Saturday, November 15, 2014

¿Cómo estás? Centers

We've been studying ¿Cómo estás? in second grade. I had several games I wanted to play to have students practice recognizing the different emotions and to get them speaking so I turned them into centers and away we went.

First we went over center rules in English.

1. Stay on task.
2. Stay in your area.
3. Clean up.
4. Have fun and speak Spanish.

Game 1: Spinners

Each student got a spinner. They spun the paperclip and drew that emotion on their face with a dry erase marker. I got these awesome spinner games from Riconcita de la Maestra's on Teachers Pay Teachers. I did have to change them somewhat so that the vocabulary matched what I was teaching but the kids loved playing with them. (Quick rant - do other language teachers have to constantly try to find/revise resources because there are 1,000 different ways to say things in Spanish??? I can never find things where ALL the vocab matches. I'm a pro at cutting, pasting, and writing in the vocab I need on things.) Get the spinners and other emotions activities here.

Game 2: Play-doh mats

Students drew an emotion card and then created that face with their play-doh. I downloaded the free mats from Sparklebox and I borrowed the play-doh from our kindergarten teachers. This game was definitely the most popular. Students got very excited to show me their "triste" face or "enojado face" in play-doh. They also worked wonderfully for behavior management - "Not on task and following directions? You can sit out during your play-doh rotation." I could see myself using these again for body parts.

Game 3:¡Estoy loco!

This game is similar to War. Students each took half of a stack of cards. They took turns asking each other ¿Cómo estás? The other person would lay down a card and answer based on what the card said. They continued to ask and lay down cards until either one person ran out of cards and won the game OR when an ¡Estoy loco! card was laid down. When there was an ¡Estoy loco! card down the other person had to pick up the entire pile of cards in the middle. This game had students speaking the most and they really seemed to enjoy playing. This one is a keeper and I'll be modifying it for other conversational chunks we'll be learning in the future.

At the end of each class, we did a quick self-assessment using fist to five on how students followed the center rules, if they had fun, and how confident they felt about asking and answering "How are you?" Most students rated themselves very high. All in all it was a very successful round of centers and students are now ready to start thinking more critically about the new vocabulary. Next up, we'll start matching up what's happening in different pictures and determining how we think the people are feeling about it.

How do you teach emotions in your classes? Share in the comments below!


  1. How many emotions did you teach your class? We are working on Como estas, but I only taught bien, mas o menos, and mal.

    1. I'm using Calico Spanish and the materials they gave me included eight- bien, cansada, enfermo, enojado, triste, mas o menos, tengo hambre, and tengo sed. We did a story to intro the emotions where I focused in on enojado, triste, tengo hambre, and bien. I was thinking yesterday that the tres osos you've been doing would also be a great story to incorporate emotions. I don't expect them to know all of them by the end of the unit but to have a fairly good handle on the four and we'll keep asking Como estas at the beginning of class for the rest of the year to give them practice with the rest.

  2. I love these ideas! In my class I have the students stand back to back with a partner and I call out one of the sentimientos and they have to jump around and act out the emotion with the partner. After we've reviewed them all we have a play off round where each group of partners is a team and they have to jump around the fastest with the correct emotion. Teams are eliminated if they get it wrong or don't jump quick enough.

    1. What a great idea! I've also played Charades where I split them into groups of 4 and 1 person acts out an emotion while the other 3 guess. Thanks for reading the blog!

  3. Did you make the cards for Estoy Loco or did you buy them somewhere?

    1. I made them by photocopying the flashcards I had. I do that a lot actually. It makes getting cards for games like these way faster.

      Thanks for reading the blog!