Running Dictation

Running Dictation

Imagine: It’s a beautiful day out. A day that, by all rights, should be reserved exclusively for picnics and frolicking. You walk into your classroom and it’s clear the students feel the same way. Here’s an activity that the students will remember for years.

First, you need some bit of text—a paragraph from a reading in your textbook, a dialogue on the theme, or something else.

You’re going to go outside, but before you do, explain the rules of the game.

Students will be in groups of three. The playground will be divided into three sections. The first student can only move in the first section. The second student can only move in the second section and the third student can only move in the third section.

The first student should read the text and tell the second student. The second student should tell the third student. The third student should write it down.

The first team to correctly write the whole text is the winner.

Notes: If that’s clear, you can stop reading, but here are some additional notes:

Before you go outside, you might draw something like this on the board

Book/Sun Hee–>


<–Sasha/Paper and Pen



<–Makiko/Paper and Pen


<–Hye Young–>

<–Pavel/Paper and Pen

Etc. Etc. Etc.

If you take a few chairs outside with you, then you could put the books and papers/pens on the chairs and insist that they stay there.

You might stay by the students with the paper and pens in order to say when they’ve finished or tell them if it’s not correct yet.

Or, you could make them just hand it in to you. If the first finishers have any mistakes, then they won’t win. The winners are the first ones to finish without any errors.

This was inspired by part of this lesson plan at the British Council’s fabulous site. Thanks!

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