Friday, November 5, 2010

Día 55 - Games

When I first started, I would do games all the time!  I mean, seriously.  We played games two times a week.  Sometimes if we could get through a book lesson quickly enough we would play games more often.  The most popular was always Matamoscas.  Then I learned about other games and have slowly been adding them in here and there.

The following is a list of games I compiled for someone on in a way to catalog some of the games that I've done in the past.  I would love to attribute them to people who came up with them. But I don't really remember where I got some of them from.

Here are a couple I have used over the years:

A. Caramba
Here's a brief explanation... if you have technology it makes it a little easier and you don't waste paper but I did it back before I had a projector. (download ppt)
  • You make cards (slides) of different vocab.
  • Then you insert some cards that say "Caramba" on them and scramble it all up. ( I usually do 10 Caramba cards/slides)
  • you have students in teams
  • have teams elect a representative (this is the person you will listen to)
  • you show the vocab word (or show English word) or even something from a TPRS story and have them translate or finish or true or false... anything
  • if they get it right, they get a point and they may continue or stop
  • if they stop, they keep all the points they have accumulated for that round and never lose them for the duration of the game
  • if they continue they keep going until they: 1) stop, 2) miss one 3) get a 'Caramba'
  • if they get one wrong or a 'Caramba'; their turn is over and they lose any points from that round
  • my kids have a love/hate relationship with this game.
B. Conecta 4
  • I made a powerpoint and it's a tad tricky but it plays like the game 'Connect 4" with two teams
  • instructions are included in powerpoint (slide 1)
  • (download template ppt)
C. ¿Dónde está Wally?
  • in previous years I used this to practice place vocab
  • if you have tech, I have a PowerPoint template (download ppt)
  • if you don't have any tech, you can print out pictures of places and glue them onto a piece of heavier paper with a small pocket at the bottom and then insert some different waldos into the pockets randomly. Have those pictures taped on the board and have the students guess.
  • they write down their answers and if they are right, they get a point
  • to build suspense I go person to person and ask "¿Dónde está Wally?" and they have to tell me a guess... then as a class we see if they were right or not

D. Jeopardy
  • I have a powerpoint template (download ppt)
  • if you don't have tech in your classroom, you can always write number values on the board with the categories and have a notecard with the questions and answers. I've done both and either one is successful with the students.
E. Sentence scramble
  • I've come up with sentences and the cut them all up and had the students try to put them back together beforehand timed
  • the group that gets the most wins
F. Crossword puzzle w/ clues
  • I projected a crossword on the board w/ an overhead and then had each team with a different marker color. They were given clues for the words (in Spanish) on a piece of paper and then they had to figure out what the word was. One person could come up to the board from each team at a time to write a word in there.
  • the winning team had the most words filled in correctly
  • you can make free crossword puzzles at and then project the pdf file saved to your computer without the clues on the board

G. Scrabble
  • I made my own little scrabble sets on cut up card stock paper/notecards
  • I made sure there were plenty of letters as well
  • students drew like 15 letters at the beginning and always got 2-3 blanks at the beginning as well.
  • first student would place a word down
  • students would build off of that word (like in Scrabble)
  • they would keep building off the of the words
  • the winners had: 1) most words or 2) longest word

H. ¿Dónde está mi _?
  • last year I had a student walk out of the class and stay in the hall... when they came back the other students had hidden one of their items... students then had to describe the person who took it.
  • this could be adapted to describe body characteristics, clothing, locations like 'near' 'far' 'above' 'below' etc

I. steal the bacon
  • if you're covering vocabulary... I liked printing out pictures last year when first introducing vocab. 
  • After introducing it on the first day or second day, we had the students compete to grab the vocabulary word on a piece of paper before the other... this is an incredibly fun thing for them even at the high school age.... I just had them keep score...
  • seriously, even though it's simple... students LOVE the competition

J. Memoria
  • cards of things with pictures and spanish words or translation and spanish words
  • students play memory with the cards
  • take turns flipping them over; looking for matches
  • if they get matches they may continue looking

K. pesca ("go fish")
  • play 'go fish' with cards... I usually had the object and the picture or just the picture of the object
  • rules of 'go fish' apply
  • "tienes _? (do you have)
  • Sí... o pesca
L. Matamoscas (Flyswatter game) 
this is my favorite game of all time
  • write vocabulary words on transparency
  • divide group into two teams
  • each team gets a flyswatter
  • one person from each team goes up to the board and stands on opposite sides of the board
  • instructor calls out a a word (opposite of the language on the board) and students race to hit it with the flyswatter
  • student who hits the word first gets a point for their team
  • students get two misses... if they miss twice, the instructor counts backwards from 15... if they do not get the word, no point awarded
  • if students do not know the words, their teammates can call out directions in Spanish (which are written on the board)
  • really good directions can get another team points as well
  • usually students stay up for two different rounds


  1. These are great ideas -- thanks!

    I have started offering many of my printable Spanish games for FREE:

  2. I am currently studying to be a Spanish teacher. I have seen a few of these games used in classrooms. What game do you feel is most effective for learning content? What game or games do students enjoy the most?

  3. Como juegas jeopardy? que preguntas haces?

    1. Depende de lo que estás enseñando... por ejemplo si estás enseñando la gramática, el vocabulario y/o la cultura, puedes dividir el juego en categorías diferente...

      si estás enseñando un libro, podrías dividirlo dependiendo de los personajes, lugares, los capítulos, citas memorables, etc

  4. Jeremy,

    I was wondering if you could share with me how you actually made the connect 4 and jeapordy templates so that I could make some with my own vocabulary words. They are amazing resources! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jeremy,

    I was wondering if you could share with me how you made the templates for the connect four and jeopardy so that I could make some with my own vocabulary words??


    1. Charles, great question. You can basically download the version I have made and change the text.

      If you want to go from scratch, which I wouldn't do because that's too much work, you just make a main slide with additional slides and hyperlink from the text box or box to another slide.

      Then you can make an arrow and give it the property to send you back to the main game slide. Or if the main game slide is #1, then you can press "home" on the keyboard and it takes you to the beginning while playing the game.

      If you do it with a text, you can change the property so that once that text has been used as a hyperlink it changes to the same color as the box it is in, rendering it invisible.

      I promise it's pretty easy! Let me know if you have anymore questions!

  6. How do you mark the grids that were answered on the board? Thanks so much!

  7. If you have text inside the box that is a hyperlink, have it change to the same color as the box it is in once clicked (giving the appearance that it disappeared).

  8. It's made to be easy to edit, drag and drop picture ready, and fully editable graphics included. This is the best PowerPoint template .