I just did this with my Spanish 2 students and was surprised at how well it worked.
I went to Google news and typed in a couple of our newsy vocab words from recent weeks–like choque and testigo–and also the helping verb ‘han.’ I printed out 3 articles (it was 2 pages front and back) and made enough copies to have 1 for every 2 students. In class my students went through and marked with 3 separate colors 1) words that looked familiar but they didn’t know them and they weren’t in our vocab, 2) words they happen to know from Spanish 1 or experience or cognates, and 3) words that are directly from our vocabulary.
It was cool to watch. As they worked through the article, they negotiated the meaning of it rather well. And these weren’t learner Spanish articles. My students said how surprised they were at how much color there was on the page–and how much they knew.
I tried this also with my freshman using a website I just found, a ‘learn Spanish’ page from the BBC. We’ve been working with juega and puede lately so I chose an article about soccer in Colombia, two of my favorite topics. I really wanted to use the audio, but the announcer often sounds like a robot. It might work better for you. Anyway, I overheard something from one of my students who always feels behind and like she doesn’t understand because she’s never had any Spanish before, and typically her grades are lower than the others’. She said to her partner, “Hey, I can speak Spanish!” The joy in her voice was so apparent! I asked her, “What did you say?” and she repeated it for me. It was so empowering for them to find out how much they knew if they didn’t look at something and decide it was too hard so they were going to give up. I really had no idea this exercise would turn out this well. I recommend it. :o)