Spanish Vocabulary: Classroom Materials and Expressions

Teacher Guide by Lourdes Fernandez

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Spanish Category!

Spanish Classroom Materials and Expressions

Student Activities for Spanish Classroom Materials and Expressions Include:

Often one of the first Spanish lessons, especially in full-immersion classrooms, is one that teaches commonly used expressions in class by either the teacher, or needed by the student, as well as a vocabulary list of frequently used classroom materials. In order to be successful in future lessons, students must know this particular set of terms very well, as they are constantly used and of use in the classroom.

The following activities are designed to get students thinking about the situations in which these terms would be useful, and to make them start the association process immediately. With enough practice, students will have these useful terms at the ready, and will find the full-immersion classroom more accessible. While lists of classroom materials and expressions have been included, they are easily adaptable to specific classroom needs.

Spanish Classroom Materials and Expressions Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Spanish Vocabulary | Spanish Teacher Expressions

As students embark on learning Spanish words and Spanish phrases, they will need specific tools to understand the teacher, especially regarding common classroom commands and questions. The chart below includes many of the more common expressions that a teacher will use regularly. The list can easily be tailored to accommodate for specific classrooms and situations. The following storyboard activity requires the student to think about what these expressions mean, and the situations in which they might be used.

Have students create a storyboard with individual cells portraying a need that targets one of the common classroom expressions. Students will then associate and write the correct expression for the created scenes. Assuming these expressions are part of a student’s initial exposure to Spanish, other vocabulary in the model is limited. However, if students are more advanced, they can include more dialogue or narrative.

Classroom Expressions — Teacher
Siéntense OR Siéntate Sit down
Levanten OR Levanta la mano Raise your hand
Saquen OR Saca
(la tarea, un lápiz, el libro, etc.)
Take out
(your homework, a pencil, the book, etc.)
Un voluntario para A volunteer to…
Trata Try
¿Listos? Ready?
Cierren OR Cierra
(la puerta, la ventana, los libros)
(the door, the window, your books)
Abran OR Abre
(la puerta, la ventana, los libros)
(the door, the window, your books)

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Spanish Vocabulary | Spanish Student Expressions

One of the hurdles for new Spanish students to overcome is learning to express themselves and their needs in a foreign language. Having a list of useful classroom expressions for the student is the first step, but beyond that, the student must practice using them and internalizing their meanings. While the common expressions in the chart below can also be used by the teacher, they are commonly needed by students. Similar to the list of common teacher expressions, this list can also be easily tailored to accommodate for specific classrooms and situations.

Instruct students to create isolated scenes portraying various and realistic student needs. Each scene should target one of the common classroom expressions below, or those provided by the teacher. After creating multiple scenes, students will associate and write the correct expression below each cell. Other vocabulary in the model is limited, assuming that these expressions are part of a student’s initial exposure to Spanish. However, if students are more advanced, they can include more dialogue or narrative.

Classroom Expressions — Student
¿Cómo se dice…? How do you say…?
¿Cómo se escribe…? How do you spell…?
¿Qué quiere decir…? What does… mean?
Más lento, por favor. Slower, please.
¿Puedes explicar en inglés, por favor? Can you explain in English, please?
¿Puedo ir al baño? Can I go to the bathroom?
¿Puedo beber agua? Can I get a drink of water?
No sé. I don’t know.

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Intermediate Spanish Vocabulary | Classroom Materials

In their first weeks as a beginning Spanish student, students will have received an introductory vocabulary list, including articles in the classroom. While memorizing the vocabulary is essential, a step towards learning this basic vocabulary is having students engage with the material. The chart below includes some of the most common materials vocabulary, though it can certainly be expanded. In the following activity, ask students to relate the terms to the greater context of a classroom and the scenarios they will encounter.

Students will create a T-Chart in which on the left side there is a scene where clearly a common classroom item is missing or needed. In the cell to the right, students will recreate the scene, but include the item that was previously missing. Students will also include the vocabulary terms for these items in the cell to the right as a way of learning and internalizing the vocabulary.

Classroom Materials Vocabulary
el bolígrafo pen
el lápiz pencil
la carpeta binder/ folder
el cuaderno notebook
la hoja de papel sheet of paper
el libro book
el pupitre; el escritorio desk
la silla chair
el diccionario dictionary
el reloj clock
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Spanish Vocabulary | Specific Class Materials

This activity focuses on relating the vocabulary for common classroom materials to the classes they would typically be required for. Have students start with a spider map, titling each cell with a different academic class. Within the cell, students will illustrate a simple scene, with the subject teacher stating required materials for their class.

While the model uses a stereotypical list, the activity can be personalized and tailored to target items specifically required by the student’s teachers. Another way to personalize or advance the activity is to provide the option of including music class, gym class, computer class, etc., thus requiring students to research new vocabulary to include in their storyboard.

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Spanish Vocabulary | Classroom Narrative

This storyboard model assumes that students have already learned the vocabulary list of common classroom materials and expressions, have done some basic practice, and are ready to put it all together. Instruct students to write a cohesive narrative of at least six cells that include at least ten terms (whether vocabulary or expressions).

For further vocabulary reinforcement, below each cell have students list the terms used, as well as their translations. Students may require some assistance with basic verbs and vocabulary if this is their first Spanish lesson. While it is mostly an independent activity, since students will have learned either no or limited other Spanish, they may need help linking statements in their narratives.

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•   (English) Spanish Classroom Materials and Expressions   •   (Español) Materiales y Expresiones del Aula Española   •   (Français) Matériels et Expressions en Salle de Classe en Espagnol   •   (Deutsch) Spanisch Unterrichtsmaterialien und Ausdrücke   •   (Italiana) Spagnoli Materiale Didattico ed Espressioni   •   (Nederlands) Spaanse Classroom Materialen en Uitdrukkingen   •   (Português) Materiais e Expressões em Sala de Aula em Espanhol   •   (עברית) וחומרי לימוד ספרדית ביטויים   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) الأسبانية المواد الدراسية والتعبير   •   (हिन्दी) स्पेनिश कक्षा सामग्री और भाव   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Испанский Учебные Материалы и Выражения   •   (Dansk) Spanske Klasseværelse Materiale og Udtryk   •   (Svenska) Spanska Klass Material och Uttryck   •   (Suomi) Espanjan Oppimateriaalia ja Ilmaisujen   •   (Norsk) Spanske Klasserommet Materialer og Uttrykk   •   (Türkçe) İspanyolca Sınıf Malzemeleri ve İfadeleri   •   (Polski) Hiszpańskie Materiały Szkolne i Wyrażeń   •   (Româna) Spaniolă Materiale Clasă și Expresii   •   (Ceština) Španělské Materiály a Pomůcky a Výrazy   •   (Slovenský) Španielske Učebne Materiály a Výrazy   •   (Magyar) Spanyol Oktatási Anyagok és Kifejezések   •   (Hrvatski) Španjolski Materijali i Izrazi u Učionici   •   (български) Испанските Учебни Материали и Изрази   •   (Lietuvos) Ispanijos Klasės Medžiagos ir Posakiai   •   (Slovenščina) Španski Razredu Materiali in Izrazi   •   (Latvijas) Spāņu Mācību Materiālus un Izteiksmes   •   (eesti) Hispaania Klassiruum Materjalid ja Väljenduse