Spanish Art Projects That Will Add Color and Fun to Your Classroom
Immersive activities are one of the best ways to teach Spanish and engage your students.
Art projects are a great immersive activity that can be tailored to different holidays and woven into culture lessons.
In this post, you’ll get three fun Spanish art projects you can introduce in your classroom.
These ready-made lesson plans will help bring some color into your class while reinforcing grammar and vocabulary!
- 1. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
- 2. Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
- 3. Dalí Clocks
- Where to Find More Ideas for Spanish Art Projects
- Why Add Spanish Art Projects to Your Lessons
1. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
The celebration of Él Día de los Muertos reveals some unique cultural aspects of Latin American countries while getting students excited about Spanish. Make this holiday a tradition in your school by decorating the class for the occasion!
Introducing the topic
You can use the video below to introduce your students to the holiday, or this one for beginners. A PowerPoint can also be useful—here are two in Spanish and English.
Then, introduce the basic vocabulary. Words like altar, calavera, velas, flores or máscaras are key. Ask your students how they feel about the celebration so they can practice giving their opinions.
Creating an altar
Once you’ve introduced the topic, let the fun begin! If you have a big class, you can divide them into groups and give each one a specific project. One group could create the altar, decorating some boxes with cloth, colored paper or paint. It doesn’t need to be huge, but it should be colorful.
A second group can create lanterns with plastic cups to symbolize the candles, while a third group makes decorative skulls with paper plates. A fourth group can make masks, while group five can create flowers with tissue paper or another creative idea.
Make your students ask for the materials in Spanish. You can put all of the materials on a table and add labels if needed. Be sure to walk around and comment in Spanish throughout the lesson to increase their language exposure.
Your students will love the opportunity to put everything together at the end of the lesson, and it will be a fantastic way to revisit the vocabulary they learned at the beginning.
2. Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica is one of the most famous pictures in Spain’s history. The story behind it represents the cruelty of a period that has had a huge influence on what Spain is now.
Introducing the topic
Put a picture of the Guernica on the board and have students brainstorm any words that come to mind (animals, body parts, adjectives, etc.). They can then share their words in groups or with the class to create a list of key words for the lesson.
Ask the students about the picture: How does it make them feel? What does it represent? You can tell them a bit of the story behind it and have them write some opinions about it.
Creating your own Guernica
You can give each student a section of the Guernica to recreate and maybe even reinvent, with new colors and details. If you have less time or younger students, you could print out a template for them to color in or use one of these ideas.
Then, ask them to explain their choices—in Spanish. Provide your students with sentence starters (He elegido, Creo que, En mi opinión) and other key words like simboliza, representa or muestra.
You can even model some sentences for them using the vocabulary provided, like “He elegido el color rojo porque simboliza el fuego de las bombas.”
Finally, have your students present their adaptations to the class and then use them to decorate your Spanish classroom. It’ll be just like walking into the Reina Sofia Museum!
3. Dalí Clocks
The topic of telling time can be a bit boring, but this art project will make it more interesting!
Introducing the topic
Display Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory” and ask your students to write down the time from the clock on the table in their notebooks or on mini whiteboards.
Tell students about Dalí’s work and ask them if they’ve seen the clocks before. There are some great examples of handmade Dalí clocks on Pinterest and Google Images you can use to practice more if you need to.
Tell the time with Dalí’s clocks
Give each of your students a piece of paper with a time on it. Write it in Spanish and ask them to say it in English or vice versa. You can give challenging times to very confident students and easier times to those who struggle.
Then with some construction paper and markers, have your students create a Dalí clock with the time you’ve given them. You could also do this on paper plates or with other materials.
While they’re working on their artistic project, go around questioning them in a much more relaxed environment. Ask your students what time it is on their clock, and get them to answer in Spanish.
Once everyone has finished, ask them to walk around and show each other the clocks, asking others to tell them the time it shows (in Spanish). This activity is a much better way to practice telling time than using your regular textbook exercises! Get some more inspiration with this resource pack.
Where to Find More Ideas for Spanish Art Projects
A great place to start is Pinterest, where you can find plenty of ideas to try in your lessons. You might want to check out this great collection of Spanish art projects or this one. Both boards are full of imagination and great ideas.
There are tons of great crafts that can be used in Spanish class too, for example:
• These paper bags piñatas for teaching about (or celebrating) birthdays
• Creating big poster-style family trees
• Filling your class with Spanish Christmas decorations
Why Add Spanish Art Projects to Your Lessons
The best way to keep your students excited about Spanish is to give them something different, creative and hands-on from time to time. Here are a few good reasons to add these art projects to your Spanish lesson plans:
- It’s engaging. Students spend the majority of their day sitting, writing or listening. It’s time to get the colors, paint and glue out! Art projects take your students away from the ordinary and bring some creativity into the classroom.
- It allows students to discover the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. Your class could create a brochure for a monument, a poster for an Almodovar film or their version of a famous work of art. These projects help students engage with the culture and traditions of the Spanish-speaking world.
- It enables us to review vocab and grammar more naturally. For example, something as obvious as “colors” will help you revisit adjective agreement (i.e. la pintura roja, el lapicero rojo) in a different context that’s more natural than worksheets and textbooks.
- Art projects involve instructions. Giving instructions in Spanish (and speaking to them while they work) is a great way to develop your students’ listening skills and immerse them in the language in a relaxed environment.
Plus, when your students are focused on perfecting their art projects, they’ll be able to relax their logical minds and let the language flow without overthinking it or freezing up.
Whatever topic you’re covering, there’s always a great idea out there to turn your Spanish class into artistic heaven!