- Laura Lee
For the LOVE of Football: 3 ways to bring football into the Spanish classroom
I am always looking for ways to bring football into my Spanish class. Not fútbol, but fútbol americano! As a girl raised in the south, I absolutely love football. So when it comes to teaching numbers to 100 in Spanish, I turn to football.
In November, as our middle school number unit is just beginning and college football rivalry week is at its peak, I do an activity using jersey numbers from the two main college teams of our state: the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks. (My team? I was raised a tiger!) Rivalry week is always a hot topic in middle school, but especially in November as the two teams are preparing to play each other again.
#1 Team Rosters
My favorite activity for reinforcing Spanish numbers centers around team rosters. I find rosters for each team, project them on the smart board and ask who wears which number. "¿Quién lleva el número dieciséis? or ¿Qué número es Trevor Lawrence? The boys in the room light up! The competition to answer the question is fierce. They are so excited to show off their football knowledge. The girls are into it as well. Team loyalties run deep. I love this activity because everyone is engaging, learning, & having fun.
As a written activity, students choose their favorite of two teams and use a roster to write the jersey numbers of popular players. This requires a lot of prep work. Each fall, I look over the team roster to find the most popular players from each team and then create a worksheet. Students get excellent practice forming numbers up to 99. For me, it's worth the work because the students love it. (See the time saving template I created for you to create your own roster activity!)
Team rosters are packed with information! You can review descriptive adjectives and comparatives while talking about height. ¿Quién es más alto? ¿Austin Bryant o Travis Etienne? Compare ages. ¿Quién es mayor? ¿Xavier Thomas o Trayon Mullen? Review forms of ser by asking "¿De dónde es Tee Higgins? and ¿De dónde son Trevion Thompson y Mark Fields? (See links below to find your favorite team roster.)
#2 College Football Scoreboard
The Monday following the big game, the topic is still hot. I project the final score on the board and ask, "¿Cuántos puntos tiene Clemson / South Carolina?" Some are excited to talk about the score, others, not so much. To change the subject for the sad fans, I pull up scores from top 25 teams around the nation. This is a regular Monday warm-up activity each fall.
#3 College Football Rankings - the AP Top 25
As my Spanish 1 students learn ordinal numbers, we talk about top 10 teams around the country. ¿Quién es primero? It's a great way to generate excitement and make learning ordinals numbers fun. (See the time saving templates I created for you to create your own rankings and scoreboard activity!)
There are so many variations you can do with these activities. When football season ends, switch to basketball. Then practice numbers over 100. You could also talk about baseball, soccer, tennis or softball (although those scores are normally very low!) Talk about your school's various teams. This communicates that you're interested and paying attention to the things that matter to them. The main thing is to find out what interests your students and find a way to talk about it in Spanish.
What I love most about these activities is they're a great way to connect with students. It's fun to find things we have in common (favorite teams, players or sports) and have something to talk about - that is interesting to them. Topics like these build relationships. As my favorite coach says, "Football unifies. In a world that is very divided, nothing brings people together like football." - Dabo Swinney
I hope you enjoy these ideas and have fun implementing them in the classroom! I'd love to see how these activities work in your class. Tag me on social media: @senora.lee on Instagram or @SenoraLauraLee on Facebook.
Thank you for stopping by and for spreading the LOVE of Spanish!
Resources: Your students will LOVE these football activities! Plan to use them throughout football season and into January as it gets close for the BIG Game. *The "Football Championship" activity is fully updated for the 2020 game.
Football Championship 2020 - Roster Activity
Create Your Own Spanish Football Roster Activity
Top 10 Rankings & Scores Templates