Dr. Baros is a dedicated researcher, educator, and LGBTQ advocate. Her areas of expertise are proficiency-based language teaching and creating inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and people.
As I was looking for creative new vocabulary games, I came across this idea for students to clip clothespins with Spanish vocabulary onto paper plates with their English equivalent (here's that game as well as a variety of other vocabulary station ideas). I thought this was a neat idea and headed over to order some wholesale clothespins from Amazon. I'm creating this game for an activity in a week for my Spanish 2/3 classes to review, so I'm doing quite a bit of vocabulary up front, but I'll be able to use those same resources in the future for my Spanish 1 and Beginning Spanish classes as they learn the vocabulary. Still, it's going to be a lot of work to transfer this many words onto clothespins. It got me thinking - how many different ways can I use theses clothespins?
Vocabulary hand-off - students can start with a plate and all the corresponding clothes pins. Once they match all the clothespins up, they remove them and pass the entire plate and clothes pin set to the next person to do it. Thus, vocabulary is circulating around the room and students can even start racing to see how fast they can hand off their plate.
Vocabulary race - all the clothespins are placed in a bucket in a central location. Teams start with the same number of plates. Students must take turns and send one person at a time to get a clothes pin and put it on the team's plate. Whoever can fill their plates first (or, whichever students get the most pins in a certain amount of time) wins.
Vocabulary sentences - Students are given strips of paper with English sentences on them. Students create a chain of clothespins by clipping one onto the end of the other to create the entire sentence. The final clothespin clips onto the piece of paper with the English sentence on it (you could hang the sentence chains from a string or wire clothes hanger).
Sentence creation - I'll remove all the clothespins with nouns. Students create sentences by clipping them onto popsicle sticks in an order that creates a comprehensible sentence. They can fill in the nouns by writing them on pieces of paper and sliding them into the clothespins.
Those are just a few ideas I came up with off the top of my head. What ideas do you have for using Spanish clothespins?
UPDATE: Another cool idea someone suggested after posting this was to put a clothespin on each desk with a sheet of paper. Students visit different desks and write an original sentence using the vocabulary word on the corresponding paper. Then, everyone returns to their desks and read the sentences. They pick their favorite one and share it with the class. Afterward, papers and clothespins can be hung up in the classroom for all students to read one another's sentences.
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