«¿dónde está señor Gnomo?» Is he hiding behind the flower? To the left of the mushroom? Under the table? Help students practice the verb estar and Spanish prepositions of place as they answer the question: ¿dónde está señor Gnomo?

Learning Focus

  • Acquiring new Spanish vocabulary
  • (Optional) Conjugating the Spanish verb estar in the third-person singular and plural and correctly constructing and answering dónde questions
  • Manipulating objects in order to respond to or create “scenes” with Spanish prepositions of place
  • Practicing Spanish prepositions of place

Spanish Vocabulary

This pack is designed to expand or contract depending upon the learning situation. Included you’ll find the following vocabulary and the Spanish prepositions of place as pictured: de, dónde, está/están, flor(es), gnomo(s), oruga(s), seta(s), señor.

Preposiciones de lugar
Preposiciones de lugar

What’s Included

Huge thanks to NinjaWoman Clip Art Studio for permission to use the adorable clipart. You’ll find the non-color but super-adorable download below. The color download is available to newsletter subscribers in the email-Subscriber’s Library.

There are twenty-five (25) pages broken down as follows:

  • Page 3: Introductory Vocabulary
  • Pages 4-13: Full-sheet sized gnomes with examples of prepositions of place
  • Pages 14-15: Spanish prepositions of place labels
  • Page 16: Scene set-up sheet
  • Pages 17-18: Scene objects (e.g., gnomes, etc.), also usable as flashcards
  • Pages 19-21: Vocabulary cards, also usable as flashcards or “scene” cards
  • Pages 22-24: Pre-set gnome “scene” cards that can be used with the vocabulary cards, etc.
  • Page 25: Sentence vocabulary cards, also usable as “scene” cards

Special Note

This pack works with different age groups, language levels, learning preferences, and classroom teaching methods. However, this pack intentionally omits prepositions of place that require the “de + el = del” construction.

There are two reasons for this. First, we focus on acquiring introductory prepositions of place vocabulary and encouraging vocabulary practice. And, second, mastering the “del” construction with too much new vocabulary may be confusing to some learners. Breaking up lessons allows flexibility for instructors and, if desired, scaffolding of the lessons in a way that reinforces vocabulary and learning.

However, avoiding the “del” construction also means that we chose la seta for “mushroom” and omitted the two masculine nouns used in many places: el hongo and el champiñón. But, these terms could be easily substituted instead–either in the plural form or if your students are ready for the “del” construction.

Ideas for Using Spanish Prepositions of Place

Below we’ve outlined some ideas for this Spanish prepositions of place pack. If you think of other ideas, please share them with the learning community in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!

Pre-Made Scene and Vocabulary Cards

Estar is one of what we call the “Super Six” Spanish Verbs. In fact, according to professor Mark Davies’ Spanish linguistic corpus (here and here) and his 2006 list of most common Spanish base words (lemmas), estar is the 17th most commonly used base-words in the Spanish language. Basically, estar is one of the most important Spanish verbs to master.

With this download, students have the opportunity to get comfortable with Spanish prepositions of place and then add the verb estar. Focus is on «está» and «están» and mastering these with singular and plural vocabulary.

Young students, especially those who are not ready to write full sentences, can use the pre-made scene and vocabulary cards to practice.

Vocabulary Practice
Daily Game or Competition

¿dónde está señor Gnomo? Move him around the classroom or ask students to take turns hiding him. Students can submit answers individually, be the first to find and verbalize where he is correctly in Spanish, work in two teams to hide and find, find and hide, etc.

Total Physical (Gnome) Response — TPR

Some lessons seem tailor-made for Total Physical Response. This pack is designed to be conducive to incorporation of physical and tactile activity. For example, hold up one of the full-size sheets, and students can mimic señor Gnomo. Or, for shyer students, ask students to make the gnome mimic verbal instructions. You can even try an adapted (and/or simplified) game of Simon Says. «Señor Gnomo dice al lado de la mesa».

Use the tactile cards for shy or young learners who are practicing Spanish Prepositions of Place
Students Mimic What They Hear

TPRS® Classrooms

Tell students a story about señor Gnomo. Have them listen and demonstrate understanding with the “scene” cards. Or, have them work in groups to develop a story and then, in Spanish, explain to the class why señor Gnomo is on top or below the mushroom. Is he “debajo de” because he is sad? Is he on top of the mushroom because he is happy? This allows students to reinforce use of the verb estar and gives students of all personality types a chance to participate in a group activity.

For example, shy students can listen and use the included “scene” or full-sheet cards to enact the story for the class. Gregarious students can tell the story. Or, any combination thereof. Of course, there are lots of other potential ways to use this pack in a TPRS® classroom. Have a great idea or success story? Share it with the learning community in the comments below.

Head Outside

Ever played hide and seek with a gnome? No? Now’s your chance! Team up; play at home with your kid(s); take your class to the playground and have them circumlocate the gnome’s location. Raining outside? Try tape in the classroom or around the house.

Which Spanish preposition of place would put señor Gnomo NEXT to the caterpillar?
Gnome Hide and Seek

Tips and Tricks

To make this pack last longer or with multiple classes, you can take a few steps to extend the download’s life. While lamination is an obvious option, you can also use clear sheet protectors (the kind that go in binders) or even quart or gallon-sized kitchen/food bags. Any of these three options will allow you to also use dry-erase markers.

Have a fantastic idea to share? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Free Spanish Prepositions of Place Printable

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