Spanish Level 1- Face-to-Face Activities

🌳Spanish Level 1, Activity 07: El Árbol Genealógico / Family Tree (Face-to-Face) Remix By Stefanie Ratzlaff

Portrait of Stefanie

Remix by Stefanie Ratzlaff
Compass Charter School

About this Activity Remix:

Why did you revise this interpersonal speaking activity? 

I revised this activity to make the language more appropriate for novice high school students and to provide more scaffolding.

How does this interpretive activity prepare students for the speaking activity that follows? 

Students will receive Comprehensible Input about family members, family structure and family activities. The input will prepare them to talk to their classmates about their own families.

Description: Students will practice recognizing family member terms (i.e. abuela: grandma), describe family members, and accurately use vocabulary related to families in Spanish. They will acquire information about another individual’s family and will practice describing their own and others’ family members.
Semantic Topics: Family, family tree, famous families, family members, description, familia, árbol genealógico, familias famosas, describir
Grammatical Structures: Descriptive adjectives, possessive adjectives, adjetivos descriptivos, adjetivos posesivos
Products: Family trees
Practices: Multi-generational living
Perspectives: What is the importance of family and taking care of your relatives in Hispanic culture?

NCSSFL-ACTFL World-Readiness Standards:

  • Standard 1.1 – Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Standard 1.2 – Students understand and interpret spoken and written Spanish on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 1.3 – Students present information, concepts, and ideas in Spanish to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 4.2 – Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons between Hispanic cultures and their own.

Idaho State Content Standards:

  • COMM 1.1 – Interact and negotiate meaning (spoken, signed, written conversation) to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.
  • COMM 1.2 – Explain the relationship between cultural practices/behaviors and the perspectives that represent the target culture’s view of the world.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can ask and answer questions about the members of my family and ask about someone else’s family
  • I can describe the characteristics of someone
  • In my own and other cultures, I can identify whom people consider to be part of their family

Materials Needed: 

Google Presentation

Pre-Test Family Vocabulary

Authentic Resources:

Tamalada” by Carmen Lomas Garza,  included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER.

Sandia” by Carmen Lomas Garza, included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER.

VIVIR INTENTANDO BANDANA” by Panagonik Film Group and RBG Entertainment, included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER.  Video Clip 11:10-12:42

Interpretive Activity

This activity can be spread over 3-4 50 minute class periods. Talk to the students about your own family and show them pictures. This will help them become familiar with the vocabulary in a low stress way. Este es mi padre. Se llama Mark. Mark tiene 68 años…etc. Show the students the slide with the True/ False statements about family. Read the statements out loud and ask the students to answer if the statement is true or false for THEM. They can answer with a thumbs up or thumbs down. The teacher might also want to create an online poll where the students can send in their answers for the whole class to see. Uds. van a contestar algunas preguntas. Indiquen si la pregunta es cierto o falso para ti. Tell the students they will be looking at a work of art that depicts a family activity. (The teacher can choose to talk about both paintings or just one). Vamos a ver unas obras de arte. La artista se llama Carmen Lomas Garza. Ella pinta retratos de su familia.
Optional warmup: Have students working in pairs and call out something in the image, a family member, a food, a piece of furniture, an activity and the first student to touch that thing in the image gets a point. You could do short rounds of two out of three and it would be a great way for students to activate prior vocabulary knowledge before talking about the image. Formen parejas. Voy a decir una palabra de un objeto en la obra de arte. La primera persona que toque el objeto gana un punto.

Talk to the students about the painting. Using the level of language necessary for your students, discuss the people in the painting, what they are doing?, how many are participating?, are they all related?, do they all live in the same house? Why are they working together? How many people are in your family? Are there any activities you do all together with your family and relatives? ¿Cuántas personas hay? ¿Son todos parte de una familia? ¿En tu opinión, quién es esta mujer, hombre, chica, joven, etc.? ¿Qué hacen? ¿Cómo están?

Pass out the VennDiagram or have students draw one on their own paper. While you are discussing the painting, have the students write down their thoughts comparing and contrasting the family in the painting to their family. Ustedes van a escribir al menos tres cosas que tienen en común con la artista o su familia. También van a escribir tres diferencias entre su familia y la tuya.

Have students turn and share some of the points they wrote down. Habla con el estudiante a tu lado sobre lo que escribiste. Come back as a class and discuss what the students wrote.

Show the next picture or move on to the next activity. Hand out a piece of paper to each student and ask the students to draw a picture of something they do with their family. Uds. van a dibujar algo especial que haces con tu familia. Puede ser una tradición por un evento especial. Give the students a few minutes to draw.

Walk around and decide whose picture you would like to show the class to discuss. Choose a few pictures and discuss with the class using the “Card Talk” technique. Here are a two links to explain more about “Card Talk”:

At this point, you can choose to show the video clip of the young woman at her birthday party or move to the closing reflection question.

Ask students to reflect on this last question. They can write a few statements or discuss with a neighbor. “How do the products and practices in these paintings reflect Hispanic (Mexican) perspectives?” ( I will allow my students in level 1 to reflect in English so they don’t feel inhibited by their language abilities)

Optional wrap up: Ask students to choose someone in the painting and either write a description about that person, compare that person to one of their family members or describe what that person does during the day. Move into the interpersonal activity :

Interpersonal Activity

Warm Up:

Open the Google Slides and the CANVA Famous Family Trees Display the “Campanada” slide. Students will work quietly and independently to write three descriptions of family relationships in the famous family. Call on students to share what they wrote. Discuss the Can Do statements with the students. Show the students the example of the family tree in the slide show and review using “de” to show possession. Display another famous family tree. Ask students to talk in pairs about the relationships in the family tree. Guide students with prompts like, “What is Marge’s role in the family?” They should say answers like, “Marge is the mom of Bart and the wife of Homer.” Repeat with different people and different family trees. Call on students to share answers. Ask students to describe some of the characters from the family trees to their partners. Call on students to share their answers.

Main Activity:

Tell students they will be asking a partner about his/her family and creating their family tree. Ask students to go to to create the family tree. Show the prompts in the Google Slide show and model how the students should talk to each other about their families. Give students the option to invent a family or pretend they are part of a “famous family”. Some students feel uncomfortable talking about their real families, especially if home life is uncertain. After enough time, have pairs join each other and partners will share what they learned about their partner’s family tree to the group. Ask students to ask in partners or small groups to describe different family members. The teacher can walk around and ask questions of the groups or call on students to share with the whole class.

Wrap up:

Display one more famous family tree. Have students take out a piece of paper and number it 1-5. Make statements about the family tree. Make some statements true and others false. Have the students write down True or False on their paper to check their understanding and progress from the lesson. If time allows, have students discuss the cultural questions from the slides:

• En tu cultura, ¿a quién consideras parte de tu familia?

• En otras culturas, ¿a quienes se les considera parte de la familia?


• Read Can-Do statements once more and have students evaluate their confidence.
(Use thumbs up/thumbs down or download our student cards.)
• Encourage students to be honest in their self-evaluation.
• Pay attention, and try to use feedback for future activities!

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can ask and answer questions about the members of my family and ask about someone else’s family
  • I can describe the characteristics of someone
  • In my own and other cultures, I can identify whom people consider as part of their family

Cultural NOtes: 


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