Recently a reader asked about adapting Spanish learning games, specifically a dice game, for middle school. The game she asked about involves rolling dice and coloring a picture. The question is a really good one because many of us work to adapt Spanish learning games and activities to different levels and settings. I usually answer questions in the comments or email, but I thought I would share my ideas here. I would love to hear from you too!
This is the game: Game with dice and a picture to teach vocabulary to kids learning Spanish
and this is the question: What ages would this dice game work for? I could see it being good for grades 4-5. What variation could you do for middle school?
Looking at adapting Spanish learning games for middle school, we have to consider how much Spanish the students have had and how to make the game age appropriate. After all, sixth graders are very different from eighth graders.
Spanish Learning Games – Variations on a Dice Game
Here are a few variations you might consider:
- Play in pairs. The game is essentially a race, but this is clearer with fewer players.
- Have students label the object in the picture when they roll the dice.
- Increase the element of chance with additional rules: If you roll doubles, roll again. If you roll a 1, you lose a turn. (Don’t assign 1 to anything in the picture).
- Choose pictures of people doing activities. Make the key with infinitives and put numbers in the picture. When kids roll the verb, they 1) label the picture with the conjugated verb form or 2) write a sentence about what the person is doing. These sentences will describe the picture when they are done.
- Play the game in two teams. Project the picture on a white board and have kids label it as they play.
- Involve the students in making the game. Have them choose from a selection of pictures and make the key.
- Use the picture for follow-up activities. For example, kids can ask each other ¿Dónde está..? questions, or you can do a listening activity with true-false statements about the picture.
We all have to adapt Spanish learning games to fit our students and situations. What works for you?
Photo Credit: dullhunk via Compfight cc
Sep 30, 2014
Gracias por compartir este post. We play with dice A LOT as they are an easy thing to bring out and use as a warm up with children. Some ways we use dice are: naming the numbers in Spanish – super simple but very competitive! Adults love this game too. To make it trickier, we add two dice and they need to add them together and say the sum in Spanish OR use two different coloured dice and the blue one is the tens number and the red the ones – for example a 5 and a 3 would result in the number cincuenta y tres. Another way is to roll a number and the children need to find X number of something in the room and label it eg roll a 3 and they need to jump up and point to something where there is three of them eg ‘tres ventanas’.
With very little learners, we are exploring the patterns of quantities represented on dice by rolling the dice then pushing a number on an old cellphone or calculator to show they understand the digit form as well as the quantitative form, also counting out items according to the number rolled. I have a few videos on youtube which explain it better than I have here! Feel free to try them out yourselves!
Sep 30, 2014
I love all these ideas! We do the name the number and the adding (or subtracting, or multiplying) two dice too. It works well with playing cards too. I agree that older kids have fun with these games too, especially when speed is a factor. Thanks for sharing the videos!