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High Frequency Spanish Verb Unit to Start Spanish 1

Last week I shared my plans for the first day of Spanish 2 & 3. As promised, today I will share plans for the first couple of weeks of Spanish 1. Last year I posted about the first week of school using CI for Spanish 1. But, the thing is, I did not get to use it because I had a baby on day two of school!

I knew that I wanted to start the year in Spanish 1 focusing on the Super 7 high frequency verbs (from Terry Waltz). They are es, tiene, le gusta, hay, está, va a & quiere. These seven verbs make up a lot of basic conversations in a new language and allow students in a comprehensible input classroom to communicate about things that matter to them. They are also the basis of our first novel El capibara con botas, so I want to backwards plan. I also think that relationship building is HUGE at the start of the year and want to make sure to build our supportive, positive classroom environment. 



High Frequency Spanish Verb Unit to Start Spanish 1



To combine working on the Super 7 and building relationships, I came up with a unit Novice Spanish High Frequency Verb Unit. This has been a work in progress all summer, and on my to-do list pretty much every day. Well I finally got it finished and am excited to start the year in Spanish 1. I do not know about you, but I like to have the first week rock solid, so I can focus on getting to know the kids and not on planning. A couple of years ago I posted these 1st week plans, which were for my first week at a brand new school. They would be great if you want more of an emphasis on proficiency. With my shift to even more comprehensible input, I needed a new first week plan that better fit my current classes. This new Unit would work well as a review for Spanish 2 as well. 

Unit 1 Plan for Spanish 1

Day 1

*Have fun music playing & name card materials set out on front table*
  • Welcome students at the door by shaking their hand & asking their name in Spanish
  • Instructions are posted on the board for students to make a name card to wear around their neck with their name and a symbol to represent them (in a #deskless classroom you can not make the traditional table tent name. You could also get sticky name tags, but these can be used a couple of days if needed). There will also be a photo booth in the back to take and post pictures as well, just for fun. 
1st Day of Spanish 1

  • Play a few rounds of Name Game Speedball to practice "What is your name" My name is" & "His/Her name is"
  • If there is extra time do some circling with balls (idea from Ben Slavic) to discuss what students drew on name tag. (Our first day is an early release with 35 minute classes, so I doubt we will get to this)

Day 2

  • Start special person interviews (idea from Bryce Hedstrom). Each day our interviews with focus on a different verb, and the first day is "es." This will allow me to circle and get in a lot of repetitions of this word. I have all of the questions and answer prompts in a a slide show, which you can download as a part of the Unit
High Frequency Spanish Verb Unit to Start School

  • I also have a handout with all of the questions they will be asked as a part of the Unit, so students can prepare their answers in advance and use the handout as security if they would like. This will be especially helpful towards the end of the class, since the first eager beaver volunteers are often quite confident and the more reluctant students may want that extra assistance. 
  • After the first student has gone we will take a musical brain break with the song of the day. Each high frequency word has a song with an embedded video in the slide show that going with the yo form. The first day of course is the favorite Soy yo
1st Week of Spanish 1 using high frequency verbs


  • Depending on time we will do another interview. If we need another brain break, we will play a round of Name Game Speedball

Days 3-5

  • Continue with special person interviews, each day reviewing our previous people and adding and focusing on a new verb. Each day will also have a musical brain break . 
  • At some point we will do some second half of class stations for logistical purposes such as syllabus, get set up with Schoology & Sr. Wooly, etc. 
  • We will also do a Friday free write quiz, where students will just write what they remember about their class. To build confidence, they will probably get to use the posted word wall or handout to assist. Or I may make a matching quiz with a list of names and a list of facts that can be matched. 

Day 6

  • I have a mini story that I posted here using the first four verbs (es, tiene, le gusta, hay). We will story ask and maybe do some extensions such as drawing a storyboard, blind retell, etc. My students love to act out stories using the prop box and it will be a change of pace. 

Days 7-9

  • Continue with special person interviewseach day reviewing our previous people and adding and focusing on a new verb. Each day will also have a musical brain break.



Day 10


  • Continue with special person interviews depending on how many students we have gotten through. Even after the first Unit is done, we will keep interviewing one student a day until everyone has a turn. 
  • A free write or matching quiz to review all seven focus words. 


Another great resource for using the Super 7 if you are on the Interactive notebook train is the Super 7 Interactive Notebook from Spanish Mama. I am still a binder girl, or I would be all about it!


You can see my plan for the rest of the year in Spanish 1 in this post. How are you starting Spanish 1? Please share!

2 comments

  1. What does your matching quiz look like for this? Also, is your free write only based on that day's interviews or just a true, "Write what you know"?

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    1. I have an example of a matching quiz linked in my other post about special person interviews. It is literally just a list of name and a list of interesting facts to match up. The free write is over everyone who has gone so far. I let them just show what they know

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