Descripción de una foto: A fun creative writing/drawing activity (descripciones) (ser/estar) (el presente)

IMG_0021This activity is a simple one, but it goes over very well with my students. Yes, even college students like to break out the crayons & markers every once and a while! The idea is that drawing their ideas in Spanish will help enforce their language learning and develop the skill of thinking in Spanish. I use this activity as a review before a quiz that covers vocabulary for descriptions, the present tense verbs, different verbs for expressing “to be,” and comparisons. As you can see in the paragraph depicted to the left, it is pretty manageable to fit in all of these elements.

Here’s the lesson plan:

1. Introduction: Display sample. Read the paragraph together as a class. Ask students to find examples different elements in the paragraph that we are studying. For example, ” ‘Ella es rubia’ es un ejemplo del uso del verbo ser para describir un rasgo físico. ´La montaña más alta del país´ es un ejemplo del superlativo.”

2. Instructions: Challenge students to think in Spanish while they draw. They may prefer to write the paragraph first so that they can have their vision clearly in mind once they begin drawing. Almost all of my students choose this option. While they are drawing, I remind them to, “¡Piensa en español!”

3. Peer editing: Students swap papers with one or two classmates.

4. Visually reinforcing the grammar: Students highlight or circle the  different verbs using different colors to reinforce the grammar aspect of the lesson. For example, highlight all forms of the verb ser in orange and all forms of the verb estar in blue. Now, the paper may be a more helpful study tool for visual learners.

The sample pictured here is the one I use as a model while introducing the activity. Here´s the PDF worksheet you can print!

Hoja de actividades: Descripción de una foto (PDF)

If you use this activity in your classroom, please leave a comment because I´d love to hear how it goes! Also, suggestions are always welcome!

Here are some samples of my students´work!

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¡Nombrar/crear/describir animales híbridos! A creative & fun activity for practicing descriptions! (ser) (tiempo presente) (vocabulario: animales)

How cool are these photoshopped pictures of hybrid animals? They could kick-off some really interesting activities for practicing descriptions and/or learning animal vocabulary words (not just the names of the animals, but also their features, body parts, behaviors, habitat)! Students could name and write descriptions of these animals, or even better, draw their own!

nombrar los animales_photoshop

Leer la mano: A fun activity for practicing descriptions! (tiempo presente) (ser)

I came across this guide for palm reading, and thought it could make an interesting activity for students to practice descriptions, the verb ser, and the present tense (what we’re working on this unit)! Here’s a possible way of giving the lesson:

1. Discuss the guide:

  • vocabulary expansion

  • present tense verbs & present tense conjugations of ser for describing personality traits

  • gender of the adjectives must agree with the person being described

2. In pairs, students read each other’s palms and compare what the palm tells about their personality with how they really are.

3. Students get a new partner and describe their first partner based on what the palm-reading revealed and the discussion that followed OR that could be the writing prompt:

¿Qué aprendiste sobre tu compañero al leer su mano? ¿Es así de verdad?

descripciones_leer_la_mano