¡Siéntate! A Comprehensible Input Partner Game

They say necessity is the mother of all invention, and it’s true for this game, at least! A few weeks ago, I needed to review Part 1 of this adorable Día de los Muertos clip (which we MovieTalked the previous class) and they needed to burn off a little steam. Their energy levels were high and I needed to focus it for good and not evil…and hence ¡Siéntate! was born on the fly. It worked out pretty well during 2nd period and even better during 6th period after a few tweaks, so here it is for you! And in full disclosure, This might not actually be a game…I mean, it’s competitive and it feels like a game, but there are no points and no winners at the end. But calling it an activity sounds kinda lame…so game it is!

Prep: None. My favorite sort of activity..I mean, game!


  1. Students partner up. I like to use my super sweet Animal Partner Sheets, but however you partner them up is fine…the important part is that students are paired up and sitting next to their buddy.
  2. Teacher asks a question, while holding up her hands with her palms facing her shoulders and asks a question slowly and giving students plenty of time to process the question and formulate their answer.
  3. When the teacher lets down her hands and students can see her palms, they can answer. Their goal is to answer the question faster than their partner.
  4. The partner who answered faster stands up. If it was a tie, students play Rock, Paper, Scissors then the winner of that stands up. (So, there should be 1 player standing and 1 player sitting from each pair.)
  5. The teacher asks another question, with hands held up, students listen and answer when she puts her hands down.
  6. If the student who won the previous round wins again, he remains standing. If the student who lost the previous round (and is sitting down) wins, he stands and tells his partner “¡Siéntate!”. The student who lost sits down, the student who won stands up and the teacher asks another question.
  7. If a student answers the question before the teacher puts her hands down, they lose that round and have to sit down. Their partner stands up.
  8. Teacher asks as many questions as she wants… going slowly and giving them plenty of time to think about their answer before lowering hands, signaling for answer.

Sounds complicated but I promise, it’s not. Here it is:


It surprised me how simple it was, how efficient it was to review our Movie Talk and how well it got their wiggles out. By the time we finished reviewing and were ready to begin Part 2 of the Movie Talk, they were focused and ready to go!

And speaking of games…

I’m super excited to tell you that I’ll be teaching some of my favorite Input Games at a few upcoming conferences this year!

I’m so excited to participate again this year in Comprehensible Online’s conference- it’s 2 months of outstanding Professional Development, right from your couch (or gym or park bench- it’s up to you!) If you register before January 15 using the code AnneMarie20, you’ll save yourself $25!

And I can’t wait to present at the CI Mitten Conference April 17 and 18 in Saline, Michigan. Registration is open and I’d love to meet you if you can join us!

Also… stay posted! I’m doing a 1 day CI workshop in Reno, hosted by the Professional Language Association of Nevada this summer. We’re still ironing out the details and as soon as the date is confirmed, I will let you know!


  1. Your blog is amazing, and I love all of your games. Thank you for the videos too. Really helps to put everything together.


    • Loved the activity! Thank you for always being a wealth of ideas and knowledge! I made one addition. If the winner of one round wins the next round and his/her partner just stays seated, I had the student shout ¡quédate! They had fun with it 🙂


  2. Wow! I absolutely love this idea…you are the best!

    Thanks for sharing! Viv

    Sra. Viviam López-French

    National Board Certified Teacher

    TCMS Spanish Teacher

    Bremen Exchange Advisor

    Amity Foreign Language Intern coordinator

    Rochester, New York



    • We’re confirmed on the date Aug 1, but I’m waiting on the NV Lang Assn to iron out the rest of the details! I’ll post as soon as I can! I hope you can join us!


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