Spanish Class Activities When You're Exhausted, Sick, or Lost Your Voice

Do any of these resonate with you?

You’re exhausted. 

You’re feeling sick, but running out of sick days.

You lost your voice.

You still need to show up for work, for whatever reason.

Below I’m listing ideas & tools to use if any of the above apply to you.

Spanish Class Activities When You're Exhausted, Sick, or  Lost Your Voice

When you’re exhausted & sick you need: 

  • Low energy teacher-led activities

  • Student-led activities

  • Activities that can be done independently (can be done individually, in pairs, or small groups)

Below I’m listing 6 overarching ideas you can use to create lesson plans that don’t involve a lot of energy or require you to do a lot of speaking throughout the lesson. 

Each main idea includes ways to branch off and extend these ideas into multiple 45-minute class periods. 

A) Read a story or a reading comprehension passage. 

My ideas below can make this take anywhere from 2 45-minute class periods, to many more! I tend to feel impatient when students are working independently, and if that’s you, remind yourself, it’s OKAY for the pace to be a bit slower.

Put all instructions on Slides, so you’re not having to answer questions over and over.

Class Period 1 (45-minute class)

  • Students will highlight all the words they understand, & look for ones they don’t know the meaning of, I like to have students use

    • Have them illustrate the story/reading passage with 6 pictures, captioning with 1-2 sentences per picture.

      illustrate and caption to summarize a reading

      • Depending on what they’re reading, and their level, you could either allow or not allow them to pull sentences directly from the reading

      • Alternatively, instead of 1-2 sentences, you could put in a word minimum, such as a 12 word minimum per caption. 

        • (I sometimes do this to challenge students in Spanish 2+ because you’ll have a student that writes 1 4-word basic sentence, and a student who writes 2 detailed, compound sentences. Who do you think is getting more out of the activity? Plus, it takes up more time.)

    • OR Have them illustrate the story/reading passage with 4 pictures, captioning with 1-2 sentences per picture and THEN, they add 2 more pictures & captions but CHANGE the ending of the story.

    • Do you have a document camera? Or can you scan in their drawings and project them the next day? If so, read more below. 

Class Period 2 (45-minute class)

  • Have students share their new endings with 5 people

    • Add a skit with a new ending for a 3rd 45-minute period, giving them this period to prepare their skits & dialogue.

  • If you have a document camera, or scanned in their drawings yesterday:

    • Project part of their drawings and have students caption on mini whiteboards

    • Or reverse! Show parts of their captions and have them illustrate on mini whiteboards

Other ways to extend into more 45-minute classes:

  • Depending on your reading text from Day 1 & 2, have them write their own stories, focusing on very limited verb structures

  • Have students cut up their sentences and pictures, scramble, swap with a partner, they need to match sentences and pictures, and put them in chronological order, checking each other’s work.

  • Create a template Mad-Libs style, having them fill in their own creative details of your choice (adjectives, verbs in whatever tense you’re covering, etc.)

    • Have students illustrate 3-6 of the most important “scenes” from their MadLibs story. 

  • Create a CLOZE style text, having them fill in the blanks of a summary from the reading they’ve been going over the past 2 days. You could focus on the blanks being verb structures, adjectives agreeing in noun/gender, etc. 

    • You can have this be printed, or “force a copy” to each student in Google Classroom.

B) Independent reading (45-minute class)

  • If you have access to Spanish novels, whether in your library or in your classroom, dedicate a day to independent reading. 

    • If you want to hold them accountable here are brief ideas you could do to have them complete after silent reading for 20 minutes:

      • Create an infographic answering 5 questions about the plot such as: who, what happened, why, where, when, how, etc.

      • Create 5 questions about the details they read, and answer their own questions: 1 yes/no, 2 1-3 word answers, 2 short answers (1-3 sentences)

      • Write down 5 new words they learned in the reading, cite the page they’re from, write a new sentence that uses that vocabulary word correctly (doesn’t have to pertain to the reading’s plot)

      • If they finish the book (if you make silent reading a weekly routine), have them write as if they’re a book critic, rating it out of 5 stars, what they liked about it, and summarizing the book without giving away the ending

      • Have students write a prediction of what they think will happen next 

C) Online vocabulary game

  • Review vocabulary on Quizlet Live or Checkpoint

  • Review vocabulary on Gimkit, Blooket, Quizizz, Kahoot

  • If you’ve been reading a novel in class, pull plot questions from the chapter or teacher’s guide, and put them into a Kahoot or Quizizz. 

    • Just be sure to select “Play the questions in order” if you want the questions to be asked in chronological order. 

  • If you need tips on how to create a Quizlet set from a pre-made set someone else made check out my tutorial here.

  • If you need a tutorial on using a Quizlet set to import into Gimkit or Blooket, click here

D) Play bingo but have students call the vocabulary words 

  • You can print blank bingo papers, or have students draw their own bingo card in their notebooks 

  • Project a list of words you want them to pick from, to fill in their bingo board (it can be as small as 3x3, or make a 4x4 or 5x5)

  • Have students call on a word of their choice. It’s fun because they’re a bit more invested since they can strategically pick one on their bingo board! I let students pass if they don’t want to, but the majority of them want to!

    • You can go around the room, “snaking” your way through the rows or pods. When someone gets a bingo, you can keep going until there’s a few more winners. 

      • If you need to clear their boards, just make sure to start where you left off, so everyone gets a chance to call a word. 

    • You can pull names from a hat or popsicle sticks

    • You can add some suspense and use with your pre-set saved class rosters to call on students. 

E) Use Find Someone Who activities

find someone who activities for spanish class

  • Find Someone Who activities puts the “speaking” responsibility on the students. 

  • There are many extension activities you can do to extend these activities beyond just 1 45-minute class too! Read my other blog post for more details. 

F) Stations

stations are perfect for hands-on activities where students work independently

Maybe stations sounds time-consuming and a lot of effort to set up, but with just 10 minutes of setting things out, and a slide with an infographic showing which station to rotate to, stations can be a hands-off day for you as a teacher when you don’t have a voice, or need a low-energy lesson to get you through the day. 

For more details about efficiently setting up stations that are reusable year after year, check out my other blog post. For now, here’s a list of some station ideas I’ve done.

  • Task Cards
  • Sentence Scramble activities
  • Flashcards to play spoons, memory, go fish, etc.
  • A dice game called Seis
  • Game boards (roll a die, the game board has verbs to conjugate, or vocabulary to use in a sentence, etc.)
  • Battleship (1 piece of paper folded hamburger-style, with a grid that has verbs on the top row, subject pronouns on the left column, instead of calling A1, students conjugate the yo form for the first verb in row 1, and students cross off with an x if they get a “hit”)

  • Pixel art → there’s several facebook groups you can join that have pre-made pixel art, and if you don't mess with the settings too much, you can change out the questions/prompts & answers in the conditional formatting, and have it be about any topic you’d like! 

Technology for when you have no voice, or continue to strain your voice:

  • Get a voice amplifier on amazon!

    • One of my former coworkers introduced me to this, and it was a game-changer!

  • Of course some students tried to roast me, but I was getting serious vocal cord strain after teaching 150+ students all day, so I did not care.

  • You can wear it around your neck if you don’t want to look like Britney Spears, and adjust the mic so it’s still picking up your voice

  • I even have used it when walking around the room and I’m having students read or answer questions aloud, it especially helps with the quiet students that are too shy to project their voice louder than a mouse. 

  • Use a laser pointer! 

    • Point to posters across the room if they’re asking questions they can answer for themselves using your posters (that’s why I created these reading & writing vocabulary posters)

    • Use the laser pointer to underline text and have the class read aloud together the directions, the reading comprehension, etc.

My Favorite Teas & Cough Drops for a sore throat!

  • Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat is mandatory if you have that constant tickle in your throat that just won’t go away. It isn’t the most pleasant tasting, but it does get worse if you let it cool! So drink it while it’s hot!


    • P.S. The “variety” pack from this brand doesn't really cut it. Look for the box that only has Throat Coat in it!

  • Ricola Max Throat Care Cough Drops with the liquid center really make a difference. Regular Ricola cough drops don’t even compare, so don’t waste your money on those. Get the good ones!

What other ideas or tech tools have you used when you need a low-energy lesson?
Do you have any other recommendations for cough drops, teas, etc. that help with a sore throat! Share below!

Save this post for later!

Save this on pinterest to remember these ideas!

Looking for more interactive activities for your students? Check out these posts for more!

Spanish Class: Speaking, Listening, & Writing Activities → Find Someone Who

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