Round the Board

I thought I’d share a communicative activity that I use. I’m not sure where I got the idea from, but I expect I’ve ‘borrowed’ it from someone or somewhere! The aim of the ‘game’ is to complete a string of words and get past the finish line.


Skills practised

  • word recall
  • spelling
  • subject-specific vocabulary
  • parts of speech
  • discussion and negotiation
  • quick-fire responses


  • a whiteboard
  • two pens

Set up

  1. Divide the board in half with a line.
  2. In each half, draw a spiral that shows the students where to write (I usually get them to complete two circuits of their part of the board).
  3. Write a word in the top left-hand corner of each half and underline the last letter of the word.
  4. Divide the students into two teams and get them to stand next to their half of the board.


Be the first team to pass the finish line.


  • Write a new word by using the final letter of the previous word as the initial letter of the new word.
  • You can’t repeat words
  • If the other team spots a spelling mistake, you must correct it.

Increasing the challenge

  • Only allow certain parts of speech
  • Only allow topic vocabulary
  • Go backwards (crazy hard!)
  • Write upside down/sideways/back to front

How students have fun bending the rules/cheating

  • Rubbing out letters from the other team’s work when they aren’t looking
  • Seeing how large they can make their letters

How students can easily increase the length of their words

  • Add suffixes such as -ed, -ing or -tion
  • Make words plural




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