The Spanish Writing Activity That Students Love!

Friday, April 23, 2021

If your students are anything like mine, they moan and groan when it’s time to practice writing in Spanish. It often seems like they spend more energy trying to convince me that they don’t know enough Spanish or that they aren’t creative enough to write than they put into simply giving it a try.

That's why I love using "cuentos al revés" with my students! This activity provides students with the scaffolded support they need to feel confident that they are able to write in Spanish, while being fun enough that they want to. 

So how does it work? First, you come up with a list of questions in the style of a traditional reading comprehension activity. (I usually do 10 questions, but you can adjust the number according to your specific needs.) For example, you might ask “What did Maria need to buy at the store?” or “How many people are there at Juan’s birthday party?” (But in Spanish, of course!) You'll want to make sure that the questions you come up with correlate to the grammar and vocabulary of your current unit. Personally, I like to get really silly with the questions, throwing increasingly wacky situations at them as they go. (Why did Mariana’s grandparents have a tiger in their kitchen?!?) Students use their imagination to answer the questions as if they have found the information in a reading passage. Then, they write the corresponding story, using their answers as a starting point and adding as many other details as possible.

The activity is fabulous because it speaks to all of the complaints students often have about writing. For those who don't think they know enough Spanish to write, the questions provide excellent scaffolded support by modeling the target grammar and vocabulary. For those who complain about not being creative, the questions give them inspiration, so that by the time they are ready to write the story, all of the ideas are already right there on the page. And by introducing those wacky twists and turns, you'll get even your most reluctant students to admit they're having fun! (Well, maybe they won't admit it, but the looks on their faces will show you how they really feel!)

"Cuentos al revés" are also incredibly versatile! Here's a few ways you can use them:

  • Review activities

  • Formative/summative writing assessments

  • Enrichment activities

  • Stations

  • Sub plans

If you’re unsure of how to start, you can check out all of the “cuentos al revés” I have available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. They’re a great way to save yourself some prep time! You can also try a free mini "cuento al revés" in my TPT store!

The Spanish Writing Activity that Students Love!

Click here for your free "cuento al revés" activity!