8 Feb

The best place to make Jeopardy games online is

It is fast & simple to create and the game is saved on the site for later use.  It also keeps score for you.

The only trick is to remember where to put the question and where to put the answer.  Test it after making a few squares to make sure that you have not done it backwards.

Students have to learn quickly how to say “What is….” if you make them answer in the form of a question.

There are also several Jeopardy templates online if you would like to save games to your computer.  There are templates for 10 different games at this site:

Reverse charades

7 Feb

This is a good review game for any unit of vocabulary that can be acted out.  The premise is that the roles are reversed.  The guesser is one person and the teammates are the actors.  It keeps everyone active in the game.

Divide the students into two teams.
Arrange them in the room so the teams are sitting facing each other.
One person from each team stands between the teams.
The two contestants must stand back to back while each is facing the opposite team.
The teach writes a vocabulary word on a small whiteboard (or scrap paper, or use flashcards) and shows it to everyone except the contestants.  The reason the contestants are facing the opposite team is so the teammates cannot try to give hints or begin acting early.
When everyone has seen the word, the teacher counts to three.
The contestants turn and face their own team.  Their team is acting out the word. They must do it silently.
The first contestant to say the word correctly in the TL gets a point for their team.
Contestants square off three times before being replaced with someone new from their team.


Stinky Feet Game

3 Feb

My students love this game.  I am sure that I learned about it from an elementary teacher’s blog.

Set up:  Draw a picture of a big foot on the board.  Put point values on the back of several sticky notes (75% positive, 25% negative) and put them on and around the foot.

Students get into groups of four.
Each group member gets a number (1-4), they can decide on their own who is what number.
The teacher asks a question.
Groups confer on answer and make sure each member knows the answer (or a possible answer).
After 30 seconds or so the teacher says what student number must come up to answer.
They write the answer on a small white board or whisper to teacher.
All students must know the answer because they do not know who will be called.  If correct, they pull a sticky note to receive their group’s points.

I did make the mistake of making the points half positive and half negative but it is much better if only 25% of the points are negative.

For a variation you can give a subject and an infinitive that they have to conjugate.

Snowball review

2 Feb

I saw someone on another blog post this not long ago as Papeles Locos.  I am not sure which blog it was, I see so many of them.  I played it in class last week.  It went really well.  I wrote a sentence starter on the top of each paper and had them complete the sentence (but while rewriting the sentence starter.  I left the verb un-conjugated, another task they had to complete.
Write a different vocabulary word on the top of several pieces of paper, and each team (of two to three students) receives a different color marker.
Write about ten vocabulary words for four groups.  You could really go crazy, and write a lot for an exam review.
Then, crumple all of the papers up and put them in the middle of the room.
Each team picks a paper and has to write a sentence using that verb or noun and include their team number.  They crumple up that piece of paper and pick a new one.
Give extra points to teams who correct another team’s sentence and to the team that writes the longest sentence on each piece of paper.
They cannot write similar sentences, or they will not receive any points.
They can also write an additional sentence if they pick up the same piece of paper.  It is a quick review that is very effective.

I made a time limit of 10 minutes to increase the urgency and teamwork.


Highlighter Races

30 Jan

Highlighter races is an activity I learned during one of the twitter #langchats.  I love it!  I wish I could remember who to credit for the activity…

Create a word cloud with a word cloud site such as or   Do a screenprint and paste the cloud picture in a document.  You will just need one copy for each pair of students in the version that I use with my students.

The one I use for weather looks like this:  (I used, it is supposed to be a cloud and lightening)

weather hiliter race


This is a partner activity.  Each partner must have a different color highlighter.

Directions to students:  


  • Write your name in your color of highlighter on the handout.
  • We will be watching a video.  The first time you will watch the video and do nothing on the paper.  The second time you will highlight words on the paper.  Be careful, some words on the paper are not in the video.

This combines listening and reading together in one activity.  It is a great activity to use very soon after the students learn the vocabulary.  Because the words are in the cloud multiple time, students get a high sense of accomplishment.

Tips for teachers:


  • The video should be less than 3 minutes for optimal participation by students.
  • If using * you must enter any multiple words as one word (Ex: Hace sol = Hacesol)  Also, some accents do not show up in the finished image.
  • If using you can use a tilde for phrases (Ex: Hace sol = Hace~sol)
  • Include words that are not in the video so students do not just highlight everything.



*I use tagxedo because it includes the word multiple times allowing each student opportunities to be successful.


The weather video that I use with this race is:




  • Play “Word Race”:
  • Each pair uses Partner A’s paper first. Partner B sets aside his/her paper for now.
  • Teacher calls out a term in English.
  • The two partners race to cross out or highlight that term first on the paper. The student that marks the correct term first receives one point. If a student marks the wrong term, he or she loses one point.
  • Continue until many terms have been crossed out (not necessarily all of them!), then have Partner B pull out his or her sheet and play another round. The winner is the student with the most points at the end of both rounds.


  1.  “Word Race” with pictures:

Follow the directions above but instead of saying the words in English, have a slideshow set up to show images of the words.


Pop up Game

29 Jan


Students are divided into two even teams, and each student gets a number.  There will be two students with each number (one on each team).
Call out a question, and then state a number.
The student with that number to stand up first and call out the answer correctly gets a point for their team.
If there is a tie, they play rock, paper, scissors to see who wins.
Hand out numbered index cards to make sure they remember their number.  Have them switch numbers a couple of times during game play to  square off against someone else.

If you like, here is a Random Number Generator.  Just type in the number of students per team.

Apples to Apples for beginning students:

28 Jan

As always I am not sure where I go this idea.  I wish I could give credit…

Apples to apples is a great game but can be difficult for students who do not know as many words in the target language.  Plus, it can be time-consuming to write all of the nouns that you want to use.  This makes it less time-consuming to prep.  Make a list of adjectives that the students know.  You can also use cognates such as fabuloso or excelente.
Divide the students in groups of four or five.  At the beginning of the game, the first leader picks an adjective.  Then each student writes down a proper noun that they think the adjective describes.  Proper nouns such as names and places are good because they would not change in the target language.  They pass their nouns to the leader for that round.  The leader chooses the word that they think best fits the description of the adjective, and that student is the winner for that round.  Each round there is a different leader (go clockwise with each student taking a turn being the leader).  The winner is the student whose noun was picked seven times by the leaders.
This game would also be good for “best of” places.  Students could name the best restaurant, shopping mall, place to get coffee etc.  In a more advanced class, students could state why their noun should be considered the best.  It is also great for descriptive adjectives.

Conjugation races

25 Jan

I am only teaching Spanish 1 this year so we do not do conjugation charts, we learn the verb naturally.  Sure they know the 1st and 2nd singular forms better than the rest but they learn it through natural speech.  This is my first year trying this, I am not sure how it is going yet.  I am guessing I will find out next year when I teach Spanish 2 and introduce them to the charts.
At my school we have two Spanish teachers.  Sra. Anthony has Spanish 2 this year.  Next year we will rotate so we keep the same students for the most part.

Here is a version of conjugation races that I will use next year.
I am storing it here now for future use. 🙂

Conjugation Race:

Separate class into four teams of three to four students each.
I write four grids on the board, and give the two racing teams a marker.
They each take turns racing to the board to conjugate the verb that I wrote in their own chart.
On their turn, they can either write the correct verb form next to a subject (I, You, etc) or change a previous conjugation to make it correct.
No one can talk to the person at the board while they are at the board.
The winner completes the conjugation grid with all of the verbs correctly.


I would love to hear about some games you play in class!


Grid game

24 Jan

Create a grid in Word (or mine is in Google Drive) with letters along the left and numbers on the top.
Letter it A-H horizontally and number it 1-8 vertically.
Project the grid (empty), and print a copy for yourself.  On your copy, write down random numbers from 10 to 50 in all of the different empty squares.

Ask the students questions.  When they answer correctly, they can choose a points square by choosing an intersection.  Check your grid to determine if they will earn 10-50 points.  This keeps the game exciting because a group can jump into the lead at almost any time.
Another option is to give each group a whiteboard.  They must write the correct answer and show it first.


Correct order races

23 Jan

Students race to  to see who can put their flashcards in the correct order first.  They can race against each other or work as a pair to beat the other pairs in the classroom.  This works great for days of the week, months, numbers by 10, etc.  Make sure they mix the cards up before beginning.

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