5 Ways to Play Mi Lápiz

Mi Lápiz is one of my absolute favorite games in my classroom. Why? Because it is SO easy. You can take any worksheet that you wanted your kids to do, hand them a die, and suddenly it’s a GAME and engagement goes through the roof. I have a post on set up and variations of it over here, but I wanted to share a few ways I use it, because the number one comment I get is, “This game is great! What do you use it with?”.  The answer is that I use it with lots of things, but most often I love it to just add some (la)pizazz to reading activities. Here are some simple activities to use with Mi Lápiz:

1. Read and Translate – This is probably one of the easiest ways to do this. Give students a text you’ve been working with. To play Mi Lápiz you can either set up a sheet for them with clear lines they need to translate, or you can just have them take out a sheet of paper and translate a reading you’ve projected for them on the screen.  


2. Comprehension Questions – This is a little harder to do with Mi Lápiz because the pencil stealing gets crazy. I haven’t done any serious analyzing during Mi Lápiz, but you can definitely do questions like Who, What, When, Where! You have a few options with this. The reading that you’ve been working with should definitely be in the target language but you can have the questions in either the target language or English. Whichever you’d prefer!


3. Read and Draw – Using this low prep reading activity I’ve shared about before could be a really funny option for Mi Lápiz. Imagine what drawings will look like when the pencil has been snatched out of their hands mid-doodle!

4. T/F Statements – Students read the text and come up with ten statements that are true or false about the text. This, like with the comprehension questions, can be a little tricky because they have to think about the text a little more deeply than just translating, but that’s part of the fun!

5. Order Events / Create a Timeline – You can either provide students with a story that’s scrambled and have them put it in order by writing sequencing words or just rewriting the entire story. You could also have them create a timeline of a certain number of events!

The nice thing here is that you can use any of these activities on their own as a post-reading activity, but turning them into a game is a nice way to make it feel *different* to your students. I hope that these give you a few ideas for things you can do with the game!

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