Muévete si….with a tiny bit of grammar

If your kiddos are like my kiddos… they say (and write) things like yo tiene. And if you’re like me, you think, it’s OK, they just need more input, but secretly it drives you crazyAnd so (if you’re like me) you spend a lot of time thinking of ways to give them more input so they can replace yo tiene with TENGO in their heads,  because come on guys!!

I love the activity “Muévete si” as a way to give them input and build in movement when they’re getting sleepy…but it turns out that “Muévete si” is a really great vehicle for some contextualized grammar lessons that don’t feel like grammar lessons.

Have a watch…

And excuse the bouncy video…I set up my tripod in the middle of the classroom…which is not the best placement when you want kids to move quickly from one seat to another! And I’m  hoping that the girl who says “this seems sketch” in the first seconds of the video is referring to to obstacle course that the tripod created and not her weirdo Spanish teacher…

For you non-Spanish speakers or those of you who don’t have time to watch Señora Chase’s students run around like maniacs….All you do is write the verb you’ll use in the “you” form, draw and arrow and write the same verb in the “I” form, to prompt them how to respond. You say, “Move if you have two eyes” and they exclaim “I have two eyes!!” and they move into an empty seat. Give them lots of input and lots of reps using the same verb but different contexts, pointing to the verb as you say it. Do it a few times then choose another verb and do the same thing. And then maybe one more.

Will they magically acquire the “I” form with this simple little trick. No, probably not. BUT, do it a few times when they’re getting sleepy and need to move around, keep coming back to your high frequency verbs, keep loading them up with input. They’ll get it. And I have to confess…I saw a lot less YO TIENEs and a bunch more TENGOs on their most recent quick write about their families….so I’ll take that!

Enjoying this beautifully blizzardy SNOW DAY from home! Stay warm, friends!

Oh! And one more thing! ONLY TWO WEEKS left until the Comprehensible Online conference starts! Are you so excited?! WHAT? You haven’t registered yet? Use code AnneMarie20 for a $25 discount and come join the fun!



  1. This game was a huge hit with my 6th graders – I used it to teach yo vs. tú regular verb endings (probably against the CI principals, but my kids have to take a grammar test to pass into Spanish 2 in our district so I explicitly teach things like that.) They caught on super-fast, maybe because they kept repeating the endings without feeling like they were repeating.

    And here’s another game idea that also involves a ridiculous amount repetition of one grammatical structure. I learned it a party and played in English, but my teacher-brain knew it would be a huge hit with my middle-schoolers. Our hosts called it “Occupations.” It feels a bit complicated to explain, but it’s super-easy to play so usually I skip some of the explanation when playing it the first time and just dive into the game. They learn as they go along.

    1. The teacher chooses a grammatical structure to work on that can have multiple answers. For example: Are you a ______________ ? (fill in the blank with an occupation.)

    2. The students each secretly write an occupation on a small sheet of paper and pass it to the teacher. It’s OK if there are multiples of the same one, but students need to remember their own answer.

    3. All of the answers are read out loud (with any repeat words being read again.) You may read the answers twice.

    4. The students sit in a circle and one person begins by asking a specific person, “Are you a ________?” choosing an occupation they heard.

    5. If the student asking is NOT that occupation (they didn’t submit that one) they answer “No, I’m not” and play continues around the circle, each person asking another person at random.

    6. If a student guesses correctly (A asks B if he’s a plumber and that was the occupation B chose) then B JOINS A’s team. He moves to sit next to her in the circle. A whispers her occupation to B, and they get one more guess before play moves onto the next person in the circle.

    7. Your goal is not to not get guessed and remain the last one solo. As the game continues, teams form, and the teams can join together (A guesses C, who is also a part of D and E’s team, then C, D, and E all join A’s team, moving so they sit in one big group.)

    And that’s it. To move the game along, I sometimes appoint a moderator who types all of the answers on the screen and then erases them as they are guessed. This especially helps my kids with lower attention spans stay focused and ask good questions.

    Sorry for such a long comment, but hopefully the game works out for your class!


    • Oh my gosh- this sounds like a fun game, but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this one! Do you have a video by any chance? If not, I’ll print out your instructions and have my kiddos help me figure it out! Thanks for sharing, I want to try it out!!


    • Glad the game sounds interesting! Sorry, I don’t have a video of it and we’re on spring break right now. If your students can’t help you, I’ll be happy to take a video early next week and send it to you.


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