Post information, resources, and tips for working with elementary students here.

So you're going to be an elementary world language teacher?! Here are five key things you should do to get started:

1) Subscribe to Ñanduti (look for the green box on the left-hand side with the button that says Subscribe). It is an e-mail list that is just for elementary language teachers.

2) Consider subscribing to FLTEACH - Teachers of all languages and levels from around the world contribute. You’ll get more help here than in other places.

3) Join the National Network for Early Language Learning. They offer a summer conference for elementary language teachers. They also offer webinars on demand (free to members, a charge for non-members).

4) Go to your university library and check out a copy of Languages & Children, Making the Match (5th edition). It is the “Bible” of elementary language instruction. It also contains TONS of ideas and resources for setting up a successful program, activities to do with students, ways to communicate with parents, supplies elementary language teachers need, etc.

5) Download (for free) and explore some of the free, thematic units from the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center, such as Fiestas de Yucatán, Cuadros de familia, Let's go to school in Japan!, or Crictor.

Note: Although many of the activities on this wiki could be easily adapted for use at the elementary level, this page is dedicated to activities that are specifically designed for use with younger students.


Actividades infantiles y educación pre-escolar - Lots of printables and story-based activities in Spanish - chericem1 chericem1

Day of the Dead - Cross-curricular activity ideas for elementary students - chericem1 chericem1

Espanol es elemental - Downloadable resources, activities, and lesson plans from a UFLA session for elementary Spanish teachers - chericem1 chericem1

FLES Geography Activities - chericem1 chericem1

FLES Readers & Resources - A brief list of children's books (categorized by topic area) and professional resource books that are likely to be helpful to elementary Spanish teachers - chericem1 chericem1

Primera Escuela - Printable activities for beginning Spanish speakers. - litwins5 litwins5


Advocacy - This link will take you to another wiki that addresses advocacy for early language learning, as well as mentoring, and program development - chericem1 chericem1

Instructional Strategies


Go Fishing - Print fish on brightly colored paper or tag board. Glue a question to be answered, a sentence to be completed or pronounced, a picture to be identified, a song to be sung to the back of each fish. Attach a paper clip to each fish. Make a fishing pole from a stick, some yarn, and a powerful magnet. Allow students to "fish" for their "work." - chericem1 chericem1


See also: Games

NNELL Instructional Strategies - A collection of resources and materials from the NNELL Mentoring, Leadership, & Change Institute - chericem1 chericem1


Puppets - Students of all ages respond well to a wide variety of puppets. Here are just a few examples of some you might try: - chericem1 chericem1



HowToBuildAFoldUpPuppetTheatre.jpg- Step-by-step instructions for building a fold-up puppet theater (accompanied by diagrams). - chericem1 chericem1

Puppetools.jpg - Fantastic site with downloadable paper bag puppet patterns, resources, and materials

Puppet Planet - Free, downloadable puppet patterns for a variety of topics. - chericem1 chericem1


Teaching Demonstration #2 - Cute example of how a teacher can take a single song and use it to teach a variety of different kinds of vocabulary simply by changing the "speaker" of the song (and the accompanying actions) - chericem1 chericem1

See also: Songs & Other Music-Related Activities

Story-based Instruction

Flannel Panels - Put students in pairs or small groups. Give each group a panel. Ask them to find out the names of the animals, characters, and features of the habitat and label them. Have them create simple stories (3-5 sentences) about their habitat. In more advanced classes, these could be used for creating stories that review preterit v. imperfect, etc. - chericem1 chericem1
See Story-based Instruction for lots of resources

Professional Organizations

National Network for Early Language Learning - National professional organization for early language teachers - chericem1 chericem1

See also: Community Outreach

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