I have some students that *gasp!* do not like to memorize vocab. I mean, it makes sense. Flipping through endless amounts of flashcards to remember new words just does not feel natural. It isn’t really. Is that how babies learn to talk? No. I would venture to say vocab might be one of the hardest obstacles for students of the Spanish language, the second hardest being feeling too shy or intimidated to try the new language by speaking out loud. My goal as a teacher, or coach really, of the language is to make sure everyone is enjoying learning Spanish. Language is best acquired if you are having fun–this goes for kids and adults alike!
Buuut, if you must learn some new vocab do it with a fun game! One of my favorite ways to practice or introduce new vocab is with the game Memory. And I have found those pre-cut foam shapes work great for a quick and easy way to whip up your own game. Grab some fun Halloween foam shapes like the pumpkin ones I used below, and play a game with this fun Halloween-themed vocabulary.
I had this pack on hand from last year. You could also cut out your own shapes from regular foam sheets. I have found the foam works well because it takes out the step of laminating cards, and stands up to all the wear and tear from students using them multiple times.
Make sure you mix and match the colors to make the game more challenging (like for ages 11-16), or you can make sure that each pair is the same color to make it a little easier for the younger ones (ages 6-10).
You can just write the noun, or you can write the definite articles with them. Using the definite articles helps students learn the gender of the noun, so I always try to include them when I can.
And as you can see I use the definite and indefinite so my students can practice both. If you want to know what I mean, check out this video about definite and indefinite articles in Spanish.
See how some of the pairs are the same color, and some are different? Tricky, I know.
To play, mix them all up. Lay them face down like this!
Then you and your students can take turns turning two over at the same time. If it is a match, that player gets another turn. If it is not a match, move on to the next player’s turn. As each one is flipped over make sure you talk about each word and talk about how to say it in the opposite language that it is written. This reinforces the vocabulary for all the players.
What fun games do you use to practice new words!? I would love to hear about it in the comments below. Happy Memory-ing!