How to Make Learning Spanish Numbers Fun
Would you like a few ideas for teaching Spanish numbers 1-100 that will totally engage students? In this post, I will share with you how I teach the numbers. I will also share printable and digital games and activities you can use tomorrow in your classroom that your students will love! (One is free!)
RECOGNITION AND COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT
I start with comprehensible input because students need to hear and see the numbers many times before they can produce them. I use this PowerPoint as one CI resource. Since the mind can only learn a few words at a time, I begin with the numbers 0-10, then progress to 1-20, then 1-100, repeating them many times. I also teach related vocabulary and topics such as, “¿Cuánto es? ¿Cuánto cuesta? ¿Cuál es tu número de teléfono?” etc.
- Puppets: I use dialogues with puppets to provide repetition in context of the vocabulary. (I have tons of different puppets.)
- Lotería: I say numbers and students circle the ones they hear. Of course, winners get prizes.
“Escucha los números y haz un círculo alrededor de los números que oigas.”
LEARNING SPANISH NUMBERS WITH BINGO
Learning Spanish numbers is super fun with BINGO. My students BEG me to play this game. It is such a simple student pleaser. They love hearing the numbers go around as I turn the crank. I say the number two or three times, slowly, before turning the crank again.
This game is always a winner, too.
I give each student a stack of numbers from 0-9. (My T.A.s put the stacks together. You can also recruit your students to help with this.) When everyone has a stack, I ask a student volunteer, or a T.A., to watch one side of the class while I watch the other side. I call out a number (making sure not to use the same number twice, as in, “22.”) The first team that raises the correct number wins the point.
After a few rounds, I switch places with the volunteer.
Students have a ton of fun and they help each other so no one feels left out or frustrated. They want to win, so they lift their numbers to help their classmates. It fosters cooperation and builds community, too. It’s so fun to see students work together to beat the other team.
After playing this a few times on different days, I make it more complicated. Instead of teams, students compete individually. They are still in two teams, but this time, each student has a number. I walk around the room, giving each student a number card as I say their number out loud – providing even more reptition in context.
(BTW: I repeat this for every future competition to cement the numbers in the students’ minds.)
Then, after I say a number, I also call a student number. For example: Treinta y dos, quince. Then student 15 has to raise the number “32.”
After students have played three or four times, they really know their numbers. However, in the unlikely event they don’t, they soon will because I continue to number them off in Spanish for all future competitions.
LEARNING SPANISH NUMBERS WITH FUN DIGITAL GAMES
- We can’t forget the super fun digital activities. If your students can access PowerPoint, they will be sucked into this autocorrecting PowerPoint Game: Great for YOU because you don’t have to correct anything. Great for the students because they are super fun! And, it’s FREE! Click on the link to get it: Spanish Numbers Interactive PowerPoint Game
- See it in action HERE.
LEARNING SPANISH NUMBERS WITH SPEAKING ACTIVITIES
Once students have heard the numbers a million times (OK, hyperbole), they are ready to produce. Here are a few activities to get them speaking and writing using the Spanish numbers:
- I ask students what their phone numbers are and give points to volunteers. This is a good time to repeat and cement, ¿Cómo te llamas?” as well.
¿Cómo te llamas? Me llamo María. ¿Cuál es tu número de teléfono? Mi número es….
I get students out of their desks and moving around. I model how to ask other students what their names and numbers are and how to write the answers. María: 834-7112.
NO English is necessary during the instructions because I model how to do it. No one listens to instructions anyway. Most people are visual and will watch what you are doing.
I deduct points for English because there is no need to speak it. They already know everything they need to say for this exercise.
Students ask each other questions, such as, “¿Cuánto es veintitrés y dos?” They have the correct answers and give points to their partners when they answer correctly. Student with the most points wins.
This activity is a winner every time. I tell students weeks ahead of time that, once they learn their numbers, they will be able to buy things with their knowledge. I show them some of the items that will be for sale (candy bars, bracelets, StarBucks cards, white board markers, pens), many of which I get from Teacher’s Discovery. (Yes, I spend my own money. But it’s so fun to see how happy the students are to get the items!)
The night before the sale, I tell students to practice their numbers because they won’t be able to buy anything unless they can tell me how much they cost.
I label all the items with prices. Then, a student volunteer helps me take each item to the buyer.
I hold up an item and say, “¿Cuánto cuesta?” (We have practiced that beforehand) and I wait for students to raise their hands. If they can correctly tell me how much it costs, they get it. If not, I go on to another person.
I mark on my seating chart who has received an item so everyone in the class gets an opportunity. I begin with volunteers and end by calling on students.
LEARNING SPANISH NUMBERS WITH WRITING ACTIVITIES
Below are four writing activities I use:
- Students write the next number. I model how to do it. That way, I can write and say the instructions in Spanish without using English. For example:
Escribe el próximo número en español. Modelo: 6 siete
- Students write out the numbers in Spanish: Escribe los números. Modelo: 834-6023 ocho-tres-cuatro-seis-cero-dos-tres
- Students write phone numbers: Escribe tu número de teléfono. Luego, escribe tu número en español. Después, escribe el número de cinco amigos y escribe los números en español.
Mi número: 834-7792- ocho, tres, cuatro, siete, siete, nueve, dos
El número de Ana: 715- 8730 – siete, uno, cinco, ocho, siete, tres, cero
- Show pictures and have students write how much each item costs. This works well with a menu of food items.
Don’t want to create your own resources? Why re-invent the wheel? The resources mentioned are below. Click on the links to see them.
See it in action HERE.
Step-by-step NO-PREP daily lesson plans for numbers are also included in the Spanish One Lesson Plans and Curriculum for an Entire Year. If you’d rather not spend hours writing your own lesson plans, use this curriculum instead. You don’t even need a textbook because it IS the book. (Tell your principal to stop spending thousands of dollars on textbooks and to buy this for you instead.) It also works well with any curriculum you are currently using.
I hope these activities are helpful to you as you teach the Spanish numbers. Do you have any activities you’d like to share? Share in the comments.
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