Teachers know that games are great motivators but we need to make sure we are achieving our pedagogical goals when playing.
I love the classic game La Lotería! The classic artwork on this Mexican version of Bingo always appealed to me. However, there are cards that are not the most appropriate to be used in Spanish class. So, I set my mind to inventing a new flexible version of the game that can be used to teach Spanish and be appropriate for young learners.
I made boards that capture the same playful spirit of the classic game but can be used to teach vocabulary terms and structures.
To start, I made sure that students would get repeat exposure to high frequency vocabulary or cultural items that enrich their learning. Each game teaches a set of twenty words that students can use in their daily life.
Next, we made sure to increase the comprehensible input as much as possible. So, while teachers have the option of calling out single words as clues in the classic manner, they can also use example sentences or definitions in Spanish instead of translating. For example: Es algo puedes hacer con una hamburguesa. La respuesta: COMER.
This idea of talking around the word to define it is known as circumlocution and is one of the most valuable skills we can teach our students.
Next, we set about making it as fun as possible. I LOVE tweaking classic games to make them more fun for the class room. Check out the way we changed the Bingo Card below to add game play features.
We added a FREE space in the upper left corner of the boards. This can now function as a required space, a bonus space or a classic free space.
We added Iggy the Monster! Iggy is on every board but changes his position. He can also be a required space or a free space.
We added a game board number in the upper right hand corner. There are FORTY boards per set to make this playable for small to large groups. The number can be used with special cards that ask students to swap boards.
We added more special action cards to spice up the game play.
Finally, we made teacher calling cards and student calling cards. This flexible format gives you the option of playing as a whole class or in student led centers. After all, students love to take the lead!
So, if you LOVE the Lotería, love playing games and want to SPEAK MORE SPANISH, head over to our store to check out our different versions of the game!
Don’t forget to yell ¡Lotería!
How do you use games in your classroom?
Leave us a comment below and let us know!