The end of the year is coming quickly! Everyone is antsy – teachers + students. It’s hard to focus. It’s hard to get work done. This is that time of the year where you find your GO TO, high engagement, low-prep activities. Because I don’t know about you – but I get tired at the end of the year. Anything that’s high prep is juuuust not realistic for me. And if they’re not into it? Classroom management starts to be a pain. So, let’s just skip all of that and jump straight into things that have as little prep on your end as possible, but excellent language and engagement investments on their end.
Pair students up and let them try and put the sentences in order. This is fantastic for syntax and understanding, and there’s so much flexibility involved. You can give them the English meaning, which makes it a much quicker activity, or you can have them try and puzzle out the word order, while simultaneously figuring out what it means. This can be used with ANY topic! I love to make it a game so students are racing to finish. Students will be jumping up and down with excitement about getting a sentence ordered correctly!
Bonus tip to reduce prep:
Have your students write the sentences, targeting the structures you’re working on. Pick your favorite one, and have them write the pieces on index cards. Then, trade sentences around the class! You can also check out my pre-made sets here!
Once it’s set up, you just let ’em go! Students answer the prompt on the bottom of the half sheet, then find the answer around the room in the larger font. When they find the answer, they go to it, and complete the next prompt, repeating until they have completed the circle! Some students like to race to see who can finish the loop fastest, others work at their own pace. Students can begin at any prompt and practice, checking their work as they go. This activity usually takes about 30 minutes, for 25 prompts, so it’s nice to have a fast finisher ready for them.
You can also differentiate with different colored circles – make a shorter, easier one in one color, then up the difficulty with a different color. For example, in the picture above, there are two loops. In one loop, the prompt is the time written out in Spanish. Students simply write 1:00 on their answer sheet, then keep going. The more difficult version of that circle has students look at the time, and write it out in Spanish.
DIY Vocabulary Sets
Rosalyn Rhodes (@spanish_rhodes) posted on Twitter a while ago about this idea and I LOVED it, stole it, used it, and will be doing so again! Students had sheets with the words and pictures, then wrote their own definitions in the target language. After cutting them apart, the possibilities are endless! Go Fish, Memory, Matamoscas (in small groups). This activity can be applied to any set of vocab, helps students work on circumlocution as they describe words in the target language, and then can be used throughout a unit over and over again.
Here is the link to the sheets I created for body parts – feel free to save, download, make a copy, whatever! Edit it so it fits your own vocab chunks however you please!
Blank Game Boards
Okay, so you’re probably thinking, “How can blank game boards be a low/no prep activity? They’re BLANK!” Hear me out:
Use blank game boards with task cards or flashcards to practice skills or help with recall and memorization. The boards will work best with cards that have just one question and one correct answer for each card. Short answer, multiple choice, vocabulary practice, and facts flashcards are all great examples of questions that would be perfect for use with these boards. You could even use the DIY cards sets made from the activity I described above! Students must answer a question from a card correctly before taking their turn. You may have students roll dice to see how many spaces they can move, use a spinner you have, or you could have students just move one space each turn for additional practice.
No task cards or flash cards already made? Print off the blank game board sets, write in words or verbs that you want students to use, then just make copies. Boom!
I could do a whole post on this (and have for some of them)! I’m just going to list my favorite sites for quick online games. If you want a more in-depth post on these, let me know!
• Quizlet (post: 1, 2)
• Kahoot (post: 1, 2)
• Purpose Games
• GimKit (post)
I love all of those sites because they allow you to use things other teachers have made (LOW PREP) and the kids get into them (HIGH ENGAGEMENT!). I love to mix them up because they all have slightly different features – plus, then the kids don’t get sick of them, and neither do I!
What are your favorite activities for the end of the year?