Most Spanish I students start learning basic interrogative words on the first day of class, usually by asking how someone is or what his name is. During these first few lessons the focus is more on memorizing the expressions than actually deconstructing each sentence.
As your students progress, they'll start to realize that, for example, ¿Qué? can be translated to mean "what?" in English. After a few weeks, your class will be ready to learn more interrogative words and focus on their uses. The following activity gives your students a chance to practice combining the different interrogative words with present tense verbs.
Go over the meanings and uses of each interrogative word, writing each one out on the board. Don't forget to include:
¿Quién? = Who?
¿Qué? = What?
¿Dónde? = Where?
¿Cuándo? = When?
¿Cómo? = How?
¿Cuál? = Which?
This is also a great chance to remind your students that interrogative words receive an extra accent mark. Next, write about 10 infinitive verbs (that your students already know) on the board. Finally, split the class into groups of three or four.
Instruct each group to construct a dialog between an overprotective father and his teenage daughter, using the verbs and interrogatives on the board. At this point in the semester, you'll want to stick to the present tense. Examples of questions the father might ask include:
- ¿Quién es tu amigo?
- ¿Cuándo piensas regresar?
- ¿Cuál es el teléfono de tu novio?
The daughter, of course, would answer appropriately using one of the target verbs and whatever else the students decide to add.
One or two students in each group will play scribe, writing down the father and daughter parts on separate sheets of paper. Give the class 10 or 20 minutes to work, then go around the room and have two students from each group read off the dialog. One plays the father, one plays the daughter, and of course these students should be the ones who didn't write the dialog out. Check for comprehension by asking one or two questions of the class during each group's reading.
This activity should take about half an hour total.