One for the best ways for the students in your bilingual or Spanish class to learn is by doing. When a student learns something by “playing” or doing something hands-on and fun; the likelihood of the vocabulary and experience staying in their brain is much higher.
‘Dramatic Play’ (juego dramático) as it is called in preschool or early education programs is a great way for students to do hands-on activities, learn targeted and specific vocabulary and have fun at the same time. Kids are able to pretend to be doctors, patients, and nurses. In this post, you will see a variety of activities and posters from a dramatic play or learning unit centered around being a doctor or at a hospital.
To make a successful dramatic play center you usually need from props or toys for students to use. For this hospital or doctor dramatic play center in Spanish, we used a doctor toolkit or medical kit and a doctor coat. We also used from face masks and rubber gloves. We used an old sock and cut off the toe to be a pretend cast. You could find an old scale and a measuring tape or yard stick. Kids love role playing and pretending to be a doctor and asking their “patients” about what body parts hurt or check each other’s eyes.
Dramatic play gives students the opportunity to develop speaking and listening skills in Spanish and learn essential vocabulary for that situation. In Spanish dramatic play for this hospital unit, students could practice talking about body parts, feelings, what hurts, giving commands, asking questions, and much more. You could even work in numbers with measuring and weighing each other (or a stuffed animal “patient”).
This kind of hands-on learning in Spanish, allows students to feel comfortable because they feel that they are “playing” and are able to retain much more of the vocabulary because they are not focused on memorizing anything… they are more focused on having fun and “playing” and being a doctor.
This type of unit could be used in a variety of levels not just in bilingual preschool, daycare or Spanish immersion classes but also in Spanish as a world language or FLES programs. Older kids, even up to 5th or 6th grade like having fun and playing as much as younger kids.
What are some ways that you use dramatic play in your classroom? Have you found that student retain more language when they are having fun? Let us know in the comments.