You might be thinking: listening in Spanish is the best way to learn Spanish? Wait, what? Isn’t speaking in Spanish the best way to learn Spanish? Nope! We have to listen and read language before we can speak it.
Because listening in Spanish is so important, I make sure to have several different kinds of listening activities to keep kids interested and make learning Spanish fun! I also started making videos of my activities in case you don’t know Spanish yet and want to hear the pronunciation.
My lessons build on each other, so if you haven’t started teaching your kids Spanish yet, check out my Start Here page for the best way to begin! All of my lessons so far focus on present tense Spanish verbs that are commonly used to help you communicate better. Once you start following the instructions and complete the activities, you and your kids should be able to understand and speak Spanish!
Download the FREE printables and instructions here:
How I Taught My Kids with Free Listening in Spanish Activities
Total Physical Response (TPR)
I start lessons both with my students and with my kids using TPR. Well, when we have in-person classes I use TPR. I can’t see most of my students teaching virtually because almost everyone has their cameras off. 😂
TPR is a great activity for including movement in the lesson AND helping kids learn the vocabulary. It’s also a good way to prompt kids with the meanings of words. If they forget what something means, you can show them the action. That usually helps them remember.
I’ve mentioned before Aidan isn’t a huge fan of TPR, so we don’t spend as much time on it as my instructions and schedule suggest. This is where it’s totally okay to adjust the instructions and schedule to fit the needs of your kids. Better to focus on what they like to do!
I still like to start with it, though, and I do some TPR with him just on the first day of the schedule. Then we move on to the conversation and making a story together. He is much more interested in making a story together and playing games.
I slightly changed the ASL sign for the verb “tenemos” by pointing to Aidan and then myself and then doing the ASL sign to show that it’s the we form of the verb. I love the ASL sign for I agree or “estoy de acuerdo” in Spanish!
Conversation and a Mini-Story
To practice estás de acuerdo and estoy de acuerdo, I have some opinion statements first in the Conversation Script. I had to remind Aidan a few times to listen to the opinion and then answer my question “do you agree?”
I either asked him to translate what I just said or asked him questions about what I said in English to make sure he understood what I was saying. For example, I said (in Spanish), “My friends and I have cats.” I then asked him (in English), “What do my friends and I have?”
Aidan decided to use Cheez-it again for the character of this story. Aidan loves snacks and decided to stick with snack names, so Cheez-it’s friend is named Goldfish. 🙄 And I decided we should draw this one instead of just reading and answering questions about the story. I say “we” but mostly I drew it. Aidan had very definite ideas about what colors to use, though.
Even if you’re learning Spanish with your kids, you can still make your own stories with them. I have questions to ask and then sentence starters that you just have to fill in the blanks for a story. I added a few things to our story about Cheez-it that aren’t part of the story outline, but you don’t need to especially if you’re learning Spanish.
I also have a video with the questions from the mini-story outline, so you can listen to the pronunciation. Or watch the video with your kids, have them give you answers, and write the answers on the outline. This outline can be used again and again with different details for a new story each time.
This is a really fun activity to do with kids, doesn’t take a lot of time (maybe 10 minutes), and I’m convinced they don’t know they’re learning. I can’t believe how much Spanish Aidan and my students hear when we are making a story together. Both through asking them lots of questions to get ideas and then repeating back their ideas into statements. If you need help with the story, make sure to write your questions in the comments so I can help you!
I typed Aidan’s story and wrote a few questions to read together the next day. I wrote questions, but don’t feel like you need to. Just asking your kids questions to create the story and having them read it is perfect! If you didn’t make a story, feel free to use ours! Hopefully your kids won’t want to eat Cheez-Its and Goldfish crackers afterwards. Be warned, though: it doesn’t have a happy ending! 🐊🍴
Aidan and I read the story No están de acuerdo together. With the first version he thought the kid was super annoying. But then saw a happy ending to the story and didn’t think the kid was that annoying after all. You can listen to the first part of the story on this video.
I decided to use the phrase “I agree” with this lesson because it’s such a useful phrase, and when I was thinking of a story, I thought about how much people don’t agree right now. And all the chaos from it! I decided to write a story about two kids who don’t agree on most things, but finally find something they have in common and become friends. Because, really, don’t we all have *something* in common with other people?
And I learned in a writer’s workshop that kids can become more empathetic from reading stories. 💯 I think we can all benefit from becoming more empathetic!
I decided to make a Kahoot which is a trivia game based on the story No están de acuerdo. Using Kahoot is free, but you do need to make an account. Once you sign in, you just need to search for my Kahoot which is called: Story: No están de acuerdo. Unfortunately, I can’t link directly to it because the link will try to take you to my account.
Todo sobre mí – All About Me
This is a reading and writing activity IF you want to have your kids do some writing. Don’t feel like you have to have your kids write; this can be a good reading activity for more practice talking about themselves. I have a video with a recording for Sections A and B, so you can hear the pronunciation.
Using these conversation and stories for lots of listening in Spanish practice is the best way to learn Spanish especially because it doesn’t feel like work! Your kids can start learning Spanish today with these listening activities and start their journey to becoming fluent!
Did you do these activities or know anyone who wants to start teaching their kids with free Spanish listening activities? Please share with the buttons on the left!
Do your kids like making stories? Tell me about it in the comments below!