Warm Ups #1: Conversaciones

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our  most inexhaustible source of magic.”      –J.K. Rowling

What can I expect when students arrive to class after a long day which might have involved a math test, a mile run, and/or taking notes in history class?

And even after my class, there are still more classes to go.

I keep this information close to my heart. It is reflected in my smile when I greet students at the door, and in the long hours I dedicate to creating a safe environment where we can have a little fun.

Or a lot of fun.

La Clase:  I use Conversaciones with a mixed group of seventh and eighth graders. This is their first year of Spanish.

The Set Up: I create a Google slide every day that begins with the same three slides: a meme in the target language; the agenda with the day’s objectives; and a warm-up. The type of warm ups change but the purpose is always to encourage students to talk.

How It Works: The conversation starter is posed in the form of a question and is displayed via the projector onto the whiteboard (which doubles as my screen). After reading the question aloud, I might ask volunteers to elaborate. (This is where my stars get to shine!) Next I instruct the rest of the class to a) discuss the question with their elbow partner; b) to mill around for 2 minutes and discuss with other students; or d) students have 10 seconds to find a new partner and have a seat. I use my phone as a timer and keep collaboration to 1-2 minutes. At the beep of the timer, I reconvene the class and ask the question again. Students are chosen by random selection.

This Warm Up series is called Conversaciones.  Conversaciones1

Sample Student Answers:

“Me gusta comer almuerzo con Walt Disney porque me gustan las películas de Disney. Beauty and the Beast es mi favorita.”

“Me gusta comer con Albert Einstein. Él es muy inteligente.”

“Walt Disney está muerto y Albert Einstein también. Yo no quiero comer con los zombis. ¡Es posible que los zombis quieren comer yo!” (This student is just gifted.)


Sample Student Answers:
“Katniss es la mejor amiga porque ella no tiene miedo de nada.”

“Hermione es más inteligente que Katniss, entonces Hermione es la mejor amiga.”

“Me gusta Harry Potter; no me gustan libros, pero me gusta Harry Potter. Hermione es la mejor amiga.” conversaciones4

Sample Student Answers:

“Jack Sparrow es loco. Quiero comer almuerzo en el barco de Jack Sparrow con él.” 

“Hook es muy, muy guapo. Yo quiero comer desayuno y almuerzo y cena con él.”

“Me gusta la película The Princess Bride.  La película es la favorita de mi madre.”

Responses will vary, but it’s all about getting the conversation started. 

Chilton girl

And, that’s a wrap!


I received this email but have not yet explored all the possibilities: http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/educator/blog/spanish-class-ideas/


  1. I got a lot of “Quédate quieto y escucha por favor, Senor Felipe!” Because there was this blonde girl who sat next to me who thought my “use these words in sentence” was funny. “Vamos a nadar con un taco muy frio en la biblioteca.”

    All kidding aside, they all want to eat with the pirates? And who is the best friend of who, in what context? Girlfriend? Siting next to you during a test? Eating lunch with a crazy pirate?
    I’m sure you have time for those. I have sent this to el hefe of an elementary school. Great, engaging stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a question, “el mejor amigo” means who is the better friend. One of our activities is how to make a friend, so this serves as a good review of character traits and helps kids apply beyond the focus of the classroom.
      Thanks for the compliment!

      Liked by 1 person

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