• Laura Lee

Spanish Cognates - Activities for the First Day of Spanish Class

Build confidence with cognates! Favorite cognate activities for the making the first day of Spanish class FUN.

Teaching Spanish cognates is my favorite thing to do during the first days of Spanish class. Check out these no-prep Spanish resources to prepare your classroom and plan activities for the first week of Spanish!


The first day of Spanish class can be a source of anxiety for many novice learners. A quick lesson on cognates takes all the jitters away and shows students how much Spanish they already know. Students see right away that learning Spanish is easy and fun! Having these resources ready for day one of Spanish will save you time and make learning FUN!


Spanish Cognates Word Wall

Before school starts, post a cognate word wall on your bulletin board to spark curiosity as students come into your classroom on the first day. Cognates are instant comprehensible input! I love this resource because it makes the language visible. Students are immediately drawn to it. They feel empowered seeing words they can already read and understand.

"Great way to introduce cognates & build confidence."


Students can create basic sentences in Spanish from Day 1 with this list of 117 basic cognates. Example: El animal es adorable. El elefante es enorme. El doctor es importante. It's also fun to come up with silly sentences! El mosquito es delicioso. There are so many possibilities.


Word walls are a fantastic way to build vocabulary and support learners! Fill your classroom bulletin boards with meaningful vocabulary that visually supports students. You'll LOVE having these instantly recognizable words posted on your walls and students will refer to them constantly.


Print your Spanish word wall on heavy paper or cardstock, cut and laminate. Mount on brightly colored paper to keep vocabulary organized. For example: attach nouns on red paper and adjectives on blue. Are you using word walls in your classroom? Click here for more ideas to fill your classroom with meaningful vocabulary!


Cognate Word Search

Use the Spanish cognate word search as a warm up or bell ringer on the few first days. Set a timer and have students look for as many cognates as they can find. There are over 100 cognates hidden in two puzzles! Seeing how many words are similar in both languages really builds student confidence. (Click here for Google Slides version!)

"I love doing cognate stuff in class, and this was incredibly fun."


Need a fun way to introduce or review vocabulary? Students LOVE Spanish word searches! Fun and easy, low stress activity. Students first define the word, then find it. Use these worksheets as a warm up, in stations, as an after-the-test activity, for fast finishers, or easy Spanish sub plans! Teachers say these activities have helped when “substitutes couldn't figure out the book lessons.”


Spanish Cognates Presentation

Use the Spanish Cognates PowerPoint presentation to explain what cognates are and introduce them to some basic cognates & false cognates! All the work is done for you. It includes several activities to identify cognates and create simple sentences. You don't even have to teach these words - students recognize them immediately! It's fun to watch their reactions when they pronounce them and learn meanings of words like "sopa" and "ropa."

(Click here to find this in a Google Slides format.)

"This is HANDS DOWN my favorite resource to use! Easy to comprehend and the students are so proud of themselves for what they are able to connect in both languages."


Click here for more Spanish PowerPoint Units for Spanish 1.


Bundle of Cognate Activities

Find all of the activities posted above and more in a money saving Spanish Cognate Bundle. This is a must-have resource for beginning Spanish or Spanish 1 teachers.

"Awesome way to introduce cognates to beginning learners!"


Click here for more Spanish bundles.


Hope you've found meaningful first day of school Spanish activities that you and your students LOVE! Have a great first week of Spanish!


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