get together, and honestly, we play a lot of games in my elementary Spanish classes. Besides the fact that they are fun, games are an authentic way to build communication skills, motivate those more reluctant learners, and give a reason to participate for even the "coolest" kid. While searching for Valentine's Day activities on Pinterest, I came across a bunch of 'Minute to Win It' games and I was hooked! (Apparently I have been WAY out of the loop because I didn't even realize it had been a TV show until I had been scrolling for maybe 5-10 minutes- oh, boy!) Anywho, I couldn't resist gathering a bunch together, making some adaptions to fit an elementary Spanish classroom (though they could be played in any language or level really!), and ¡ta-chán! here they are:

1) LA TORRE DE CORAZONES: this one is awesome for any grade level (my primary grades play a similar game with stacking a sandwich and it is hilarious! see post here). Head over to the Dollar Store and pick up a bunch of candy hearts- the bags I bought had approximately 180 candy hearts in them, so enough for 18 kiddos- 4 bags + one extra bag and I had enough for one grade level. Put a bag's worth (or so) on paper plates and have kids take 10 hearts each. Set the timer and have them stack the hearts; if the hearts fall over before the minute is up, they have to start over again- the student with the highest tower at the end of the minute wins!

Minute to Win it Games in Spanish Class

2) DE UN PLATO AL OTRO: Who knows what to call this game? Anyway, each student needs two paper plates, a bunch of pompoms on one plate, and a clothespin. Set the timer- the challenge, use the clothespin to transport pompoms from one plate to the other- whoever has the most pompoms on their second plate at the end of the minute is the winner!

Minute to Win It Games in Spanish Class

3) LIMPIADORES DE PIPA: Another take on the pompom idea, each student gets one pipe cleaner and a bunch of pony beads. Depending on the age of your students, you could do this in pairs or as individuals. The pipe cleaner with the most beads when the timer goes off is the winner- bonus points if they create a pattern with the colors! (you would need a variety of colors for this :0) )

Minute to Win It Games in Spanish Class

4) COMIDA MISTERIOSA: This is great for small teams to play against one another! Use Chinese food take out containers (I found these at the Dollar Tree, you can also find them at most any craft store), and put a plastic food (or a picture, or really anything! I just like the idea of a food item since it is a take out container :) ) inside. One student on each team has to describe the food in the target language to the rest of the team without them looking inside the container. The first team to guess correctly before the timer goes off is the winner. You can then rotate the containers and start again.

Minute to Win It Games in Spanish Class

5) EL TARRO DE ESTIMACIÓN: Fill a jar with candy conversation hearts and invite your students to estimate how many are in there, using the target language of course!

Minute to Win it Games in Spanish Class

6) RELLENAR EL MOLDE: Another speed related game, students each have a bunch of pompoms and a cookie cutter. The challenge- stuff the cookie cutter with as many pompoms as possible. Whoever has the most in the cookie cutter when the time is up is the winner.

Minute to Win it Games in Spanish Class

7) CATEGORIZANDO POMPONES: Have a plateful of pom poms in different colors, a clothespin and a muffin tin for sorting the pompoms by color (you could use cups or sorting trays also). Once the timer starts, students need to use the clothespin to sort as many pom poms as possible before the time is up!

Minute to Win It Games in Spanish Class

8) CARRERA CON POMPONES: This is a great game to play outside or in the gym! If you have to play in your classroom, you can do it in shifts of 6 or so students at a time so that there is enough room. Mark a beginning and ending point that students will need to navigate- give each participant a popsicle stick and three pompoms which need to sit on the popsicle stick. Hit 'go' and students must walk as quickly as they can to the other side, without dropping any pompoms. The first across the finish line with pompoms intact is the winner!

Minute to Win It Games for Spanish Class

9) CARRERA CON POMPONES #2: This is an alternate version of the above game, but instead of a popsicle stick each student gets a paper cup with pompoms inside (I put about 5-10, the amount isn't important, though it should be the same in each cup to be fair should the cup fall and someone has to refill their cup before continuing on). Each student places the paper cup on their head, and again, must walk as fast as they can to the finish line. The winner is the first across the line with the cup on their head and all pompoms inside.

YOU CAN PLAY THESE GAMES any time of year- they are not Valentine's Day specific, though certainly if you are heading into February vacation, you might consider playing these to keep your sanity! :)

AND DON'T FORGET TO THROW IN game vocabulary while everyone is playing: 'Go!', 'It's your turn!', 'Come on!', 'Oh my gosh!', 'oh no!'. 'yay', 'darn!', 'alright!', 'yes!' etc are all great expressions to keep the games in the target language. Now, go have some fun! :)

NEED A GREAT RESOURCE FOR GAME VOCABULARY? Here's a set of posters plus vocabulary lists!

Games Vocabulary Lists in Spanish


How to make a paper snowflake in Spanish class in the target language

MAKING SIMPLE CRAFTS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES can be a lot of fun- and can be a great use of time if they are done in the target language. Instructions for making things often incorporate high frequency vocabulary, so choosing small projects to do in class can offer your students a new and novel context in which to encounter this vocabulary, something I think is important. Refining knowledge of the meaning of words takes a long time, and various contexts help in that refinement.

ENTER PAPER SNOWFLAKES- since its winter, and snowflakes are a popular craft in most elementary and middle schools, why not harness the fun and make them in your class? Here are instructions in Spanish for how to make a simple snowflake out of paper.

REMEMBER, WHEN DOING A CRAFT OR PROJECT in the target language, have everyone do each step together, waiting until everyone is finished before moving on to the next step. This helps those students who have difficulties with multistep instructions, and keeps everyone in the same place which helps with classroom management. Have fun!

teaching 90% in target language making a paper snowflake