Latinos like to look good.
I, on the other hand, used to have a different idea of what was fashionable.
Before moving to Costa Rica, I thought it was perfectly acceptable to go to the supermarket in pajama pants.
After living in Costa Rica for seven years and being married to a Latino for five, I no longer grace the grocery in my faded flannel.
Even after all these years, I’m still impressed with my Latina friends’ ability to perfectly match their outfits (hot pink heels, belt, earrings and hair tie anyone?) and how even their young daughters are always dressed to the nines while mine runs around looking like she’s being raised by gorillas.
Whether your Spanish students care about looking good or not, sounding good is always important, so they need to have a good handle on Spanish vocabulary. Clothing is important to Latino culture and, therefore, is important to your class.
The following Spanish activities can help you put together a multi-sensory learning unit on clothing that’ll knock the calcetines right off of your students’ feet, and which might even have them matching in neon pink pajama pants by the time the class is over.
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Spanish Clothing Vocabulary: A Few Tips
Before we start looking at the activities related to clothing, let’s look at some questions and phrases that you’ll find yourself using over and over during the different activities.
It’s important to realize that the different words and phrases used to discuss clothing vary in each country. Some terms are universally used and understood, while others are colloquial or very country specific, but here’s a list of some common clothing words if you’re drawing a blank or just need more. You can also use the following questions and phrases in most of the activities we’ll be looking at today.
¿Qué llevaste puesto? (What did you wear?)
Me llevé ______ puesto. (I wore ______.)
¿Qué te pusiste? (What did you put on?)
Me pusé ______. (I put on ______.)
¿Cómo te vestiste? (How did you dress?)
Me vestí en ______. (I dressed in ______.)
¿Qué llevas puesto? (What are you wearing?)
¿Qué vas a llevar puesto? (What will you wear?)
¿Qué te vas a poner? (What are you going to put on?)
¿Cómo te vas a vestir? (How will you dress?)
8 Spanish Clothing Activities That’ll Knock Your Students’ Socks Off
1. Fashion Show
Objective: Students will demonstrate reading and writing competence by writing a description of their outfit and commenting on the outfit of another student.
In this simple activity, students bring a crazy outfit to class (never underestimate the power of good props). Have students write out descriptions of their outfit on a note card as if they were the commentators in a fashion show. Get a long piece of red fabric to make a runway and have students get their fashion on! Each student then takes the note card of another and commentates while their peer walks the runway in their outfit.
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2. Designer Page
Objective: Students will develop reading and/or auditory comprehension skills as they produce outfits according to a list of instructions.
This activity can be done in the form of a worksheet or a dictation. Prepare various lists of instructions that describe a certain outfit. Have students color their outfits according to what they read or hear.
For example: Mariana lleva una camiseta rosada con rayas amarillas. Lleva una falda negra con flores blancas. Tiene zapatos verdes y una bufanda azul. (Mariana is wearing a pink shirt with yellow stripes. She is wearing a black skirt with white flowers. She has green shoes and a blue scarf.)
3. Pin the Clothes on the Clown
Objective: Students will demonstrate auditory comprehension of clothing vocabulary by listening and acting accordingly.
Any time kids are learning while playing is a success. For this auditory comprehension activity, students play a version of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”
Put a cutout of a clown on the wall and then cut out different clothing items that students will use to dress the clown. Blindfold students and hand them a piece of “clothing.” Then call out the Spanish word for the clothing item the student has and have him or her try to place it correctly onto the clown. Not into clowns? You don’t have to use a clown… it’s just that “clothes on a clown” had a nice ring to it.
4. Magazine Moda
Objective: Students will create different outfits and review clothing vocabulary by writing about each outfit.
Have students look through a magazine and cut out different clothing items by piece and glue them to note cards. For example, a dress can go on one note card, but a shirt and pair of shorts would go on two separate note cards. Ask students to look for different clothing items such as shoes, hats, coats, etc.
Once they are finished, students will then choose some note cards and assemble an outfit. Have the students explain their outfit in writing, using the phrases mentioned above in the vocabulary section. You can also give them examples of adjectives and how to use them effectively when talking about clothing. Then have the students mix up the cards and choose another outfit to explain.
5. Turn Regular Games into Clothing Games
Objective: Students will practice vocabulary terms through repetition of target words.
You can easily turn everyday games into great vocabulary practice.
One idea is to play a form of “Battleship.” Each student gets a piece of paper with identical charts on the top and bottom half of the paper. Rather than labeling the columns and rows with numbers and letters, each column should be labeled with a color and each row will have a picture of a piece of clothing on it. Students mark their boats on the bottom chart and plot their guesses as to their opponents’ location on the top chart. They call out their guesses in the form of a clothing question: “¿Llevas una bufanda verde?”
Another idea is to make your own cards to play “Go Fish” or “Old Maid” (an alternate source for the rules for Go Fish can be found at Solitaire Paradise). Make your own cards by putting pictures of clothing on each card and having students play by the standard rules for each game.
6. Online Clothing Scavenger Hunt
Objective: Students will work to achieve fluency by visualizing specific articles of clothing through a vocabulary scavenger hunt.
In this activity, students receive a list of specific articles of clothing. Using a computer, students go on a clothing scavenger hunt to find the clothes that they have written on their list. This works best on a site like target.com or amazon.com, where students can find all types of clothes and add them to their shopping cart. When students have finished finding everything on their list, have them print out their shopping cart and have a peer check their answers!
Objective: Students will improve fluency by using target vocabulary to create complete sentences.
Since everyone loves taking pictures of themselves these days, why not make it into an educational project?
Ask students to take five selfies showcasing their favorite outfits. Have them print out the pictures and put them on a poster. Then have the students write a caption for each picture that describes the outfit they are wearing. Showcase the posters around the room and have all of the students “like” their favorite outfit on each poster by writing a sentence about why they “liked” their peer’s picture.
8. Ropa Relay
Objective: Students will improve listening comprehension skills by listening to instructions and acting accordingly.
This is a fun, hands-on activity that gets students out of their seats. You need various large clothing items that students can slip on (like different colored large t-shirts, shorts, shoes, hands, scarves, belts, etc.). Put the clothing into a laundry basket. Split the class into two teams and form lines by the laundry baskets.
In this relay, the teacher calls out to the students what piece of clothing they need to put on. They put on the item and run to the end of the room and back. They must take off their article of clothing and slap the hand of the next student in line, and then the teacher will call out the next student’s outfit. Continue like this until one team finishes first.
I hope these activities help you have some fun with Spanish clothing in your classroom! Here’s to dressing up for supermarket trips and choosing heels over flip-flops!
Tricia Wegman Contreras has spent the last seven years in Costa Rica working as a bilingual Learning Specialist with students of all ages. She enjoys using her background as an Intervention Specialist to help all types of language learners succeed.
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