A great way to build Spanish conversation as well as reading and writing skills is to write and perform skits. The process of writing and performing skits pushes students to creatively bring together the many verbs, vocabulary, and grammar concepts they have been learning in an open-ended communicative way.
I follow these steps to write a Spanish skit:
- Students write their skits with two or three characters and a narrator.
- They come up with a theme that supports the verbs and vocabulary they have been learning, for example, characters going to and eating in a restaurant.
- We create a verb and/or vocabulary bank before beginning to help jog their memories while writing the skit.
- I remind students they can use other verbs and vocabulary they know too. The bank is just to help.
- I tell them to keep things simple and stick to what they know. They shouldn’t try to say things exactly as they would in English. They need to take what they know and use their creativity to communicate the best that they can.
- To keep them on track using only what they know, I tell them to pretend that on-line translators and Spanish/English dictionaries do not exist, and that they are writing the skit for Spanish speakers who do not know any English.
If you are teaching a class, write a skit together first. Come up with a theme and characters, and create a verb bank on the board for help. Students raise hands to tell you what the narrator and characters should say, and you write it on the board. The students also write it on paper.
Once you are done, volunteers act it out. Then let students write their own skits in pairs or small groups. For more fun, have them bring props to perform them at the next class.
HERE is an example of a skit my students and I wrote. It is in 4 small pieces because I put it in the computer and printed it into small booklets for the “performers”.
Writing skits is not easy because the students will find that they can’t yet say things the way they want, but they will figure out clever ways to communicate using what they know. Once they get going, the language does begin to flow a little more easily.
PS – If you’re looking for a Spanish curriculum for your homeschool or to teach classes, take a look at Spanish for You! for grades 3-8. It’s simple, effective, and affordable!