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

  1. Thank you so much for this idea. I modified it some but it was a great starting point. We used it to write about ser and estar. I had students draw a picture of themselves or bring a picture, and most chose to bring one (not as creative as your students:) They wrote at least 10 sentences, 5 with ser and 5 with estar. We were really able to work on creating more complex sentences and adding details. Of course the best ones used a variety of verbs in addition and the very best were telling a story about what was happening in the picture.

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  2. This could be made into an activity to continue throughout the course. Add another page and illustration to their story as they learn new vocabulary and grammatical forms. By the end of the year they’d have made their own storybook and be able to see how much they had learned over the year.

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  3. First at all I love the name of your website. This activity is wonderful, not only because integrate art with Spanish, but also because students write about something they created. I am going to use it with my Spanish 1 and with my Spanish two, but they write in preterit.
    Thank you so much. Muchisimas gracias!

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    • Thank you for your kind comment, Peter. What a wonderful idea to use it for preterite with Spanish 2! I might try that as well! Perhaps at the intermediate level, students can swap pictures and narrate in past tense what happened in their classmate´s picture. I´m sure plenty of students would come up with creative or comical interpretations of their classmate´s art!

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