Lesson Plan

¿Dónde se habla español? Where is Spanish Spoken?

Spanish-Speaking Countries and Their Capitals
Rachel M.
Classroom teacher
Cornell Senior High School
Coraopolis, PA
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My Grades 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects World Languages
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • Identify officially Spanish-speaking countries on a map
  • Name the capitals of the officially Spanish-speaking countries
Social Studies
World Languages
Grades 5 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Conversing

Be prepared to record student responses on the board.  I usually record even those that are incorrect, so students can assess whether initial responses are right or wrong as the lesson progresses.

After brainstorming, show a visual of a world map so that students can get an idea of the regions in the world where Spanish is spoken.

Student Instructions

Do you know where Spanish is spoken as an official language?  Let's brainstorm a list of such places as a class.

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Creating

Discuss with students the value of knowing where each country is on a map as well as knowing the names of the capitals.  

Remind students that they are dedicating at least one entire school year to learning Spanish! Also inform students that this provides the foundation for understanding current events (including foreign relations), history, environmental issues, as well as deciding which countries they might like to visit  some day.

Discuss strategies for remembering where the countries are on a map.  Highlight for them on a visual those that are officially Spanish-speaking.  Then create mnemonic devices as a way to start remembering where each one is.  Share these, then have the class select the most memorable creations.

Student Instructions

With a partner, look at the map on the board that highlights those countries that are officially Spanish-speaking.  Then, create a mnemonic device (or a few shorter ones for each region) to help you remember where each country is located in relation to the others.  Be creative so that they are memorable!

After, we will share what we've come up with and select one for each region (or one longer comprehensive device) to "adopt" as a class.

3 Independent Practice

Explain the order of steps to students.  Note that this practice is paced at an individual level, but you may want to prompt students at a certain point to move from countries on the map to capitals.  I also usually do this part over a few days so that students can have less information to focus on at once.

If students feel comfortable quickly with the TapQuiz and the timed options on Quizlet, they may compete with their friends, as long as their accuracy is in place first!

Note that within TapQuiz, you can ask students to share with you their statistics (on their devices) so that you can measure progress.  In the paid version of Quizlet, you can track individual student progress.  If you don't have the paid version, you can still get a good idea of how students are doing simply by watching them work on their devices for a few seconds each at various points throughout the lesson.

For the Edpuzzle piece, embed the "Rock the Countries" videos by sillie4cats (found on YouTube).  This way you can monitor who has watched what, how many times, etc.

Student Instructions

First, become familiar with where the countries are on a map by playing the TAPQUIZWORLD app.  The countries to focus on (plus a few other non-Spanish-speaking countries) are broken up into two separate modules. Aim for accuracy instead of time, but as you get better at it, aim to reduce your time, as well.  

Then, use the flash card set I created for you on QUIZLET to practice the capitals.  Keep the volume on (use headphones if you'd like) so that will hear how all of the countries and capitals are pronounced.  Go through each option on Quizlet to get better and better at these.  Star the items that are the most difficult, and you can play each option with only the starred items, allowing you to focus better.

Last, when you feel ready, go to EDPUZZLE and find the "Rock the Countries" videos.  They are very catchy and will combine your map background and your knowledge of the capitals.

4 Wrap-Up

Pear Deck
Free, Free to Try, Paid

Create a quick peardeck lesson that includes questions with the "draggable" feature on a map, multiple choice questions, and open-ended questions to assess student mastery of countries on a map and their capitals.  I like to include one or two sillier items throughout to hold student interest.  

With the paid version or free trial of the paid version of peardeck, you can track individual student responses.  Otherwise, you may not know who responded what.

Remind students to use the independent practice tools on their own outside of class.


Student Instructions

Join our lesson on PEARDECK by signing in with your school google account and entering the code that you see on the board.

At the end of class:  Don't forget to practice on your own if you have your own device!  Quizlet might be especially effective to work with outside of class!