Cerdos: a vocabulary game

My Spanish 1 students are working on time.  They’ve got some great groundwork on this matter from Martina Bex’s units, and they’ve gotten a lot of exposure to numbers through the Mi Vida Loca video series.  However, I felt like I needed to give them a little more explicit instruction on telling time.

That being said, I felt bad as my students took notes on telling time.  A lot of students said, “This is hard!” and made statements like, “My head hurts!  So today I decided I wanted a fun way to show them that they already understand this concept.

Enter an #iwla14 presentation by Señora Stephanie Prine called Tricks, Tips and Tasty Tidbits Presentation.  I remember I had tried one of her activities called Cerdos (or, Pigs in English) last year and it worked really well.  So I pulled it out again today and students loved the game!  They wanted to play the entire sheet, students surprised themselves with how well they knew their times, and the winners had the biggest smiles ever as they proudly took their ¡Qué bien! and 1a clase stickers and placed them on their clothing.

Cerdos: a vocabulary game | Idea of Stephanie Prine at sraprine.wikispaces.com | Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at sradentlinger.wordpress.com

Cerdos: a vocabulary game | Idea of Stephanie Prine at sraprine.wikispaces.com | Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at sradentlinger.wordpress.com

Here’s how it works:

  • Print out the Cerdos sheet.  Here’s the Cerdos Word doc and here’s a Cerdos PDF file that I recreated (I couldn’t find her digital version on her website).
  • Write the vocabulary terms you want to work with inside each pig.  You can write the vocabulary in the TL and test their reading skills, or you can write the English word so you can assess how well they recognize what they’re listening to your language.  I did the latter, as they were listening to the time and identifying the number (ie., 1:15, 2:30, etc.)
  • Student pick one person to play against.  Each person will need a color and the two students will share a Cerdos sheet between them.
  • Teachers read out loud the vocabulary term and the first student to get their finger on the pig wins that pig.
  • The student that “wins” the pig colors it in.
  • I check periodically throughout the game to get extra reps in of the additional vocabulary with questions like the following:
    • ¿Cuántos cerdos tienes?  (How many pigs do you have?)
    • ¿Ganas o pierdes ahora? (Are you winning or losing now?)
    • ¿Quién gana? (Who is winning?)
    • ¿Quién tiene más cerdos? (Who has more pigs?)

I added an extra step to today’s game.  After each round finished, I made students yell out ¿Qué hora es? (What time is it?) before I would say the next time.  It helped focus them and prepare them to listen to the next time.  You could substitute this question with something more generic – like ¿Cómo se dice…? (How do you say…?).  I’m not really sure that this game is really Comprehensible Input (CI) friendly, but it would definitely be a hit in a textbook-based classroom!

Give it a try today!

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16 thoughts on “Cerdos: a vocabulary game

  1. My high school French & adult ESL students love this game! We play escargot (snail). I often give them clues in French (or English for ESL) and they race to find the answer. Here’s an example of one we did in French III a couple of weeks ago: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1MHeR_L5nYlT_z7ecb–THwCGxpXCLYL8lFbPTLkoeyE/edit?usp=sharing. Sometimes I ask them questions (comprehension of a story or general vocab “Where does one eat?”) or just show them a picture depending on our vocabulary. I have a district-mandated curriculum but do my best to give them as much comprehensible input within those constraints as I can.

    I really love your idea of having the students ask a question as a class before giving the next clue/picture! I’ll definitely do that the next time it makes sense with our words.

  2. This game looks like fun! Thanks for sharing! My question is actually in relation to Mi Vida Loca. You commented early in this post that your students have watched Mi Vida Loca. I’m just curious how you use the series in your classroom. Do you watch it and discuss it together as a class? Or do students watch it individually in the computer lab or as homework? Do they simply watch and complete the online followup activities? Do you add any other components?

    • Mikayla – Right now, I let students work on their own pace on their own device, but they do have some comprehension and grammar questions in a Google Doc “worksheet” to answer about the week’s episode. I have been thinking about writing a post on all the shows I use in my classes, how I use them and why I use them in this manner. Hopefully that will answer all of your questions! 🙂

  3. Sadly, this game was not appropriate for my classroom. I work at a high school with a very large Muslim refugee population. I knew they couldn’t “eat” pork, but I had no idea they are not even allow to touch a drawing of a pig. I was so excited about doing something fun!

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