Spanish Level 1- Face-to-Face Activities

🙋 Spanish Level 1, Activity 08: La Subasta / The Auction (Face-to-Face)

Wooden gavel

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova
Description: This activity will expose students to different types of currency from Spanish speaking countries. Students will purchase items through an “auction”. Students will practice numbers in Spanish and will also use adjectives to describe items that they can sell and buy. Students will persuade others to buy a product and make deals when purchasing the product.
Semantic Topics: Auction, money, bidding, paddles, win, buy, sell, subasta, dinero, ganar, vender, comprar
Grammatical Structures: Adjectives, numbers, adjetivos, números
Products: Pesos, physical money from Spanish-speaking countries (see Cultural Notes)
Practices: Going to an auction, bidding on items, making deals and bargains with others

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.

Idaho State Content Standards:

  • COMM 1.1 – Interact and negotiate meaning (spoken, signed, written conversation) to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions
  • COMM 2.1 – Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • COMP 2.3 – Compare and contrast authentic materials from the target culture with the learner’s culture.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can ask how much something costs
  • I can talk about and describe a variety of objects
  • I can purchase and sell an object
  • I can identify, buy, and sell products from my own country and Spanish speaking countries

Materials Needed:

Optional physical materials:

Would you like to make changes to the materials? Access the template(s) below:

(Canva Template, free account required)

Warm Up

Materials Needed For Warm Up:

Optional physical materials:

  1. Begin by opening the Google Slideshow and introducing the Can-Do’s.
    Hola, ¿cómo están? Estoy ____. Vamos a empezar el lab de hoy con los can-do statements.
  2. Explain to students what a “subasta” is in English. The slide provides three clues. Go over these with students so that they can familiarize themselves with the descriptions and guess the meaning.
    Nuestra actividad de hoy es una subasta. ¿Alguien sabe qué es una subasta? Voy a dar tres pistas. Las pistas ayudan a describir la “subasta,”¿Qué es una pista en inglés? (“Pista” is clue”). 
  3. Tell the students: “We are going to have an auction! Every student is going to have money to buy and sell interesting things today.”
    Hoy vamos a tener una subasta! (auction), cada estudiante va a tener dinero para comprar y vender (gesture giving and receiving money) cosas muy interesantes!
  4. Have students read over the instructions on the Powerpoint slide or hand out the instruction cards if using physical materials and have them read over for two minutes.
    Aquí están las instrucciones para la subasta. Tienen dos minutos para leerlas (gesture reading the card or the presentation) y después vamos a hacer la subasta.
  5. Go over what “vender” is before telling them the meaning in English. Try to describe it as best you can so that they can guess it on their own. This is just helpful for knowing that “vender” means to sell in Spanish. 
    Antes de comenzar, vamos a repasar el verbo “vender.” ¿Qué significa “vender?” Vender es cuando recibes dinero por algún servicio o producto. 

Main Activity

Materials Needed For Main Activity:

Optional physical materials:

  1. Give each student the same amount of money (have them in plastic bags, counted out ahead of time). Tell them to count their money; everyone should have the same amount.
    (Cada uno de ustedes va a tener dinero para la subasta. Necesitan tener (escribir $1425 en la pizarra) $1425 (Mil cuatro cientos y veinte cinco dólares)
  2.  Have students scan the QR code in the presentation or hand out the auction cards for students to have access to the items they are selling. Touch base with students and ask them once again what “to sell” is (in Spanish). Have one student be the “seller” and describe the item they are selling.
    Ustedes van a tener unas cosas para vender. ¿Qué significa vender?
  3. The other students will yell out prices and raise their Auction Paddles with the prices they are willing to pay for an item until the amount gets too high and there is only one person left willing to bid that high.
    El resto de los estudiantes van a gritar el precio que quieren gastar en la cosa hasta que el precio sea demasiado alto y haya solamente una persona que quiera pagar el precio. 
  4. The person who wins the bid will hand their money to the person selling the item, and then the seller will give the buyer the item physically or metaphorically depending on if physical materials are used.
    La persona que gana la oferta va a pagar el dinero al vendedor. El vendedor va a darle el objeto a la persona. (Model this “Soy el/la ganador(a) y voy a darle dinero a la persona que vende la cosa y él/ella va a recibir el dinero y me va a dar la tarjeta)
  5. Then the next student will get the chance to sell an item. This will keep going until all items have been sold or time runs out.
    Después, el próximo estudiante va a vender un objeto. Vamos a hacer esto hasta que todos vendan sus objetos.
  6. Make sure you have enough time at the end to give the students a chance to put the things in the original bags with the same quantities.
    Ahora, pongan el dinero en las bolsas con la misma cantidad, ¡por favor!

      Give yourself a few extra minutes at the end to make sure all the money gets back in the bag. Don’t try to do this yourself, ask the students to follow the key on the bag!

    Wrap Up

    Ask students the following questions to end the lab: 
    1. ¿Quieres comprar algunos de estos objetos en la vida real? (Do you want to buy any of these objects in real life?)  
    2. En tu opinión, ¿Cuál es el objeto más caro? (In your opinion, which object is the most expensive?) 
    3. ¿Quieres ir a una subasta en la vida real? (Do you want to go to an auction in real life?)


    • 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 understand how much something costs
    • I can talk about and describe a variety of objects
    • I can purchase and sell an object
    • I can identify, buy, and sell products from my own country and Spanish-speaking countries

    Cultural NOtes: 

    How to Revise or Remix a Pathways Project Activity

    Feeling creative?  The Pathways Project needs your help in revising and remixing activities for the K-16 language classroom.

    Try taking an activity to the next level by:

    • Add new content (something you’ve created or another OER source)
    • Contribute additional activity suggestions
    • Integrate authentic materials such as videos, infographics, photos, etc.
    • Suggest how to implement the activity in the classroom
    • Customize the content for a specific audience or group of learners (for example, K-5 learners or to differentiate for student’s needs)


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    Let's Chat! Spanish Copyright © 2022 by Amber Hoye; Kelly Arispe; Abby Cain; Alejandra Garcia; Alejandro Montoya; Alexis Araiza; Anna Gamino; Ashley Johnson; Ashley Potzernitz; Ashlyn Nutting; Austin Robishaw; Blake Simony; Brooke Staszkow; Camille Daw; Carla Lara; Cecilia Morales; Chloe Robinson; Claire Werlin; Daniel Felix; Danielle Snyder; Elian Tovar; Emily Hawley; Gabby Bates; German Tovar; Iris Torres; Ismenia Gallegos; Jaelyn Quisel; Jenna Del Toro; Jordyn Preble; Jorge Corea; Julia Dryer; Kailyn Phillips; Kimberly Murphy; Leah Alboucq; Lillian Cobb; Linzy Carpenter; Madalen Bieter Lete; Madi Goertzen; Mariela Montoya; Maya Grubaugh; Mayra Saldivar; Natalie Mendoza; Nicholas Sulier; Ninna Payne; Reynaldo Nunez; Ryan Byrd; Sergio Sarmiento; Sue Juarez; Tea Recanzone; Thaïs Lacar; and Yuliana Cisneros is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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