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Each chapter covered in a typical Spanish I or II class presents numerous vocabulary words that need to be memorized. To increase the chance that students remember the words, let them have some fun while practicing the vocabulary. The following activity involves students competing to see who can identify the new vocabulary the quickest in interactive groups.
After presenting a new set of vocabulary words, and completing a few exercises to work on them, split the class into groups of threes. Have each student take out a blank piece of paper and write all of the vocabulary words in a random order all over the paper. There should be about thirty words on each student’s paper. It is important that the words are randomly placed on the sheet of paper. If your vocabulary list is not that long, add some words from previous chapters. Tell the class to put a circle around each word.
Now explain to each group that one person, who will be the leader, is to present his paper to the other two students in the group. These two students put their papers face down and just concentrate on the leader’s paper for now. The leader is to choose a word from the list and, without saying it in Spanish, begin describing it. You can have students describing the target words in Spanish or English depending on their skill level. The first of the two students to point at the correct word is the winner of that round. These two students will compete in ten rounds while the leader keeps score. Whichever student has the most points at the end of ten rounds is the next leader. The group now switches to his paper to start again.
Students will have a lot of fun with this game. You can choose any type of Spanish nouns, verbs or adjectives to work on. One could even go so far as to use short sentences to do this activity. Middle school and high school students will enjoy this and maybe even a lower level college course if your class has the right chemistry.