No-tech games are a great way for your students to review, connect and learn with one another. Chances are if you add a game element to anything that you do in class, it will immediately spark some curiosity and enthusiasm amongst your students! In addition to the many online game platforms (some of my favorites include: wordwall.net, quizlet, quizziz, blooket or peardeck flashcard factory), taking a step away from the screen is also a good idea.

Sticking to some fundamental topics, I have created the following “game boards” with lots of images and opportunity for open-ended responses & ways for students to “level up” their language use! They are available on my newly created TpT page ☺️

La hora / Telling Time 🕟

Mis emociones / Emotions 🥺

El tiempo y mi ropa preferida / Weather & Clothing Preferences 🌦

Mis actividades favoritas / Favorite Activities ⚽️

Lugares en mi comunidad / Places in my Community 🏦

*Running Dictations for all of the above units

Each packet comes with a game board full of images (Spanish/English), 20 vocabulary flashcards with “bombas”, a “roll the dice” page, a few extension activities and individual flashcards of each of the images. I also created a bundle option if you are interested in downloading all of these topics!

Here is how I like to use each:

GAME BOARDS (you will need dice*)

Working in groups of at least three students, students roll the dice to move their “chip or token” on the board to a different spot. Once they land on that box, they can use the vocabulary in different ways, here are some suggestions:

Novice Mid: Identify the vocabulary word

Novice High: Use the vocabulary word in a sentence

Intermediate Low: Create a question for the group based on the vocabulary word

Intermediate Mid: Provide a definition of the vocabulary word

There are some spaces where students can lose a turn or jump ahead on the board. You can set a timer for seven to ten minutes and whomever is furthest along/reaches the end, is your winner!

BOMBA (you will need empty tissue boxes*)

Students can play in groups of three to four and you will need to print the cards/cut out the individual cards in advance. You can throw in a few or many bombas or bombs to keep the game interesting.

Using an empty tissue box, students must grab one of the cards and correctly identify the vocabulary word. And, also similar to the game board, you can have students level up their use of the target language by trying any of the above in addition to simple vocabulary identification. If the student identifies the image correctly, they get to keep the card and that equates to “one point”. If the student draws one of the bombas or bombs, they have to put all of their cards back into the tissue box and start from zero points. For this game, I like to set a timer for at least ten minutes to give everyone an opportunity to go at least a few times & win back their cards if they lose it to a bomba/bomb pull.

*An alternate way to play if you are unable to locate enough tissue boxes is to have students simply pile up all of the cards (mixed up) and have them face down. As they turn over each card, they must identify the vocabulary word correctly & can keep the point. But if a bomb is drawn, they have to put their cards back into the pile, face down and start again.

ROLL THE DICE (you will need dice*)

Rolling both dice at the same time, students will “land” on a particular image and can identify, create a sentence, create a question or provide a definition of the word. They can also describe the image using context clues as an additional way to practice the vocabulary. You can also have students practice writing instead of speaking with this activity and the goal may be to create at least ten sentences using the images.

BUZZ IN, PARTNER/PASS, TRUE/FALSE, RELAY RACE, RUNNING DICTATION or UNFAIR GAME with INDIVIDUAL FLASHCARDS*

BUZZ IN: Divide the class into two teams, each team sends up a representative for each round. Students place their hands on their head and there is a buzzer located between the two students. They must “buzz in” the correct response to win a point for their team. The teacher displays one flashcard, the students must either identify, create a sentence/question or provide a definition to earn a point for their team.

PARTNER/PASS: I like this game as a simple warm up or closure activity. Each student has their own individual flashcard and they must rotate around the room, identifying what they see displayed by their partner and then swap (as long as they both correctly identify the image). Students try to swap as many times as possible within a five to seven minute time limit.

TRUE/FALSE: The students are divided into four teams and they each have their own stack of individual flashcards. They hold up their flashcard to the class and make a statement (it can either be true or false) about the image. Their peers can “buzz in” their response or use wipe board to reply with either true or false to earn the point for their own team.

RELAY RACE: Students are divided into at least four teams, each team has one marker (*different color) and each team has their own individual flashcards (5-7 cards). Students must race to different areas of the classroom (I recommend hanging up the long post it paper) and create sentences using their individual flashcards. The first team to create all of their sentences (and they are correct) win!

RUNNING DICTATION: Students work with a partner and must correctly identify what is posted in the hallway. One student is considered the “runner” while the other student must remain in the classroom & scribe. They can also swap roles after a few minutes, so each student gets a chance to go in the hallway or write. The student in the classroom has six or eight blank boxes that they must correctly fill to match what is in the hallway. The teacher can post the individual flashcards with different numbers outside of their classroom. Make sure you keep your doors wide open, as students tend to bump into each other with this game!

Running Dictations: Various Themes/Template

UNFAIR GAME: I learned about the Unfair Game thanks to attending one of Martina Bex’s workshops. You can also learn more by visiting The Comprehensible Classroom.

Divide the class into two, three or four teams. The teacher holds the stack of individual flashcards face down and shows one team one card at a time. *Behind each card, the teacher has added a stickie note with either + points or – points. If the team correctly identifies the vocabulary word (uses it in a sentence, creates a question, provides a definition, etc.) they can either choose to keep the points or give the points to another team. Regardless if the students keep or give the points away, they have the chance of either ending up with positive points or negative points, which is why this game is so unfair! Make sure you have a student help keep track of all of the points for each team, it can become a bit confusing!

*Each game packet contains some extension activities as well, to help reinforce the vocabulary and give students the opportunity to use the vocabulary with target structures and in new ways!

I hope to have given you some new ideas or perhaps helped remind you of the many fun ways you can repeat & recycle vocabulary with your students but still keep it interesting, fun & engaging!

Please feel free to share any other no-tech games that you enjoy playing with our own students and add to the comments below! 🙂