El Internado “Mafia”


I’ve been wanting to try the game Mafia in class for a really long time! Martina Bex wrote a great post about it and she even has a free downloadable packet for Spanish teachers!

We played in Spanish 4. I am REALLY bad at learning new games and I am even worse at teaching people how to play games. I am much better at just teaching language! But fortunately several of my students knew the game (yay church camp!) already.

I decided to put an El Internado spin on the game since my students and I are all obsessed with the show.

Here is a little summary of how we played, based on Martina’s packet:

We got in a big circle. I have 19 students in each Spanish 4 class. So I had 3 Aces, “Los Malos” (the bad guys…because we know who some of the bad guys are now in season 4 but don’t yet know what to call them!), 3 kings, “La Guardia Civil,” 1 Queen, “Fermin,” (on second thought I should make him a jack since queen is kind of feminine!), and the rest were number cards, “Alumnos.”

I explained all of the directions in Spanish and asked the kids to stop if they needed clarification. They understood everything and it was super awesome real-life language! A true real-life skill since I have indeed learned to play card games in Spanish before! (Next time I need to bring a baraja española!)

We played the game, and as I got better it went faster and got more fun. I was the narrator, and it was mostly telling people to wake up or go to sleep. But the really FUN part is describing what the bad guy did to the “alumno.”

THIS is where the game gets super magical! The kids all want to hear who the victim was and if Fermin saved them! So they actually enjoy listening to how the person got murdered or attempted murdered! I know it sounds morbid but you can be super silly about it too. You can even just make the person get kidnapped or something if you don’t want to be too terrible.

Example (en español of course!):

This poor victim was a student at Laguna Negra…the person was walking in the woods. It was nightime. The person knew that being in the woods had a punishment of a week in the stables or even expulsion, but the person was looking for a good-looking person to go to the movies with this weekend. As the person was walking, suddenly an owl flew out of a tree. It was not a kind owl. It was a very bad devil owl. It flew directly at the person and began to hit the person between the eyes with its beak. There was so much blood everywhere…and owl feathers. It was so gruesome. Fortunately, Fermin arrived and shot the owl and took it back to the Internado to cook it for dinner. (If the victim had not been saved by Fermin I would have had to say the owl killed the victim and then that person is “dead” and leaves the circle.) Thankfully “Billy Bob” is safe…but…what you need to know is this was no normal owl. It was trained by one of the “Bad Guys” to kill. Do you want to accuse someone?

Here is a fun little free Internado Themed Mafia game for you! Includes a Mafia “cheat sheet” for any language!

By 6th hour, the migraine I was working on developing all day had blossomed and I ended up having a colleague watch my class so I could head home and get some proper meds. I felt so bummed that I couldn’t finish the game! But the kids kept right on playing without me!

I highly recommend this game if you have not tried it! Thanks Martina!




    1. We watch it on Fridays starting in level 3. In level 2 I do 1 episode and we do little tiny scenes once a week until we finish or the year ends starting in February.

  1. Where did you buy the El Internado DVD’s. I live in The Netherlands and I did find them on amazon.com, but it says that the DVD’s won’t play on most of the DVD players. Is this true? Or do you watch the episodes online? If so, can you help me find them?

    1. Try amazon.es. I use the DVDs on my computer with a media player called VLC. VLC is free! I am not sure if Netflix has the same offerings in the Netherlands, but here it is also on Netflix. Another possible place for DVDs is FNAC.

  2. Thanks for the Internado twist! My 3 and 4 combo class are also obsessed with it! I’ve let it direct the course of the class finding cultural and grammar tie-ins everywhere I can. I always love getting new ideas to use with it!! This is awesome as is the show. I’ve never had so much luck getting them to talk in TL as with this show.

  3. We did this with MS-13, Pandilleros, Policia, Medicos, y el pueblo, and Guerra Civil de España, Facistas, Republicanos, Guardia Civil, Medico. I’m like you, not great at learning new games, so my intern and I were the narradoras. Great game! Can’t wait to try it with Internado!

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