Spanish Level 3, Activity 06: How to be the best roommate / Cómo ser el mejor compañero de cuarto (Face-To-Face)

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Before you begin:

  • Most activities are 30 minutes in duration, unless otherwise specified.
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Many of the activities include printable cards and other instructional materials such as Google Slideshows. If you would like to make changes to these materials in Spanish, follow the instructions below:

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How to be the best roommate / Cómo ser el mejor compañero de cuarto


Students will discuss their daily habits and personal preferences. They will exchange information about their living situations. Students will practice appropriate ways to confront roommates about different types of conflict.

Proficiency Level:

Intermediate Low 


daily habits, personal preferences, information, living, situation, roommate, conflict resolution, habits

Relevant 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 5.1 Students use Spanish both within and beyond the school setting.”

Relevant Idaho State World Language 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.
  • COMM 3.1 - Present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media in the target language.
  • COMP 1.1 - Observe formal and informal forms of language.

Relevant NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can talk about my daily habits and personal preferences
  • I can exchange information about my living situation
  • I can confront my roommate about a conflict

Materials Needed:

Google Slideshow (Linked)


1. Begin by introducing the Can-Dos for today’s activity and opening the Google Slideshow

“Today, we are going to chat about daily habits and personal preferences. We will exchange information about living situations. We will also decide appropriate ways to confront roommates about conflict.  

2. Have students pair and share (have students number the rules by most irritating things a roommate can do and why):
-nunca saca la basura
-nunca te avisa cuando va a tener huéspedes
-nunca reemplaza el papel higiénico
-siempre come tu comida
-pone música alta y canta con las canciones 
-nunca lava los platos

3. After a few minutes, ask each student to come to a consensus on the rule that is the most important.

“Si pudieran elegir solamente una regla para implementar en los dormitorios,¿Qué regla elegirían?” 

4. Situation: if you had to live with one of the rules always being broken by your roommate, which would it be?

“¿Cuál es la regla que menos te importa?” 

5. Ask groups to talk to each other about their living situation and if they have roommates.

“Tomen unos minutos para hablar con sus compañeros sobre su situación de vivienda. ¿Cuántos compañeros de cuarto tienen?¿Cuáles son algunas reglas en su vivienda?

Main Activity

1. Have students individually come up with ideas of what makes a "good roommate" (write on whiteboard)

“Ahora, hagan una lista de las características de un buen compañero. Escriban 3-5 puntos que buscan en un compañero.” 
2.  Have the students get into pairs of 2 or 3 where one student will be a "bad" roommate and the other(s) will be a "good" roommate(s)

“En grupos de dos o tres, van a recibir una situación con uno (o dos) buen(os) compañero(s) y un mal compañero. El oso perezoso es el compañero que rompe las reglas. El mono es el compañero bueno, el que va a enfrentar al oso perezoso. Si están en grupo de tres, el gato va a ser el compañero mediador, el que ayuda a los dos compañeros a resolver el problema.” 

3.  Following the situations on each slide, the "good" roommate/s from each group should try to confront the "bad" roommate about the problem/bad habit, the "bad" roommate will justify their action. Situations:

1. “El oso perezoso” nunca saca la basura y pone más basura encima del bote que ya Está muy lleno." 
2. “El oso perezoso” siempre escucha su música en voz alta y nunca usa audífonos, aún cuando “El Mono” está haciendo tarea."   
3. “El oso perezoso” deja sus pertenencias por todos lados de la casa. “El Mono” siempre tiene que limpiar para el oso perezoso."
4. "Después de un día  largo de trabajo, “El Mono” regresa a la casa con deseos de descansar, abre la puerta y “El oso perezoso” está festejando."
5.  “El oso perezoso” nunca lava los Platos y aún cuando los Lava deja pedacitos de comida (no los lava bien)"
6. “Llegas a la casa después de clases, encuentras al “oso perezoso” preparando un plato con la comida del “mono”. “El Mono” le Pregunta si la comida es para los dos y “El oso Perezoso” dice que no."

5. If students finish early, have them switch roles and practice from different perspectives. 


Ask some of the following questions to finish the lab:

1. ¿Hay alguien que ha tenido una mala experiencia con un/a compañero de cuarto?¿Qué paso?
2. ¿Cuáles son las cosas que compartan sus compañeros de cuarto?¿Cuáles son las cosas que cada compañeros de cuarto debe comprar?
3. ¿Cuál es la mejor manera para encontrar un compañero de cuarto?
4. Si podrías elegir una persona famosa (viva, muerta o ficticia) para ser u compañero de casa, ¿Quién elegirías y por qué?

End of lab:

• 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 labs!

Relevant NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can talk about my daily habits and personal preferences
  • I can exchange information about my living situation
  • I can confront my roommate about a conflict

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