Learn Spanish with Pictures

Learn Spanish with Pictures is a fun and easy way to speak Spanish with children. All of these photograph-based activities have a simple description of a photo and three or four types of questions. These question types are ordered to help children master the Spanish vocabulary and gain confidence with the language. With very beginners, start with Describe the photo (1). When you are confident your child understands the key vocabulary, ask questions from Choose the answer (2) and Pointing and counting (3). Ask the questions in Yes and No (4) to practice more of the vocabulary used in the description. If your child is comfortable enough with the Spanish words to produce them easily, include the questions in Say a little more (5).  You will find a list of the words used in the description and questions in Vocabulary (6). All photographs used in Learn Spanish with Pictures activities are in the public domain and taken from public archives or are available to use with a Creative Commons license.

1. Describe the photo – Describir la foto
Each photo has a brief description in Spanish. If you are learning Spanish with your child, read the description together so that she hears the vocabulary.  Be sure to point to the objects in the picture as you say the words. If you speak Spanish, just talk about what you see in the photo. Regardless of your child’s level, talk about the picture before asking questions in order to engage her and let her hear the important words. Just talking about the picture by reading the description and pointing to the different objects is an excellent language learning activity.

2. Choose the answer – Seleccionar la respuesta
These questions offer two choices as possible answers. Your child hears the vocabulary and recognizes that it matches the picture. The vocabulary is contained in the question, so it is easier to produce the Spanish word because she has just heard it. Questions with choices are structured like this: ¿Es un perro o un gato? (pointing to a cat), ¿La niña está contenta o está triste?, ¿Las personas están en la ciudad o en la playa?

3. Pointing and counting – Señalar con el dedo y contar
Your child answers these questions by pointing to an object or counting something in the picture. To answer these questions she has to recognize the Spanish vocabulary she hears. These questions have structures like this: ¿Dónde está el árbol?, ¿Ves la maestra en la clase? ¿Cuántos carros hay en la calle?

4. Yes or No – Sí o No
Your child can answer these questions by saying or no. They use a wider range of the vocabulary from the description and structures including comparisons and prepositional phrases. To answer these questions, your child needs to understand the words, but does not have to use them. This step, of hearing and understanding the language before producing it, is essential to learning Spanish. These questions are structured like this: ¿La niña está contenta?, ¿Hay pájaros en el árbol?, ¿El carro está al lado de la casa?

5. Say a little more – Decir un poco más
To answer these questions, children need to use Spanish that is not in the question, so it is important that your child be familiar with the words. The vocabulary is often in the description of the picture. Reading the description or talking about the picture first helps your child remember the words and makes it easier to say them. Answering the questions Choose the answer and Pointing and counting will reinforce the Spanish words represented by the picture. Say a little more questions are information questions and are structured like this: ¿Qué es esto? (pointing to an object in the picture), ¿Qué hacen los niños?, ¿De qué color es la casa?, ¿Cómo se siente la niña?

6. What about you? – ¿Y tú?

The questions in What about you? give your child a chance to talk about herself. They are common personal questions at a variety of levels. You will find questions with gustar such as ¿Te gustan las manzanas? and questions with other verbs such as ¿Tienes un abrigo? or ¿Cuál es tu color favorito?  The verb form that will be used in the answer is included after these questions.

7. Vocabulary – Vocabulario
This is a list of the key words, in Spanish and English, used to describe the photograph. The words are in the order that they appear in the description and the meanings are based on the context of the photo.

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