Reinforce Verb Conjugations With This Childhood Favorite

For this guest post, check out how Diana Plotts from La Profe Plotts uses one of her favorite games to engaged and reinforce verb conjugations with students! After reading about how she uses the game there is no doubt you'll be ready to dive and use Cucharas with your students. 

Did you ever play Spoons as a kid? The sound of metal spoons flying was pretty much the music of my childhood. I have many fond memories of playing the game at my grandma’s house with all of my cousins. When I became a Spanish teacher, I adapted the game so it became a learning tool for my classes. The cards and name may be different, but the fun and competition are still the same!

 


Cucharas is a fantastic way to reinforce verb conjugations with language learners because it exposes them to the verb endings over and over and over again throughout the game. The best part? Students won’t even realize it because they will be having so much fun! Here’s how it works.

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BEFORE YOU PLAY

Teacher prep:
1. Print resource.
2. Copy game cards and decorative paper back to back (so students can’t see through the cards). Make enough sets for groups of 3-4.
3. Cut cards and clip individual sets together (or place in plastic baggies).
4. Copy enough score sheets for every student in the class.
5. You will need spoons for this activity, either plastic or metal. I keep a box of 48 plastic ones in my room just for this game.

HOW TO PLAY

OBJECTIVE: Collect all seven cards for one verb (infinitive + all six forms- for example: CORRER, CORRO, CORRES, CORRE, CORREMOS, CORRÉIS y CORREN)  and/or not be the person left without a spoon!

  1. Get into groups of 3-4. Oldest person in the group is the dealer and shuffles all the cards face down. Spoons need to go in the middle. Score sheets can go off to the side out of the way.

  1. Dealer deals each person seven cards face down and places the remaining cards in a pile face down in front of himself. Each student should pick up his/her cards and organize by verb.

  1. Dealer then takes the top card from the pile in front of him.  He can either exchange that card for one in his hand by putting that card in his hand and taking the one he doesn’t want out and passing it on to the person to his left  (sliding it face down towards that person) OR he can pass it on immediately if he doesn’t want it. He continues to do that, taking cards from the pile and exchanging and/or passing on, as fast as he can. Dealer should always have SEVEN cards in his hand.

  1. Person to the left does the same thing as the dealer with the cards passed to him- trading out cards in his hand and passing unwanted cards on to the next person to the left. Again, all players should only have seven cards in their hands at a time.

  1. Players continue to exchange cards in their hands and pass them along. When the dealer runs out of cards in his pile, he can take cards that were passed to him by the person on his right.

  1. The first person to get all seven cards for one particular verb needs to grab one spoon from the middle. Once a spoon is gone, the other people in the group need to grab the remaining spoons. There is one less spoon than there are people in the group so you want to keep an eye on the spoons! The person in the group left without a spoon is the loser for the round and needs to cross one of his spoons off on his score sheet.  Then the person to the left of the dealer is the new dealer and needs to shuffle up the cards for a new round. The first person to cross off all five spoons is the loser!

     7. EXTENSION ACTIVITY: You can even add a writing component to Cucharas with the sheet below (included with each game from La Profe Plotts). Once the last spoon is grabbed and the round is over, have students fill in the blanks for the verb that the first person to grab a spoon had all the cards for. Add a speaking component by having students share their sentences with the members of their group when they are done!   


Ready to play? Try Cucharas today with this FREE game for Preterite -AR Verbs!

Check out all 20+ Cucharas games I offer HERE. There are versions for a variety of verb groups and tenses like Present Tense of Regular Verbs, Irregular Preterite Tense Verbs, E-IE Stem-changers, and so many more!
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Other games available from La Profe Plotts include ¡Pesca! (Go Fish) and Jeopardy-style Trivia.
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If you end up playing Cucharas in class, I would love to hear about it! Please tag me on IG (@laprofeplotts) or let me know on Facebook! If you loved this post, please re-pin it so other teachers can enjoy it, too! ¡Gracias, amigos!

La Profe Plotts is a high school Spanish and ESL teacher from Oregon that loves collaborating with other world language teachers and sharing ideas. She currently blogs at www.secondaryspanishspace.com and www.laprofeplotts.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TpT!

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