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Teaching Spanish Adjectives: Lesson & Ideas

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 7/12/2012

This article features Spanish lessons using adjectives and is suitable for first graders. Use objects and the students themselves to demonstrate the meanings of the Spanish demonstrative adjectives.

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    Demonstrative Adjectives

    Spanish lessons with adjectives can be easily taught with this lesson plan. First, introduce your students to the adjectives. Break the adjectives down in the forms of root and endings. For example:

    Demonstrative Root

    est-

    es-

    Singular Endings

    Masculine

    -e

    Feminine

    -a

    Plural Endings

    Masculine

    -os

    Feminine

    -as

    Now tell your students that when you combine the demonstrative root est- with the masculine ending -e and the feminine ending –a, the words este and esta are formed. Este and Esta are used to refer to singular things or persons close to the speaker. Now introduce the plural forms by telling them that you can add -os and -as to the root est-. This results in estos and estas to refer to plural things or persons close to the speaker.

    Now, you'll want to refer to things or persons which are neither very close nor at a remote distance from the speaker. Simply take the root es- and add -e or -a for use in the singular and -os or -as for use in the plural. This gives you ese and esa, and esos and esas.

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    Understanding by Action

    Next, you'll want to put these adjectives into practice so they will be better understood. Students may practice first with objects, and then with themselves. Take a book and demonstrate by saying "este libro" (this book). Next, point to a book near to a student and say "ese libro" (that book). Now take two or more books and say "estos libros" (these books). Now point to some books near a student and say "esos libros" (those books). Now you are ready for your students to try the feminine forms. Point to a chair and say "esta silla" (this chair), then point to two or more chairs and say "estas sillas" (these chairs). You are now ready to do the same exercise to indicate "that chair" and "those chairs" by using "esa silla" and "esas sillas." Your students can practice using different objects. You can also practice using the students with sentences like:

    Este muchacho se llama Antonio y ese muchacho se llama Juan.

    This boy’s name is Antonio and that boy’s name is Juan.

    Esta muchacha se llama Ana y esa muchacha se llama María.

    This girl’s name is Ana and that girl’s name is María.

    Estos muchachos son muy inteligentes y estas muchachas también.

    These boys are very intelligent and these girls also.

    Esos muchachos son muy simpáticos y esas muchachas son muy simpáticas.

    Those boys are very kind and so are those girls.

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    Aquel, Aquella

    There is one more demonstrative adjective to add to Spanish lessons and that is aquel. Aquel is used for "that" when referring to something which the speaker views as far away (either in space or in time). Its forms are as follows:

    Masculine Singular – Masculine Plural

    aquel – aquellos

    Feminine Singular – Feminine plural

    aquella –aquellas

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    Exercises

    Next, your students can work on exercises, first using the adjectives separately, then combining them. Here is an example of a combined exercise:

    Use the proper endings with est-, es- and the correct form of aquel:

    1. Prefiero est- coches.

    2. Mira es- casa.

    3. Me gusta est- gato.

    4. Mira por aquel- ventana

    5. Es sobre est- mesa.

    6. Aquel- perros son bonitos.

    7. Aquel- tiendas son grandes.

    8. Es- edificios son pequeños.

    Answers :

    1. estos; 2. esa; 3. este; 4. aquella; 5. esta; 6. aquellos; 7. aquellas; 8. esos

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    You can provide a variety of exercises which will give students the opportunity to use the various forms of the adjectives, such as using exercises like substituting the cued word or completing sentences with the cued word. Your students will discover that learning Spanish demonstrative adjectives is quite easy.

References

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