Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Things I want to try which I haven't tried before, part 2

Here are some more ideas which I have found since my previous post:

1. Which card ?
Several children stand at the front of the classroom holding a flashcard, with the picture side facing them. The others have to find out who has which card by asking "¿Tienes ....?" or "¿Te gusta...?" The children with the cards can only answer yes or no.

2. Join up the words
Give children or pairs of children sets of words which have been cut in half. Ask them to reconstruct the words by putting the halves together correctly.

3. Alphabetical order
Give children a set of word cards and ask them to sort them into alphabetical order. Alternatively, with words that follow a specific order like the months, children can race to put them in the right order.

4. Phonics
Make a set of word cards with single words which have the same sounds in them. Highlight the graphemes in a different colour. Use the cards to practise reading out loud, then children can classify the cards according to the phonemes or graphemes.

5. Stand up sit down
Give each group of children a sound, word or phrase. Tell them that when they hear it they all have to stand up together. The faster the activity goes, the more they will enjoy it. As an alternative you could say the word or phrase in English so that the children have to recognise their own phrase and then stand up.

6. Stand up sit down 2
Take your seat, and say a word in the language, for example "español". Then repeat it, standing up and sitting down when you say the final, stressed syllable. Ask pupils if they can explain what you did. Give another example if necessary. When they have worked it out, say a word to them, which they have to repeat, standing up and sitting down at the right time, i.e. on the stressed syllable.

7. Find your group
Give each child a card with 3 pictures on it. These pictures could be hobbies, animals, colours... The idea is that they are things about which opinions can be expressed. The children circulate around the room asking each other questions about what they like, and they answer according to what's on their card. Once a child has found someone with the same like as them, they stay together and find someone else to add to their group. The game continues until everyone is in a group. Ask each group the relevant question and they reply in unison. A simpler version would be for each child to have one word or picture, and for several children to have the same word or picture.

8. Find the sweets
Put the images for the words you are practising on the IWB. Behind one of the images hide a virtual sweet. Ask a child to name one of the images, move it aside and see if it reveals the sweet. If it does, ask the winner to jumble up the images so that the sweet is hidden somewhere else.

9. Spell it out
Give pairs of pupils a set of pictures and a set of individual letters on cards. Call out a word and the pairs race to find the right picture and make the word correctly.

10. Mexican wave
Choose some of the words that you have been learning and want to practise. The children help you to decide on the order in which they will be said. They go round the circle saying one word each, in the right order. They could stand up or kneel up to achieve the wave effect. You could clap your hands to change the direction of the wave. This could be fun with adjectives, where the children have to say, for example, "triste" in a sad way. Alternatively, they could use a sequence such as days of the week for the main words, but you make it more interesting by periodically calling out an adjective so that they have to say the words in a certain way. A Mexican Wave would be a good way to embed short phrases or sentences, or anything where word order is important.


  1. thank you for those great ideas. They are very useful as usual :)

  2. Here by way of Alice Ayel. These are good ideas, even for middle schoolers - ages 12-14. Thank you for posting.