Conjugating verbs is one of the more difficult aspects of learning Spanish. Not only does how you conjugate a verb identify the subject and number (first-person singular, third-person plural, etc.) it also identifies mode and establishes a time reference. Your students are going to need constant practice to refine this skill. Although your textbook will provide numerous exercises for perfecting Spanish verb conjugation, classroom activities give your students a chance to practice interacting with you, and each other, in their new language. Verb conjugation BINGO is a great example.
- Use a ruler to draw a 5-square-by-5-square grid on a blank sheet of paper. Or you can go online and download a blank BINGO sheet, or use this free BINGO sheet generator. Make enough copies for your students, plus a few extras for replacements or future use.
- Write twenty-five infinitive verbs on the board, drawing from the current chapter’s vocabulary or vocabulary from past lessons. Next to the verbs, list the subject pronouns: yo, tú, él and so on. If you used the BINGO sheet generator, you can skip the verb part of this step; just cut and paste your list of infinitive verbs into the program and telling it how many sheets to make. However, you still need to write the pronouns on the board.
- If you didn’t use the BINGO sheet generator, pass the blank BINGO sheets out to your students and have them write one infinitive verb into each box. If they all just write the verbs down in order everyone will get BINGO at once, so remind them to fill the boxes in randomly. If you did use the sheet generator, you can just pass the ready-made sheets out as they are.
- Call out one infinitive verb at a time, giving your students a chance to find the verb and mark it out. (If you intend to reuse the sheets, use flat marbles or other tokens to mark each square instead.) Read the verbs off in random order, for the same reason you had the students write them in randomly.
- Once a student has five-in-a-row marked off (horizontally, diagonally or vertically), he calls out “BINGO.” But the game isn’t over yet: You point to one of the subject pronouns you wrote on the board, and the student must read each verb in his BINGO row, properly conjugating each one for the subject pronoun you selected from the board. (Beginning students should stick to the present indicative, but you can challenge intermediate students and upwardto work with other vebr tenses.) You can also have the student write the conjugations out on the board.
- if the student who originally got the BINGO can conjugate each verb correctly, he’s the winner. If he makes an error, or is unable to answer at all, another student in the class can answer for him. In that case, the student who made the correction gets the win for that round.
The winner of each round comes to the front of the room and takes the role of the teacher, calling out verbs for the next round. When another student wins this round, the previous round’s winner decides which subject pronoun and/or tense the verbs should be conjugated in.
This is a great activity for middle school through high school, and letting students come to the board to call out verbs and correct conjugation errors gets everyone involved. Plan to spend about fifteen minutes on this game.
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