Spanish Vocabulary Activities for High School
A wide array of Spanish vocabulary activities are available to help high school students practice the Spanish words and phrases they are learning.
These activities are easily adaptable for students of different fluency levels and the needs of your unique homeschool or classroom.
The majority of children of all ages get excited about games. Students love to mix playtime with class time. Spanish vocabulary activities and games are versatile and easy to add to any lesson plan. They are great vehicles to both introduce new vocabulary concepts and reinforce content from recent lessons.
In this blog post, we’ll explore a few helpful tips for teaching vocabulary in Spanish, look at 8 fun Spanish vocabulary activities for teens, and introduce the comprehensive Homeschool Spanish Academy high school program
3 Simple Tips for Teaching Spanish Vocabulary
Adolescence is a complex and interesting stage of life. It may be challenging to maintain teens’ interest in their Spanish classes. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as you integrate Spanish vocabulary activities for high school into your lessons.
1. Teach a Wide Range of Vocabulary
While thematic vocabulary learning is a common way to learn and practice new words, it’s also somewhat artificial and not super effective. Teaching isolated vocabulary out of context ultimately fails to prepare students for real-life conversations. Instead, they need to learn and apply a wide range of vocabulary to become proficient and eventually fluent in Spanish.
2. Introduce and Practice Vocabulary Consistently
In an ideal world, students would learn Spanish through immersion. But if that’s not the reality of your learning environment, consistent structured vocabulary learning and practice are essential. This way, you can ensure that your student commits their new words to memory.
3. Teach Students to Decode New Words
It’s challenging for high schoolers to work with new vocabulary words if they lack the strategies needed to comprehend what they are hearing or reading in Spanish. By implementing translation exercises regularly and focusing on cognates, you’ll help your students access their prior knowledge to learn new vocabulary.
8 Spanish Vocabulary Activities for High School
I’ve compiled a curated list of enjoyable and memorable Spanish vocabulary activities.
Looking for a handy selection of verbs to teach? Check out 25+ Common Spanish Words for High Schoolers.
1. Card Slap
Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Give each one a deck of flashcards with Spanish words, and tell students not to shuffle the deck. The order of the flash cards needs to correspond to the teacher’s list of the same words.
Direct students to take the first four cards in the deck and place them face up on the table. Say the English translation of one of the four words, and ask students to slap the corresponding Spanish word flashcard.
The student whose hand hits the card first gets to keep that card. Work through the flash card deck this way. Whoever has the most cards in each group wins. Alternatively, you can make English flashcards and read the Spanish translations aloud.
2. Bingo with a Spanish Twist
Distribute a BINGO card to each student that contains random sets of common Spanish vocabulary words.
Show your student or class a Spanish-language film, show, music video, or commercial. As students watch, instruct them to listen for the vocabulary words on their BINGO cards. If they hear one, they should write the sentence in that BINGO slot.
For lower-level learners, turn on the Spanish subtitles so that students can read and listen simultaneously. The first student to fill up their BINGO card wins.
3. Seek and Translate
Ask each student to spend 10 minutes going around the classroom and create a vocabulary list. Homeschoolers could also use the garden or another place in the house.
The goal is to identify 15-20 items in the room for which they don’t know the word in Spanish. Guide students to look up the words in a Spanish-English dictionary or online translator and write them on their list.
Battleship is a classic game and it also functions as one of our recommended Spanish vocabulary activities. Simply replace the numbers (rows) and letters (columns) with specific vocabulary words.
Here’s an example. The letters have been changed to items of clothing, and Spanish color words replace the numbers. Students compose sentences using the vocabulary to try and sink their partner’s battleships. (For instance, Tengo una camisa blanca.)
A modified version of the game Taboo is a fabulous way to practice vocabulary. Traditionally, the game involves getting your teammates to guess a word and gives 3 specific related words that they cannot mention.
Instead, use the three words as support. For instance, for the word película, include the words cine, comedia, and palomitas to help them define it.
Make your Spanish lesson a lively experience! Give each student a word or phrase to act out (silently) while others try to guess. Be sure to provide cards with both words and pictures to support beginners.
Ask your students to write down as many words as they can on a certain topic (and their name), on a piece of scratch paper. They then make the paper into a “snowball” and throw it across the classroom. Ask them to go and pick a different snowball and add words to that list. Finally, each student gets their own snowball back.
To play this version of the classic game, you’ll need to fill the spaces with pictures of vocabulary words. To be able to place their X or O in one of the spaces, students must make a sentence using the word.
Homeschool Spanish Academy’s High School Program
At Homeschool Spanish Academy (HSA), our high school Spanish curriculum includes eight courses, from Spanish 1A to Spanish 4B. This program enables you to make your own schedule, choose your instructor, and choose your session frequency.
The High School Spanish Program at HSA is one of the most competitive online Spanish classes for high school credit options. The program exceeds the expectations of any public high school curriculum in the United States. It complies with grammar requirements while it heavily promotes your development of strong conversational skills.
To learn more, check out the following links:
- Preview our high school curriculum (FREE download)
- Read an interview with a high school student
- Learn about how the program works
- Check out our All-You-Need Guide to High School Spanish Classes
Try Us Out for Free
Ready to get started teaching your high schoolers with these fun Spanish vocabulary activities? If you would like some extra support or want your students to practice with native Spanish speakers, try a free trial class with Homeschool Spanish Academy!
Our certified teachers are from Guatemala, which means your students will take live classes and conversation practice with experienced professionals! Try a class today and see how quickly it can improve your teenager’s Spanish.
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