Where’s Waldo?

Get ready for a Comprehensible Input GOLD MINE! It all started a few years ago when I dressed up like Waldo for Halloween. Most kids appreciated it but some of my little darlings had no idea who Waldo was. What?! You don’t know Waldo?! How is this even possible?! So naturally we did a quick google image search and fortunately there are a lot of Where’s Waldos on the internets. Excellent news for us!

Now I can’t guarantee that this will be as much fun if you are not dressed like Waldo, but you should try it out and report back.

Here’s a Where’s Waldo Slide Show to get you started. And here’s another one!  (And here are the answers if you don’t want to spend your entire prep period searching for Waldo- don’t show this one to your little darlings!) Project it and depending on how well kids can see your screen, you might have them bring their chairs up nice and close to be able to see it. We crowd around the screen and it’s really sweet and cozy.  First give them a minute or two to look for Waldo.  Instruct them to raise their hand when they find him, but don’t say anything! After a minute or two, start giving clues about Waldo’s location, in comprehensible Spanish (for French, or Swahili or whatever). He’s at the right side  of the screen….Do you see the river? He’s close to the river….There are some boy scouts. Waldo is in front of the boy scouts…Keep giving clues in nice, slow comprehensible input. As soon as students find him, they should raise their hand. Keep giving them clues until most/ all of the class has their hand raised. Then ask a student to point to Waldo.

Waldo 3Pro Tip: If you can’t find Waldo (it happens!) give them a minute or two to look, then ask them questions. Class, is Waldo on the left or the right of the picture? Is he on the top or the bottom? Is he in the water? Is he on the pirate ship? (It buys you time until you actually find him…and they’re so used to you asking them ten million questions, they’ll never suspect a thing! Ha!)

But the great thing about the Waldo pictures is that there’s just so much great stuff happening to describe. Don’t stop with just Waldo. After the class finds Waldo, pick a different character to describe and do the same thing. There’s a weird guy. He’s weird because he isn’t really a person. He’s part person and part animal. I think he is part man and part horse. Do you see him? He is by the basketball players. As soon as kids find who you are describing, they should raise their hand. Keep going until you see that most of the class has their hand raised and then show them who you were talking about.

Here’s a video of ¿Dónde está Waldo? with my Spanish 2s…sorry about the camera moving. I didn’t realize I sway while I talk until I watched it; it kind of looks like I’m teaching on a ship. My students are much better at manning the camera than I am!

After I describe a few characters, my Spanish 4s do the same thing, describing a character to a partner. (I don’t do that with my lower levels because what they need most of all is input, input, input! My big kids still need input but I give them more opportunities to output than my Ones and Twos.


Have you heard about Comprehensible Online 2020? One of my sessions, It’s all fun and games, will share this idea and lots more easy ways to make language acquisition more fun! If you want to join the party, be sure to sign up with code AnneMarie to save $25 off the registration price before Feb 15!

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