Adventures in Halloween Activities for Spanish Class

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Spooky Season is here amigos! While many teachers get to teach Día de los Muertos in Spanish class – some parents / schools / communities don’t allow teaching about Día de los Muertos in Spanish and teachers have the option to not teach anything, or teach something more “familiar” like Halloween. Some teachers, like me, get to teach both! This post isn’t for arguing about teaching one versus the other or if its “right” to teach one versus the other… it’s about sharing some super fun Halloween activities that could work even if you have students that don’t celebrate holidays for various reasons! Halloween themed resources don’t have to celebrate Halloween to provide input! So here it goes:

#1 – Embedded Reading for Level 1+: Embedded Readings are one of my favorite things to use in Spanish class. What is an embedded reading? Essentially it’s a full length story that has been shortened at least two times to “critical” details. The shortest version is usually 6 – 10 sentences at most, and for mine, they usually leave out the ending. I usually spend a day on the shortest version, a day with the middle version + a day with an activity or two, and a day reading the full version + activities for the full version. Typically a full embedded reading cycle will take me about a week of class time. This embedded reading set is about a bat that goes on a candy collecting adventure and exposes students to the Super 7 verbs in Spanish! If you’re looking for “non” Halloween activities that still lend themselves to Halloween… this is a great middle! If the reading seems too hard / easy for the level you are wanting to use it with – no worries! It’s editable!

#2 – Would you rather? Game: If you haven’t planned Would you Rather, you don’t know what you’re missing! I use these games in my Level 1 – 3 classes and level up the rigor in each one. For Level 1 I simply have students move to one side of the room based on their answers and then count up and compare the two groups. For Level 2 I start asking students why they chose their side. For Level 3 I start having students make arguments for why their answer is the “right” answer. You can use them for warm-ups, PQA, or just a simple game day! Make it as rigorous or as fun as you’d like! I have not met a class yet that didn’t enjoy Would You Rather games. The other amazing thing about Would You Rather is that you can pick and choose the prompts you want to use! There are 20 prompts included in each set – more than enough for a full class period. So feel free to skip any that don’t hit it off with your students or that feel to “holiday” ish. Even better? This game is editable! Change up any vocabulary that you would like to meet the needs of your students!

#3 – Lotería with Halloween Vocabulary: One complaint I hear from teachers about switching to teaching with CI / ADI (comprehensible input / acquisition driven instruction) is that they feel their students are missing out on a lot of vocabulary exposure. And I hear that. While we know that students don’t need lists of vocabulary or quizzes all the time, it can feel like students aren’t getting any exposure to themed vocabulary at all – and we don’t want that either. Lotería has been a great way for me to expose students to themed vocabulary regularly without giving them lists and expectations. Students are interested and invested in becoming familiar with the words because they want to be successful at the game – and many walk away picking up a few new words! Another awesome thing about these games is that each set includes 3 game versions – one with just words, one with words + pictures, and one with only pictures. This builds in a lot of differentiation opportunities for different levels of students!

#4 – Yo tengo, ¿quién tiene?: Another take on some vocabulary exposure. This game can be a quick 5 minute time filler at the end of class, or you can mix up the cards and play all class long! The basis of the game is that one student reads their card and says what “they have” and they asks “who has” the bottom pair for their card. The nice thing about this game is that everyone has to pay attention to not miss their turn. The cards are quick to print and cut for easy play. If you have a smaller class, you can use the 25 or 30 card sets instead of 35 cards. You can also give more advanced students more than one card to help keep them engaged and differentiate for their higher level.

#5 – Roll a Story: Do your students struggle with writing in Spanish? This activity is designed to help with just that! Students roll a die to determine the main character, the setting, and the problem of their story… then they write the story! This activity helps eliminate the struggle that some students face in decision making to get started writing!

#6 – ¿Tienes Miedo?: This activity is a cross-curricular dream! Students will get repetitions with the expression ¿tienes miedo? in Spanish while playing 20 questions to learn what their classmates are afraid of! While students answer questions, the teacher can develop a graph of student answers… getting in those math and comparison skills! This game works well for Level 1 students and up since it targets animal vocabulary and uses lots of cognates!

Looking to spread the Halloween love in Spanish Class for more than a day, or teach more than one level and want to mix up the activities? Check out my Halloween Resource Bundle and save!

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