Following are explanations and rules for each of the competitive Spanish Fair events. Please make sure that you as a teacher and the students competing in the events are familiar with the rules. Failure to abide by the rules will result in a deduction of points or disqualification of the student(s) or school. Contact with any additional questions regarding the events. NOTE: In an effort to more closely align our events with proficiency based teaching, we have updated our rubrics for all events besides the Spanish Fair Idol, and the Language Bowl, based on ACTFL materials. You can find the rubrics by clicking here. Also note that there is a rubric for our heritage learners/4th/5th year students and another for our 2nd/3rd year students.

Only the Language Bowl, Spanish Fair Idol, and Skits have specific pre-scheduled times. All other events are scheduled by the participants after the opening assembly as follows:

  • Opening and closing assemblies are held in the WSC at 8:00 AM – 8:10 AM and 11:40 AM – 12:00 PM respectively.
  • Events are scheduled between 8:10 AM and 11:30 AM.
  • Students obtain information sheet from their teacher or at the information table in the WSC which lists the events and rooms. The information sheet will also be posted on the main page of the Spanish Fair website on the day of the event.
  • Students report to the designated room for their event(s) and sign up for a time on the posted sheets. Students should make a note of their time.
  • Students return to the event room at their scheduled time (arrive a few minutes early) to perform.

SHOW AND TELL – All levels
General Instructions

1. Students will participate individually. Each will bring an object to talk about. It can be some piece of realia (an authentic object related to a foreign culture), a picture, a model, an object the student has made, a sandbox city, a game, or a different item not listed here, but that pertains to this category.

2. Students will introduce themselves and begin the presentation all in Spanish. The presentation may be memorized, but it is NOT to be read, nor are notes to be used.

3. The presentation is to have been prepared by the student, not by a teacher, nor taken directly from another source, (person or printed material, etc.). The teacher may help with expressions, grammar, and choice of vocabulary words.

4. The presentation should last between 2-3 minutes. Failure to stay within the time limit will result in a penalty.

5. The student will be judged on self expression, pronunciation and projection, content, conformity to time limit, and response to questions. Communicative effectiveness will be considered very important. Occasional grammar errors which do not affect comprehension will be overlooked.

6. Judges may ask some simple questions about the object, such as “¿Eso se encuentra en todos los países hispánicos?”

Examples of Possible Presentations:

  • Show a corn tortilla. Tell how it is made, and how it is the base of many Mexican dishes. Show how it can serve as a “bread,” a spoon, a napkin, etc.
  • Show a model or floor plan of a typical Spanish-type home and point out how it is arranged – the patio, the maid’s room, etc.

General Instructions

1. Students will perform individually. The story idea may be taken from another source, but must be told by the student in his/her own words and within his/her own range of language ability. Teachers may help with grammatical correctness, vocabulary, and expression.

2. The story is NOT to be read nor are notes to be used.

3. The story should be between 2-3 minutes in length (a penalty may be assessed if much longer).

4. Students will be judged on pronunciation and projection, ability to put over humor (punch lines) effectively, conformity to time limit, and general communicative effectiveness. There will be no questions from the judges.


Textbooks and readers are replete with humorous stories that students can simplify and retell in their own words. “Selecciones del reader’s digest” is another good source. Some humorous stories commonly told in English can even be adapted to Spanish.


The old story of the teacher preparing her students for a visit by a school official who will talk to them in Spanish. The teacher primes a student to answer anticipated question in the following sequence:

1. How old are you?                                                                                      14 years
2. How long have you studied Spanish?                                                       2 years
3. Which do you like most, conversation or grammar?                                  Both

Of course, the official asks the questions in another sequence:

1. How long have you studied Spanish?                                                     14 years
2. How old are you?                                                                                                       2 years
3. Either you are taking me for a fool or you’re pulling my leg!                    Both

Obviously this is just an idea. The students may elaborate or vary any way desired within the framework of 2-3 minutes.

IMPROMPTU CONVERSATION – Middle School and Junior High ONLY (no High School)
General Instructions

1. Students will work in pairs.

2. Each pair will randomly select from a deck of situation cards one of the situations listed below.

3. They will be given 5 minutes to prepare a conversation based on that situation. They may use a dictionary but cannot receive help from anyone else.

4. The pair should act out the conversation in Spanish trying to exceed at least one minute. Bonus points will be given for exceeding one minute. They will NOT be allowed to read from notes.

5. Teams will be judged on: appropriateness of conversation to situation, pronunciation, expressing enthusiasm, clarity, projection, correctness, and the time length.


Please note that our intent here is only to provide a situation from which a conversation can be generated, not to dictate what is to be said. Within the framework of the situation, the students are free to make any imaginative elaborations necessary to expand and lengthen the conversation. Possibilities are suggested parenthetically. Boy-boy, girl-girl, or boy-girl roles may be adjusted as needed. One student should introduce the conversation by saying something such as: Somos dos amigas, y estamos hablando de la posibilidad de ir al cine; or Estamos en un restaurante–mi compañero es el mesero, y yo soy el cliente.

  • Two young people meet and one tries to convince the other that they should go to the movies. The other is reluctant and has a number of reasons not to go.
  • Two students discuss the sporting event from the night before and their team’s chances in the championship next week.
  • Two young people have just met after having returned from vacation. (They talk about where they went, what they did, what they liked, etc.)
  • Two young people have just left a movie theater, and are discussing the movie. (One liked it and the other didn’t, etc.)
  • A young person has just called a friend on the telephone and the mother (father) answers. The friend is not home. (Where is he?, When will he be back?, etc. The person calling leaves a message, etc.)
  • A student calls his/her teacher (or boss at job) to explain that he/she is sick and will have to stay home. (The teacher (boss) is a little skeptical and asks for details – plans for making up work, etc. are discussed.)
  • Two friends have just bumped into each other after 3 years’ separation. One has been attending another school. They talk about the new school. (Compare teachers, harder or easier subjects, etc.)
  • Two friends are talking about what they are going to do during Christmas vacation. (One is going to another state to visit grandparents, other has to work, etc.)
  • A customer in a restaurant has just finished a meal and complains to the waiter about high prices, poor food, poor service and so on. The customer then reveals that he/she doesn’t have enough money to pay the bill.
  • A student is talking to a doctor about health problems he/she is having. (Doctor asks questions, prescribes treatment, etc.)
  • The victim of a robbery (attack, etc.) reports the incident to a policeman.
  • A young person approaches father/mother to ask for money needed for some project, activity, or some sort of purchase. The parent asks for full information about why the child doesn’t use own money, if it is absolutely necessary, if it will be paid back, etc.
  • Two students are describing their parents and their occupations.
  • Two persons meet after the first week of school. One is taking Spanish and tells the other what the class is like.
  • The housewife (boss) is talking to the maid (employee) about some work which has not been done well, and they plan the work for the rest of the day.
  • A policeman is trying to calm a lost child and help him find his parents.
  • Two young people are talking about cars and motorcycles and mention which they would prefer, or which type of car they would like best.
  • A child has found a stray animal and tries to convince a parent that they should keep it.
  • Two friends are shopping. One likes how an article looks on the other and tries to convince the other to buy it.
  • A student has just come back from Mexico and is telling a friend about the things that are different from the United States.

IMPROMPTU TALKS – High School ONLY (no Middle School or Junior High)
General Instructions

1. Students will perform individually. Each student will draw a card specifying a subject within the general topics listed below. The student will have three minutes to formulate ideas. A dictionary may be consulted, but no help may be received from anyone else. The talk is to be given without notes; it cannot be read. We have indicated parenthetically the kind of subjects the student can expect.

2. The student should introduce self and the subject of the talk. For example, he/she might say: Soy Manolo Metepatas y voy a hablar sobre “la comida mexicana y la comida norteamericana: contrastes y semejanzas.”

3. The student is expected to talk at least 2 minutes, up to a maximum of 5. Bonus points will be given for each minute beyond 2.

4. At the end of the talk the judges may ask simple questions in Spanish such as: ¿Qué bebidas toman los mexicanos con la comida?

5. Students will be judged on pronunciation, fluency, content, presentation and expression, response to questions by judges, relation of talk to topic, and length of time taken. (Please train them to speak up and to project their voice.)


  • Viajar a otros países.
    (¿Por qué le gustaría viajar a España?)
  • Los deportes
    (¿Cuáles son algunas diferencias entre el fútbol norteamericano y el fútbol hispánico?)
  • El clima y la geografía
    (¿Por qué tienen “la siesta” en muchos países hispánicos, y cómo afecta la vida?)
  • La comida
    (Compare la comida mexicana con la norteamericana)
  • Crisis internacionales
    (La crisis en Guadalajara (en cuanto a los secuestros de estadounidenses), ¿qué hacer?)
  • La mujer moderna
    (¿Debe la mujer americana hacer servicio militar?)
  •  El año 2100
    (¿Cómo serán los medios de transporte o las casas en el año 2100?)
  • La familia en el mundo actual
    (¿Cómo afecta el divorcio a los miembros de una familia?)

General Instructions

1. The student selects one of the topics below and prepares a talk in Spanish. He/she may have the teacher correct the grammar or suggest appropriate vocabulary words, but the thought and content must be the student’s. The teacher is NOT allowed to write the talk.

2. The talk is to last from 2 1/2 to 3 minutes and students are encouraged to keep within the time limit.

3. The talk is to be given from memory; it is NOT to be read, nor may notes be used.

4. The student should introduce self and announce the subject of the talk. For example: “Soy Juan Monopatines y voy a hablar sobre la influencia de lo indígena en la vida mexicana.”

5. At the end of the talk, judges will ask simple questions in Spanish, such as: “En México, ¿qué es un taco?”

6. Students will be judged on pronunciation, content, presentation and expression, conformity to time limit, and response to questions.


These are meant to be general. A wide latitude of variation will be allowed with each subject. Students may give their talk any title.

  • Un libertador de Latinoamérica (Simón Bolivar, José de San Martín, etc.)
  • La influencia de lo indígena en la vida de México (o Guatemala, o Bolivia, etc.)
  • El valor de estudiar un idioma extranjero.
  • España: una democracia moderna.
  • ¿El cine o la televisión?
  • El terrorismo en el mundo de hoy.
  • El país subdesarrollado en Latinoamérica.
  • ¿Podría eso pasar aquí? (eso can refer to anything)

POETRY RECITATION – Middle School and Junior High ONLY (no High School)
General Instructions

1. Students are to select one poem from those listed in their level (Middle School/Junior High 2nd year traditional OR Middle School/Junior High 3rd year traditional or non-traditional). They must have the poem memorized. (They will NOT be allowed to read it or use note cards). In extreme cases of minds blanking out, the judges will prompt them.

2. Students should begin by introducing themselves and the name and author of the poem they will recite. It might go something like this: Me llamo Manolo Metepatas, y voy a recitar “Canción de jinete” por Federico García Lorca.

3. PLEASE work with your students not only on pronunciation but also on diction and projection. Teach them to speak up so they can be heard.

4. Students should know what the poem is about. The judges may at the end of the recitation ask a question, such as: ¿Qué son aceitunas? ¿Dónde está Córdoba?


Middle/Junior High 2nd Year POEMS

Versos Sencillos
por José Martí

Cultivo una rosa blanca,
en julio como en enero,
para el amigo sincero
que me da su mano franca.

Y para el cruel que me arranca
el corazón con que vivo,
cardo ni ortiga cultivo:
cultivo la rosa blanca.

Versos Sencillos
I & II
por José Martí

Yo soy un hombre sincero
de donde crece la palma;
y antes de morirme quiero
echar mis versos del alma.

Yo vengo de todas parte,
y hacia todas partes voy
arte soy entre las artes;
en los montes, monte soy.
Me dicen que del joyero
tome la joya mejor,
tomo a un amigo sincero
y pongo a un lado el amor.

Con los pobres de la tierra
quiero yo mi suerte echar:
el arroyo de la sierra
me complace más que el mar.

Canción del Jinete
por Federico García Lorca

Lejana y sola.

Jaca negra, luna grande,
y aceitunas en mi alforja
Aunque sepa los caminos
yo nunca llegaré a Córdoba.

Por el llano, por el viento,
jaca negra, luna roja.
La muerte me está mirando
desde las torres de Córdoba.

¡Ay qué camino tan largo!
¡Ay mi jaca valerosa!
¡Ay que la muerte me espera
antes de llegar a Córdoba!

Lejana y sola.

Middle School/Junior High 3rd Year or Non-Traditional POEMS

Rimas XIII
por Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Tu pupila es azul, y cuando ríes
su claridad suave me recuerda
el trémulo fulgor de la mañana
que en el mar se refleja.

Tu pupila es azul, y cuando lloras
las transparentes lágrimas en ella
se me figuran gotas de rocío
sobre una violeta.

Tu pupila es azul, y si en su fondo
como un punto de luz radia una idea,
me parece en el cielo de la tarde
¡una pérdida estrella!

por José Asunción Silva

-¡Ven, Lázaro! -gritóle
el Salvador. Y del sepulcro negro
el cadáver alzóse entre el sudario,
ensayó caminar, a pasos trémulos,
olió, palpó, miró, sintió, dio un grito
y lloró de contento.

Cuatro lunas más tarde, entre las sombras
del crepúsculo oscuro, en el silencio
del lugar y la hora, entre las tumbas
de antiguo cementerio,
Lázaro estaba sollozando a solas
y envidiando a los muertos.

Los Heraldos Negros
por César Vallejo

Hay golpes en la vida, tan fuertes. . .¡Yo no sé!
Golpes como del odio de Dios; como si ante ellos,
la rasaca de todo lo sufrido
se empozara en el alma. . .¡yo no sé!

Son pocos; pero son. . .Abren zanjas oscuras
en el rostro más fiero en el lomo más fuerte.
Serán tal vez los potros de bárbaros atilas,
o los heraldos negros que nos manda la Muerte.

Son las caídas hondas de los Cristos del alma,
de alguna fe adorable que el Destino blasfema.
Esos golpes sangrientos son las crepitaciones
de algún pan que en la puerta del horno se nos quema.

Y el hombre. . .¡Pobre. . .pobre! Vuelve los ojos como
cuando por sobre el hombro nos llama una palmada;
vuelve los ojos locos, y todo lo vivido
se empoza, como un charco de culpa, en la mirada.

Hay golpes en la vida tan fuertes. . .¡Yo no sé!

En paz
por Amado Nervo

Muy cerca de mi ocaso, yo te bendigo, Vida,
porque nunca me diste ni esperanza fallida
ni trabajo injusto ni pena inmerecida;

porque veo al final de mi rudo camino
que yo fui el arquitecto de mi propio destino;
que si extraje las mieles o la hiel de las cosas,
fue porque en ellas puse hiel o mieles sabrosas:
cuando planté rosales, coseché siempre rosas.

. . .Cierto, a mis lozanías va a seguir el invierno
¡mas tú no me dijiste que mayo fuese eterno!
hallé sin duda largas las noches de mis penas;
mas no me prometiste tú sólo noches buenas;
y en cambio tuve algunas santamente serenas. . .

Amé, fui amado, el sol acarició mi faz.
¡Vida, nada me debes! ¡Vida, estamos en paz!

SKITS – All levels – Only ONE skit per SCHOOL per LANGUAGE LEVEL (NOT per class or teacher)
General Instructions

1. Any number of students may participate in the skit. However, students who are participating in a skit MAY NOT participate on a Language Bowl Team. This is due to the playoff nature of the Bowl competition in which schedule conflicts often arise.

2. The total presentation will NOT exceed 10 minutes. One student should introduce the group and title of the skit at the beginning in Spanish. Parts should be memorized and given in Spanish. No note cards may be used.

3. The skit group will be responsible for bringing all props, costumes, and any other equipment needed, such as CD players, speakers, etc. The setting up and dismantling of props and scenery must be done immediately before and after each presentation and will be included in the 10 minute time limit for the skit. HINT: Keep it simple.

4. Musical and talent numbers may be included ONLY IF THEY INVOLVE ORAL USE OF SPANISH.

5. Skits will be judged on presentation, language proficiency, staging, time limit, pronunciation and projection. PLEASE TEACH THEM TO SPEAK LOUDLY, CLEARLY & DISTINCTLY!


The term skit may be expanded to include other types of memorized dramas such as: parody on classroom activities, scenes from famous plays, cultural mini-dramas, simulations of real-life situation, etc.



1. A team must consist of five (5) members; teams will not be allowed to compete with fewer than five members. (You should assign two alternate members in case someone gets sick.) Once the competition has begun, there can be NO substitutions beyond the use of the two alternates. Any school which registers more than one team per level must submit the names of the five team members and the two alternates with their registration. (As a reminder, team members should NOT be part of the SKIT competitions. They may participate in any of the other events except the SKITS.)

2. All questions will be asked in Spanish and will be appropriate to each level. All questions will be selected at random from a pool of questions consiting of the following types of questions in the proportions indicated:

    • 40% grammar (including morphology and syntax)
      • Ex.–Ponga esta frase en el pretérito: “Ando hasta la plaza”. (Ans. Anduve hasta la plaza.)
        –Combine estas dos frases: “Es una lástima” y “Juan no sabe la verdad”. (Ans. Es una lástima que Juan no sepa la verdad.)
    • 30% geography, history, culture, current events
      • Ex.–¿Cuál es la capital del Perú? (Ans. Lima)
        –¿Cuál fue la fecha del descubrimiento de América? (Ans. 12 de octubre de 1492)
        –¿Quién pintó “Vista de Toledo”? (Ans. El Greco)
        –¿En qué país hay mariachis? (Ans. México)
        –¿Dónde mandan los sandinistas? (Ans. Nicaragua)
    • 30% vocabulary, refranes, modismos
      • Ex. –¿Cómo se dice en español “the umbrella”? (Ans. el paraguas)
        –Termine este refrán: “Dime con quien andas, …” (Ans. … y te diré quien eres.)
        –¿Qué quiere decir “echar de menos” en inglés? (Ans. “To miss”)

3. Before starting the competition, the moderator will ascertain that all players of each team are legitimate, eligible contestants as defined by the language fair rules. NOTE: Regardless of class in which enrolled, students who have had one year or more residence in a Spanish-speaking environment, have been part of an elementary school Immersion Program, or whose parents speak Spanish in the home, must be registered in Level NT, for Non-Traditional Learner.

4. Due to the large number of participating teams, it is important that you check the schedule which will be sent to the email of the teacher who registered a few days prior to the event, as well as posted on our website. The schedule will also be posted at several locations throughout the building. You must have your team in the proper room by the time the competition is scheduled to begin. Those teams which are not in place within four minutes of the scheduled time will forfeit.

5. The questioning will proceed according to the following format: the moderator will flip a coin to decide which team gets the first question.

  • LEAD-IN QUESTIONS: The moderator will then ask team “A” a lead-in question worth two (2) points. The first member of team “A” is to answer the lead-in question. If he or she cannot answer, the first member of team “B” has a chance to answer. Other team members cannot help the person whose turn it is to answer the lead-in question. If team “A” answers correctly, it will get a chance at a bonus question. If the member of team “A” cannot answer the lead-in question, the corresponding member of team “B” may attempt to answer. If team “B” member answers correctly, team “B” may then answer a bonus question and still receive the next question which would correspond to its regular turn for a lead-in question. The first response will be considered the contestant’s answer.
  • BONUS QUESTIONS: Any member of the team is eligible to answer bonus questions. Bonus questions are worth one (1) point. Following a team’s opportunity to answer the bonus question, play will resume with a lead-in question to the team which is up next. The first response directed to the moderator, as determined by the moderator, will be considered the team’s answer.

6. TIME LIMIT – The team giving the answer must begin its response within 10 seconds. Thereafter, the team may continue its answer until correct. If, however, the team hesitates more than 10 seconds in answering, the answer will be judged as incorrect.

7. If the game time expires while a question or answer is being given, the moderator will allow play to proceed until the end of that question.

8. At the end of the playing time (10 minutes), the team with the most points will be declared the victor and will advance to the next round of competition.

9. In case of a tie at the end of the allotted time period, a “sudden-death” rule will be implemented. Lead-in questions will be alternated until a team misses. The first team to miss a question will lose the match. If the first team misses the first question, the other team automatically wins. THERE WILL BE NO BONUS QUESTIONS in the overtime period!

10. The decision of the moderator is final.

11. Due to the traditionally intense competition in the language bowl tournament, unfair practices will merit disqualification and elimination as follows, determined by the moderator:

  • Inclusion of an ineligible team member, usually a Non-Traditional learner on a traditional team (ascertained at any time during the tournament).
  • Interference by a teacher, friend, or class member not on the team.
  • Use of recording devices or transcription of tournament questions by anyone associated with the school.
  • Fewer than 5 members on a team.
  • Failure to abide by any of the stated rules of the Language Bowl.