The thought of running memorization drills or working through another set of flashcards may tempt you or your students to start an online binge-watching session. Who could blame you? Memorization drills are tedious. So, why not make a game of memorization instead? These free, downloadable subject-pronoun dice can be used individually, in pairs, or even in competitive teams. Plus, if you pair them with the verb dice on this page, you can make a verb conjugation game.
The Skinny on Subject Pronouns
Subject pronouns are shortcuts. Abbreviations. A way to avoid repetition and wordiness, or worse, talking about oneself in the third person. In most languages, subject-pronoun use is common and frequent. In short, pronouns form an important part of the structure of many languages, including Spanish.
However, while these dice focus on subject pronouns, there are also many other types of Spanish pronouns, like direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns, possessive pronouns, reflexive pronouns, etc.
So, what are the Spanish Subject Pronouns? They are:
- Usted (Ud.)
- Ustedes (Uds.)
Repeat – Repita
Overwhelmed by the number of subject pronouns or how to explain the difference between tú and vos to others? While the below download includes an explanatory Spanish-to-English subject-pronoun page, some recent studies suggest what language teachers have intuited for a long time: repetition is paramount. That’s why the goal of this download is fun, fast memorization by repetition.
The need for repetition is also why this download includes English subject pronoun dice and various versions of the Spanish pronoun dice. That way, students can roll and repeat in both “language directions” or by focusing on the subject pronouns in their memory gaps.
Ideas of Use
In classroom and homeschool settings, teachers can save time by asking students to cut and tape or glue the dice together themselves. The dice are designed with tabs that are the precise size of most brands of double-sided tape, but glue on the tabs or even one-sided tape on the outside can be used.
Keeping a basket or bucket handy allows these dice to be used again and again or as a “grab and learn” activity. Below are additional ideas for how these dice might be used:
Vocabulary Card Replacement
Whether memorizing for the first time, studying for a test, or reviewing, dice can take some of the tedium out of drills. As an added bonus, the randomness of rolling prevents students from memorizing based on the order or features of their vocabulary cards.
The more advanced the students’ learning, the longer and more complicated this activity can be. If combined with the super-six infinitive dice on this page, the activity can be turned into verb drills, games, and tense drills.
Adapting to Personality Types
While not all students enjoy competitive games, some students learn better when in competition or when they can interact. This activity can be partitioned by student preferences. Students who prefer to work alone can do so; students who enjoy working with a friend can pair off; and, students who want to create a game can form teams.
Quiet Learning Centers
Leaving sets of these dice accessible allows language learners to redeem the time when they finish other activities early, when their teacher or parent is occupied, or when they simply need to switch mental gears. Occasionally rotating the dice at learning stations ensures that students are constantly cycling through and repeating important parts of the “core” of the Spanish language.
Combining the subject pronoun dice with these super-six infinitive dice allows students to make a game of verb drills.