It’s March. That means, for the committed, it’s time to think about April Fools’ Day in Spanish Class! If you’re going to pull a trick off in your class, some things take time to plan. Some are simple! Here are a few ideas for how you can get a good laugh on April 1st in your Spanish classroom!
I’ve divided the pranks into a few categories to help you pick something that fits your personality and your teaching style. Some are simple, zero prep, and some involve plotting between several staff members in your school! I’m sure you’ll find an idea that you’ll like!
Classic April Fools’ Day in Spanish Class
We’re going to start with the classics. These are pranks that have passed the test of time and are sure to get at the very least, a solid, “Ha ha!” in your classroom!
“Brownies” – Tell your students they’ve earned a class party or a class prize – or just tell them you felt like giving them a treat! Then, take the lid off your pan of brown E’s! Muahaha. If you feel like taking pity on them, you could hide a real treat in a desk drawer and pull them out after the surprise!
Test/Quiz – give your students a “planned” test or quiz..that somehow, none of them remembered. What!? And none of them know any of the material?! You can take this a couple ways – anger or disappointment at their lack of study skills, or reading your announcements online. Just don’t let this trick go on too long, or you’ll probably get some angry emails! Let them in on the joke after a few minutes of panic.
The Empty Word Search – Wendy Lynned shared this idea in the Spanish Teachers in the U.S. group on Facebook. (Side note, if you’re not in this group check it out! It’s a great way to connect with other teachers). Give your students a word find puzzle without any actual words in it! She shared these puzzles that are easy to copy and paste lists from your current vocabulary if you’d like to add it to your Drive and give it a try!
She also added that she took it even further in a few classes! Some puzzles had answers and others didn’t. She said it drove them nuts that some kids were finding things and others weren’t! Click here to try out her puzzles!
Many of these take a little bit more planning because they’re best pulled off with at least one accomplice! If you’re willing to take the time to talk to someone, having a buddy in on it with you can make the prank all the more believable for your students!
You’re Fired! – Have your principal come into your classroom and “fire” you for a ridiculous reason. My favorite is having too much fun in Spanish class – but it could be something like speaking too much Spanish to the students, or for showing them too many silly videos (Movie Talk is educational, but it doesn’t always look that way)! You could also tell your principal they can come up with their own reason so they can get in on the fun!
The Meltdown – Have a meltdown. If you want to have something “set you off” (you ate the last pencil I gave you!?), you can, but it’s just as funny and slightly more terrifying if nothing causes it. Rant. Rave. Cry a little bit. Then laugh, wipe your eyes, and say, “April Fools!”.
The Phone “Smash” – You need a student in on this one. Someone who can keep their mouth shut – you don’t want the secret getting out. Whoever the student is will have their phone out and be on it. You can give them several repeated “looks”, clear your throat – something to communicate to the rest of the class that your expectation is that they’re not on their phone. Eventually, as suspense has built, storm over to the student and “smash” their phone. This requires a bit of a swap as you’ll use a fake or an old phone and you’ll throw it down and smash smash smash! Your student actor can ham it up with shock and disbelief. If they can cry, that might make the bit even better!
Of course, you’ll need to reveal to the class eventually that it was all a joke and your student was in on it the whole time!
Language Based Pranks
So far, all of our pranks have been something you could pull in any classroom. I also wanted to share some ideas that are specific to a world language teacher wanting to celebrate April Fools’ Day in Spanish Class!
Quizlet Set – Mara Gust shared this idea in the Spanish Teachers in the U.S. group on Facebook. Play a Quizlet set “to review”, but pick a different language! Mara said she chose French, and when she revealed the joke to her students they were surprised at how much they were able to figure out!
Redecorate – This requires a bit of work, but if you have your own classroom, and a bit of time, it could be so much fun! Julie from Mundo de Pepita teaches Spanish, but also Russian! She shared that one year she redecorated by hanging up classroom decor sets in Russian instead of her Spanish decor (which you should check out here because it is BEAUTIFUL)! Whoa!
Starting a “New” Unit – This one cracks me up! Give your students a reading in another language and maybe a set of comprehension questions to go with it. (Pro tip: Call it a pre-assessment if you don’t want to field a billion questions!) Give them some silent work time and watch the panic. Like with many of the other pranks – don’t let this sit too long!
April Activities in Spanish Class
Of course, it might be a good idea to mix and match these ideas! You don’t want your first class of the day to spoil it for the others!
If you’re looking for more April activities, check out these posts!