The Auction- English Template, Novice Mid

Please Note: Many of the activities on the Pathways Project OER Repository were created by upper-division students at Boise State University and serve as a foundation that our community of practice can build upon and refine. While they are polished, we welcome and encourage collaboration from language instructors to help modify grammar, syntax, and content where needed. Kindly contact with any suggestions and we will update the content in a timely manner.  — The Pathways Project

For an Spanish Version of this activity, CLICK HERE

About the Boise State World Languages Resource Center (WLRC) Language Activity Repository

The activities provided by the Boise State World Languages Resource Center (WLRC) serve as foundational activities which can be adapted by any language and scaled up or down on the proficiency scale. Many of these activities offer an English Version that is “language-agnostic” to provide language instructors from around the country a platform to remix these instructional materials, infusing them with their target language and culture! The activities within the Pathways Project OER Repository seek to help students solidify their interpersonal speaking and interpretive skills through task-based situations or communicative activities. These activities should be facilitated in the target language for approximately 90% (or more), per the recommendation of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

How to use the WLRC Repository’s Activities:

1. Use the Activity as is:

Before you begin:

  • Most activities are 30 minutes in duration, unless otherwise specified.
  • Be sure to read through the activity description, and review the list of required materials. You will notice that the activity materials are also highlighted in yellow throughout the activity instructions.

If you have any suggestions about grammar, syntax, and content, please kindly contact

2. Remix for Your Language Classroom:

When you are ready to begin remixing the activity, in order to adapt it for the needs of your language classroom, simply click the blue “Remix This Resource” button at the top of your screen. This will then take you to a screen with a NEW, editable version of this activity. The text provided in purple is a suggestion of what you might say to your students in the target language, and may be altered for different levels and age groups. All activities have “NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do” statements, a warm-up, a main activity, and a wrap-up.

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 for your classroom follow the instructions below:

  • Google Slideshows:
    • To begin, go to File -> Copy to create an editable version of the slideshow.
    • Once finished with your changes, please complete the following steps to share:
    • Click on Share
    • Who Has Access
    • Ensure link sharing is on and allow external access.
  • Materials Saved as PDF: Please email and we will provide you with an editable copy. Please allow up to two business days for a response. For YouTube videos and other websites, hyperlinks are provided. 

3. Adapt for Another Language:

  • See the linked English Version at the top of the activity (English Version may not be available for all activities)

The Auction


This activity will expose students to the types of currency from Spanish speaking countries. Students will purchase items through an "auction". Students will practice numbers in the target language and will also use adjectives to describe items that they can sell and buy. Students will practice using vocabulary to persuade others to buy a product and make deals with others when purchasing the product. 

Proficiency Level:

Novice Mid


Auction, money, bidding, paddles, win, buy, sell.

NCSSFL-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 (target language) on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 1.3 Students present information, concepts, and ideas in (target language) to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.

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.
  • COMP 2.3 - Compare and contrast authentic materials from the target culture with the learner’s culture.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can ask and understand how much something costs
  • I can talk about and describe a variety of objects
  • I can purchase and sell an object
  • I can identify, buy, and sell products from my own country and Spanish speaking countries

Materials Needed:

To edit materials, make an editable copy and edit the copy, not the original

Funny Money

Auction Paddles

Auction Cards


Google Slideshow (Linked)


1. Begin by opening the Google Slideshow and introducing the Can-Do Statements. 

2. Explain to students what a "subasta" is in English. The slide provides three clues, so go over them with students so they can familiarize themselves with the descriptions. 

”Our activity today is an auction. Does anyone know what an “auction” is? I am going to give three hints. The hints help to describe “auction”.”

3. Tell the students: "We are going to have an auction! Every student is going to have money to buy and sell interesting things today."

”Today we are going to have an auction! Each student is going to have money to buy and sell (gesture giving and receiving money) really interesting things!”

4. Give the instruction cards and have them read over for two minutes.

”Here are the instructions for the auction. You have two minutes to read them (gesture reading the card) and after we will do the auction.”

5. Go over what "vender" is before telling them the meaning in English. Try to describe it as best you can so that they can guess it on their own. This is just helpful for knowing that "vender" is to buy in Spanish. 

”Before we start, we are going to review “to sell” (Say to sell in the target language) What does “to sell” mean? To sell is when you use money in order to buy food or clothes.”

Main Activity

1. Give each student the same amount of money (have them in plastic bags, counted out ahead of time. Tell them to count their money; everyone should have the same amount. 

”Each of you is going to have money for the auction. You all need to have $1425 (Write $1425 on the whiteboard). $1425 (Write this out in your language).”

2. Each student will also have an equal amount of items to auction off (try and make sure there is an equal distribution of expensive and cheaper items). 

”You are going to have some things to sell. What does “to sell” (In your language) mean?”

3. The other students will yell out prices they are willing to pay for an item until the amount gets too high and there is only one person left willing to bid that high.

”You all are going to sell things one by one in a circle. You are going to start with a description of your object in order to convince the people to buy it.”

4.The person who wins the bid will hand their money to the person selling and the person selling will give them the item.

”The rest of the students are going to yell the price that they want to pay for the item until the price is too expensive and there is only one person who wants to pay that price.”

5Then the next student will get the chance to sell an item. This will keep going until all items have been sold or time runs out.

”The person that wins the offer is going to pay money to the seller. The seller is going to give the object to the person. (Model this “I am the winner and I will give money to the person who sold the thing and he or she is going to receive the money and give me the card.)”

6. Make sure you have enough time at the end to give the students a chance to put the things in the original bags with the same quantities.

”After, the next student is going to sell an object. We are going to do this until everyone sells their objects.”
    ***Give yourself a few extra minutes at the end to make sure all the money gets back in the bag. Don't try to do this yourself, ask the students to follow the key on the bag!***


Ask students the following questions to end the lab: 

1. Would you buy any of these things in real life?

2. In your opinion, was there something that sold for too much money?

3. Have you been to an auction before? If not, do you want to go to one in real life?

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!

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can ask and understand how much something costs
  • I can talk about and describe a variety of objects
  • I can purchase and sell an object
  • I can identify, buy, and sell products from my own country and (target language) speaking countries

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