Today’s lesson includes how to teach the family members in Spanish! This lesson is the first lesson for the first workbook that I’ve created. The vocabulary for the workbook includes immediate family, the house, and high-frequency verbs. This lesson starts with three of those verbs: hay, tiene, and es. I have a variety of activities with instructions included in these lessons.
Download the FREE lessons and printables here:
How I Taught My Kids the Family Members in Spanish
Before starting the lesson, Aidan and I drew pictures on the flashcards. To make flashcards, you can use paper but it’s a bit see-through. 65 lb cardstock is better. If you hold it up to the light you can see printing but not words. After doing a little bit of research, I read that 65 lb cardstock and 80 lb cardstock can be used in at-home printers. I might try 80 lb cardstock when I’ve used up the cardstock I have. But please check the specifications of your printer before purchasing cardstock to make sure it will work!
Alex decided to just use my flashcards instead of making his own. If your kids don’t like to draw, you could have them find pictures in magazines or newspapers or print pictures from the internet. You could also skip the flashcards and use props instead. I also set up my “word wall” on a chair next to me so that I could point to words easily while asking the boys questions.
We started with a review from last time using se llama and vive. First, I asked them what the name of their monster is (from the Colors lesson). Then I asked where the monster lives. Second, I had them read descriptions that I wrote about a few pictures. I read the Spanish so they could hear it pronounced correctly, and they translated into English so I could check their understanding.
I formatted the reading since I’m posting it here. Otherwise, I would’ve just used a white background and the standard font from Power Point. If you have time to type up what they said so they can read it, that will help them acquire Spanish. Or you can download my reading here:
We had Calendar Time, and then I kind of did TPR. It wasn’t going so well with my kids, so I didn’t completely follow the instructions in my lesson. I also realized the flashcards might not be as useful for TPR since they have the words in Spanish on them. At first I was annoyed with how I planned it. Then I decided it doesn’t matter too much since they are hearing the word pronounced correctly while looking at the word and the picture.
For TPR I grouped the flashcards into three categories: adjectives, house/room, and family. I said each word in each group and had the kids touch or pick up the card. Then I repeated them. Do they know the words? No. But at least they were familiar with them for our conversation (PQA).
So if your kids aren’t into the TPR part, no worries! Do the best you can with it and then do another activity that they will like and get repetition that way. For instance, Aidan asked to play Memoria with the flashcards, so I know we’ll get lots of repetition with the words through that game. I also used the labels from the Vocabulary pdf (located with the lessons above) and put those on things in their rooms.
After we did TPR, we started the Personalized Questions and Answer (PQA – Conversation) lesson. This is where you talk a lot in Spanish so kids can hear the language in context. I discovered my kids don’t like Skittles, so I bought m&ms for Aidan and Mike and Ike’s for Alex. Because Easter candy is in stores now, I lucked out with Easter m&ms and was able to include questions with rosado and morado.
I put some candy on two plates and then used the script from my lesson to ask them a bunch of questions for the vocabulary word hay. They were so squirrely! I let them eat a few pieces here and there since it seemed kind of cruel to make them look at the candy but not eat it.
It ended up being funny because our conversation went like this:
Me: ¿Cuántos m&ms amarillos hay?
Aidan, shoving m&ms in his mouth: zero (yes, I let them talk in English. I just want them to understand me at this point.)
Me: ¡No hay m&ms amarillos!
Aidan: they’re in my stomach
Me: ¿Cuántos m&ms hay en el estómago?
Me: Ooo, hay dos m&ms en el estómago.
If you are relatively comfortable with Spanish, you will probably want to improvise a little bit and not just stick to the script. It will be more fun for you and your kids. Just sticking to the script works too especially if you’re kind of learning Spanish or getting back into it after a long time.
When I was first learning this method, I was super awkward. Partly because I hadn’t had Spanish in a long time and felt like I had forgotten everything I learned and partly because you have to think on your feet a little bit with this method. That is not my forte. And I’ve discovered most teachers feel awkward when they first start using PQA in their classes. So if it feels uncomfortable, don’t worry about it. Just keep going and it will get better.
We spent about 10 to 15 minutes with questions using hay. Waaaaaay too long, but most of that time they were goofing around. We spent another 10ish minutes on questions with tengo, tienes, and tiene. I had them put candy in their hands for part of it to differentiate between hay and tiene, and I followed the script to ask them questions first about the candy then about our cat.
I didn’t use tengo as much as I would like so we will probably play the dreaded Peces (Go Fish) with a deck of cards. I will probably take out the face cards and aces to keep it simple with just the numbers. They need to review the numbers, but using the flashcards with this unit’s vocabulary would also work well. As much as I hate playing Peces, it will give lots of opportunities for me to model tengo and tienes.
There is one more verb in the lesson to cover, but there was no way I could keep their attention anymore. I ended the lesson with a mini-story about our cat based on their answers (below). I also made a short video with this mini-story for listening practice.
Hay un gato.
El gato se llama Poco.
Poco vive en una casa.
Poco tiene un dormitorio en la casa.
Poco tiene muchos libros porque tiene quince bibliotecas (libraries).
Poco tiene dos libros favoritos: Tom the Cat y la biblia.
Poco tiene un juguete favorito: un Hexbug.
Poco tiene un Hexbug como un ratón (a mouse).
Poco tiene una cama alta y grande.
Poco tiene un Ferrari café, amarillo, y rojo.
Poco tiene una familia: Nicole, Aidan, Alex, y Jerry.
There is an outline in the lesson for you to follow based on your kids’ answers. I gave them the choice of drawing the story or acting it so I could see how much they understood. They both chose to act it, and I took pictures of them. It’s hard to take pictures of people moving with the phone! They had been outside in a forest near our house and were still a mess. Oh well.
I said one sentence at a time, and they had to act it out before I moved on to the next sentence. Their actions reflected what I said without them looking at the vocabulary list or me translating, so I’m happy! I’m going to print the story for them to read with me as a review to start our next lesson.
Quizlet to Practice the Bedroom and Family Members in Spanish
Do you know anyone who wants to teach their kids family members in Spanish or high-frequency verbs to be able to speak in Spanish? Feel free to share with the buttons on the left!
What story did you come up with for your pet? Tell me about it in the comments below!
P.S. Are you looking for a quick and fun way to help your kids start learning Spanish? If so, check out my free Spanish for Kids Starter Guide! You can immediately use any of the 9 simple tips to introduce your kids to Spanish. Know what the best part is? You don’t have to know Spanish to use it!