Spanish Classroom Activity to Teach Countries and Capitals
Spanish teachers from middle school to high school will at some point teach the Spanish countries and capitals.Students need to know where Spanish is spoken and some major facts about each country.As the semester goes on you will most likely focus on each individual Spanish speaking country more in depth, but for the start of Spanish I it is good to teach which countries speak Spanish and what their capitals are.The activity presented below is an interactive classroom activity that lets the students practice this while pronouncing simple Spanish phrases in a question and answer format.
Before class you will need a large map of the world and a stack of index cards. If you don’t have a map you can draw a rough sketch of the Spanish speaking countries on the board.On each index card write one of the countries and its capital and on the other side put a piece of tape. On the board write the questions “¿Cuál es la capital de …?” and “Dónde está?”Also, write the name of each country.
When the students arrive to class go over the different countries and capitals, discuss what the questions on the board mean and talk about how you would answer them in Spanish.Make sure to review the verb “estar” plus prepositions of location too.Now, pass out the index cards to each student in the class.If there are more index cards than there are students give some students more than one.Every student will have at least one index card with a country and a capital on it.
At this point have a volunteer come to the board.This student is instructed to randomly pick one of the Spanish speaking countries written on the board.He will ask “¿Cuál es la capital de… (the name of a Spanish speaking country picked)?”. The entire class, except for the student with that specific card, will attempt to answer the question.
Tell the students before starting that if their country is called they shouldn’t answer the first question.Once the correct answer is given the student asking the questions will then ask “Dónde está?”.Now the student with the card will go up to the board and place it in the appropriate geographical area.He will state, in Spanish, where the country and capital are located using “estar” plus a preposition.This exercise will be repeated until each country has been covered.
Students will enjoy the fact that they get to move about the room while completing this activity.Each student will be paying attention to hear when his country is called.This activity is a great way to get your students the much needed conversation practice while covering important geographical information.