What are some fun ways to teach Spanish sight words?
To teach Spanish sight words is just as important as learning them whether it is in English or Spanish. When teaching Spanish sight words, it is essential to offer the tools for students to use these words constantly.
Often regarded as high-frequency words, sight words are a collection of must-know words. In Spanish, sight words are important in reading, syllable formation, and sentence structure.
Whether it is a foreign language class or an ESL class, Spanish sight words are handy elements to learning language. Students are more apt to learn a new language when they have the tools to read.
For instance, when introducing new vocabulary, sight words are the first components in every lesson of reading. Among the many standards in teaching Spanish, sight words are one of the most important parts of learning Spanish.
Here you will learn the traditional and innovative ways to teach Spanish sight words. I hope these strategies spark fun ways to teach Spanish.
Traditional Ways to Teach Spanish Sight Words
1. Flash Cards
Posting sight words on a word wall or bulletin board is one of the most common way to encourage students to learn them. It is easy to start with a theme of words and post them by week, holiday, season, or lesson. Visual learners find the words easy to access when reading or learning the sight words. In fact, it is extremely helpful for ELL learners since they can see them throughout a lesson or reading activity.
2. Rhymes and songs
Another common way to teach sight words is through rhymes and songs. Nothing is more exciting than for preschoolers or young children learning new words as they recite favorite nursery rhymes. However, the learning experience doesn’t stop there. When teaching Spanish sight words, it is very helpful to use typical nursery rhymes or songs in English and Spanish. In this way memorization of Spanish sight words encourages students to reading and literacy.
Related: Spanish Mini-Books – Sight Word Hay
3. Dramatic play
Whether it’s creating finger puppets or using dramatic play, preschoolers adore pretending play. Use dramatic play to further teach Spanish sight words. As in rhyming and singing, dramatic play shows students the combination between using sight words and their context. Besides, it is so much fun when you see students interact in fun puppet shows. Create a lesson where students brainstorm in a story, book, or read out loud using 10 or 15 Spanish sight words. Then, use dramatic play to see the sight words in action.
4. Paint and shaving cream
Paint and shaving cream are great tools to introduce sight words. Although a bit messy, you will encourage students, especially kinesthetic learners, to learn new words. Take advantage of butcher paper in many colors or simply white paper and use many different colors of paint. You might want to have one set of Spanish sight words that represents a theme. For instance, theme options could be zoo animals, holidays, common careers or jobs, classroom objects, foods, or seasons. Another great hands-on learning experience is using shaving cream. Use paper plates with some shaving cream in each plate. Next, have students trace specific Spanish sight words.
Use helpful writing tools and worksheets to encourage tracing sight words. By tracing letters, students learn to identify how the letters in each word come together. In this simple activity, all you might need is crayons, color pencils, markers, and paper. In many cases, you might want to include a writing template or worksheet for early readers to trace each word. Tracing exercises help students practice their writing skills and learning Spanish sight words.
Innovative Ways to Teach Spanish Sight Words
6. Use of computer tablets
In the new wave of technology, many classrooms are equipped with iPads or tablets. In fact, many iPads already have applications installed to encourage learning sight words. When it comes to using technology in the classroom, make sure to provide clear instructions for the learning experience. One great option is to have students use tablets in 10-minute intervals, alternating instruction and technology. Also, tablets are very useful for students with learning disabilities since they can use their fingers or pen to click on choices.
7. Use of computer games
Along with using tablets in the classroom, computer interactive games are increasingly common. Just as iPads have apps to motivate students to learn sight words, many computers in schools also have programs to support learning. Keep in mind that technology is a great asset in the classroom nowadays. It has broadened the learning experience of many students, especially ELL learners. However, it needs to be used as a supplement to learning not necessarily a substitute for instruction.
8. Games of interactive board
Many school classrooms, if you’re fortunate to have one, are supplied with an interactive board (Smart board). Many teachers even plan their entire lessons for the whole academic year using an interactive board. Interactive boards come with specific software, depending on the age group, for students to learn sight words. Since the board is usually placed for the whole class to see, many students are encouraged to participate by using the interactive pen to draw, write or mark specific choices. It increases class participation and supports the learning experience. If you have an interactive board, you might also want to use the word wall as students interact with the lesson.
9. Theme games
In theme games, use a specific set of Spanish sight words. For example, if you’re using ocean creatures in a lesson to learn 10 sight words, then have students use the words in reading or stories. Also, create scavenger hunts. Make labeled pictures with each theme and Spanish sight word. Then, hide them around the classroom. Give students about the words and have them seek the words around the classroom. In this way, it fosters movement, learning, and cooperation between classmates.
10. Writing using magnets
Using letter magnets is one of the most common ways students use at home. It is no wonder parents love to use this learning method for sight words. Students enjoy placing letters and creating words on their fridge door. Use this activity in your classroom by placing different cookie sheets at learning centers or simply trays with magnet letters. Next, give students a set of Spanish sight words for them to identify.
Good Practice to Teach Spanish Sight Words at Home
It is without saying that learning Spanish sight words doesn’t stop at school; the learning continues at home. Encourage parents to use some activities at home to boost learning sight words. It is especially useful for bilingual parents to motivate their children to learn Spanish sight words so it can become helpful in reading and literacy later on. When you teach Spanish sight words, you support the learning experience of students in your classroom and beyond.
Have you tried different methods to teach Spanish sight words? Let me know in the comment below.
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