It’s time to try something new! That’s what a new semester encourages me to do. I love starting class with a hook (video, meme, song, article, etc. in TL of course!) that gets them curious about the culture. On the final, there was a “trivia” section based on the “hooks” with open-ended questions in Spanish. This part had the highest scores, which indicates that the students remember a lot from these activities. I do the Can of Questions; however, I feel like it is time to mix this up. I was the one writing the trivia questions, aka doing all the work/learning. The level 1 students are showing signs of intermediate skills, but they are hesitant to ask questions in class. So… now they will write the questions!


When I asked them to write a trivia question in the past, many of the questions were “What is…?” and there were many repeats. So I made slides that have different question words and one blank. I used cultural pictures in the backgrounds (Day of Dead skeletons, the little balls from Spain’s lottery, Dalí’s “Persistence of Memory,” some Guatemalan dolls, a Mexican bakery) to add one more connection. I made enough copies for each student to receive one card and cut them out. Before break, I tried this once and I will now start to do this daily. After the hook, I pass out a card for them to write a trivia question based on that day’s hook using the question word they have. Then we collect them in a can so that we can use them immediately, the next day or for those extra minutes at the end of class.

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Eventually I may laminate the cards (see above), pass those out, and ask them to write their question on a blank just to cut down on the organizing part. I will also partner/group them up (4 students to write one question). Many possibilities to keep it fresh!

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Next step…

I’m going to let them create a Trivia Team (with a team name, color and all) and we are going to track their points for one week or so (see example above). I like the traditional trivia format of each team having a time limit to answer the question. I will probably use dry erase boards (1 per team) and my trusty cube timer. I’ll have a little prize for the winning team at the end. One day, I dream of this trivia event becoming a school-wide (or district!) competition. Perhaps soon!

Visit el Mercado or click here for a free download of the slides and score grid in Spanish if you want them. It’s TRIVIA TIME! We also have the cards in Italian.

Any suggestions?? Have you done anything like this before?