Spanish vocab games

5 Vocab Games for Spanish Class

Spanish vocab games are such a fun way to keep students learning and having fun in class! Over the years, I have found many different games that students love! Many are games adapted from common childhood games that we all loved! I can’t take credit for most of them, but here are some great ideas!

Spanish Vocab Game #1: Etic Etac Eto

This Spanish class version of Tic Tac Toe is a low prep EASY way to start a class, review or fill some time. I usually create 3 games.

Students have a partner- their opponent. We do Rocks, Paper, Scissors (in Spanish of course!) to determine who will go first, and who is X or O.

Each game board is 3 x 3. I create these by using a Google Doc and inserting a 3 x 3 table. In each block, I type in a question of some sort. The easiest is to type a vocabulary word (in English or Spanish, depending on the level of difficulty you’re after).

The student whose turn it is must write the translation. If both people agree that it’s correct, the writer marks the box with X or O. If the writer was incorrect, the answer is erased. That box is still available for play. The winner of the game is the first to get 3 X’s or 3 O’s in a row!

Other variations could be:

-fill in the blank with a word that makes sense

-translate the whole sentence

-unscramble the word in the box

Vocab Game #2: Los 6 mágicos

This one is SO MUCH FUN! For this game, you need to pair students, you need one die for each pair of students, 1 pencil for each pair of students, and 1 gameboard for EACH student.

The game board is a list of vocab words. You could write them in Spanish, in English, or a combination. The objective of the game is to be the first to translate all the words.

To play: Person 1 has the pencil. He/She will write the translations as long as it takes for person #2 to roll a 6 with the die. At that point, the die roller will yell “Dame el lápiz!” and Person #1 must drop the pencil immediately. Now they switch roles. Person 2 translates furiously until person 1 rolls a 6! This game is fast-paced and relies on a combination of good luck (to roll a 6 fast!) and preparation!

Vocab Game #3: ¡A pescar!

This is a really fun Spanish vocab game for groups of 3 or 4. To play, you need at least 20 pairs of cards. The pairs can be Spanish vocab words and either their English translation or the picture. The object of the game is to match all of your cards before anyone else does.

To play, one player shuffles and deals 3-5 cards to each player. (It depends on how many players there are total. You need at least some cards in the “Go Fish” pile. The extra cards go face-down in the middle. Person 1 starts. He/She asks in Spanish if any other player has a particular card. “Tienes …el abrigo? (and they read what they have on their card.) If the person they asked DOES have the card, he/she must pass the card over. If the person DOES NOT have the card, he/she says… “A pescar!”. Person 1 must take a card from the middle pile. Now person 2 can ask. The game continues this way until someone has matched all of their cards!

Vocab Game #4: Memoria

This is another throwback to childhood! I usually have students play in groups of 4. To play, you need 12-15 pairs of cards. Each pair will have a Spanish word and its pair would be the English translation or the picture of the vocab word. The object of the game is to make the most matches!

To play, shuffle the cards. Line them up in even rows, face down. Person 1 turns over any 2 cards. If they match, Person 1 takes both. He/She may go again! When this person turns over 2 cards that DO NOT match, those cards are turned back to face down, and that person’s turn is over. Person 2 now turns over 2 cards.

For this game, it’s important to remind students to flip the cards all the way over so that other group members can see them. It’s also important to put them back in the same place they came from when they don’t match.

Vocab Game #5: ¡Corre!

This game is a lot of fun and great for your classes of students who need to move. To play, students will be in teams of 2. One partner will be sitting in the classroom. He/She has a blank gameboard. The other partner is the runner. This person’s job is to run out to the hall, or to another location in the classroom, and look at the gameboard that is filled in. He/She runs back to their partner to report what’s on the gameboard. The object of the game is to re-create the game board by writing in the vocab words in the correct spots. Words must be spelled correctly, and you can ask students to draw a picture and/or write the English translation. The first team to re-create the game board wins!

There are so many fun games out there! I have been using these games for so long- I don’t know where I even got the ideas from. But I’m thankful for my colleagues and the Internet for keeping the ideas flowing! I hope these games will liven up your Spanish classrooms too!

And since this post is scheduled to go out the day before Thanksgiving, I wish everyone a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING! May we all enjoy family and friends, good food, time off, and may we remember to count our blessings!

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Spanish vocab games
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