Before making this activity a few years ago, I polled my beginner Spanish students about the most well-known families from a TV show or movie. The Kardashians won, but Family Guy consistently took second, ¡so I went with la familia Griffin!
First, we watch the video below together to provide comprehensible input for introducing family vocabulary. I pause frequently to ask «circling» style questions, all in the target language, Spanish. (Click here for a great video on circling by Kaizen Teaching).
Next, students work together to fill in the blanks with the target vocabulary. Click here for a free, printable PDF of the handout! Or click here for a LiveWorksheets copy that can be filled out online!
Finally, students put what they learned into production by writing a similar description of a family on the back of the handout. Here are the instructions I project on the board:
¡A escribir! Descripción de una familia
Use the Family Guy presentation as a model
Describe una familia famosa (de la televisión, el cine, un libro, la historia, etc.)
Usa el vocabulario para expresar las relaciones entre los miembros de la familia.
¿Qué hacen los miembros de la familia?
–Escribe 1-3 frases sobre cada persona.
Dibuja (draw) un árbol familiar.
I instruct the students who finish writing early swap papers to do peer editing.
Any feedback welcome in the comments! I´d love to know if you use this activity in your classroom or have any suggestions for expansion/improvement!
«Los líderes no crean seguidores, crean más líderes.» – Tom Peters
¿Cómo interpretas esta frase?
¿Cómo es un buen líder? ¿Qué hace?
¿Conoces a un buen líder? ¿Cómo es esta persona?
Escribe 5-7 frases para describir a un buen líder.
¿Crees que se puede determinar la personalidad de una persona de acuerdo a su firma?
Do you think you can determine a person´s personality according to their signature?
¡Vamos a ver!
Paso 1. Pídele su firma a un amigo.
Ask a friend for his/her signature.
Paso 2. Analiza la firma con la información de abajo y escribe 2-3 frases sobre la firma y la personalidad de tu amigo.
Analyze the signature with the information below and write 2-3 sentences about your friend´s signature & personality.
La firma de mi amigo Miguel es hacia arriba. Miguel es optimista y enérgico.
La firma de mi amiga Lourdes es hacia arriba. Lourdes es enérgica y creativa.
Paso 3. ¿Tu amigo está de acuerdo? ¿Por qué? Pregúntale y escribe su respuesta.
Does your friend agree? ¿Why? Ask and write about the response.
Miguel no está de acuerdo. Él dice que no es muy enérgico. Es perezoso. Le gusta descansar.
Lourdes está de acuerdo. Ella dice que es enérgica y creativa. Le gusta jugar deportes y dibujar.
Source of image: http://www.genial.guru
My Spanish 1 students are working on descriptions with SER right now, and I’m always trying to find ways to switch up the usual «¿Cómo eres?» activities for practicing personal descriptions.
In this activity, Peter Griffin and Voldemort are «mentirosos» who have written very inaccurate dating profiles.
Students first re-write each profile to make it more accurate, and then write a new profile for a character of their choice. Correcting the profiles first serves as a model for writing the last profile on their own.
Finally, students swap to share their (often comical) character profiles and peer edit.
Peter Griffin and Voldemort are very recognizable for my college-age students, but the characters could be changed to best suit your students’ interests.
Here is a link to the printable PDF of the handout:
If you use this activity with your students, I’d love to hear how it went in the comments!
This 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!
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!
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!
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:
present tense verbs & present tense conjugations of ser for describing personality traits
gender of the adjectives must agree with the person being described