Use a Whiteboard to Make Teaching and Learning Spanish Fun
Using whiteboards for Spanish games and activities does require the purchase of a few materials for your classroom:
- Individual whiteboards – Check school supply catalogs for bulk packages. These will be more economical and durable than the individual whiteboards sold for personal use. Some teachers have also made whiteboards from sheets of panelboard/showerboard from a hardware store.
- Dry erase markers
- Erasers – Cloths or paper towels will be cheaper than purchasing a class set of dry erase erasers.
- Dry erase board cleaner – Markers leave residue, and you may occasionally want to clean the individual white boards more thoroughly.
Whiteboards can be helpful in planning an activity for teaching Spanish commands. Give the students a series of directions and ask them to draw what they hear. For instance:
- Dibujen un círculo en el centro. / Draw a circle in the middle.
- Dibujen una línea horizontal al derecho del círculo. Debe tocar el círculo y ser horizontal. / Draw a horizontal line to the right of the circle. It should touch the circle.
- Dibujen un cuadrado debajo del círculo y a la izquierda. No debe tocar el círculo. / Draw a square underneath the circle and to the left. It shouldn't touch the circle.
Game and Activity Ideas
- Play Spanish vocabulary Hangman in small groups or pairs.
- Play Pictionary in small groups, using vocabulary words.
- Read vocabulary words in English or hold up pictures and ask students to write the Spanish equivalent on the boards.
- Let students use the board for brainstorming for speeches, papers, and projects.
- Read sentences in Spanish and ask students to write them down to practice both listening comprehension and spelling.
- Read a passage or play a video clip or song for the class. Ask students to keep track of how many times a certain feature, such as negative commands or the subjunctive mood, occurs. Reread or replay the selection with teacher commentary to check student counts.
- Play speed games, rewarding a point to the first student to write the answer and hold it up. Award a small prize or class privilege to the student with the most points at the end.
- Practice verb conjugations. Read an infinitive verb form and ask the class to write a specific conjugated form.
- Read math problems in Spanish and ask students to solve them.
No matter what Spanish games and activities you use with the individual whiteboards, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to quickly and easily check student comprehension. Have the students turn their boards to the front. Teachers can get an instant look at student progress by checking what the students have written.