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Rope Your Spanish Students In With Old-fashioned Word Games

By Bright Hub Education Writer

Give your students a little extra homework--the extra credit kind--or quiz their knowledge with these classic word games. We also provide the sources where you can make your own puzzles.

Juega!

Fun Spanish classroom games take your lessons from rote memorization to play central. You can hand these Spanish word games out Word Games to your students one sheet at a time or in a workbook--give them extra credit for completing it--or you can use the games as ways to quiz your students on their progress. Students who enjoy these activities may also benefit from classroom activities for visual or kinesthetic learners.

By the way, juega means plays, and is also an exclamation used in a common board game.

naaviid (Adivina)

Spanish sounds exactly the way it looks, so don't bother putting on a Spanish-language spelling bee. But you can still test your students’ knowledge of how words should look (and by extension, sound) by giving them word scrambles to sort out. Just take your latest vocabulary list, randomly mix up the letters in each word, and let them work it out from there. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you could also, in ascending order of difficulty:

  • Give them the English translation of each word to be unscrambled
  • Give them a clue to each word in English
  • Give them a clue to each word in Spanish
When you unscramble naaviid, it means guess.

Busca, Busca!

Give your students extra credit for completing a Spanish word search (busca) that incorporates their most recent vocabulary list. There are special word search creation tools available online, but since you will need to use specialized letters like ch, ll, rr and ñ, you may want to create your own. Adjust the sizes of the columns and rows in an Excel spreadsheet to 1/4” high and wide, then fill in the words you want your students to find. Finally place random letters (don’t forget to include extra ch, ll, rr and ñ to throw them off of the scent of the real ones) until the word search is entirely full. You can download a free Excel word search template from Bright Hub Education, or use the Discovery Education Puzzlemaker.

Criss-cross

Of all the games on this list, criss-crosses may take the most preparation. But you can still knock one out, once you've got the knack of it, in just a few minutes. You could create these on your own using an Excel template similar to the one above, but you can also use a crossword creation tool like the Puzzlemaker referenced above (select Criss-Cross, which is very similar to a crossword) or the Crossword Puzzle Games creation tool.

Fill the crossword with Spanish vocabulary words or phrases. This is a great opportunity to test your students’ conjugation ability or their ability to fill in the blanks on common Spanish idioms.