I decided to play an Olympics inspired game each day this past week with my Spanish classes. The purpose of these games was pure fun! We didn’t use a lot of Spanish (But, it’s also important to note that we didn’t use English!)
The language use was before the game (introduction and instructions for the game) as well as after the game by talking and writing about it. We not only debriefed our activity, but we talked about the Olympics in Spanish. Who watches it? What’s your favorite sport? Compare the Winter Olympics to the Summer Olympics etc.
I also used a few videos to introduce the topics. We didn’t spend the whole class talking about Olympics, it’s Valentine’s Day too, so we mixed in some of those topics as well! I’m not unit based, so it’s easy to be flexible. I hope you can be inspired to use one of these games to get your kids moving and having fun.
Here were the games we played! I’m inserting some pictures and videos so you get an idea of the game. The point was to move, have fun and that’s it! We learned some new vocabulary in the process, but remember, not every second of class needs to be about pushing proficiency, it establishes an amazing environment in which language acquisition happens. Someone recently wrote this description of my class and I think it explains the games in this post well:
“My view is that, in addition to the constant practice of using the language, you build a safe and engaging environment that encourages risk taking, and I think that’s where the magic happens, even kids can take a risk, make a mistake, and figure out how to do it better. So, maybe the game in and of itself doesn’t create better speakers (or maybe it does, I don’t know), but the environment the games produce does.”
Video of a Speed Skating Relay!
Put on music and let them skate around! We played freeze dance, but you could also have pairs create a quick dance. Synchronized skating could be fun too!
This was my set-up:
Here was a game:
We played a game in which kids needed to sweep the air, inspired by sweeping the ice. We played two against two in a bracket style tournament.
I used this Video as a hook for conversation and playing.
We basically played floor hockey on paper plates. It was an important part of the directions to show that the hockey sticks needed to stay on the ground! They all respected it! 🙂
When playing tournaments like this, I always give the spectators roles. I had students involved in keeping time, score, judging and cheering in the target language.
Let me know how you bring some fun into class!