Number one for English language teachers

Teenagers: game 3: A - Z race

Type: Game

Games to play with teenagers in the English classroom.


A great vocabulary revision game:

  1. Divide the class into two teams each standing in line at the board.
  2. Give them a topic like food and drink, sports, countries etc (they must be very large lexical sets).
  3. The student at the front on each line runs to the board and must write a word in this lexical set beginning with A on the board.
  4. She then hands the chalk or pen to the next person in the row (and runs to the back of the line), who adds a word beginning with B until they reach Z.
  5. If they cannot think of a word beginning with a particular letter they can leave a space, but the team with most words at the end is the winner.

Example of a board during a game:

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Readers' comments (10)

  • What a great suggestion tholmes, thanks for sharing!

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  • We play something similar, but I make a bit more difficult. For example first word A for Apple before they can go to be they have to look at the last letter of apple, which is e and then use a word beginning with E.

    Then they continue to B and so so etc.

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  • Giang, why not try having two games running at once at opposite ends of the classroom? You could split your class into four smaller teams (two for each game) so each student gets more time at the board.

    Bartonim, thanks for the advice - x-words can be very tricky!

    Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions.

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  • X-words are tough, so general vocabulary rather than restricted allows for more choices (you simply allow any words, not confined to a category). Also, new popular/product words should be allowed, for example X-Box is fine. Xmas is also an acceptable choice.

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  • This is super fun in the classroom, here in France our blackboards consist of one large middle board and two folding half boards each size, I just fold each side at 90°, place a table to keep it in place and no one can see what the other team is writing. when finished everyone sits back in their places and I then fold flat the boards and everyone discovers what each team has written. Very good theme game or end of year fun activity.

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  • Fun game. To stop them copying you could try asking one team to start with 'A' and the other team with 'Z'.

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  • How can apply this game because I have a large class (over 30)?

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  • I just tell them to write another word

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  • You can solve that problem, more or less, by only giving unique answers points. If you think the other team copied on purpose, just draw a line through it immediately.

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  • Good game but i don't think they should be allowed to repeat the other group's words... or there should be some kind of divider to stop them copying

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