Are you looking for easy ways to teach Spanish in your elementary classroom? If so, read on for my top tips to incorporate teaching Spanish language into your everyday classroom routine. As the world becomes ever more connected, speaking an additional language becomes increasingly important.
Benefits of learning a foreign language
- Boosts academic achievement
- Have understanding and respect for other cultures
- Develop a deeper understanding of the English language
- Develops problem solving skills
- Means students are open to more career opportunities and connections
The earlier a child begins to learn a new language, the easier it is, so this makes it particularly important that foreign languages are taught in elementary school. If you’re looking for some fun and simple ways to incorporate Spanish into your classroom, here are some easy ways to incorporate teaching Spanish language in your classroom today:
Spanish Language Displays
Classroom displays and bulletin boards are great ways to display Spanish language. Some fun ideas include:
Spanish language birthday display
If you have a bulletin board to display students’ birthdays, why not change the month names to Spanish? This is a simple way to expose students to the Spanish language and learn the name of Spanish months of the year. On a student’s birthday, you could also sing Happy Birthday in Spanish for more practice!
Spanish Language Calendar
Display your classroom calendar in Spanish. Include the days of the week in Spanish along with the month to help students learn this vocabulary. You could even include the weather to further expose students to the Spanish language.
Create a dual language timetable by adding the Spanish word for each subject to your daily timetable, so students become familiar with the Spanish word for the subject.
Spanish Number display
Add the words for Spanish numbers 1-20 on your frame number display. Practice counting from 1-20 (and beyond) as a whole class referring to the posters for extra practice.
Label objects in Spanish
Use labels to mark classroom objects with Spanish words. This is an easy way for students to become familiar with the names of common everyday objects such as door, chair, desk, sink etc. Regularly seeing the Spanish words on the objects will help students remember the Spanish object names. This really helps students to learn everyday vocabulary.
Singing songs are one of the best ways to learn the a foreign language. A catchy rhythm really helps students to remember words and it is a lot of fun. The repetitive nature of songs and engaged listening really help students remember the words easily in a low-pressure way. Play songs on YouTube that also display the lyrics. This is a great way to learn pronunciations. Songs that incoporate actions are fun too and further help students to remember the Spanish vocabulary. If the song doesn’t have actions, you could make your own up! Listening to the music of Spanish speaking countries really gives an insight into the culture.
Here are some fun songs for teaching Spanish:
Heads shoulders knees and toes – Great for learning the parts of the body in Spanish
Hookey Cookey – SIng this in Spanish as a fun way to learn simple verbs and parts of the body
I can sing a rainbow – A great way to teach Spanish colours
If you’re happy and you know it – This is a fun song for teaching actions and body parts. It’s great fun as it also incorporates movement.
1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive – Perfect for teaching numbers 1 to 10 in Spanish
Spanish bilingual books allows students to read the story in English whilst also being able to compare and contrast the story in Spanish. This helps students recognise vocabulary and understand sentence structure in Spanish. Here are some bilingual Spanish books to include in your classroom library:
by Ginger Foglesong Guy
A book which introduces counting to 10 as three children prepare for a party, choosing food, games and music.
by Ginger Foglesong Guy
This book teachers Spanish colors as children collect objects from around the house as they prepare for their nap.
By Eric Carle
Students can enjoy this classic story and read both the spanish and english text. It is great for numbers, days of the week and different types of foods, and it has a lovely story!
By Margaret Wise Brown
A little rabbit says goodnight to all the things in his room before going to sleep. Great for learning everyday Spanish vocabulary.
Play games in Spanish
Playing games in Spanish is a fun and engaging way to learn key Spanish vocabulary including instructions, actions, numbers and telling time.
Students call out the numbers in Spanish as they pass through the hopscotch grid.
Playing bingo is a great way to learn Spanish numbers.
What’s the time Mr Wolf?
This is a fun game to practice asking and telling the time is.
Create a pretend shop or cafe where students can practice using Spanish phrases in context. Use props to bring the activity to life and make it more fun.
Use Spanish Greetings
Learning how to say hello in Spanish is particularly important, along with other useful Spanish greetings. Start by calling attendance in Spanish each day. This is a great way to practice simple greetings which are essential to daily life. Begin with something simple such as good morning. Perhaps move on to asking how are you and students learn simple Spanish phrases to respond to.
Another way to teach Spanish greetings is to display a welcome sign in Spanish on your classroom door to greet your students and visitors to your classroom. This is another great way to reinforce Spanish greetings. Also try saying goodbye to students in Spanish at the end of the day.
Learn about the culture in Spanish speaking countries
As well as teaching Spanish language, it is also important to teach students about the culture in Spanish speaking countries. Teach students how to identify the country on a map. Students could learn facts such as the flag, popular food dishes and famous landmarks, along with festivals and celebrations.
Included in each country study is a PowerPoint filled with fun facts and colorful photos all about these Spanish speaking countries, saving you hours of research and prep time. Information includes maps, capital cities, flags, food, famous landmarks and interesting facts.
Worksheets included with basic Spanish phrases.
Student activity worksheets are also included based on the facts in PowerPoint, These are differentiated on two levels to support different ability levels in your classroom.
Packed with interesting facts all about these Spanish speaking countries.
There are also fun extension activities for early finishers or to use as homework activities including a word search, postcard writing activity and favorite facts.
Click the images of individual country studies below to find out more!