Last 5 minutes of class…


You know the last five minutes of class where some teachers just let their little darlings hang out by the door chatting? Not us! No way! We don’t have any time for idle chit chat or down time!  Here are a few activities that fill in those last few minutes and best of all they require ZERO prep time!

Chain Game: OK, this is an output game, but they’ll get lots of reps of the structure you choose, so I think it’s worth it. Students break into groups of 4 or 5 students. Teacher writes a phrase on the board, for example Quiero comer (I want to eat). The first student says the phrase and then adds 1 thing to eat. So for example Quiero comer una manzana. (I want to eat one apple). Then the 2nd student repeats it and adds another thing, Quiero comer una manzana y dos galletas. (I want to eat one apple and two cookies). The third repeats everything that’s been said and adds their own. Quiero comer una manzana y dos galletas y tres hamburguesas. (I want to eat one apple and two cookies and three hamburgers). Each time the student repeats everything that has been said and increases the number sequentially. If students can’t remember what someone said in their group, everyone in the group can pantomime to help out. Play until the bell rings. Some good starters for this game:

  • Quiero Comer… (I want to eat…)
  • Fui al zoo y vi… (I went to the zoo and I saw….)
  • Tengo frío así que me pongo… (I’m cold so I put on…)
  • En mi mochila hay… (In my backpack there is…)
  • Ayer en Walmart compré…(Yesterday at Walmart I bought…)
  • La Señora Chase tiene…(Mrs. Chase has…)

Mad Lib on the fly: Sometimes I’ll make up a story and when I toss the ball to a student, they have to give me the next word. It sounds like this…

Teacher: Clase, hay un chico que se llama… (Class, there is a boy that is named…)

(Throws the ball to a student)

Student A:   BART

Teacher: Sí, hay un chico que se llama Bart y Bart tiene mucha hambre. Bart quiere comer … (Yes, there is a boy that is named Bart and Bart is very hungry. Bart wants to eat…)

(Throws the ball to new student)

Student B: ¡Un elefante! (An elephant!)

Teacher: ¡Obvio! Bart quiere comer un elefante así que Bart va a…. (Obviously! Bart wants to eat an elephant so he goes to…)

(Throws the ball to a different student)

Student C: Taco Bell

You get the idea. Keep it really slow and comprehensible and go with the first thing a student says.

Number Duel:   Students pair up and stand back to back. Both choose a number between 1-5 and hold up that number. They count to three and face each other, showing the other one the number they’re holding up. Then they race each other to add both numbers and say it in Spanish. (So if one student is holding up 2 fingers, and the partner holds up five fingers, they race to say siete). Then they turn around and play again. After they get good at it, I change it tens. So, each finger is worth ten instead of one (so 3 fingers is 30). After they get good at tens, then we play by hundreds (5 fingers is 500). I don’t know why this one is so fun, but they really like it.

Sing! Some classes love to sing and get really into it. Some of my classes don’t really care for it…I haven’t figured out the magic formula for making every class love to sing…yet! In addition to popular songs, I have a few silly ones I teach and we do at the end of class. The incredible and talented Rita Barrett taught me this one and it’s crazy fun: (The video is on the last slide so you can see it in action!)

   Con el ritmo de los pies

And this one is awesome because you can just sing it over and over until the bell rings:             

   ¿Quién robó pan? Lyrics

Despedida: I always end class with ¡Gracias clase, que tengan buen día! (Thanks class, have a good day!) and they respond with Igualmente, nos vemos el miércoles, (You too! See you on Wednesday) THEN they can stand up and leave. And they go on their merry way and I collapse at my desk because I’m exhausted, but in the best sort of way. I love Call and Responses, here are some others I use.


    • Right?! I love it that they’re trained now- so when I see kids around school and I say “que tengas buen fin de semana” they respond without hesitation and it makes us look good! Ha!


  1. Would you share a document with other songs you sing with your students? Thanks for sharing so much! You have great ideas!


  2. […] Timing is tricky on the block-  I’ve been doing this CI thing for 12 years now and still I can’t get my timing down…Generally my last planned activity is a bonus. If we fly through the other stuff, it’s ready to go, but it’s no big deal if we run out of time. I also like my last activity to be flexible- something that can last 10 or 25 minutes, depending on the time we have left.  Here are a few ways to use up those last few minutes if you need something more 🙂 […]


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