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Spanish Classroom Activity Using Manipulatives to Teach Indirect and Direct Object Pronouns

written by: Bright Hub Education Writer • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 3/2/2012

Get students working together in groups to form sentences using direct and indirect object pronouns. Each group will use manipulatives as they discuss the correct word order of each sentence.

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    One of the more difficult concepts of Spanish grammar for students is learning indirect and direct object pronouns. It gets even tougher when you introduce sentences with double object pronouns. Students need to see many examples and do several different relevant exercises. The following activity can be used to get students working together forming Spanish sentences while practicing this grammatical concept.

    Break the class up into groups of fours. Tell the groups to put their desks together with two students facing the other two students in the group. Pass out an envelope to each group. Have the students separate the words into verbs, nouns, adjectives and pronouns. Explain to the class that you will be calling out a sentence in English that uses a direct or an indirect object pronoun. The job of each group is to form that sentence in Spanish using the words on their desks. Students will work together and raise their hands when they believe they have formed the sentence in Spanish. Check each group’s sentence for accuracy. If there is an error point the students in the right direction, but let them work at producing the correct answer. Once each group has the sentence in Spanish instruct the groups to put the words back in their categories and go on to the next sentence.

    For this activity type out about fifteen sentences in Spanish that use a direct object pronoun, an indirect object pronoun or the combination of both. Make sure to use an example of each pronoun between the fifteen sentences you write. The verbs and nouns can be from the chapter you are currently on. Use a fourteen font or bigger and leave extra space between each word. Print out ten copies of the sentences written out. Save one copy for yourself and for the rest cut out each individual word on the piece of paper. When you finish cutting out each word for a particular sheet of paper mix up the words and put them in an envelope. Do the same with the rest.When you are done you will have nine envelopes filled with the words of the sentences you created. You may have extra envelopes.

    When you are forming the student groups make sure that you have at least one strong Spanish student in every one. He or she will be the leader and help the others. Provide extra clues or help to the groups that are struggling.If you like, you can make this activity a contest and award a prize to the group who finishes their sentences first. Students will have fun doing this exercise and may even get competitive with other groups. Keep the atmosphere positive and this will be a great learning experience.