I recently used the Spanish Speaking Countries Warm-Up Activity to begin my class of 6th to 8th graders. It’s always important to begin Spanish class with an easy and enjoyable warm-up activity so that students can comfortably transition their brains from using English to Spanish.
To do this activity, no prior Spanish experience with this content is needed. It’s a fun and easy activity because it uses Spanish cognates AND is sort of like a guessing game, “Can you guess where ____ is?”
(If you don’t know, a Spanish cognate is a word that looks like the English word.)
How to Do the Spanish Speaking Countries Warm-Up Activity
- Place a large world map on a wall, OR make some smaller world maps or globes available to your students.
- Write the following words on your board: Norteamérica, Sudamérica, Centroamérica, El Caribe, Europa.
- Say each word aloud and have your students repeat.
- Write this question on the board: ¿Dónde está _____?
- Tell your students the meaning of the question if they are not familiar with it.
- Begin asking the first question by filling in the blank with a Spanish speaking country name. Example: ¿Dónde está Bolivia?
- Then give an either/or answer option like this: ¿Está en El Caribe o Sudamérica?
- Students will raise their hands or shout out what they think.
- If you choose, you can let them first search for the country on the map. OR you can allow them to guess, and if they answer incorrectly, have them look for it. If you’re short on time, just let them guess, and if they are incorrect, say the correct answer.
- You can also opt to have them tell you where each country is located from the list you provide on the board. I provide an either/or answer so that they can hear me pronounce the possible answers each time since my students were not familiar with the location names.
Benefits of This Spanish Class Warm-Up Activity
- Students have fun warming up for class because you approach the activity like a guessing game.
- Students get listening, speaking, and reading practice while warming up.
- They learn the Spanish names of some Spanish speaking countries.
- They learn the Geography of these Spanish speaking countries.
- They learn the Spanish names of some continents.
- It’s quick and easy for you!
You can do the Spanish Speaking Countries Warm-Up Activity many times, mixing in asking about different Spanish speaking countries each time. Since it is a warm-up activity, you won’t be asking about every Spanish speaking country, just a handful. And, if your students really like the activity, you can expand to non-Spanish speaking countries too!
If you’re looking for a Spanish curriculum for your elementary or middle school classes, take a look at Spanish for You! It is filled with easy to prep lesson plans that you just follow step-by-step. There are lots of games and activities that really teach your students to understand, speak, read, and write!