Fear filled me as I half-walked and half-ran through the airport. Announcements and loud conversation surrounded me, but I couldn’t understand it. I was afraid of missing my flight because I couldn’t understand anyone. Knowing the vocabulary for the airport in Spanish is really important if you travel!
I was in El Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez in Mexico City trying to fly back home. It had been a long time since I’d had Spanish, and I had forgotten everything related to the airport since that’s not normally used in day-to-day conversation. Yep, you forget it if you don’t use it. Thankfully, it will come back once you start using it again (kind of like riding a bike).
And thankfully, I found another traveler heading back to Seattle too and was able to follow her conversation with the airport employee about our flight. Whew.
This lesson has more than 2 activities but the best two are the short story and the Total Physical Response activity. Stories and movement are entertaining and keep kids active in learning – without them even knowing it!
This lesson not only teaches airport vocabulary but also practices the most frequently used present tense Spanish verbs. So even if you’re not planning on traveling anytime soon, this is a great lesson for reinforcing the verbs which are used in day-to-day conversation.
And you can use these verbs for information when traveling. This is why I haven’t included verbs like “to take off” or “to land.” They’re just not commonly used and you have to conjugate them correctly for people to understand which would make the lesson longer and more complicated. Instead I want to focus on vocabulary that you and your kids can use in a wide range of situations. For instance, you can use llega or sale to ask about when a plane is arriving or leaving.
The 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. Once you start following the instructions and completing the activities, you and your kids will be able to understand and speak Spanish so you can travel easily!
Download the FREE printables and instructions here:
This Is How I Taught My Kids the Vocabulary for the Airport in Spanish
Total Physical Response (TPR)
I have instructions for using the flashcards first for TPR. Honestly, I skipped those this time and went straight to just using the illustrations from the Airport Map Activity. I started with the names of the places on the airport and put the map of the airport in a logical order. Aidan used the dog to move from one place to the next. Then I removed the names of the places and said them a few times. Aidan moved the dog to them quickly.
Next, I took the places off the foam board and laid them on the floor in a random order so that I could see if Aidan had just memorized where the places were or if he actually knew them in Spanish. I asked, “¿Dónde está la terminal?” and Aidan walked to the terminal. I continued doing that for each place.
I love this activity because kids see the place while they are coloring it and then get to see the place while moving to it. This gives lots of listening practice and movement!
Conversation and a Mini-Story
I had Aidan watch the conversation video and the story video because both have pictures and the words on the screen. It was easier for him to follow along with those visuals instead of me reading from the script. I kept having to remind him to answer the questions on both videos, though! For.every.single.question. 🙄
We did the reading the following day to break things up a little bit. Aidan asked me during the story why Poco was going all the way to Argentina for the steak. Ummmm, because it’s just a story, and if you want good steak you go to Argentina. Kids crack me up when they’re so literal. 😂
I’m pretty excited about the flashcards again because thanks to my awesome iPad and the Sketchbook app, I was able to draw pictures of the places in the airport. You can use the flashcards for the games Peces, Memoria, or Matamoscas.
Nobody wants to be lost in the airport and not know what’s going on! 😬Learning the vocabulary for the places in the airport in Spanish and practicing these commonly used Spanish verbs will make traveling easier. Listening to a story and having movement in the lesson will keep your kids interested too! If you’re not sure where to start, color the places in the Airport Map Activity first and then watch the conversation video.
Did you do these activities or know anyone who wants to start teaching their kids airport vocabulary in Spanish? Please share with the buttons on the left!