Spanish 1 Activities, Word Walls

Using Affirmations in Spanish Class: Engage the Brain and the Heart!

When I saw this affirmation on the board, my heart melted! It made me so hopeful that even these unique circumstances, and with the curriculum being all over the place this year that a student felt they could triumph in my class! What started out as a novel activity, is now a vital part of my routine in class! And you should add it to yours:)

Using affirmations as a warm-up or cool-down activity in class!

Do you engage your students in writing affirmations in Spanish class? I have been doing this for the past week and it has really built even more community; not to mention LOTS of input with the structure Puede+infinitive verb [yes, I said infinitive!]. There is so much potential, not to mention how we can set the tone, and change the deficit mindset from the beginning of class. Below, I share my process and the potential for this activity in your class routine!

How It All Started

I have an app on affirmations (It is called ‘I am.’), and every day I receive an affirmation during class. Due to the notification, I would normally share that positive message with the class, and then ask them what it meant. Then one day, I had an epiphany: why not have them do their OWN AFFIRMATIONS?!

I taught them the Puede+ infinitive [I normally refer to it as the mother verb], and we did a few practice sentences with the vocabulary we knew already. Then, they were on their way, writing their affirmations and sharing them with their classmates.

When do they write?

I usually do this activity at the beginning of class, but it can be totally done at the end of class. Essentially, students have to write something they can do/want to be able to do by the end of the class. I allow them to look up words we haven’t learned because they are abled-brained and love to explore on their own as well!

Share your affirmation with the class!

There are a few ways we share in class!

  • The in-person students form dyads to share their affirmations with their partner.
  • The in-person students also write the affirmations on the board
  • The remote students share in breakout groups.

Whole class sharing

  • In class, we get into a socially-distance circle and each person shared, but there is one caveat: the student to the left has to translate the speaker’s affirmation and then share their own. See examples below:
    • Yo puedo aprender más vocabulario
    • Yo puedo hablar en español
    • Yo puedo triunfar en la clase de español
    • Yo puedo comprender (he wrote “comprendar, but that’s okay!) más español.

Additional activities & ideas?

  • True/false activity students’ affirmation. For example, ¿Darion puede triunfar o puede aprender más vocabulario?
  • Have them write what their favorite celebrity can do.

It was a lot of fun and very insightful to see their connections. Not to mention, Puede+ infinitive is a HIGH-frequency structure that you can get a lot of mileage out of. Are you convinced now? Try it and see! If you are doing affirmations, how to you approach it in class?

¡Hasta luego!

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