As a follow-up to my 3 part series of 20 Ways to Get Your Students Speaking in the Target Language, I created this list of 15 creative Spanish speaking activities to use in class.
Here is a collection of my favorite ideas and activities to get your students talking. Beware: Once they start talking, they might not stop talking and then you’ll want to read, What to Do with Chatty Students. 🙂
1. Weekend Chat
Every Monday in class, we spend 15-20 minutes talking about our weekends. I love this activity because it teaches students how to talk in-depth about the activities that they like to do. Read more in my post, Why I Love Monday Spanish Speaking Activities.
2. Mil Preguntas
Give students a page of questions that are appropriate for their level and let them pick and choose which ones to ask a partner. Switch partners every few minutes. Get a free copy of my Mil Preguntas and a speaking rubric in the World Language Cafe Free Resource Library.
3. Speaking Scenarios
I use these as my Spanish quarterly speaking assessments, but they can be used anytime. Students prep the situations beforehand for homework or prepare with a partner in class. Here are some examples:
Beginner: We are at a party. Introduce yourself to me. Tell me your name, where you are from and how old you are. Mention your best friend’s name and nationality. Point out by physical description someone you already know/ or have met at the party and ask me if I know that person.
Intermediate: You are planning a welcome home party for a friend or relative. Tell me what you have done already. Mention some things I can do to help. (buy/send invitations, bake or buy a cake, help prepare the food, bring CD’s or videos, decorate and clean the house, do other household chores, etc.).
Advanced: Tell me that you and some friends or your family were spending the day in the country (woods, mountains, beach) when all of a sudden the weather changed rapidly. Tell what happened next and describe what you did to protect yourself from the weather. Provide an ending.
4. Speed Dating
Students love this activity! To take the pressure off, tell them that they can answer as themselves or pretend they are a famous celebrity or an interesting invented personality. Also, I usually have students go on non-gendered dates: boys with boys, boys with girls, girls with girls, etc. Have them take notes about each of their dates. Get ready-made questions here.
5. Guess the Person
Write the names of famous people on index cards. The people could be famous people from the country of the target language or celebrities the kids like. Tape a card to each student’s back. The students ask other students yes or no questions to figure out who they are. If a student figures out his/her/their card, give him/her/them another card.
Variation: Do this with vocabulary that you’re studying. Ex. Each person could be a food.
Similar to Guess the Person, but instead of writing a person’s name on the card, write something unusual about the person. Ex. He has green hair. She’s blind. He’s a vegetarian. She has 106 cats. He’s a zookeeper.
The students pretend that they are at a party and they must ask the other students questions to figure out their interesting facts. If some students are struggling, other students can give subtle clues.
Ex. She’s blind. “So have you been reading a lot lately? Isn’t it great that the library has special books for you?”
Ex. He’s vegetarian. “I hope there are enough food choices for you at the party. I tried to prepare something for everyone.”
The student who volunteers to be the psychiatrist leaves the room while the class decides what is wrong with them as a whole. Each student in the class has the same issue. The psychiatrist has to ask them questions and talk to them to figure out what is wrong. The guests can help act it out. You may want to have two counseling sessions going on at once to involve more students.
Ex. Students believe that the class is haunted.
Ex. Students answer for the person to their left.
Ex. Students think they’re superheroes.
8. Last 5 Minutes
Tell students that they can talk about whatever they want for the last 5 minutes of class, but it must be in Spanish. If you hear any English, then you’ll go back to doing other work.
9. Two Lines
Students form 2 equal lines facing each other. If there is an odd number of students, the group on the end will have 3 people.
Give each student a card with a question, based on whatever theme or grammar you’re studying. The line on the left starts and asks their questions and the line on the right answers. Then the line on the right asks their questions and the line on the left answers.
Next, have students rotate 2 spaces to the left and then pass their cards, 1 person to the left. This will switch up their partners and their questions.
10. Role Play
Pair students up in partners (A and B). Give each partner a role to play based on what you’re studying. Some examples might include:
A student talking to a teacher about missing homework with thestudent giving teacher several creative excuses
A parent asking a child if they have done their chores and the child saying, Yes, I’ve cleaned my room, or No, I haven’t already cleaned my room.
A person asking for directions, a person giving directions
A person looking for their lost pet, a person asking them to describe their pet
A chef on a cooking show asking if certain items have been prepared and sous-chef (preterite or present perfect cards.)
Students bring in random items from home that they no longer want. Have a few extras on hand in case some students forget. Give half the class a certain amount of play money. I like to use euro manipulatives because it makes the exercise more authentic. The other half of the room will be selling the item on their desk. They can put a price in euros on the item.
Students walk around the room and bargain with store owners to make a purchase. The store owners talk about their item and why it’s so wonderful and the buyers agree, but say it’s too expensive and try to get the item for a cheaper price.
This works best for more advanced students. Divide the students into 2-6 groups. You can have one big class debate or several smaller debates going on at once.
Pick a controversial topic and have students prepare an introduction, arguments, and closing statements before the debate.
13. Surveys and Polls
Give each student a theme (sports, months, pets, music, fruits, vegetables, drinks, TV shows, types of movies, etc.). Students create their own survey or poll based on the theme. Ex. Do you have a pet? If so, which type of pet do you have?
Afterward, they go around the room and survey all the students and write down the data. For homework, they put together their data and say how many students or what percentage of students liked certain things. The next day, each person presents their information.
14. Describing Pictures
Consider copying pictures from a book such as, “Where’s Waldo?”, “I Spy”, etc. Use pictures that have lots of action, people and things. Divide the students into pairs and pass out a picture to each group. The students say as much as they can about the picture for 3-5 minutes. They can describe the people, the activities, the scenery, etc.
15. Longest Conversation in Spanish
Pair up students and give them a theme (food, travel, leisure activities, etc.) and challenge them to have a conversation in Spanish for as long as possible.
Hope these Spanish speaking activities give you some ideas and inspiration for class! I’d love to hear any other ideas that you have in the comments below.