¿Quién Tiene la Pelota?
¿Quién tiene la pelota? is a fun game that kids ask to play over and over again! They will literally ask me: “are we going to play quién tiene la pelota today”?
I came up with this game to help and encourage my students in language development and expression. This game teaches the Spanish verb: “tener” in the simple present using the first and second person singular.
This game will help children learn in Spanish:
1. To say who has the ball.
2. To respond in the affirmative if they have the ball.
3. To respond by making a negation sentence if they don’t have the ball.
Before hand preparation for this game:
Before hand preparation for this game:
Before playing this game, children will need to be first familiar with what they are going to say. So for that I do the following activities for about two or three weeks before playing the game:
1. Have students sit in a circle. Show the ball to students as you say “la pelota”. Have each student hold it and say “la pelota” then pass it to the person next to them.
2. Next, take “la pelota” and give it to each child individually and immediately say: “(insert student’s name) tiene la pelota.” Do this with all the students. There is no need to translate. Children will automatically understand what you are saying or what it means.
3. Next, gently throw the ball to a student and then ask: “¿quién tiene la pelota?” (Normally at this point the kids understand what you are asking and most of the time they will respond by just saying the name of the person who has the ball) but I reinforce each time by saying the complete sentence “(insert student’s name) tiene la pelota.” This is very effective because children will eventually start to respond in that manner. In my experience I had seen some students get it after the second class.
You can even create a chant while keeping a steady beat with hands patting on legs:
“Corey tiene la pelota” (repeat 3 or 4 times). Do the same with the other students when they have the ball. (using their real names J)
Here is how to play: (this game is suitable for ages 4 to 6)
· Have children sit in a circle with both of their hands behind them as shown in the picture.
· Select a student to be the guesser. This student will stand away from the circle against a wall with eyes closed so he/she will not see to whom the teacher gives the ball to.
· Teacher selects a student and puts the ball in his/her hand.
· Once the ball is in someone's hand, teacher calls the student that’s away from the circle and ask: “¿quién tiene la pelota?” and the student tries to guess by pointing and saying for example: “Jessica tiene la pelota” (I’m using different names as an example, but student will use their classmates real names) if Jessica does not have la pelota, then she will show both of her hands and say: “no tengo la pelota” then the guesser will try a second time. If he/she guesses correctly, the person who has the ball will show the ball as he or she says: “¡si,yo tengo la pelota!”.
· You can decide before hand how many times guesser can guess before getting it correct. In my class guesser gets three turns. If student does not guess who has the ball in the three turns, then either student or teacher can ask “¿quién tiene la pelota?” then the student that has it will say: “yo tengo la pelota”.
For older children (ages 7 to 10) you can add a variation on the last part of the game. If student does not guess who has the ball, then the guesser can then turn to one of his classmates in the circle and say: “Corey, dime quién tiene la pelota.” (Corey, tell me who has the ball.) This is an opportunity to introduce the word: “dime” which means “tell me”. Then Corey will say in Spanish who has the ball. Example (Juan tiene la pelota)
Another variation to the game is to use other things such as: carro, osito, silla, regla, borrador, etc (it’s a great way to introduce and practice vocabulary words)
I find that using the real object is more fun for the kids but you can also use small cards with the object on it.
For the older children, you can give out three different items to three children in the circle and guesser will guess who has what…
There are so many variations to the game. These are just some ideas I came up with and the kids really enjoy it and the best part is that they are learning in a fun and playful way to speak a foreign language as natural as they learned their maternal language!
Share your experience! Your feedback and comments are welcome!
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