Writing/Reading Weekend Chat Double Punch

In my quest to develop highly structured, not that much fun activities for Spanish 1, I came up with this writing reading activity (any other year I’d call it a game!) for our first day back from winter break. I’m tucking this one into my back pocket, as I think we’ll get a lot of mileage of this one. Use it after any break or weekend, when you want your Little Darlings reading, writing then reading some more, in a pretty controlled and focused sort of way!

To Prep:

Huge thanks to Bethanie Drew, print out some of her fantastic weekend chat mats. I’ll print out her Holiday Break Placemat on one side and Weekend Chat Placemat on the other side. (It looks like she also has translations in French and German as well, but you might need to use last year’s Holiday Break Quarantine Edition!)

Then copy this Mentiras worksheet for students (Spanish) or this one for French, Merci to Laurie Forsman! Be sure to update it for your target language and if you’re using it to write about their weekends or breaks.)

In class, Writing:

  • Pass out the Weekend/Break Chat Placemats and give them a few minutes to browse them and think about what they did over the weekend/break.
  • Pass out the Mentiras worksheet
  • Students should write at least 10 sentences about their weekend or break, on the Mentiras worksheet, as a paragraph. Within their paragraph they must include exactly 5 lies in their writing. Tell them to write as legibly as possible, because someone else will be reading their work.
  • Encourage students to use their Chat Placemats to form their sentences, if anyone desperately needs another word in the target language, they should raise their hand. The teacher will write the word in your target language and English on the board.
  • Since I’m charging into 2nd semester with strict expectations and a super focused plan, here’s what my Little Darlings will see on the screen while they work, with a 15 minute timer:

In class, Reading:

  • Now partner students up. I’m planning on giving my students new Animal Partner Sheets, for a little break between the writing and reading, but pair up kids however you wish. Follow your heart.
  • Partners trade papers and go back to their seat. They are not sitting with their partner for this segment. They read what their partner has written and highlight the 5 statements that they think are lies. (Here’s why you wrote the new words on the board in your Target Language and English- if students come across an unfamiliar word, they should first check the Chat Mat, then check the whiteboard, then raise their hand for help from the teacher)
  • On the back, students translate into English the 5 statements that they think are lies.
  • I’m giving them 15 minutes for this part, but they might need more time…no idea how this will shake out!
  • Finally, students will partner up, tell their partners which they thought were lies and then confirm which were their own lies. In my upper levels (I think we’ll try this with my Spanish 4s and my Heritage Little Darlings too!), they’ll do this part in Spanish. In Spanish 1, I will be delighted if they can do this without kicking each other, so English is OK with me!
  • Since my kids this year do zero things unless they think it’s for a grade, I’ll collect the papers and recycle them as soon as the students run out of my portable. Activity over for my Spanish 1s.
  • If this were a game: In Spanish 4 and Heritage we’ll “play” and every student who gets a perfect score (correctly identifying all 5 lies) will earn a stamp on their stamp sheet. Lately if we have a bunch of winners, I’ll just stamp their stamp sheet because it’s quick and easy. If we have one or two winners, I’ll give them the choice to spin the wheel of prizes OR get an extra credit stamp.

How easy is that?! Lots of Reading and Writing on their part…no stress, minimal prep, plenty peace and quiet for the teacher! 2022 is shaping up to be a pretty good year!



  1. Un millón de gracias por compartir sus ideas y metodos de enseñanza.

    ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! ________________________________


  2. Are you using this as the whole lesson, or are you starting with your “not that much fun” lesson plan and then doing this? I am trying to plan for tomorrow — first day back — and have not tried your “not that much fun” stuff yet…


    • No- in my plan, this is the writing then reading segments. For the input chunk they’ll do an edpuzzle about NYE traditions in Spain, from Dreaming in Spanish.


    • Just send one kid to the office.

      Just kidding. Make a group of 3, for this one they just all trade papers and it works out just fine (although it takes a little bit longer for them to verify their lies than a group of two)


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