Spanish Activity: Telling the Time Used with Present Tense Verbs


Bring in about ten clocks that your students can manipulate to display different times–these should be traditional clocks with hands. If you don't want to use real clocks, use a paper plate for each makeshift clock face. Write the numbers in around the clock face, then cut two clock hands out of posterboard for each clock. Use a brad to fasten the clock hands in the middle of your mock-up clock.

Next, review the basic grammatical points of telling time in Spanish. This is a great time to do several textbook exercises to get the students warmed up. Give them a chance to ask any questions they have about telling time before you move on to the actual activity.

¿Qué hora es?

Split the class into groups of two or three, and pass out one clock to each group. Start by calling out a certain time of day–say, son las seis–and have each group adjust their clock to display the time you just named. Call on one student in each group to read the time off their clock; they'll get a little extra speaking practice, while you make sure every group understood you correctly. Keep calling out different times of day and checking the clocks after each one. This activity should take about 10 minutes.

Next, let the students work on their own. One student in each group will hold the clock and adjust its hands to a random position. The same person then asks the rest of the group ¿Qué hora es? and they have to answer back in Spanish. This activity should take about another 10 minutes.

Adding Verbs

Have the students return to their seats. As a class, discuss and write on the board at least 15 verbs that your students have already learned. Each verb should describe an activity your students or their family might do during a typical day. Next, review the present tense conjugations of each verb and ask the students how they'd form questions using these verbs.

Send the students back to their groups for the final activity. One student in each group will ask the other one what he or she does at six different times during the day: ¿Qué haces a las…? The other student answers, using one of the verbs from the list on the board. If there's a third student in the group, he plays scribe and writes down what the others say. Otherwise, they'll have to write each part down themselves. Finally, each group reads the short conversation they just created to the entire class.

Because each group knows that they will be presenting their conversation out loud for the class, your students will most likely put some effort into this exercise. Have fun with it, and they will too.


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