I loved playing cards growing up – skip-bo, UNO, euchre, rummy! Card games are competetive, quick, and they make you think. A friend of mine suggested playing “SPOONS” in class – and so I tried it out. I printed out a picture, the Spanish word, and the English word. If you have never played before, google the rules of the game before you introduce it in class.
What you need to do: Create a deck of cards that have to deal with whatever topic you are studying. You need anywhere from 10-15 sets of 3. A set includes a PICTURE, the word in ENGLISH, and the word in SPANISH. Here’s an example:
I find it works best when students try to match up the sets of three before actually playing “spoons.” It gets them used to new words and helps figure out what picture goes with what word. I have had a few students that just want to match up cards instead of playing – and it’s fine – they are still learning!
There are a million variations for this game – you can play with candy instead of spoons or play where no one is really “out.” Sometimes, I even have 2 groups playing at the same time, and the one without a spoon at the end goes to the other group (with slightly different vocab).
This has been so fun for my students! Again, great hands-on learning for new vocabulary!
How big are the groups that you play this with?
It seems to work best with 5-6 people in a group. It’s a little more competetive that way. But really if you have a bigger deck of cards you could have as many players as you want. Games are quick – sometimes 1-2 minutes, but they will play it over and over! I usually give them 10 minutes in the “game station.” Hmmmm… a cucharas game with the whole class… It might just be my next adventure!
I really love when my students play games in class, we also introduce typical words for boardgames when playing like they should use vocabulary like “your turn”, “You’re cheating”, “ON no do not steal that from me” in target language. They use to help each other to find the right spontaneous language.
I’ve done this with direct and indirect object pronouns. I put the sentences on the board that are shortened in the deck as reference. A catch is that once all the spoons are claimed, if the first one who pulled a spoon doesn’t have their cards in the correct order, they are the one who get a letter. It really gets students paying attention to DO/IO sentence structures!
just wanted to share…i played this game in class this week in preparation for a “ser and adjective” quiz and the kids went CRAZY for it! they ask me every class if they can play it again. the best part: they performed brilliantly on their assessment! 🙂 gracias for posting!!!
How exactly did you play? I am teaching the same topic and would love to play this in class!