Children acquire Spanish by hearing and reading the language in context. This picture match and mini-book for beginning readers use common Spanish verbs and support the meaning with cute pictures of cats.
Common Spanish Verbs for Elementary Students
I focus on high-frequency verbs in an effort to give students enough exposure and repetition to really learn. Of course, they come across a wide variety of vocabulary in text, video and music. However, in terms of producing the language, it makes sense to emphasize common Spanish verbs.
In addition, these common Spanish verbs are relevant to kids lives, so they can use them to talk about daily activities. Because this is high-frequency vocabulary, they also use the verbs in other contexts.
If you’re looking for specific practice conjugating verbs, check out our Spanish Verb Conjugation Practice cut and paste activity.
Reading Activities with Common Spanish Verbs
These two reading activities pair common Spanish verbs with simple drawings. I made this activity for my novice learners, so the sentences are short. In other words, there is not a lot of extra vocabulary.
Be sure to check out all our free downloads with Spanish reading for kids activities.
The common Spanish verbs in these reading activities are:
The first activity is a picture match with 10 sentences. Kids cut out the pictures. Then, they read the sentences, match the picture to the description, and glue the picture in the square.
You can find another picture match using high-frequency vocabulary here.
The mini-book uses the same sentences, but refers specifically to the illustrations using este gato and estos gatos. Invite students to color the pictures, so you can also use color words as you talk about the book.
Get the Mini-Book Gatos Ocupados
Reading Longer Sentences
You can also use the same verbs and pictures and write more complicated sentences. I made versions of this activity with longer sentences by adding prepositional phrases. For example, instead of El gato escucha música, the sentence is El gato escucha música en el sillón. Instead of Los gatos duermen the sentence is Los gatos duermen en la cama.
Another option for adapting for higher levels is to vary the descriptions of the pictures using more specific verbs. For example, instead of El gato juega al fútbol, you can use the sentence El gato patea el balón. Instead of Los gatos están en el carro, you can use the sentence El gato maneja el carro.
Expand on the Common Spanish Verbs Activities
In the reading activities, these common Spanish verbs are used in the third person. You can have students make a mini-book with drawings or photos of themselves doing different activities and using the first person of the verbs.
You might also like this list of 10 Spanish Verb Conjugation Activities for Kids from Spanish for You.
Kids need lots of exposure to common Spanish verbs. Picture-based activities like these reinforce the meaning of the verbs and give beginning learners the support and practice they need to read in Spanish.