Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Give Bingo a Twist!

BINGO, A WELL LOVED GAME FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES! Great for practicing all sorts of vocabulary, the combinations are endless and always timely. As I was walking down the hallway this morning, I saw a group of my second graders playing math bingo-BUT WITH A TWIST! (and I immediately said to myself, I gotta share this!) They were playing what I dub 'REVERSE BINGO'... in other words, instead of starting with no chips on the board and covering squares as they are called, the board is covered with chips to start with, and as vocabulary is called, the chips are removed until someone has uncovered 5 in a row- ¡BINGO!

Bingo with a twist for foreign language classes

NOW, I AM SURE THIS ISN'T ALL THAT ORIGINAL, but I just love the idea of turning the game around to give my students a little something unexpected, and therefore a little more motivating. Nothing like novelty to spice things up! I'd love to hear how you mix up Bingo-or any other traditional game-share in the comments!

AND FOR ANOTHER FUN GAME TO PLAY, check out this post on how to play GATO with the whole class!

IN SEARCH OF A NEW BINGO GAME? How about ours with colors? Find it here!

5 Activities to Incorporate the Winter Olympics in Spanish Class

I'M A HUGE FAN OF THE OLYMPICS, AND MOST ESPECIALLY THE WINTER OLYMPICS, when countries from around the world get together, there's lots of excitement in the air, and we root for our favorite teams and athletes. Being an international event, the Olympics lend themselves very well to foreign language classes, and it goes without saying it's a great opportunity to teach sports vocabulary in are FIVE ACTIVITIES to incorporate them in class:

Incorporate the Winter Olympics in Spanish Class

1) CHOOSE A COUNTRY TO FOLLOW DURING THE OLYMPICS: head over to the official Olympics website (click here and their official Spanish channel here), change the language to the target language you teach by scrolling down and clicking on the little globe (see photo below), and use the website to follow competitions and medal counts.

2) DID SOMEONE SAY SPORTS VOCABULARY? There are so many ways you could use this vocabulary in and of itself-movement activities, 4 corners listening comprehension, a poll or interview of your favorite sport to do or watch during the Olympics, play Charades, play Bingo with the vocabulary, and so on.

3) THE MASCOTS ARE SO CUTE!: Each Olympics there are two mascots, one for the Olympics and one for the ParaOlympics, and they are adorable (even though I'm not sure what a few of them are lol)! Pull up this page from the Olympics site and use the mascots for vocabulary practice-year, type of animal/mascot, what color they are, what they are wearing, etc. Below is a super awesome video of the PyeongChang mascot, Soohorang, participating in each of the winter sports-fantastic for vocabulary practice!

4) USE HULA HOOPS TO REPRESENT THE RINGS: For little learners, placing hula hoops on the floor, identifying their colors, and then doing a bean bag toss (or other small item) is a fun way to bring the Olympics to a preschool or early elementary class room. You can name the color they must aim for, or, for older kiddos, you could assign a number to each ring, then keep score based on which ring their bean bag goes into. TIP: Talk to your Phys Ed teacher to borrow hula hoops!

5) MOUNT YOUR OWN VERSION OF THE OLYMPICS IN CLASS! Create stations with different sports for a game day, provide game vocabulary posters in the target language and have some fun! I've saved a number of photos and games you can do in class on my Pinterest board here! (I'm super partial to the bobsled races lol!)

Incorporating the Olympics in Foreign Language Class

And don't miss our Winter Sports Mini Theme Pack which you can find here!

WHAT OTHER IDEAS DO YOU HAVE? Share in the comments!