School Unit for Level 1 Spanish

I’m having a hard time getting started on this school unit in level 1.  Normally I wouldn’t give it a second thought.  I imagine it is a common theme in many level 1 courses.  But this year I just can’t get excited about it.  Come to think of it, I do not ever recall getting excited about the school chapter.  That’s the trouble.  If I am not enthusiastic about it, how am I going to get the students excited about it, or at least interested?  It’s strange to me now how all these years I just opened up the textbook, saw that the school chapter was what I was supposed to teach next, and dove right in, no questions asked.  I am also amazed and appalled about how little I used to take student interest into consideration, focusing more on making sure the material was covered well than engaging the learner.

So far we’ve looked at classroom objects vocabulary a bit, but I haven’t had time to do anything fantastic with it.  The students got their first exposure to class subjects today, but nothing exciting except telling how they feel about certain classes.  I wish I could find a school abroad so my students could share what their school is like with an actual audience, and find out information about a school in another country.  I have never had any success with locating pen pals in another country.

I began searching the internet for inspiration and I found a couple of interesting ideas at  This site suggests having the students talk about the ideal teacher and ideal school, which sounds interesting.  They also talk about designing a school uniform and describing it in the target language, which I have done in the past.  This also gives me the idea of dividing the students into two groups.  Each person in one group describes a bad student and the people in the other group each describe a good student.  Then a good partners up with the bad and compares lists.  Maybe they can even transfer the info to a mini poster.

When I read Spanish thematic units online, there is mention of having students compare their school with those in Spanish-speaking countries, but I am not sure where to find information about schools in other countries.  I’ve searched the internet but don’t really have anything to wrap a lesson around.

I hope I find some inspiration by 8:10 tomorrow morning!

It’s Sunday afternoon.  My son was sick Friday, so I got a reprieve.  Since then I’ve been collecting materials about school and formulating a game plan.  During the course of the unit I need to teach the kids telling time, regular present-tense verbs, and adverbs of frequency (always sometimes, etc.)  I think there are a few other things in the textbook, but I think they can wait (ir a, estar en).  I found a couple of TECLA readings about school using the Indice de Materias at

I also did Google image searches for class schedules, school calendars, and lists of school supplies.  My plan of action is to create a Power Point with images to describe in Spanish what school is like in Spain and comparing it with school here in order to familiarize the students with the vocabulary and giving them their first exposure to conjugated verbs.  So far they’re learned ser and tener and gustar with various verbs.  It’s not terribly exciting, but once they see and hear what school is like in Spain and how it compares with their school, then we will talk about what their ideal school is like.

Here are a couple of sites with lists of schools supplies:

Here are some youtube clips related to school:

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2 Responses to School Unit for Level 1 Spanish

  1. Thank you for posting this! I will be teaching Spanish in September (after 17 years teaching French) and I am desperate for ideas! This was very helpful!

  2. ana says:

    I did almost the same, comparing our school to a school in Madrid, it was great!

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