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Friday, September 18, 2015

Games to reinforce colors and shapes

Games to reinforce colors and shapes.

School year is back and we teachers are geared up and ready to teach our little ones with new ideas or at lease create a variation to our teaching methods.
Well, here I will share some variations on activities I’ve been doing with my preschool students in our Spanish class to reinforce colors and shapes.
When introducing young children to shapes, I prefer to use neutral color shapes. Once students are well familiar with the shapes, I introduce different color shapes. Prior to teaching the shapes, students should already know the colors that have been taught to them.  (I use the same colors we have been working on). So for example, I’ve been working with four colors in Spanish (yellow, green, blue and red) so I will make shapes in those colors. That way we are reinforcing shapes while keeping the colors present. That way I’m always incorporating what we have learned with new material.
So here are some ideas and suggestions that have worked for me.
1.      The asking game: Have three or four shapes of the same but with a different color each. Ask students: “¿de qué color es el círculo?” and son on with the other shapes. (suitable for students 2 -5)
2.      The mistake game: My students love this one because they like the fact that they are helping the “teacher”. Have a basket with different color shapes in it. Tell students:  “Voy a buscar un triángulo azul” and after looking for a few seconds take out a different color triangle from the one you are looking for and then ask students: “¿es el triángulo azul?” they normally say while laughing a big “no”. Let’s say I took out green instead of blue, I have had students even say the color. They will say: “no, it’s verde”  So I keep looking and do the same two or three times until I finally take out the right one and they will say “yes”. This is a good time to introduce to them how to say yes in Spanish.  (suitable for students 4 -5)
3.      The finding game:  Place the different color shapes on the table and pick students one at a time to find the shape and color you select. (suitable for students 3 -5)

4.      Variation to game 3: Have students sit in a big circle and place all the color shapes in the middle and have students take turns in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion finding the shape and color you select. (suitable for students 3 -5)

5.      The basket game: Have a basket with different color shapes. Pass the basket around and when you say “alto” the person with the basket takes out the color shape you asked the student to find.

(suitable for students 3 -5) Suggestions: you can put on a lively music as students pass the basket and stop the music and who ever has the basket at that time takes out the shape and color you select. Similar to hot potato game.  
This is a good time to introduce negation in Spanish for the finding game and the basket game. When a student takes out the wrong shape or color you can say: “no es el círculo rojo”, for example.  After doing these activities for a while, students will become more and more familiar with them and will naturally answer in the affirmative and negative in Spanish.
6.      Patterns and sequencing games: Use the shapes and colors for creating games where patterns and sequence are introduced as shown in the picture below.  (suitable for students 3 -5)

They can also create groups by color or by shape. All these different activities done over a period of time will help students remember and internalize the shapes and colors in a fun and engaging way.
7.      You can use these shapes to introduce or practice “yo tengo”. Have each student take out a shape out of the basket. Then ask questions such as: “¿quién tiene el círculo rojo? the child who has it should say: “yo tengo el círculo rojo” and so on.
I’m sure you will come up with your own ideas as well. Feel free to comment and share your ideas, comments and feedback!

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