“What is a Moment?” Activities for the video

I have mentioned the site EFL Classroom 2.0 many times in this blog, and I have adapted several of the activities from that site to use in my own Spanish classes. One of my favorite videos, “What is a Moment?”, I discovered on that site. While the video begins with some minimal English, it quickly becomes just images….but amazing images of ordinary life.  There are so many things that a language class could do with this video.

One of the activities suggested is to simply play the video and pause at specific, pre-selected moments.  Ask students to respond, either orally or in writing, to questions in whatever tense you may be targeting.  ¿Qué hacen?  ¿Qué están haciendo? ¿Qué hicieron? ¿Qué hacían?  ¿Qué harán?  Or you could simply ask for infinitives associated with the images.  It also is a great video for working with the present progressive.

Another suggested activity is to select a scene and use the 5 question words to have students respond in writing or speaking.  ¿Quién? ¿Qué? ¿Dónde? ¿Cuándo? ¿Por qué? This could even become a small group activity, with each member of the group responsible for providing the answer to one question. The activity could be extended with individual students, or a small group, writing a full description in story format of the selected image.

I’ve written about the game Last One Standing before (that I also took from EFL Classroom 2.0 and adapted).  That activity could also be used with this video if you gave the students the choice of one of these words:  hombre, mujer, viejo/anciano, niño/niña, amor, jugando  The student would stand with the selected word in response to the images and the last one standing at the end would be the “winner”.

There is another activity that could be done, using “moment” cards.  Give each student a different moment, and have them stand up with the appropriate image.  Or you could have that student responsible for describing that particular image (using the question words, if desired).  Some “moments” among the many in the videos

  • tocando la guitarra
  • niños jugando
  • vistiéndose
  • la abuela comiendo
  • tirándose al agua
  • leyendo un libro
  • cocinando un huevo
  • dando patatas
  • fumando
  • enseñando
  • haciendo la cama
  • pescando

In a more advanced class perhaps there could be a discussion of cultural perceptions.  Where did this video come from?  How would it be different in a Spanish speaking country?  I also love the idea that one reader gave of having each student make their own video montage of their moments, with description.

What else would you do with this video?

Sports, Friends and the Present Perfect

I believe that all language curriculums cover similar vocabulary units, including units for sports and friends.  As students progress through the levels, the topics basically remain the same, but the vocabulary becomes more extensive and advanced.  Such is the case for my Spanish III students.  The curriculum for our textbook (remember that I don’t use the textbook, but do follow the curriculum) combines some advanced vocabulary for sports and friends, producing an enjoyable chapter.   Most of my high school students are either student athletes or very interested in sports, additionally,  most of them are quite interested in acquiring new vocabulary so that they can describe their friends as stubborn, “got my back”, “stood me up”, and trustworthy, etc.  In this post I’m going to share some of the activities that I used this past year working with this vocabulary as well as the present perfect.  The chapter also focused on Spain for the “cultural element”, but I will save those activities for another post.

We started with a review of sports they already knew from earlier levels; I did this using a partner conversation with this Conversación Repaso de los deportes que ya sabemos We then made lists of sports we didn’t know how to say, but would like to know.  To keep them thinking, I showed a couple of videos.  For the Doki Descubre video, they were listening for all familiar words related to sports.   Of course we also had to talk about Fútbol and the huge success of Spain, so I showed parts of this video Continuing with Spain and sports, we also looked at these videos, sharing words we knew, and words we were learning.  

The next day I started class with an activity that I call “Levántate”, where everyone must stand up.  Before they can sit down, they have to give me a sport (in Spanish, of course) without repeating what has already been said.  To keep everyone focused on the task, if they have given me a sport and have taken a seat and I feel that they are no longer paying attention, I call on them and they have to repeat the last sport said.  If they can not do that, they must stand up again.  Obviously in this activity all hands go up immediately because they are eager to say one of the easier sports before someone else can say it.  Depending on the size of the class and what has been shared, when we get to the last 2 – 3 people, I allow their classmates to help, as necessary.  We then go into a conversational type activity combining sports and the present perfect, but I do not refer AT ALL to the present perfect.  They just talk with their partners using the paper as a guide.  It has been my experience that they do not question an unfamiliar structure as long as there is a model to use. Another partner activity is having students work with a page of sports pictures, and practice completing the sentences orally,  using the new vocabulary, as in these examples:

An activity that I use several times during the course of a school year is Walk Around Bingo.  Everyone has a bingo sheet, no English is allowed, and I give the class 4 – 5 minutes to literally walk around to classmates and ask a question on the bingo sheet to another classmate.  If the classmate is able to answer the question affirmatively using  Sí, he jugado/escalado/comido, etc., he/she write his initials in the box.  If the answer is no, he/she may not write initials in the box. Depending on the size of the class, a student may only write his initials on the paper of that particular student once (larger classes) or twice (smaller classes). I walk around the room monitoring the use of Spanish.  If I hear English, I write the name of the student on my paper, and they know that they will receive a zero for the activity.  After 4 – 5 minutes, I call stop, and have them count how many boxes have initials, and have them check if they have a bingo (vertical, horizontal or four corners).  If many students have bingoes, I collect the papers and randomly draw “winners”.  Of course, I also have to verify with the students who have initialed the boxes if they indeed have done what the box says. Sometimes it turns out that the initialed students did not do what was in the box, much to the dismay of the student who asked the question, because then they do not have a bingo!  Present Perfect Walk Around Bingo 

Another activity I used, one that I’ve talked about before is Toca ( span 3 chap 2A TOCA ) In this game, played in pairs, I call a vocabulary word/phrase and the first partner to touch the picture scores a point.  Partners alternate taking turns.  I described it fully here

Students also enjoy playing this board game with sports (full directions here) :Los Deportes game board Question-Card-Template Set A Los Deportes  Question-Card-Template-set B Los Deporte

Continuing with sports, I then did a full presentation of jai-alai and then a mini lesson on la corrida de toros, but they will have to wait for a later post, since the amount of material I created and covered would make this already very long post, really long!

For the friends vocabulary, we first discussed with partners what makes a good friend/bad friend.  As they talked, I kept a running list of words that they were requesting for which they didn’t have the vocabulary.  I introduced new vocabulary with this powerpoint: Span. 3 Chap 2B Vocabulario…pictures2  

Another topic for conversation, which incorporated both the new vocabulary as well as continuing work with the present perfect,  was “¿Qué has hecho con tus amigos hoy?”


Once students had become familiar with the new vocabulary for friends, I projected this image on the SMARTboard and had them discuss their friendships in small groups, using the words on the board.

Individually they worked with a friend survey, modeled on an activity in the text span 3 chap 2 Una encuesta de amistad-1 and shared results with partners. Working again with a partner, they talked about qualities for good friends and bad friends, and completed this:

Additionally, there are so many wonderful clips and songs in Spanish that relate to friends.  Here are several that I used, some with cloze activities, some just listening for specific words, some just for enjoyment.         

There just is so much we can do with this great topics.  I’ve shared some things that I like and with which I have found success.  I’d love to hear from you.  What activities have you used?