Monday, November 28, 2016

7 Gustar Activities to guarantee fun in the class!

Activities that promote a clear path to mastery; practice builds confidence. 

This week,  I'd like to share a few activities surrounding the structure gustar that helped my students stay in the target language, engage with authentic resources and stimulate ongoing conversation in the class. I implemented the lesson  referenced in this post with my Spanish I students, who truly were novice-low at the beginning of the year (I am used to having novice-mid first year).  Since my students were starting from scratch (pronouncing que as qwue),  I have had to retrofit my curriculum, to account for the needs of my present class. If you are like me, in need to some quick curriculum overalls, check out previous posts below, otherwise, enjoy the free Gustar activities! 

1. New spin on teaching the date and other boring things in Spanish!

These posts outline ideas, activities maps (most are free) for reshaping the novice- level experience and putting them on track for mastery.  

7- Gustar Activities to guarantee fun in the class!

We are well into our school unit, but prior to the unit, my first stop or preferred language structure is the verb gustar, similar to querer, tener and poder, I like to call them, “gateway verbs.”  After learning this verb, conversation skyrocketed to all new heights in my class. I believed the carefully crafted materials helped.  

We practiced discussing likes and dislikes without having had a proper “ introduction” but then the question arose and we dove right in. These seven activities afforded a combination of most learning styles and really pumped up my class. 

1. Activity 1: Rafael Nadal 

Authentic Video Activities for Novice Level Students 
Rafael Nadal: Power Commercial 

Video Link:

Rafael Nadal: Power Commercial 
Gustar Resource- Video-Listening- Speed dating activity and more!

1. I created a quick blurb about the tennis star so that students were familiar with him. Here is how it all went down: 

  •  First, they read blurb about the tennis star (in the suite of docs above). 
  • After they are introduced to him, I played the video with the audio only. I froze the screen and had them write down the words they heard.  
  • Then, I posted the words (in the activity) on the board. Students took another listen and they wrote the words they heard for the second time (I had added some distractor words to get a true test to their discriminative listening skills).
  • Then, I played the video and they were able to confirm. They then spoke about this likes and dislikes. Since the words flash across the screen, they were able to make an immediate connection. 

Activity 2-6: María Fernanda, Video and Activities 

Click the link below for her Youtube Video 

María una niña colombiana 

Click this link for free resources: Gustar Resource- Video-Listening- Speed dating activity and more!

I really liked this short video of a Colombian girl who talks about her likes and dislikes. Just like the first video, they listened and jotted down what they heard. 

I created 4 activities to accompany this video. They are in the above-referenced suite of documents. 

  • Basic question activity. Students listen once and then circle the correct answer (name, age, etc). 
  • Students listen again and then check off the things she likes and likes to do (list provided)
  • Write sentences using the structure
  • Extension activity. I gave them several options and they had to choose which event or class María would like or like to attend based on what she said in the video. Students are given a stem sentence/template for citing visual evidence. 

Speed Dating: Multiple forms activity (included in Free Gustar Resource Suite)

I gave students a 16 grid interview chart containing questions related to gustar and school.  First, we went over what each verb meant, for my nervous Nellys. They had this Quizlet set to study before hand because we are in our La educación, la tecnología y los desafíos globales Unit.  They went around, interviewed all 16 students and then they had to report out using the third person of the verb who likes what (this exercises is included as well).  Those who were up for a challenge used the plural forms of the verb Gustar. The reporting sheet is included as well. This was very energizing. 

Reading: La clase de confesiones

Click here for the story: La clase de confesiones 

Read synosis below: 

I created this story for my Spanish I novice/ novice-mid class. Yes, your students can read it and enjoy it at the novice level!  The story features most vocabulary associated with classes, school supplies and activities related to the classroom. There is lots of descriptive vocabulary (physical and personality traits). There is a little bit of poetry from one of the characters such as “ ella es el sol que ilumina mi día.”

 Phrases such as these are footnoted, listed in the pre-reading vocabulary and practiced in pre-reading exercises.  As I wrote the story for an upcoming class (if you have Spanish 3 or beyond, check out El Muerto en el Armario series), I thoughts teachers will read this and find their class reflected here, such as the texting student, teacher giving a lecture on what kids did in the old ways and a super funny surprise ending.

My students really likes the bossy-quick-witted teacher in the story. It reminded them of someone:)

The story comes with several front-loading and post-comprehension exercises (total of five). For example, one of the pre-reading activities familiarizes students with some authentic expressions used, such as “ más te vale.” Contextual fill-in-the-blank sentences also offers a unique peek into the story as well as access background knowledge. 


Carlos hates his English class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. Her presence is both distracting and motivating. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to “shake things up” in class. A simple writing assignment allows Carlos the creativity, which he has never had before in this class, and is a break from the teacher’s lecture teaching style. But the assignment is turning out to be a lethal injection to his social life, and by extension his chances with Jessica. From the nosy teacher inadvertently trying to help him “to get his beloved’s attention” to one of the most embarrassing things that has every happen to him, he sees that all is not lost.  This story proves that No hay mal del que por bien no venga.

Additional resources I found while looking for level appropriate material. 

Post related to revolutionizing the curriculum and classroom activities  (there are some free downloadables in the post as well).

1 comment:

  1. Very useful information to keep improving and learn spanish slowly but surely, thanks for all the help and the work you made daily, take care