Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Ser y Estar

Maria Gyory
Miami-Dade County Schools


Students know the difference between using ser and estar correctly when they are able to describe physical characteristics of animals or people, and then describe feelings or state of mind using the correct verb.


The student restates and rephrases simple information from materials presented orally, visually, and graphically in class.


-White paper for each student
-Crayons for each student
-Chart that shows main adjectives in Spanish
-Quiz on verbs ser and estar (See Weblinks) Students can complete the quiz online or you can print the quiz and hand it out to them.
-Pictures of animals or people that show emotion or feeling
-Chart that describes different emotions in Spanish
-Worksheet for further practice or reinforcement (See Associated File)


1. Have paper accessible for students.
2. Obtain a chart or a poster that shows main adjectives in Spanish.
3. Obtain a chart or a poster that describes different emotions in Spanish.
4. Collect pictures of people or animals that are showing emotions or feelings.
5. Familiarize yourself with the Weblinks so that you can guide students when they are ready to take the quiz.
6. If students will not be taking the quiz online, print it and have copies ready for students.
7. Make copies of the associated file document in case students need further reinforcement.


1. Ask for a volunteer to come to the front of the class. First describe the student like this: This is Jason. Jason is tall, skinny and strong. Now ask the student to follow these directions by changing his expressions: Jason is sad, angry and now happy. Write the sentences on the board. Ask the students what verb you used in each sentence. (to be = is )

2. Now do the same in Spanish: Este es Jason. Jason es alto, delgado y fuerte. Now ask the student to do the actions as you talk about how he feels: Jason estŠ triste. Jason estŠ bravo. Ahora Jason estŠ feliz. As you say these sentences, write them on the board. Ask students what verbs you used in Spanish. (es in the first part, estŠ in the second part) Further explain to students that you are using the third person singular of the verb to be, which is es and estŠ in Spanish.

3. Tell students that today we will learn why in English you can use the same verb to describe a person and to explain how he or she feels, while in Spanish you will need to use two different verbs to do this.

4. Ask students about the words that you used to describe Jason. Help students infer that the words alto, delgado and fuerte are adjectives. Ask about these qualities. Is being alto (tall) something that Jason can change within a moment's notice? Is being delgado (skinny) something that he can change immediately? Is being fuerte (strong) something that he could change right now? Help students infer that we were describing things about Jason that could not easily be changed.

5. Now ask the students to look at the second part of the exercise. What happened to Jason? Was he able to change from being triste (sad) to bravo (angry) to feliz (happy)? Why was he able to do this? Are these qualities that can change in a person?

6. Point out to students that in English we use the same verb, the verb to be, to describe Jasonís physical characteristics as well as his emotions. In Spanish, on the other hand, the verb changes according to the type of description that you are doing. Ask students to think about this exercise and to tell you when would they need to use the verb es and when they would need to use the verb estŠ? Help students infer that we use es to describe qualities that cannot be easily changed, while we use estŠ to describe a state of mind that the person is in.

7. Provide more examples for students to practice the use of these two verbs, by showing them the picture of a person or animal with a certain expression. Ask students to describe what they see. As an additional practice, students can complete online (See Weblinks) or as a print worksheet, a quiz on these two verbs. This will provide an opportunity for the teacher and for the student to assess their understanding. The quiz can be self-corrected.

8. Hand out a paper and ask students to fold it in three parts. Ask the students to draw the same person in each of the three sections. Tell students to be sure to draw this person with the same physical characteristics in each picture, but with an expression showing a different emotion or feeling in each section. For example, in the first picture draw the person feeling happy, in the second being surprised, and in the last one, being nervous.

9. After students are done with their pictures, ask students to exchange their pictures with the person sitting next to them. The partner has to interpret the drawings, write sentences about the physical characteristics of the person in the drawing, and also describe how the person is feeling in each section. Explain to the students that they need to write at least three sentences with the verb ser and three others with the verb estar. Students can use a poster or a chart that describes the different emotions in Spanish.

10. Provide opportunity for the students to share their writings and their partnerís picture to the other students in the class. Ask students to provide feedback to their classmates on whether they have used the verbs ser and estar correctly. Use this activity to formatively assess students by using the rubric mentioned in the assessment.


Once students have finished describing their partnerís drawings, observe how they constructed their sentences. Formatively assess their understanding of the correct usage of the verbs ser and estar by using a rubric. The evidence is the written assignment where the students have to describe the pictures, and the criteria for assessment is noted in the rubric.

The rubric follows :
Excellent : Students have written three or more correct sentences using the verb ser. These sentences are related to the pictures, and they express a description of the physical condition of the person in the drawing. The students have also written three correct sentences using the verb estar, expressing the condition or state of mind in which the person in the picture is in.

Satisfactory : Students have written at least two correct sentences with the verb ser and two correct sentences with the verb estar.

Unacceptable : Students seem confused and are not able to distinguish between the two verbs or they use the verbs incorrectly when writing their descriptions. They might have written a sentence correctly with each verb. This student will require further practice and reinforcement.


Students can further practice the concepts by completing the worksheets available. (See Associated File)

Web Links

This site can be used as a reference for you or your students.
Learn Spanish

Use this online quiz as a formative assessment for your students. (You can also print the test.)
Study Spanish

Attached Files

This file contains the pages for the lesson plan.     File Extension: pdf

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