Yesterday we sorted Spanish verbs on the board in class. This is such a great activity because it is simple to do, the kids enjoy all the moving around, and it engages them in learning their Spanish verb conjugations. Here is what we did:
- I had Spanish verb conjugations on preprinted cards that I passed out to my students. Because my class is small, each student had a few cards.
- I drew a table on my board that showed the different Spanish conjugation groups. You can see them in the picture above.
- I began by telling students that if they had an “I” verb form, they should come up and stick it on the board. I set sticky tack by the board so the students could just pull off a small piece to stick each card.
- I continued in this way through all the conjugation groups. I told students that if they were unsure if they had a card to go in the group I just called, to watch the ones going up for help. By doing this, they always figured it out.
- When we were done, we checked everything for correctness.
- Then, we talked about the patterns we could see on the Spanish verb endings. For example, they all could say that the “I” verbs end in “o”. This helps solidify their knowledge of the conjugations and improves their ability to use them.
What was really great about this activity was that all the students were engaged, even at the end as we were talking about the patterns for each group. I could really see them thinking about the patterns.
One student came up with a brilliant pattern explanation for the “he/she/you formal” verbs. He said, “They are the same as when we use them as commands to tell someone to do something.” This was a pattern connection that I think was very helpful for everyone because the “he/she/you formal” verb forms seem to be the hardest in general for my students to get because there isn’t an obvious pattern.
With my curriculum, Spanish for You!, students make a lot of Spanish verb flashcards. One thing they are instructed to do for review is to sort their verb flashcards into their groups. Since we had just done this together, I took advantage to remind them to be sure to do this at home.
To add fun, they can even time themselves to see how quickly they can do it.
You could do the same in a classroom. Time the class to see how quickly everyone can sort or how much can get sorted within a certain time.
Give this activity a try and enjoy! (I used this with my grades 4-6 class.)
PS – If you’re looking for a Spanish curriculum that is easy to implement, effective, and affordable, take a look at Spanish for You!