The best board games for Spanish lessons

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Here you have a small selection of the best board games to use in the Spanish class. I have chosen those games which are easy to take to the classroom (they have a tough and attractive format, and above all, comfortable, since you don’t have to use a game board), they are suitable for all kind of students and lessons (for all ages, levels, and their materials can be used with a large class, without the need to buy more games), and what I like the most is that they can be used in a flexible and versatile way (You don’t have to follow the rules strictly, and they allow a wide variety of different didactic uses).

LIST OF BOARD GAMES TO LEARN SPANISH

MORE INFORMATION

Dixit

Describing very original illustrations.

One of the players has to give a title to their illustration, without being neither too evident nor too difficult, and the rest of players must pick one of their cards, the one which best suits to the given description. Then you must shuffle the cards, show them, and try to guess which card belongs to the "storyteller".


Level: A1 and above.
Materials: 84 cards, board and game pieces.
Language goals: You can work on vocabulary, oral and written expression in dialogues, tell stories, etc.
Timing: Each round might last between 3 and 5 minutes, or even longer, depending on the play mode.
Players: At least 3 people (rules of the game) or 1 person (to work on written expression).
Comments: Really easy to take to the classroom. You can buy any edition since there is nothing written (except the rules). There is no need to play with the board (it is just used to count points), you can just take the cards and play together, or in small groups. In fact, you can just buy the expansion to have only the cards with the illustrations, which are amazing, and then, you can use them as you want, for example: to create stories in a cooperative way with several cards (in turns), to create a story from the beginning or from the end, etc. This game is recommended for all teachers because of its versatility.

Duplik

Make descriptions and draw what is written.

Duplik is not about drawing better than the others, but about guessing the highest number of hidden elements, which will be revealed right after having drawn.


Level: A2 and above.
Language goals: You can work on vocabulary, present tense, imperative, obligation phrases, numbers, pronouns, verbs haber/ser/estar/tener, prepositions, adjectives, etc.
Timing: Every card might last between 5 and 15 minutes.
Participants: At least 2 people. Ideal for small groups, although you can also play as a whole class.
Comments: It might be difficult to find the game in Spanish, but you can still buy it in your students language, it is worthwhile since they would keep working during all the instructions phase, and you and your students could translate what you need.

DESCUENTO

Black Stories

Tell an enigma and try to solve it by asking.

Guess the riddles! Rebuild the details of each incident, piece by piece, by asking questions, guessing, or gathering evidence alone or with your partners. A frightening and funny riddle game which you can play at parties, and which will soon enchant you.


Level: A2 / C2.
Materials: 50 cards in a box.
Language goals: Ask questions and work on past tenses and hypothesis.
Timing: The time per card might be between 5 and 20 minutes.
Players: At least 2 people.
Comments: Although you can not get the game in Spanish, it does not matter because it will not prevent you from learning Spanish.

DESCUENTO

Story Cubes

Make up creative stories by using the pictures on the cubes.

Will you manage to create a story with the pictures on the dice? Story Cubes is a story generator that stimulates immagination, and it adapts to any age and level. An uncompetitive game for one or more players. The rules contain different play modes.


Level: A1 and above
Materials: 9 cubes in a box.
Language goals: Invent creative stories. You will work on vocabulary, past tenses, future, making up scenarios, etc.
Timing: You might spend between 5 and 30 minutes with each story.
Players: At least 1.
Comments: The game has only pictures, therefore you can buy any edition. The game can be used in many ways, and the best thing is that it is made from a durable material.

DESCUENTO

Érase una vez

Create tales in a cooperative way.

Érase una vez encourages creativity and collaboration. A player is a narrator, and this person starts to tell the story by using the elements in the fairy tales that are described on their cards, leading the plot to their Ending cards. The other players will use their own cards to interrupt the narrator, and in this way, they will get the narrator role. The winner will be the player who first uses all their Story cards and plays their Ending card. However, the aim of the game is not only winning but also having fun while telling a story together!


Level: A2 and above
Language goals: To work on stories by using the present and past tenses. To work on vocabulary, discourse markers, and other kinds of verbs.
Material:It contains 114 Story cards, 51 Ending cards, and the rules.
Timing: A round might last between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Players: Ideal for at least 4 people, although you can use it individually.
Comments: The game only has pictures, therefore you can buy any edition. It has many possible uses, and the best thing is that is made from a durable material.

Los hombres lobo

Roleplay. Take on a character and try to meet your target.

In the depths of the woods, the small village of Castronegro is, for quite some time, prey to Werewolves. The villagers must overcome their fear so that they can eradicate this horrifying plague before the small village loses its last inhabitants...


Level: A2 and above
Language goals: Storytelling, descriptions, suppositions, etc.
Material: 24 role cards (4 werewolves, 14 villagers, 1 fortune teller, 1 thief, 1 hunter, 1 Cupid, 1 witch, 1 little girl, y 1 bailiff). There are expansions with more characters.
Timing: A round might last between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Players: Between 6 and 18 players.
Comments: The game has only pictures, so you can buy any edition. It is advisable to work calmly on language aspects, for instance: tell the narrator to prepare his/her initial story, to describe the facts in detail. The other players might be told to describe their characters, who they are, what their role in the village is. The players can not restrict themselves to accusing and defending one another, but they should justify everything.

And this is my compilation so far. I didn’t want to add other kinds of games such as Tabú , Scattergories , Dobble , Intelect o Apalabrados , Lince Pictureka , among others. I have left them out, much to my regret, because they didn’t meet the important conditions that I had set myself at the beginning of this selection. For example:

Some of them are very interesting to use with small groups of students but not to be taken to a large class, since you should buy different units, and you would waste a lot of time organising the game and putting everything away at the end of the class, and its preservation would be also difficult.

Other games, instead, are useful for native speakers, rather than for students, since the focus on restricted vocabulary may not be the most suitable for our students’ level. In this case, it’s much easier to remember the dynamic of the game, and you could create your own cards, as you can see with Dobble of clothes that I made by using Dobblemania.pl, an online cards generator, which is for free and very easy to use.

SHARE

Do you know any other board games that can be used in Spanish lessons? Which one do you like the most? How have you used them in class? Do you have any interesting suggestion for more didactic uses? Any question, idea or interesting experience to tell? Share everything you think might be interesting and useful for the followers of ProfeDeELE.

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