The other night, I was at "Juguemos", a game night event run by the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica at my school. It was such a lovely evening, of low stress fun for students. It didn't hurt that it was the night before the start of a four day weekend. There were a variety of table games, card games and ping pong tables. There was pizza and snacks. And, there was Spanish language music playing. Students were enjoying themselves, not buried in their phones & MacBooks. I am not the advisor for SHH at my school, but I was told that this was an inexpensive and relatively easy event to organize. I highly recommend planning something similar at your school. I brought my own children who are in 6th and 1st grade. We came with Battleship and this game I had picked up at Five Below around the holidays called HASHTAGIT Family Edition.
After playing a game of Battleship with my son (he won, though I am fairly sure he cheated), we decided to open up the HASHTAGIT game. It requires someone to be the "judge", along the lines of the game Apples to Apples. The players get five cards with hashtags that they can use to tag the image cards. The judge turns a card over from the picture deck and each player chooses their best option to go along with the image on the picture card. They are generally silly photos and you might have hashtags such as #BFFs, #SaturdayNight or #Happy. Sometimes you don't have one that goes really well with the picture card, but you have to choose from the cards in your hand. Once the players tag the picture, the judge chooses a winner. My children and I started out playing ourselves. I suppose it was our laughter, but within five minutes we had a colleague of mine, a student and a custodian join us. We had so much fun playing together. And everyone from age 6 to over 40 was laughing and enjoying themselves. I then began to imagine how it could be used in the classroom. I was thinking it could work as a quick brain break (check out Annabelle Allen's post on brain breaks on the Fluency Matters CI Peek blog) with a picture or two, dividing the class into teams. It could also work on a game day (game days are great when you are missing one section of the same class like often happens during things like state testing).
And, then it hit me - Picture Talk + HashTagIt. Picture Talk is much like Movie Talk, but with images rather than video. If you are not familiar with either, here is a great post on Picture Talk on the blog T.P.R.S. Q&A and here is a post by Martina Bex on Movie Talk. With novices, you can picture talk an image (providing necessary and vocabulary with comprehensible input) and then have them hashtag it in teams. I would suggest a teacher judge with Novices. In upper levels, you can take it a step further and not only have the students choose a hashtag, but also defend their choice. A student judge can also explain their rationale for choosing a winner.
I've created a Google Slide Deck for "El juego de hashtag" with one hundred images. On a Google Doc, I have a bunch of hashtags (I'm open to more ideas for hashtags, so please feel free to share in the comments). I printed the hashtags Doc, laminated each page and cut it into strips so they hold up. Feel free to use these in your classes. The slides can simply be used for Picture Talk if you don't have time to find an image on a given day. My own children helped me pick many of these images, though a few are from Gran Hotel and the new Disney movie Coco. One of the hashtags is #APSpanchat which is a hashtag we use regularly on Twitter in my AP classes (read about that here). Have fun and laugh in Spanish class! I can't wait to try out the game in my classes.
High school Spanish teacher in NJ. Google for Education Certified Trainer. Always looking to try new things in my classes. Technology junkie.