This is a game I play with kids to practice the verbs ver, querer and tener in the first person and also review a bunch of vocabulary. I like it because I say almost nothing and the kids are using Spanish that makes perfect sense and exactly describes what they are doing.
Overview of the Spanish game to practice verbs and vocabulary:
– Students are divided into teams of about 5.
– A set of objects and pictures, labeled with different point values, is displayed where everyone can see them. The point values are hidden from view.
– When it is their turn, a team confers to choose the object they will go and get.
– The team sends a representative to get an object (someone different each time). The player first identifies the object she will get by saying Veo (la manzana). Then she says she wants the object Quiero (la manzana). She goes, gets the object and when she is holding it she says Tengo (la manzana). The team is awarded the number of points on the object.
– When everyone has had a certain number of turns, the team with the most points wins.
A few details:
– Because I work with small groups, I can usually play with two teams of about five students, but you can certainly play with more teams. This Spanish game works with all ages.
– I often do a quick review of the verbs or new vocabulary before we play.
– I like this game because the kids usually produce the Spanish correctly and fairly easily and who wins is determined by luck. I let the teams confer on the vocabulary, so they choose the words they are sure of early in the game. You can give only partial credit if a word is mispronounced.
– Pictures or objects work, as long as they are big enough for everyone to see. I use some pictures and things like plastic animals, a plastic fork, spoon, knife, plate, cup, a paper napkin, a ball, a key, an apple, a banana, a small bottle of milk, chocolate, a small box of cereal, clothing (baby clothes work well), a phone, a clock, etc.
– The number of items depends on how long you want the game to take and how many turns you want each student to have. The last time I played I had a group of 10 students (two teams of 5) and they all had two turns so I had about 25 items. I always have more objects and pictures than students so that as the game ends there is still some choice.
– Label each of the objects or pictures with a point value. I use masking tape and a permanent marker for this. If I have 25 objects, I label 4 objects – 1pt., 4 objects – 2 pts., 6 objects – 3 pts., 6 objects – 4 pts., 5 objects – 5 pts. You could probably spread the points evenly, but having a few more objects worth a certain number of points makes it very unlikely that the teams will tie (something that has never happened). Also, with a point spread like this the team scores tend to stay fairly close.
– I spread the objects out on the floor where everyone can see them. You could also spread them on a table or around the room.
– When it is their turn, the team confers to choose which object they are going to get. Because the objects are worth different points, the kids will try to guess which are worth more. I tend to make the easiest words (ones I know they all know) worth a smaller number of points, but it is pretty random.
– The player from the team whose turn it is to get the object, identifies what she is going to get saying Veo el/la (object). Then she says that she wants the object saying Quiero el/la .. The player goes to get the object and then, once she is holding it, says Tengo el/la … I ask ¿Cuántos puntos vale? and the points are added to the team’s score. The player puts the object in a box and it is the next team’s turn. The teams get a rhythm going and can quickly run through the sequence of verbs and deliver the object to the box.