I love games. (I love them so much I decidated an entire page to lists of them: Spanish Learning Games.)
You know what I also love? Having a stash of no-prep, low-tech activities in my back pocket.
There are many awesome review options that students love: Kahoot, Quizlet Live, Jenga, and Jeopardy come to mind. Some days you really do have time to prepare, take advantage of tech, and it’s great.
But today, we’re talking zero-prep, easy-to-explain games.
You can throw these together five minutes before class starts, and have all of your students engaged, the whole time. Ready?
5 Easy Review Games for Spanish Class
Since teaching with comprehensible input/ to proficiency, I always try to use whole language in games. I focus on activities that provide input and involve authentic communication. These games are perfect when reviewing a novel, story, movie, or text.
If you are reviewing for something more grammar-based or vocabulary-based, though, you can still use these! I’ve tried to include examples of how to do so when pertinent. I know everyone has different circumstances.
1. Escribe, Dibuja, Pasa
Prep: Paper, pens/pencils. Groups of 4-8. (6-8 is best.)
My favorite way to use the game is when studying a novel, story, or theme. For example, when studying the novel Esperanza, I might tell my class they have 5 minutes to look through chapters 1-3. They should choose 1-2 sentences to copy, and then draw the scene.
If you are reviewing for a themed or grammar-based test, give a parameter like “create a scene in a restaurant,” or “write a scene using -ar verbs.”
2. Bingo / Lotería
Except for printing the games, this one is zero-prep. It develops listening skills and works for ANY topic or theme.
- Pass out the Bingo grids. Then, dictate scenes for the students to draw in random squares until the board is filled. Play as many rounds as you like!
- Seriously, with a grid of 25 squares, you can take a whole class period on this. AND you can save the boards for the rest of the year, for days when you have an extra five minutes.
- If you are reviewing a novel, narrate different scenes straight from the book. Grammar topic– dictate scenes in the past, or reflexive verbs, etc. The key is to deliver whole language, in context, in which they have to listen carefully.
3. El Marcador
Watch this 30-second video to see how to play. (Read a more detailed explanation at Mis Clases Locas!). Show it to your class, and go!
Have the students keep track of points, and you’re done!
Make game cards to play Memory in groups. I used to do this for vocabulary or grammar, but you can really take it up a notch by setting up the matching cards as questions and answers. Señora Chase has a great explanation of how she plays this game as a group, and I’m borrowing from her ideas below!
- Pass out paper squares to the groups.
- Each student within is responsible to come up with several questions and answer. (You set the parameters, of course– if the questions are from a novel the class is reading, from a story, or something Persona Especial based on people in class.)
- Have the students check their cards with you when ready. Set a minimum, but let early finishers do extra cards. Then let them play in groups! The activity should be self-monitoring since the students themselves made the cards.
- Alternatively, play as a class with the teacher guiding the game. Randomly number the cards on the back, so the students can take turns asking you to turn the cards over.
5. 4 Corners
There are tons of ways to play. Basically, “it” counts to ten while everyone else quietly chooses a corner of the room to stand in. “It” calls out a corner (without looking), and everyone in that space is out. Last student in, wins.
- To review vocabulary: Sketch the terms as a picture, and tape one in each corner. (Write the terms in Spanish on the board.) Student who is it counts to 10, then calls out one of the terms on the board. Everyone in that corner is out.
- To review a story/film/book: Put a character’s name in each corner. The teacher counts to ten, then states something related to one of the characters. Whoever is in the corresponding corner is out. (Credit: Mis Clases Locas) If you do persona especial, this would be perfect!
- To review grammar: Post an object pronoun in each corner, and call out nouns, or post pronouns and call out a verb.