Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.
Spanish is the official language of the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
These games and activities can be incorporated into your classroom instruction in order to reinforce the content. They will help students identify the geographic location of these Spanish-speaking countries and understand more about their cultures.
Travel Agent Activity
- Tri-fold presentation poster board
- Glue sticks
- Internet access
- Printer (color if possible)
Assign a Spanish-speaking country to each student in your class and explain that they just got a new job as a travel agent. They will use the tri-fold poster board to create a travel display that makes people want to visit their assigned country and present it to the class upon its completion.
The display must be colorful and creative with relevant pictures printed from the Internet and must include the following components (you may add to or omit any of these requirements according to the needs of your students):
- Picture of the country on a map
- Continent where the country is located
- Countries it shares a border with
- Oceans, if any, that border it
- The capital city
- Its flag
- The national dish or a traditional food commonly eaten there
- Two places tourists usually visit
- One additional fact the student found interesting about the country
Where Am I? - A Game of Lost and Found
- One note card for each Spanish-speaking country you want to review with your students
- One small whiteboard and dry erase marker for each student group (you can substitute paper and a pencil if necessary)
- Maps (optional)
Before playing this game with your class, prepare one note card for each Spanish-speaking country your students are learning about with clues that describe that country. You will read these clues aloud to your students during the game. You can customize each country's clues based on the level of your students and the facts you want them to remember. An example card for Argentina might say:
I'm lost and need your help to figure out what country I'm in. The only thing I know for sure is that this country shares a border with Chile. As I drive east toward a beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean, I see a sign that points to the capital city of Buenos Aires. I also see a flag that has a blue stripe on top, a white stripe with a sun in the middle and a blue stripe on the bottom. Where am I?
To play the game, place students in teams and give each team a small whiteboard and dry erase marker. If you don't have these supplies, give them several sheets of paper and a pencil.
Read the clues for one country, set the timer and give the teams 30 seconds to figure out the answer and write it down. When the 30 seconds are up, teams will hold up their answers. Using tally marks, keep track of each team's score on the classroom white board as you go through the cards. You may choose to give the winning team extra credit points or another reward you feel is appropriate.
To modify this game, you may choose to allow students to use a map and eliminate the time restriction on the answer. Another modification would be to read each clue one at a time, from the 'hardest' to the 'easiest.' If any team feels at some point that they know the answer, allow them to guess. However, if they are wrong, they are eliminated from this round and can make no further guesses. If no team has correctly guessed by the time all of the clues have been given, then allow the remaining teams 30 seconds to write down their answer.
Snap to It!
- For each pair of students in your class, you'll need 3 note cards for each Spanish-speaking country your students are studying
- Internet access
- Color printer
- Glue stick
- Laminator (optional)
To prepare a set of cards for this game, take 3 note cards for each Spanish-speaking country your students are studying and write the name of the first country on all 3 cards. Then flip the cards over to the blank side.
- On one card, write the name of the country's capital.
- On the second card, glue a color picture of the country's flag - can be printed off the Internet.
- On the third card, glue an unlabeled outline of the country on a map - can be printed from the internet.
Repeat this process for each country. You may want to laminate these cards for durability.
To play, you will pair your students and give each pair a well-shuffled set of cards in a stack with the name of the country face-down so it can't be seen. The student whose last name comes first alphabetically will start the game.
The first student will pull a card from the bottom of the deck and put it in the middle of the desk or table so both players can see it, keeping it face up so the name of the country can't be seen. As soon as the card is placed in the middle, the first person to identify the country based on the clue snaps their fingers (or claps if they can't snap) and says the name of the country. If both students clap or snap at the same time, each is to say their answer.
The student who answered will then flip the card over to see if he/she was right.
- If the student was correct, he/she keeps the card.
- If the student was wrong, the card goes back on the top of the draw pile.
- If it's a tie and both players are right, the card gets set aside in a separate pile that neither player gets.
- If it's a tie and neither player is right, the card goes back on top of the draw pile.
This goes on until all the cards from the draw pile are gone. The player with the most cards wins the game.
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