Right now, it’s completely understandable that people feel anxious.
Most of you are being asked to do something completely new. You might be teaching live virtual classes, complete with grades and IEPs to keep up with. Some of you are calling students and working your way through hundreds of emails every single day. Some of you are being told that all assignments are optional.
For all of us, the emotional and physical wellbeing of our students is really what we care about the most.
And even as I write that, I know that no matter how much you care, you’re still dealing with life! Many of you are overwhelmed dealing with your own kids, caring for sick family members, or maneuvering through unrealistic expectations.
In this post, I’ve simply concentrated on gathering happy ideas for Spanish students and teachers.
Take the resources that are helpful. Don’t feel like you should add anything that creates more work than, well… happiness.
We here at Secondary Spanish Space are cheering you on! If you like, skip to #10 for links to posts that will bring some sunshine to you (and maybe make you spit out your coffee from laughing so hard).
You are a rockstar for teaching those kids whatever you can in all this craziness!Related: Resource Round-Up for Distance-Teaching
10 Happy Ideas for Spanish Distance Learning
These ideas focus on positive news, self-care, healthy habits, and fun, with or without a screen. Hope they make your life a little easier (and brighter) as you make your plans!
1. Zumba in Spanish
How about encouraging your students to get moving and listen to some of their favorite songs in Spanish? Here’s a post with a bunch of Zumba videos. They’ll only fill about 5 minutes each, but are a good way to break up a long time of sitting in front of a screen.
2. Spanish Scavenger Hunts
Assign some scavenger hunts that can be done at home! This post contains ideas and free printables for a bunch of Spanish scavenger hunts and selfie challenges. These would be a fun, hands-on way to practice things like parts of the house, clothing, chores, adjectives, and more. If you ask the students to take pictures and write a sentence, you could fill up several lesson periods while getting your students up and moving.
3. Jokes for Spanish Learners
These adorable bilingual jokes from Fun for Spanish Teachers are perfect for Spanish learners, with visuals to support comprehension. You could post them for fun, have students translate them into English, or provide the joke and have your students add visuals.
4. Yoga Videos in Spanish
Check out this list of yoga routines that last anywhere from five minutes to a full hour, all narrated in Spanish. These could serve as mindfulness brain breaks, or perhaps as part of a choice board since not all students might be into yoga.
(Also, for you teachers – the Calm App is available in Spanish. It’s not free, but has been really helpful to me in getting through the past month.)
5. Positive News Reports
It’s not just us being bombarded with difficult news right now. Our students are processing all it as well. Here are some resources Spanish teachers have put together, for accentuating the positive in our world right now:
- Diego Ojeda has been putting together some fun five-minute videos that share positive, happy news from around the world. They are also posted on EdPuzzle with activities and scripts to make it easy for you.
- This Google Slides presentation and assignment on happy news from Spain (from Spanish teacher Shari H.) is also adorable and uplifting!
- Here is a free “magazine” of happy news in Spanish. There are two editions so far, and hopefully more to come!
6. Spanish Memes
All your students probably love a good meme. Profe Tauchman has free presentations of 101 Spanish memes if you’re not sure where to find them. Spanish Plans also has awesome lists of original memes for Spanish teachers.
7. Happy Music
We all know that music lifts our mood and helps with memory. Now is the perfect time to assign music in Spanish that reinforces what your students are learning and maybe they’ll also be inspired to listen in their free time! If you’re not sure where to start, try this set of Spotify playlists or this page of songs divided by topic and theme for learners.
Just because you’re not physically together doesn’t mean games in class are over! You can still play these games online:
- Quizlet Live (now has the option to play individually, not just on teams)
- Kahoot (best if you’re teaching live and can share your screen)
Game like Bingo will still work, if you have your students make their own boards and listen to you call out the terms. Other games like 20 questions and Guess Who could work with small groups against the teacher.
9. Shows in Spanish
Here are some fun shows to use with Spanish class:
- Mi Vida Loca (make sure students are watching through Safari or Explorer, also available on YouTube, heads up that one episode features a visit to a winery)
- Go! Vive a tu manera (on Netflix)
- Nailed It Mexico (on Netflix)
And here’s a more complete list of options!
10. Funny Stories for Teachers
You probably need a good laugh these days too. Here are some gems from around the internet right now:
- #Confessions of a Teacher During Covid-19: A Teacher Mom Keeping It Real About Distance Learning from Mis Clases Locas
- The Life of a Virtual Teacher as Told By Tiger King (yes, you read that right)
- 14 Hilarious Virtual Moments We Can All Relate To
Hang in there!
We’d love to hear what other ideas you have for bringing happiness into your lesson plans right now. Tell us more in the comments below!