First Week of School Bilingual Activities

First week of school of bilingual activities can consist of fun games and events. That first week of school, when students arrive in a new class, is the moment to get to know them.

With fun activities that can encourage participation, your students will delight in working with others in teams, developing teamwork, and collaborate with classmates.

Besides developing teamwork skills, you students can also begin to show different emotions about school. 

Emotions or Feelings Bilingual List

As those first days of school begin, your students might also start to show different emotions. For instance, when children are in new places or meet new people, they might be hesitant to share their feelings. In many cases, bilingual learners might feel even more anxious.

To discover why they are feeling the way they are, sometimes you might need activities like icebreakers to warm up those first-day jitters. To do so, you might want to have a list of feelings or emotions that your students can recognize how they feel. 

  • happy = feliz
  • sad = triste
  • surprised = sorprendido/sorprendida
  • anxious = ansioso/ansiosa
  • scared = asustado/asustada
  • tired = cansado/cansada
  • sick = enfermo/enferma
  • angry = enojado/enojada
  • glad = contento/contenta
  • funny = chistoso/chistosa
  • confused = confundido/confundida
  • disappointed = defraudado/defraudada
  • worried = preocupado/preocupada
  • not talking = callado/callada
  • exhausted = agotado/agotada
  • overwhelmed = agobiado/agobiada 
first week of school bilingual activities

First Week of School Bilingual Activities

Perhaps, one of the fascinating ways that children share their emotions is by using emojis or emoticons.

Since many children have access to personal devices with emojis, they are more likely to assimilate those emotions with how they feel. Of course, you could explain that those cartoons are just a representation of feelings. 

Practice Emotions

Create different bilingual activities to discuss feelings and how they feel about school. Use read-aloud English-Spanish stories to show children how others feel. Then, you can use the first week of school bilingual activities as part of your after-reading tasks. 


  • Emotions free worksheets
  • Pencils, markers, or crayons
  • Clips or clothespins
  • Fasteners or double-sided tape
  • Number cube or counting cards
  • Glue 
  • Safety scissors


  1. Use the writing emotion worksheets to practice tracing the words.
  2. Optional: Use see-through pockets or transparent sheets as dry-erase practice.
  3. Then, cut the bus of feelings and the emotion cards. Set aside. 
  4. Optional: Paste the sheet onto card-stock paper.
  5. Place a small piece of double-sided tape on top of a clothespin. 
  6. Then, add each emotion to the clip. 
  7. Encourage students to discuss their feelings and to place a clip on the bus. 
  8. Next, use the bingo cards to learn more about classroom school supplies or objects and emotions. 
  9. Optional: create a fun cootie catcher with feelings that you can use with the emotion free worksheets. 
  10. See the video for more ideas or learn how to create one.
  11. Repeat the activities as necessary. 
  12. Add a fun bilingual read-aloud like the My First Day of School story

Other First Week of School Icebreaker Bilingual Activities

While bilingual students might be shy to share how they feel, you can use other icebreaker activities to start a discussion.

  • For instance, begin by writing each student’s first name on a piece of color paper or construction paper.
  • Then, cut each letter and set it aside.
  • Third, make a chart of each letter.
  • Next, ask children to count each letter and place them on each separate column.
  • How many letters were you able to find?

This type of activity can motivate students to practice counting, letter recognition, and social-emotional skills.

Another bilingual icebreaker activity also uses students’ first name letters to think about fruit or food names. Then, your students or children can translate each term into English or Spanish.

Other first week of school bilingual activities can include sorting the classroom objects or school supplies by color or first letter. After that, children can build a vocabulary of classroom objects by identifying them around the room. 

In summary, the first week of school can be an exciting time as well as overwhelming. With new teachers, classmates, and school, bilingual learners may feel many emotions.

So, consider easy and fun icebreaker bilingual activities that can help them feel welcome to your classroom. 

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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