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Put Them in Proper Order
Whether you are teaching beginner classes or even older, more experienced learners, your students should enjoy games such as the following. Try these fun activities as an enjoyable and effective alternative for memorizing days of the week (días de la semana) in Spanish lessons.
Mix up the days of the week on cards or a whiteboard and then instruct students put them in the correct order, starting with Monday. Monday is the first day of the week on Spanish language calendars. For example:
Answers: lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado, domingo
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Match the Squares
Here is another game:
Write the days of the week in Spanish on squares cut out from cards. On an equal number of squares, write the days of the week in English or another familiar language. Shuffle the squares and have students match the correct days of the week. Alternatively, you can flip all of the cards face down and play a memory game, matching the Spanish word with its corresponding English version.
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Questions and Answers
If your students have already studied Spanish numbers --and they should in their first lessons-- they could try this exercise, which involves ordinal numbers.
Answer the following questions using the short form of reply.
e.g. ¿Cuál es el primer día de la semana? – lunes
¿Qué día es domingo? – el séptimo
¿Cuál es el segundo día de la semana?
¿Qué día es viernes?
¿Cuál es el sexto día de la semana?
¿Qué día es martes?
¿Cuál es el tercer día de la semana?
¿Qué día es jueves?
Answers: martes, el quinto, sábado, el segundo, miércoles, el cuarto
You can create more questions and answers like these or brainstorm other ideas.
Obtain a Spanish calendar. You may be able to get one from a Catholic church where there is a large Spanish community--or simply click on TimeandDate.com to use theirs. Use the calendar to have students practice the days of the week and the months of the year.
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Students should also be taught other vocabulary that corresponds to the days of the week, so they can make sentences relating to flights, family visits, doctor’s visits and the like. The following vocabulary is essential.
semana - week
hoy - today
ayer - yesterday
anoche - last night
fin de semana - weekend
mañana - tomorrow
mañana por la mañana
With this vocabulary, students can memorize the days of the week by practicing sentences like the following, and even combine them to make skits and use in role-play.
¿Cuándo es tu vuelo?
Mi vuelo es el viernes.
Yo regreso el domingo.
¿ Cuándo es su vuelo?
Su vuelo es el martes
¿ Llegaste ayer?
No, llegó el miércoles
¿Qué día es hoy?
Hoy es jueves.
¿Tu vuelo es mañana, entonces.
Sí, mi vuelo es mañana por la mañana
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A Grammar Tip
To translate “on" before the day of the week, use “el" or “los"
e.g., Voy al cine los viernes.
I go to the cinema on Fridays.
Tú tienes una cita con el dentista el jueves
You have an appointment with the dentist on Thursday.
Note that the days of the week are not capitalized in Spanish.
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A Final Word
Students can talk about their birthdays, their family activities, their extra-curricular activities and much more in their Spanish lessons..
In addition to the suggestions already given, use questions, basic commands such as daily home chores for children, and numbers to aid in learning new vocabulary. The calendar can also be used to teach students how to use the shortened forms of the days of the week in Spanish. Games and exercise like these will not only be enjoyable for students, but will certainly make the lesson more memorable.