The Spanish language is full of descriptive terms for everything. For English speakers, learning Spanish can be complicated. They must learn how to describe something in another language while at the same time matching the gender and number of the noun and the adjectives that describe it. That's why Spanish language students need a variety of classroom activities to practice physical descriptions.
Other People Are Reading
Have students cut out images of people from a variety of magazines and paste these onto a sheet of paper. Ask students to number the pictures and use another sheet of paper to write a description of each person. For example, they could pick a photo of a thin woman with blond hair and write the sentence, "La chica rubia es delgada." Students can also practice this exercise by saying their descriptions aloud to the class or with a partner, or they can trade papers with a classmate and practice describing new people after they finish with their own.
A family tree project provides students with a chance to practice physical descriptions, and it gives teachers a way to learn more about their students. Students put together a basic family tree diagram, including immediate and extended family members along with photos. Students then write a paper in Spanish, briefly describing the appearance and personality of each family member. For example, a student might write that his father is funny and tall -- "Mi padre es comico y alto" -- or that his sister has blue eyes and red hair -- "Mi hermana tiene ojos azules y pelo rojo."
Magic Wand Game
Divide the class into two teams. Have one member of each team come to the front of the class, where you have posted a variety of photos or drawings of people and animals. Give each of the competitors a magic wand -- available from most bargain stores for 60p- - and have them stand in front of the pictures. Say a descriptive adjective, such as "gordo" or "bajo." The student who is quickest to point with the wand to a picture of someone matching that description wins a point for her team.
Give students a piece of paper containing two numbered lists, one of subjects and one of adjectives. The list of subjects should include some general names or words, such as "my sister," "the teachers" and "the boy," as well as specific proper nouns, such as "Josefina" and "Seniorita Salazar." The list of adjectives should include words used to describe someone physically, all in their singular male form -- "gordo," not "gorda" or "gordos." Students roll a die one time to determine the name from the first list that they must use in a sentence. They roll again to choose the number of an adjective from the second list. Then they must make up a sentence, either aloud or on paper, to combine those two items. For instance, they might come up with "Josefina es bella." The students must use the correct form of the adjective, in terms of gender and number, for the proper noun.
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