Your Spanish students will need to constantly practice their vocabulary words. Every chapter in your book will present new vocabulary that must be memorized. The following activity gets your students working in groups comparing the target vocabulary with visual representations of the words in a game of memory.
Before class, take a standard blank piece of paper and a ruler and make twenty equal squares. This can be done by drawing three lines going down the long side of the paper and four lines going across. Make enough copies for all of your classes. You can even make more to have for future use since this game sheet can be used for other activities too. On the board write ten vocabulary words that your students are responsible for.
Split your class into groups of twos or threes. Pass out one copy of the game sheet and a pair of scissors to each group. Tell you students that they are to cut their paper into twenty squares by cutting along the lines. When they finish they are to write the ten Spanish vocabulary words on the board on ten of the squares. Each square will get one word.On the other ten squares the group members are to draw a visual representation of each vocabulary word. If one of the words is “nadar” a student will draw a person swimming in a pool. For any word in your Spanish text there is some sort of picture that a student can think of. Walk around the room and help students come up with ideas for pictures if need be.
Once all of the words are written and the pictures are drawn each group is to turn over the cards and mix them up. Now they are to play a game of memory. The student will take turns turning over a square and then turning over another in hopes of finding a match. If a student turns over a card with a Spanish word on it he will attempt to find the square with the picture on it and vice versa.
This activity will take a little class time in terms of preparation, but it is worth it. The students are drawing the pictures with the Spanish words in mind which leads to a higher chance of retention. Once the memory game starts students have fun and will concentrate on the words so as not to loose. This game will work from elementary up to high school.